SATURDAY SPORT – Diamonds stun Concord, Poppies go through and Steelmen are denied at home

All the details from today's local football action
All the details from today's local football action

AFC Rushden & Diamonds produced the best result in the club’s history as they knocked Vanarama National League South side Concord Rangers out of the Emirates FA Cup with a brilliant 3-1 away success.

Three goals in the first 19 minutes proved decisive as Diamonds blew their higher-ranked opponents away as they moved into the third qualifying round in impressive fashion.

Diamonds made an incredible start and Nabil Shariff played in Richard Bunting who ran clear and slotted home for the opener.

And it was 2-0 on 12 minutes when Ross Oulton’s corner came back to him and his volleyed cross was headed home by Tom Lorraine at the back post.

If that was good, things got even better seven minutes later when an Oulton corner was nodded in by the returning Jack Ashton.

Further chances did come for Diamonds but the hosts got a lifeline before the break when Joao Carlos was brought down by Oulton and Steve Cawley stepped up to beat Matt Finlay from the penalty spot.

Diamonds had a further blow before half-time when the influential Oulton had to depart because of injury and was replaced by Kyal McNulty.

Shariff struck the post five minutes into the second half before Finlay made a good save to deny Mark Onyemah.

Finlay tipped a Harvey Hodd over the bar and then denied Jay Dowie as Concord piled the pressure on.

Finlay was the hero again late on as he denied Cawley and Diamonds were forced to see it out with 10 men after Bunting saw red for a second bookable offence, although Carlos soon followed for the hosts for a foul on McNulty.

And Diamonds saw things out to earn a place in Monday’s draw.

Kettering Town also progressed to the third qualifying round thanks to a 2-1 success at Rushall Olympic.

The Poppies made a good start with Carvalho opening the scoring when he received a pass from James Brighton before driving forward and finding the bottom corner with a curling shot.

Weir-Daley side-footed wide from a good position but he did double the advantage before the break when Brighton beat a man and then found Weir-Daley who beat the diving goalkeeper.

Home goalkeeper Jose Veiga denied James Brighton early in the second half but Rushall got back into it when Brett Solkhon was caught out in midfield and Zak Martin’s cross was glanced home by Alex Reid.

Poppies stopper Paul White made a fine double save to deny Martin and Mo Diop.

And that proved decisive as Kettering saw the game out to extend their unbeaten run to five matches and earn a place in Monday’s draw.

Corby Town scored their first goal of the season at Steel Park but were denied their first win of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division season as second-placed Buxton struck late on to claim a 1-1 draw.

Tommy Wright handed debuts to new signings Duran Martin and Shaquille Whittingham while Femi Orenuga and youngster Crawford were also included from the start.

Crawford almost gave Corby the perfect start when he forced Jan Budtz into a good low save after a neat turn.

There were few other chances with Evan Garnett going closest for Buxton when he shot wide.

But the Steelmen took the lead just past the half-hour when Ben Milnes’ ball forward was brilliantly controlled by Crawford and he coolly fired into the bottom corner.

Aidan Grant made a fine double save to deny Garnett and Brad Abbott in the second half but Buxton did grab an equaliser with nine minutes to go when Brad Grayson beat Grant to the ball to stab home.