Poppies, Diamonds and Steelmen all set for Boxing Day action

Corby Town celebrate Cameron Healey's goal during the 3-1 win over Spalding United on Saturday. The Steelmen make the short trip to Stamford today (1pm). Picture by Alison Bagley
Corby Town celebrate Cameron Healey's goal during the 3-1 win over Spalding United on Saturday. The Steelmen make the short trip to Stamford today (1pm). Picture by Alison Bagley

Kettering Town, AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Corby Town will all be looking to maintain their lofty positions as Boxing Day football takes centre stage this afternoon (Tuesday).

It’s an early start for the Poppies and the Steelmen.

Rene Howe opened the scoring with this effort as Kettering Town beat Dunstable Town 6-0 at the weekend. The Poppies travel to St Neots Town for their Boxing Day action (1pm). Picture by Alison Bagley

Rene Howe opened the scoring with this effort as Kettering Town beat Dunstable Town 6-0 at the weekend. The Poppies travel to St Neots Town for their Boxing Day action (1pm). Picture by Alison Bagley

Kettering remain in second place in the Evo-Stik South League Premier after their thumping 6-0 win over Dunstable Town on Saturday.

But they face at stern test today when they make the short trip to St Neots Town for a 1pm kick-off to take on a team who have suffered just one defeat in their last 12 league matches.

It’s also a 1pm start for Corby as they head up the A43 to face Stamford, who are managed by former Steelmen boss Graham Drury.

Corby have been flying of late under caretaker-manager Steve Kinniburgh and a 3-1 win over Spalding United on Saturday saw them move into the second automatic promotion place in the Evo-Stik League South.

But the Daniels are very much in the hunt as they sit in seventh spot, five points behind the Steelmen with two games in hand.

Once those games have been completed, it will be over to Hayden Road where AFC Rushden & Diamonds entertain Kempston Rovers (3pm).

Diamonds are two points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik South League East after picking up a remarkable seventh victory and sixth clean sheet in a row when they won 1-0 at Hanwell Town at the weekend.

Kempston, who are likely to have former Diamonds striker Jake Newman in their ranks, currently sit just outside the play-off places in seventh spot.

There is also full programmes of fixtures in the ChromaSport United Counties League today with local derbies the order of the day.

In the Premier Division, Wellingborough Town take on next-door neighbours Whitworth at midday before Desborough Town host Rothwell Corinthians at the Waterworks Field (3pm).

The Division One action gets under way as early as 11am when Irchester United entertain promotion-chasing Rushden & Higham United at Alfred Street.

That is followed by second-placed Raunds Town facing Burton Park Wanderers at Kiln Park (midday) before Thrapston Town and Stewarts & Lloyds battle it out at Chancery Lane at 2pm.

S&L remain rock-bottom with 22 defeats from as many matches but will be under new management today after they appointed former Desborough Town Reserves joint-bosses Sean Mason and Derek Simmons as joint first-team managers following the resignation of Ian Benjamin.

Club chairman John Davies said: “We were looking to make a quick appointment after the resignation of Ian, so we began interviewing candidates straight away.

“It became apparent quickly that these two gents were the right choice for the job.

“I personally am delighted that we were able to get Sean and Del on board, their passion for the game could be the spark we need to get our results on the right track.”