SATURDAY FOOTBALL – Diamonds stay top with fine win but Steelmen and Poppies are beaten

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

AFC Rushden & Diamonds stayed on top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central after a fine 4-2 success at Aylesbury.

Diamonds started brightly and Jon Stevenson and Tom Lorraine both went close before the latter had a header tipped over by James Weatherill.

But they did take the lead when Andy Hall fired into the far corner after a corner had been cleared as far as him.

Matt Finlay tipped a Jamie Rudd shot round the post but Diamonds doubled their lead on 45 minutes when Stevenson beat his man and then drilled a shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

However, Aylesbury did pull one back before the break when Rudd fired into the top corner.

Diamonds regained their two-goal advantage five minutes into the second half when Shawn Richards slotted home.

Diamonds faced a nervy finish when Brian Haule made it 3-2 late on but the win was wrapped up soon after when Lorraine latched onto a poor back pass and squared for Claudiu Hoban to score.

And Aylesbury’s misery was complete when they had Ben Stevens sent off late on after he went kicked Finlay despite having the ball in his hands.

Corby Town’s problems at the wrong end of the Vanarama National League North deepened as their poor form at Steel Park continued with a 2-1 defeat to Gainsborough Trinity.

The Steelmen started well with Spencer Weir-Daley hooking a shot over and Duane Courtney stinging the palms of visiting goalkeeper Jan Budtz with a fierce 20-yard strike.

Craig Reid shot wide for Gainsborough but they took the lead three minutes before the break when Anton Brown was adjudged to have brought down Liam Davis in the area. And Simon Russell stepped up to score from the penalty spot.

Greg Mills curled an effort wide for the Steelmen but the visitors doubled their lead in first-half stoppage-time when Jamie Yates’ corner was flicked in at the near post by Davis.

Gainsborough started the second half well but Corby were given hope when debutant Ryan Robbins was tripped in full flight by Alex Lacey and Mills fired the penalty into the top corner.

Mills forced Budtz into a good, low save as Corby chased an equaliser and they so nearly got one late on when Massiah McDonald’s header was brilliantly cleared off the line by Courtney Wildin.

Brett Solkhon was forced to play a large portion of the game in goal as Kettering Town suffered a 3-2 defeat at Weymouth in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.

Having not played for three weeks, the Poppies made a slow start and found themselves a goal down inside two minutes when Chris Shepherd opened the scoring for the hosts.

And Kettering’s task was made harder when goalkeeper Paul Walker was forced off after a clash of heads with George Rigg and it meant captain Brett Solkhon had to go in goal for the remainder of the game.

However, the Poppies levelled things up five minutes before the break when Dom Langdon headed home from a corner.

And then, almost immediately, Kettering took the lead thanks to another header, this time from Liam Canavan.

Shepherd hit the top of the crossbar for the hosts after the break and then Rene Howe was also denied by the woodwork from a header.

Solkhon made a fine save from Shepherd but Weymouth did level with 19 minutes to go through Ben Thomson.

And the hosts then went in front soon after when Adam Kelly was given too much space to make it 3-2 with a fine strike, which proved to be the winner.