Poppies edge out Diamonds as Steelmen bid for a home success

Kettering Town celebrate one of their goals during the 3-2 win over AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the NFA Hillier Senior Cup last night. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Kettering Town celebrate one of their goals during the 3-2 win over AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the NFA Hillier Senior Cup last night. Pictures by Alison Bagley

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Kettering Town booked their place in the quarter-finals of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup with a 3-2 victory over AFC Rushden & Diamonds at Latimer Park last night (Tuesday).

Marcus Law and Andy Peaks rang the changes for the first-round clash, which was a repeat of last season’s final, which Diamonds won at Sixfields.

Paul Malone made his debut for Kettering Town during their Hillier Cup success over AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Paul Malone made his debut for Kettering Town during their Hillier Cup success over AFC Rushden & Diamonds

But the Poppies, who handed newest recruit Paul Malone a debut, gained revenge to knock the holders out as they picked up their first home success of the season in front of a crowd of 308.

Aaron O’Connor opened the scoring late in the first half and the Poppies looked to be cruising when Jordan Wilson and Liam Canavan struck to put them 3-0 up just past the hour.

But Diamonds produced a spirited fightback with Sam Brown heading home at the far post to make it 3-1 before substitute Chris Wreh tapped home their second.

However, Kettering held on and they were joined in the last eight by Brackley Town who ran out 4-1 winners at Rothwell Corinthians.

Tonight, it’s the turn of Corby Town who will be targeting their first win of the season when they face Peterborough Northern Star at Steel Park.

And boss Tommy Wright looks set to name a strong Steelmen side, although they are still without frontman Callum Ball who serves the second of a three-match ban.

Wright said: “We will more or less be at full-strength.

“There will be two or three who don’t play and I am thinking about the likes of Femi (Orenuga) who has just come back from injury and played at the weekend.

“But we want to win a game of football. Winning is a habit and it’s not one we are in at the moment so it would be good to see if we can get a bit more momentum before Saturday.

“We didn’t pick up any new injuries at the weekend so we should have a full squad to choose from aside from Callum.”

Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town are also in Hillier Cup action this evening at Brackley Town Saints and ON Chenecks respectively.

Don’t miss all the news from Corby Town, Kettering Town, AFC Rushden & Diamonds and the United Counties League in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph