Diamonds up to second while Spalding thrash Desborough

Action from the 1-1 draw between ON Chenecks and Thrapston Town. Pictures by Sharon Lucey

Action from the 1-1 draw between ON Chenecks and Thrapston Town. Pictures by Sharon Lucey

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AFC Rushden & Diamonds moved into second place in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division with a comfortable 3-0 victory over AFC Kempston.

Matt Gearing sent Diamonds on their way to a second win in as many days following the derby win against Wellingborough Town on Boxing Day before Alfie Taylor doubled the advantage five minutes into the second half.

Action from the 1-1 draw between ON Chenecks and Thrapston Town. Pictures by Sharon Lucey

Action from the 1-1 draw between ON Chenecks and Thrapston Town. Pictures by Sharon Lucey

And the success was completed with 12 minutes remaining when Fazel Koriya followed up to score after Taylor’s shot had been saved.

Mark Starmer’s men remain 13 points behind leaders Spalding United who claimed their 21st win of the season with an emphatic 6-2 victory at Desborough Town.

Jamie Stevens, Andy Tidswell and Dan Cotton put the title favourites 3-0 up at the break before Michael Byrne pulled one back for Ar Tarn in the second half.

Cotton made it 4-1 before Byrne responded with his and Desborough’s second of the afternoon.

Action from the 1-1 draw between ON Chenecks and Thrapston Town. Pictures by Sharon Lucey

Action from the 1-1 draw between ON Chenecks and Thrapston Town. Pictures by Sharon Lucey

But the Tulips and Tidswell had the final say as he scored his 29th and 30th goals of the season to round off another victory.

Wellingborough Town were forced to postpone their trip to Sleaford Town after Craig Adams revealed a flu bug had swept through his squad while Stewarts & Lloyds, who are currently looking for a new manager following Kevin Byrne’s resignation on Boxing Day, saw their home clash with Newport Pagnell called off.

The only game of the day in the United Counties League on New Year’s Day sees AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Wellingborough Town play their reverse fixture at the Dog & Duck (3pm).

Karl King scored a late penalty as Raunds Town ended Blackstones’ eight-match unbeaten run in Division One with a 2-1 success at Kiln Park.

Action from the 1-1 draw between ON Chenecks and Thrapston Town. Pictures by Sharon Lucey

Action from the 1-1 draw between ON Chenecks and Thrapston Town. Pictures by Sharon Lucey

Peter Clarke gave the Shopmates a half-time lead before Addie Staffieri levelled from the spot for the visitors on 66 minutes.

But, as the game ticked into stoppage-time, King held his nerve to convert from 12 yards and seal the points for Raunds.

Rushden & Higham United also enjoyed a home success as they edged out Peterborough Sports 3-2 at Hayden Road.

Jon Tite put the Lankies ahead inside two minutes and Tyler Merries made it 2-0 from the penalty spot before Dan Clements replied before the break.

Merries restored the two-goal lead in the second half and the hosts held on, despite Clements pulling another back for Sports.

Whitworth picked up a good point as they shared six goals with Northampton Spencer at London Road.

Jamie White gave the Flourmen a 1-0 lead at the break but goals from Rob Clarke and Paul Pickering put Spencer in front in the second half.

Remy Brittain levelled for the hosts before Luke Stone swung the game back in Spencer’s favour with a penalty. However, Brittain struck again to make it 3-3 as Whitworth claimed a point.

Honours were also even at Billing Road as Thrapston Town and hosts ON Chenecks left it late in their 1-1 draw.

Luke Cummins looked like he had won it for Thrapston when he opened the scoring with 17 minutes to go. But Elliott Muddiman grabbed an equaliser for Chenecks 10 minutes later.

Irchester United suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Harrowby United, who kept their chase for promotion on course.

The Romans competed well against the high-fliers but Martin Wormall’s penalty just before the hour proved decisive.