MIDWEEK SPORT – Steelmen fight back, Diamonds claim first win but Poppies lose out

Corby Town, Kettering Town and AFC Rushden & Diamonds were all in action on Tuesday night
Corby Town, Kettering Town and AFC Rushden & Diamonds were all in action on Tuesday night

Kabongo Tshimanga hit a nine-minute hat-trick as Corby Town maintained their unbeaten start to the Vanarama National League North season in dramatic fashion.

The Steelmen battled back from being 2-0 down at the break to lead early in the second half, only for Hednesford Town to come back themselves to earn a 3-3 draw at Keys Park.

The Steelmen suffered a nightmare start as they fell behind after 100 seconds when Curtis Tilt headed home from a corner.

And it was 2-0 after 10 minutes when Tyrone Williams slammed home from 15 yards.

Only a series of good saves from Paul Walker prevented the lead from being extended as the hosts dominated proceedings.

But Corby came out firing in the second period and within 10 stunning minutes they and Tshimanga had turned it around.

He scored at the far post after good work from Kurtis Revan before slotting home the second on 50 minutes.

And the Steelmen went into the lead when the striker poked home from a few yards out.

However, the Pitman battled back themselves and made it 3-3 just past the hour when Nathan Modest headed home after Walker had saved from Ahmed Obeng.

It was end-to-end after that but neither side could find another goal.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds picked up their first win of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central season in dramatic circumstances at the Dog & Duck.

It looked like being another frustrating night after Aylesbury United had scored a late equaliser after Claudiu Hoban had put Diamonds in front.

But Liam Dolman, on his return from injury, stepped up to score stoppage-time penalty to maintain Diamonds’ unbeaten start.

The visitors created the better chances early on and Matt Finlay saved well after Stacey Field was sent clear.

But Diamonds gradually grew into it and Richard Bunting clipped a post from distance and Tom Lorraine struck the inside of the upright before they took the lead on the half-hour as Hoban produced a good finish after being sent clear on the left.

The second half was scrappy but Aylesbury gradually grew into it and they looked like snatching a point when Alex Collard headed home with five minutes to go.

However, Diamonds came back again and Dan Quigley was hauled down by visiting goalkeeper Alex Tokarczyk.

And, as the game moved into stoppage-time, Dolman stepped up to convert from the spot to seal the points.

Kettering Town fell behind after just four minutes at Leamington in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division when Jack Edwards fired home.

And the Brakes made it 2-0 10 minutes before the break when Richard Taundry’s free-kick beat Jamie McAlindon and found the top corner.

But the Poppies stormed out of the blocks after half-time and the scores were level after 51 minutes.

Jevani Brown robbed a defender and set up Saul Williams who grabbed his first goal for the club to start the fightback.

And Brown was also involved in the equaliser as he was fouled in the area and Andy Gooding stepped up to score from 12 yards.

However, the Poppies soon found themselves behind again when Ben Mackey struck for the hosts.

Kettering were unable to find a way back after that as they slipped to a 3-2 defeat.