SATURDAY SPORT – O’Connor sends Poppies through, Diamonds advance but Steelmen bow out

All the details from today's FA Cup action
All the details from today's FA Cup action

Aaron O’Connor had a debut to remember for the right reasons in the end as he fired Kettering Town through to the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

The new signing came off the bench and missed a late penalty with the Poppies level at 2-2 with Leek Town.

But just moments later, in the first minute of stoppage-time, O’Connor made amends by sealing Kettering’s 3-2 success.

The Poppies twice led through Rene Howe and Nathan Hicks, only to be pegged back by goals from Jordan Johnson and Tony Grice.

But it was O’Connor who eventually had the final say to send Kettering through to Monday’s draw.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds also booked their place in the second qualifying round as two second-half goals gave them a 2-0 success over AFC Hornchurch at the Dog & Duck.

There were few chances in the first half, although George Purcell’s free-kick for the visitors came back off the post while Nabil Shariff headed over for Diamonds just before the break.

But Diamonds did open the scoring four minutes after the restart when Taylor Orosz was sent through on goal and rounded the keeper before finishing off for his first goal for the club.

And the win was wrapped up in stoppage-time when Ross Oulton’s pass found Nabil Shariff who finished it off.

There was more FA Cup disappointment for Corby Town as they went down 1-0 at lower-ranked Rugby Town.

The Steelmen made the worst possible start when Jamie Anton pulled back Daryll Thomas in the area, even though the ball was heading out for a goal-kick.

A penalty was awarded and former Corby man Andy Gooding sent Aidan Grant the wrong way from the spot.

But the Steelmen’s response was good and they dominated the remainder of the half but were unable to find a way through.

Callum Ball volleyed just over and Louis Connor tipped over Andre Johnson’s fine strike.

They went even closer when Danny Draper’s header was cleared off the line and after some more desperate defending from the hosts, Brad-Lee Gascoigne blasted over from close-range.

Grant made a good stop from David Kolodynski in a rare Rugby attack but Corby continued to have the better of things after the break.

Johnson was denied by Connor and then shot wide when he was through on goal before Ball’s shot was deflected just wide.

Connor made his best save when he somehow pushed away Gascoigne’s header from a corner and the centre-half should have scored late on but failed to connect from another set-piece.

But, despite the host of chances, Corby were unable to find a way through as their barren run in front of goal continued.