MIDWEEK SPORT – Poppies and Diamonds both held to draws

Kettering Town manager Marcus Law
Kettering Town manager Marcus Law

Kettering Town got their first point on the board in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division this season after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Redditch United at Latimer Park.

But the Poppies would have been left feeling hard done by after they were denied two clear-cut penalties in front of over 600 fans in their first home game of the campaign.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks

AFC Rushden & Diamonds boss Andy Peaks

Redditch hit the bar through Luke Shearer in the first half while the Poppies had plenty of chances themselves, none better than Saul Williams’ as he shot wide of an open goal after Jevani Brown had forced visiting goalkeeper Stuart Parsons into a mistake.

James Brighton appeared to be fouled in the penalty area in the first half but referee Andrew Humphries waved away the appeals.

The second half was more scrappy but Kettering were denied a chance to claim all three points in stoppage-time when Mr Humphries failed to spot a clear handball from Kyle Haywes as he attempted to divert the danger away with Williams for company.

Brett Solkhon also fired wide with the final chance to leave the hosts frustrated.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds were also forced to settle for a second successive draw as they conceded a late goal in the 2-2 stalemate at St Ives Town in Division One Central.

Andy Peaks’ side fell behind after 11 minutes when Jack Higgs converted from the penalty spot.

But Diamonds got back into it before the break when Tom Lorraine brought them level when he robbed a defender and slotted home.

Diamonds looked to be heading for their first win of the season when Tom Berwick brilliantly put them in front with a superb chip just past the hour.

However, there was more drama to come when Harry O’Malley headed home with just four minutes remaining.

Don’t miss more local football news on this website and full reaction and previews in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph