SATURDAY SPORT – Diamonds march on, Poppies win again but Steelmen lose for third time in a row

Details of this afternoon's local football action
Details of this afternoon's local football action

AFC Rushden & Diamonds maintained their unbeaten record and stayed on top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central as they edged out fellow high-fliers Aylesbury 1-0 at the Dog & Duck.

Diamonds made a fast start and took the lead on six minutes when Tom Lorraine hammered home from 10 yards after Brad Harris’ shot was blocked.

It could have been even better had Tommy Berwick hit the back of the net instead of a post while Liam Dolman brought a save out of Aylesbury goalkeeper James Weatherill from a free-kick.

The visitors were fortunate to still have 10 men on the pitch after Terry Dixon fouled Claudiu Hoban having already been booked but Aylesbury finished the half the better with Lynton Goss having an effort saved by Matt Finlay while Kyle Anthony headed just over.

There were few chances in the second half as the sides cancelled each other out.

Hoban forced Weatherill into a couple of saves while Aylesbury failed to trouble Finlay as Diamonds defended impressively to see the game out.

Courtney Baker-Richardson’s first-half goal sealed another away win for Kettering Town as they beat nine-man Paulton Rovers 1-0 in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.

The Poppies went in front on 12 minutes when Baker-Richardson fired home after they had won the ball back quickly from a goal-kick.

Paulton responded with Jordan Walker smashing a shot off the bar while Baker-Richardson went close to a second when he headed Will Grocott’s cross just wide.

The hosts were reduced to 10 men on 59 minutes when Cameron Brown was sent off for a late challenge on James Brighton.

And Paulton made their task a whole lot harder with 18 minutes to go when Dominic Thomas became the second player to be red-carded for a two-footed lunge on Andy Gooding.

Jevani Brown had an effort cleared off the line and Saul Williams also went close to getting a second.

And there was relief at the end when Ross Staley had an effort ruled out for handball as the Poppies saw things out.

Corby Town’s poor recent form in the Vanarama National League North continued as they slipped to a third successive defeat as Worcester City triumphed 3-0 at Steel Park.

The Steelmen fell behind early on when veteran striker Lee Hughes beat Paul Walker with a clever finish.

Ashley Sammons went close for the hosts when his shot whistled past the post but the visitors made it 2-0 when Hughes laid the ball back to Sam Minihan who finished well from close range.

Corby weren’t helped by an injury to Greg Mills as he was forced off but they went close to pulling a goal back when Ben Milnes fired over from five yards early in the second half.

However, the game was up when Worcester made it 3-0 thanks to a stunning strike by Connor Gater from near the halfway line.

Sammons had a late free-kick tipped round the post but Corby were unable to pull a goal back.