Diamonds edge out Desborough in a Hillier Cup shoot-out

AFC Rushden & Diamonds manager Andy Peaks
AFC Rushden & Diamonds manager Andy Peaks

AFC Rushden & Diamonds required a penalty shoot-out to see off Desborough Town and book a place in the last four of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup.

As expected, Andy Peaks named a strong Diamonds side to take on the UCL Premier Division side at the Dog & Duck but Chris Bradshaw’s side gave them a real fright by twice coming from behind to ensure it finished 2-2 after 90 minutes.

Diamonds took the lead on 18 minutes when Tom Liversedge scored his first goal for the club. But Aidan Bradshaw brought Ar Tarn level on the half-hour.

Substitute Tommy Berwick looked like he had won it for Diamonds with 13 minutes to go but Desborough sent the game to penalties when Dodci Agbenu fired in off the post at the death.

Liam Dolman missed with Diamonds’ first penalty and with the next eight being scored, it left Desborough with the chance to win it.

But their final kick missed the target and, in sudden death, Sam Brown and Dan Quigley were both successful before the crucial moment arrived as Desborough missed to hand Diamonds victory.

The battle of the two promoted teams in the UCL Premier Division ended in deadlock as Rothwell Corinthians drew 1-1 with Northampton Spencer at Sergeants Lawn.

Dom Page gave Corinthians the lead after nine minutes but Spencer earned a point thanks to Alex Lowery’s second-half strike.

In Division One, Raunds Town bounced back from their FA Vase exit by beating in-form Potton United 5-4 thanks to an impressive second-half fightback at Kiln Park.

Kenny Smith gave the visitors the lead, only for Glenn Turner to level for the Shopmates.

But Potton went into the break with a 3-1 lead as Steve Muggridge and Smith struck at the end of the opening half.

Dave Townsend led the Shopmates’ revival in the second period and he scored twice to bring them level at 3-3.

Raunds took the lead for the first time when Karl King struck with 15 minutes to go but it looked like the points would be shared when Potton levelled through Gary Ansell-Carter.

However, there was late drama to follow as Gav Wills won it for Raunds in the fourth minute of stoppage-time.

Irchester United maintained their unbeaten home record as they thrashed struggling St Neots Town Saints 4-0 at Alfred Street.

Sam Dengel gave the Romans a half-time lead and he added the second after the break before further goals from Dave Miles and Nathan Heycock rounded things off.