MIDWEEK SPORT – Diamonds hopes hit by defeat but Howe strikes to win it for Popppies

All the details from this evening's local football action
All the details from this evening's local football action

AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ play-off hopes suffered a setback as 10-man Spalding United battled back for a 2-1 success in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South at the Dog & Duck.

Both sides hit the woodwork in a well contested first half with Tom Lorraine’s header cannoning off a post for Diamonds while Nathan Stainfield was out of luck at the other end as his volley clipped the upright.

Matt Finlay made a good save from Bradley Wells before the break but the second half exploded into action when Diamonds took the lead.

Lorraine was brought down on the edge of the area and Dolman stepped up to hammer it low into the corner.

Lorraine had an effort ruled out for offside soon after and Diamonds were well in the driving seat when a frantic start to the second half saw Neal Spafford sent-off for a second bookable offence after a foul on Lorraine.

But Spalding battled their way back into it and they equalised from the penalty spot with Jenk Acar scoring from 12 yards after Dolman had fouled Paul Walker.

And it got even worse for Diamonds with 16 minutes to go when Leon Mettam was fouled by Brad Harris but picked himself up to curl a wonderful free-kick into the top corner.

And that proved to be the winner as Diamonds were unable to find a way back into the contest, despite the numerical advantage.

Rene Howe scored a late winner as Kettering Town claimed a 3-2 success at Dunstable Town in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.

The Poppies went in front after 21 minutes when Aaron O’Connor converted Jack Kelly’s cross from close-range.

Dunstable levelled 10 minutes later through David Longe-King but the Poppies regained the lead again with O’Connor on target again with a header.

But some poor defending ensured the hosts were able to draw level again before the break thanks to Vance Bola.

Kettering regained the lead for a third time when Howe’s shot was deflected in after a good move and this time they held on to seal the points.