AFC Rushden & Diamonds picked up an incredible ninth win in a row as they kicked off the new year by moving five points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik South League East.
A second-half goal from Ben Farrell proved to be enough to secure a 1-0 success at local rivals Bedford Town.
Diamonds were without key defender Liam Dolman but his absence meant a first start for over a year for Jack Ashton, who is back from a serious knee injury and he helped secure another clean sheet for Andy Peaks’ men.
There wasn’t much to choose between the sides on a heavy pitch in the first half.
But the visitors got the crucial breakthrough came on 67 minutes when Farrell converted a cross from Ben Diamond.
Diamond had an effort tipped over soon after and the points were secured when Sam Brown produced a goal-line clearance after David Manu had headed past Ben Heath.
Corby Town’s disappointing festive period continued on New Year’s Day as they suffered a third successive defeat with Bedworth United claiming a 1-0 victory at Steel Park.
The only goal of the game came after just three minutes when Luke Kenn headed home Joe Pegg’s cross from six yards.
The Steelmen pressed in the second half but were unable to find an equaliser as they dropped to into sixth, the final play-off spot, in the Evo-Stik League South.