AFC Rushden & Diamonds continued their charge at the top of the Evo-Stik South League East with a hard-fought 2-1 success at bottom side Arlesey Town.
A first-half goal from Joel Gyasi and Ben Farrell’s penalty after the break wrapped up another win for Diamonds, who are now unbeaten in their last 16 league matches.
Andy Peaks made one change to his starting line-up following the penalty shoot-out defeat at Kettering Town in the NFA Hillier Senior Cup in midweek with Ben Diamond starting alongside Ryan Robbins in attack while Tom Lorraine dropped to the bench.
And it was Diamond who had the first chance of the game as he shot wide after a strong run through the middle.
Diamonds went on to have the better of the opening period with Robbins seeing an effort deflected off target before Callum Westwood’s fine strike was tipped over the bar.
But the breakthrough came five minutes before the break in impressive style as Gyasi cut inside and he fired a shot into the bottom corner.
Diamonds went close to doubling that lead with Sam Brown and Robbins both being denied by the home goalkeeper.
But the hosts got back into the game six minutes into the second period when Henry Musay tapped home following a corner.
However, Diamonds regained the lead just past the hour when Gyasi latched onto a Farrell pass, only to be hauled down in the area. And Farrell stepped up to score from the spot.
Diamonds did have further chances to make it more comfortable but they saw things out to ensure they maintained their three-point lead at the top.
Corby Town’s hopes of claiming a play-off place in the Evo-Stik League South appear to be fading after they were condemned to a sixth defeat in a row as they went down 1-0 at Alvechurch.
Lee Garvie and Phil Trainer were both handed starts for the Steelmen with Jordon Crawford only fit enough to be among the substitutes alongside the returning Dino Tuksar and caretaker-boss Steve Kinniburgh.
Alvechurch started brightly and Sam Wilson had to make a fine save from Andy Parsons following a corner to keep the scores level.
But Corby finished the half the better and, after Jake Bettles and Matty Gardner had both had efforts on goal, Gardner was presented with their best chance of the half when he shot wide from 12 yards.
The Steelmen carried that good finish to the first half into the early stages of the second period.
But it was the hosts who made the breakthrough on 66 minutes when captain Ashley Carter headed home a corner from close-range.
The Steelmen did push for an equaliser in an end-to-end finish to the game but were unable to find a goal.