Poppies and Diamonds both go through

Liam Dolman scored a second-half penalty to give AFC Rushden & Diamonds a 1-0 win over St Neots Town
Liam Dolman scored a second-half penalty to give AFC Rushden & Diamonds a 1-0 win over St Neots Town

Kettering Town kept up the winning feeling as they claimed a 4-2 success at Bedford Town in the first round of the Evo-Stik South League Bigfreebet.com Challenge Cup.

And the Poppies are joined in the second round by AFC Rushden & Diamonds as they beat St Neots Town 1-0 at Hayden Road.

As expected, both the Poppies and Diamonds made a number of changes to their teams.

But Kettering enjoyed another win with Gary Stohrer putting them in front before David Manu levelled for Bedford.

Liam Bateman’s first goal for the club restored the advantage before half-time and Rhys Hoenes made it 3-1 soon after the restart while James Brighton made his return from a knee injury in the second half.

But Kettering had to see out the final 20 minutes or so with midfielder Michael Richens in goal after Justin Greatorex went off injured.

Bedford pulled a goal back with a couple of minutes remaining through Dean Dummett but Kettering wrapped things up thanks to a stoppage-time strike from Samson Maagbe.

At Hayden Road, a penalty from Liam Dolman early in the second half was enough for Diamonds to see off higher-ranked St Neots.

The visitors had the best chance of the first half when Scott Sinclair shot just wide.

But the game changed soon after the restart when Chris Dillon was hauled down by Tom Wood in the penalty area.

The referee pointed to the spot and also sent Wood off before Dolman stepped up to convert from 12 yards.

Things got worse for St Neots when Ronayne Marsh-Brown was also red-carded following an altercation with Dillon as Diamonds comfortably saw things out.