Ten-man Poppies make it a magnificent seven while Diamonds pick up another point

Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 1-1 draw with Alvechurch at Hayden Road. Pictures by Alison Bagley
Action from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' 1-1 draw with Alvechurch at Hayden Road. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Ten-man Kettering Town made it a magnificent seven wins in a row as they secured a 1-0 victory at Lowestoft Town to maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central.

The Poppies made a flying start and went in front after just seven minutes when Rhys Hoenes fired home after a cross had only been half-cleared.
Marcus Wilkinson went close for the hosts but Kettering’s task was made trickier when they were reduced to 10 men after 24 minutes.
Striker Aaron O’Connor was shown a straight red card after an off-the-ball incident involving Andrew Fisk.
But the Poppies still created chances after the break with Dan Holman forcing the home goalkeeper into a save.
And they held on for three more crucial points, despite Lowestoft putting on the pressure late on with Shaun Bammant missing their best chance when he headed over.
With second-placed Stourbridge claiming a 4-0 win over Leiston, the Poppies remain eight points clear and play their two games in hand this week with Coalville Town and Banbury United visiting Latimer Park on Tuesday and Saturday respectively.

The Diamonds players show their disappointment after conceding the equaliser against Alvechurch

The Diamonds players show their disappointment after conceding the equaliser against Alvechurch

AFC Rushden & Diamonds extended their unbeaten run to nine matches as they drew 1-1 with fellow play-off contenders Alvechurch at Hayden Road.
The draw keeps Diamonds in the top five in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central, although the race for the play-off places looks like being a tight one.
Diamonds made a fine start and were ahead inside two minutes when Tom Lorraine flicked the ball into the path of Sam Johnson who slotted into the far corner.
Alvechurch came back into it though and Kieran Cook saw his effort cleared off the line by Jack Westbrook before the same player saw an effort saved by Ben Heath.
Nathan Hicks shot wide for Diamonds early in the second half but the visitors drew level on 64 minutes when Cook curled home a shot, which found its way in off the far post.
Both sides had chances to win it with Hicks seeing an effort saved before Heath produced a good stop with his feet to deny Cook.
Diamonds are back in action next weekend when they face a huge away game against another of the play-off contenders Stratford Town.