SATURDAY SPORT – Record-breaking Diamonds go top, Steelmen draw but Poppies are beaten

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

AFC Rushden & Diamonds created a new club record and moved to the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central with a 3-1 success at North Greenford United.

The victory made it 28 competitive matches without defeat for Andy Peaks’ side and, with morning leaders Aylesbury being held to a 3-3 draw by Fleet Town, Diamonds’s success sent them a point clear at the summit.

But Peaks’ team had to do things the hard way as they came back from a goal down.

Diamonds got off to a slow start and were punished when the hosts took the lead on 20 minutes when George Moore took advantage of a mix up between Sam Brown and goalkeeper Matt Finlay.

Josh Brown went close again while Diamonds were forced into a change with Ollie Wilkinson replacing injured captain Richard Bunting.

However, the visitors did draw level before half-time when Brown’s long throw was flicked on by Dan Quigley and Tommy Berwick side-footed home.

And things got even better for Diamonds a minute into the second period when Elliott Lamb-Johnson, recalled to the starting line-up in place of Courtney Herbert, curled a superb 20-yard strike into the top corner.

Diamonds had the better chances after that with Scott Joseph, Tom Lorraine and Quigley all going close.

But they wrapped things up with minutes to go when Joseph deflected Claudiu Hoban’s shot past the home goalkeeper.

Corby Town battled back from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw at Gainsborough Trinity in the Vanarama National League North.

The Steelmen fell behind on the quarter-hour when Nicholas Bignall was on hand to tap home after Marc Newsham had hit the bar for the hosts.

Spencer Weir-Daley went close with a header for Corby but they were unable to find a way back into the game before the break.

However, they did equalise five minutes after the restart. Jonathan D’Laryea brought down Kurtis Revan in the penalty area and Greg Mills stepped up to level from the spot.

The Steelmen had a big let off when Newsham headed a free-kick against the underside of the bar and it fell to Matt Wilson who also struck the woodwork with another header.

Ash Sammons went close with a half-volley for Corby but there were no further chances as honours ended even.

Kettering Town’s hopes of picking up a third win in a row in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central were dashed as they went down 2-1 at Stratford Town.

The Poppies, who included new loan signing Liam Canavan on the bench after he joined from Nuneaton Town, opened the scoring on 17 minutes.

A good set-piece routine ended with James Brighton’s cross being headed home at the near post by Gary Mulligan.

However, the lead was short lived as Stratford levelled just four minutes later when Andy Gooding fouled Rob Thompson-Brown in the area and Edwin Ahenkorah stepped up to send Enol Ordonez the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Jevani Brown saw an effort turned round the post before half-time while Ordonez made a double save to deny Aaron Stringfellow and Jamie Sheldon.

But the Poppies did fall behind just past the hour when Richard Bryan lost possession and Joe Halsall squared for Thompson-Brown to tap home.

Elliot Sandy was denied by home goalkeeper Andy Kemp and substitute Courtney Baker-Richardson headed wide from a Brighton cross as the Poppies put the pressure on.

But they were unable to find an equaliser as the hosts held on.