Diamonds’ pre-season starts with a win while Poppies and Steelmen are also victorious

Details of this afternoon's pre-season action
Details of this afternoon's pre-season action

AFC Rushden & Diamonds made a winning start to pre-season as they lifted the Chris Ruff Memorial Cup after a 4-1 success at Rushden & Higham United.

Nabil Shariff gave Diamonds the lead late in the first half before Jack Ashton doubled the advantage two minutes after the restart.

Youngster Luke Gardner made an immediate impact to make it 3-0 and, although the Lankies pulled one back through player-manager Wayne Abbott, Diamonds’ win was confirmed thanks to a fine 40-yard effort from trialist Remy Forrester.

Corby Town and Kettering Town also maintained their winning ways in pre-season.

The Steelmen ran out comfortable 5-1 victors against Rothwell Corinthians at Sergeants Lawn.

Oneil Odofin headed Corby in front, only for Jory Mann to level with a stunning 50-yard strike.

However, Ben Milnes converted a penalty to restore the Steelmen’s advantage before half-time and further goals from Femi Orenuga, also from the spot, Kurtis Revan and Jordan Crawford completed the victory.

The Poppies, meanwhile, made it 12 goals in three games and none conceded as they ran out 2-0 winners at Kempston Rovers.

Kettering included Wilson Carvalho in their starting line-up and he missed an early penalty before Rene Howe headed his team in front.

And the win was rounded off by Spencer Weir-Daley’s goal in the second period.