UCL round-up - S&L humble Spalding to take a giant step towards safety

Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 4-0 success at Raunds Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin

Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 4-0 success at Raunds Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin

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Stewarts & Lloyds picked up their second win in as many days to move themselves six points clear of the relegation zone in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division.

Having claimed a crucial 3-1 success at Blackstones on Thursday, Daren Young’s side trumped that with a superb 2-0 victory over third-placed Spalding United at Occupation Road.

Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 4-0 success at Raunds Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin

Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 4-0 success at Raunds Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin

Paul Caswell continued his excellent form in front of goal with the opener on 28 minutes and a famous win was secured four minutes from the end through Brian Farrell as S&L extended their timely unbeaten run to eight matches.

It was also another very good day for Wellingborough Town as they made it 11 games without defeat with a terrific fightback against Cogenhoe United at the Dog & Duck.

The Doughboys are three points clear of the drop zone but it could have been worse after Ben Foster and Jed Ainge put the Cooks 2-0 up with just two minutes separating the strikes.

Jon Mitchell pulled one back before half-time and the striker struck his second after the break to secure a valuable point for Craig Adams’ team.

Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 4-0 success at Raunds Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin

Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 4-0 success at Raunds Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin

Already-relegated Irchester United were unable to help their neighbours as they were beaten 3-1 at another of the strugglers Sleaford Town.

The Romans did lead through Dan Turiccki’s goal three minutes before half-time but the hosts produced a fine second-half fightback thanks to Tom Sergeant, Liam Tunstall’s penalty and Ash Murrell.

Desborough Town, meanwhile, suffered late, late heartbreak as Deeping Rangers kept their hopes of finishing in the top four alive with a 1-0 success at the Waterworks Field.

The game seemed to be heading for a 0-0 draw but the visitors struck in the fourth minute of stoppage-time as Lewis Stone’s free-kick found its way in with the aid of a deflection.

Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 4-0 success at Raunds Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin

Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 4-0 success at Raunds Town. Pictures by Kit Mallin

AFC Rushden & Diamonds remain on course for promotion from Division One at the first attempt after they ran out convincing 4-0 winners at local rivals Raunds Town.

The race for the two promotion places now looks to be between three teams after Rushden & Higham claimed a superb success over Oadby Town.

Diamonds play third-placed Eynesbury Rovers at the Dog & Duck on Tuesday night and will take a giant step towards elevation with victory as Mark Starmer’s men and leaders Sileby Rangers currently have a three-point advantage over their nearest rivals.

Three goals in the space of 10 first-half minutes sealed the deal for Diamonds at Kiln Park.

Alfie Taylor put them in front on 24 minutes, Ben Morgan added the second and Sean McBride made it 3-0 before the break. Jake Newman added the fourth four minutes after the restart.

And Starmer’s men would have been grateful to their neighbours Rushden & Higham as they ran out 2-0 winners to inflict a big blow on Oadby’s hopes at Hayden Road.

Chris Walton put the NFA Junior Cup finalists in front on 69 minutes and Jon Tite completed the victory a minute from full-time.

Eynesbury kept their promotion hopes on course with a 4-1 success at Rothwell Corinthians with Lee Bassett and Jack Weeden giving them an early 2-0 advantage.

James Denton kept Corinthians in the game when he pulled a goal back but Dion Sembie-Ferris restored the two-goal advantage five minutes into the second half before Weeden rounded it off with his second.

Elsewhere, Whitworth fought back from a goal down to beat Thrapston Town in their derby clash at London Road.

Danny Darker put the visitors in front inside the first minute but Cavell Jarvis levelled before the break. And second-half goals from Ryan Lovell and Matty Judge completed the turnaround for the hosts.

Bottom side Burton Park Wanderers were denied a third home win in five days as they squandered a 3-0 lead with Wootton Blue Cross fighting back for a share of the spoils.

Luke McIlroy put the home side 1-0 up at half-time and his second, sandwiched by Leigh Chapman’s strike seemed to have sealed the points for Joe Smyth’s team.

But Jacob Ottley struck on 65 minutes and again four minutes later to bring the visitors back into it and Bradley Cotton completed their fightback in the dying moments.