PRE-SEASON - Diamonds win on penalties but Corby are sunk by old boys

Liam Dolman was on target for Andy Peaks' AFC Rushden & Diamonds team in their opening pre-season friendly of the summer
Liam Dolman was on target for Andy Peaks' AFC Rushden & Diamonds team in their opening pre-season friendly of the summer
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AFC Rushden & Diamonds began life at Hayden Road by drawing 2-2 with Barwell before winning the Dale Roberts Memorial Cup in a penalty shoot-out.

Diamonds, who handed debuts to Darryl Smith and Luke Fairlamb, fell behind early on when Matt Stenson headed home a corner from close-range.

The hosts were given the chance to equalise when Nabil Shariff was brought down in the area but his penalty was saved by.

And Diamonds were made to pay when Ryan Robbins doubled the visitors’ advantage with a shot from the edge of the area.

Andy Peaks’ side pulled a goal back with 20 minutes to go when a Barwell defender put through his own net from a Callum Westwood cross.

And they levelled things up late on when Liam Dolman curled a free-kick into the net off the post.

In the resulting shoot-out, there were 10 perfect penalties before Ben Heath saved Barwell’s sixth and that gave Ben Ford the chance to step up and seal victory for the hosts.

Diamonds are back in friendly action at Hayden Road on Wednesday night when they host a Northampton Town XI.

Two former Corby Town players returned to send their former club to their first defeat of the pre-season programme as Brackley Town claimed a 2-0 success at Steel Park.

Corby were forced to change their goalkeeper at late notice when Jamie McAlindon was injured in the warm-up and Dan Farrell, who had a spell with the club last season, took his place.

The opening came just past the half-hour when former Steelman Shane Byrne fired home a low shot from the edge of the box.

And the Vanarama National League North side wrapped up their victory nine minutes from full-time when another former Corby man Glenn Walker found the net.

The Steelmen go straight into another friendly in midweek when they head to United Counties League Premier Division side Wellingborough Town on Tuesday night.