SATURDAY FOOTBALL – Boxing Day joy as Steelmen, Poppies and Diamonds all win on the road

All the news from today's football action
All the news from today's football action

Greg Mills struck twice, including a late penalty, as Corby Town picked up a crucial 2-1 victory at Northamptonshire rivals Brackley Town.

The win was enough to move the Steelmen out of the bottom three in the Vanarama National League North.

Tommy Wright handed a debut to new loan signing Massiah McDonald while Edi Appleton also started after his return to the club with youngster Sam Donkin, as expected, taking his place in goal.

Clayton McDonald cleared a Sam Smith header off the line early on but, after a poor opening half-an-hour, Corby grew into it and were unlucky not to take the lead when Massiah McDonald held off the challenge of Ryan Austin and saw his shot come back off the far post.

But Corby did take the lead three minutes later when Greg Mills beat the offside trap and cut inside before firing home, with Sam Hornby unable to stop it despite getting a hand on it.

Brackley were reduced to 10 men when captain Joe Clarke was sent off for a high challenge on Sam Downey but the hosts still found an eqauliser just before the break.

Steve Diggin’s attempted lob held up in the wind but, as Donkin stood still, Smith fired home.

Mills forced a save from Hornby from a narrow abgle after the restart but Brackley remained a threat in attack and Clayton McDonald produced a good challenge to deny Walker in front of goal.

Mills forced two more good saves out of Hornby but he did have the final say at the death when he was hauled down by Glenn Walker.

Mills picked himself up and beat Hornby from the penalty spot to secure three vital points.

Kettering Town’s superb run of form continued as they moved to within one point of the play-off places in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division with a superb 3-0 success at King’s Lynn Town.

The hosts started the brighter but Kettering grew into it and Gary Mulligan sent a header from a Wilson Carvalho corner wide before Brighton saw a shot blocked by Ryan Fryatt after having plenty of time to pick his spot.

But the Poppies did open the scoring two minutes before half-time when Liam Canavan played in Brighton and he produced a good finish to make it 1-0.

And Kettering made it 2-0 just past the hour when Rene Howe got away and squared for Carvalho who scored into an empty net.

The points were secured by Carvalho who placed the ball into the net to make it 3-0 and send a large following from Kettering home happy.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds produced a second-half fightback as they returned to winning ways in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central with a 2-1 derby win at Bedford Town.

The only highlight of a poor first half came after 19 minutes when Bedford took the lead.

A shot from the edge of the box was blocked and it fell kindly for Afolobi Obefemi who swept it home.

However, Diamonds drew level three minutes into the second half when a Shawn Richards free-kick was headed into his own net by a home defender.

And they took the lead on 66 minutes when Richards crossed from the left and Berwick found space to powerfully volley home.

That proved to be the winner as Diamonds stayed three points behind leaders Chalfont St Peter with two games in hand.