Diamonds defy the odds to make progress in Vase

Alfie Taylor scored twice as AFC Rushden & Diamonds won a remarkable tie at AFC Wulfrunians in the second round of the FA Vase
Alfie Taylor scored twice as AFC Rushden & Diamonds won a remarkable tie at AFC Wulfrunians in the second round of the FA Vase

AFC Rushden & Diamonds defied the odds stacked against them on the day as they booked their place in the third round of the FA Vase.

Mark Starmer’s men were forced to put defender Jake Gillingwater in goal for the second-round tie at AFC Wulfrunians with regular stopper Tom Cross and Brad Harris both stuck in traffic and not arriving until half-time.

Alfie Taylor gave Diamonds a 16th-minute lead but they were dealt another massive blow when Jamal Clarke was shown a red card for violent conduct.

Andy Thompson levelled for the hosts and when Aaron Parkinson diverted a cross into his own net on 65 minutes, the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division side looked to be heading out.

However, Russ Dunkley took the tie into extra-time with a late equaliser and the 10 men struck twice in the first period of the extra 30 minutes with Taylor grabbing his second and Parkinson making amends to seal the 4-2 success and ensure his team booked their place in tomorrow’s (Monday) draw.

Desborough Town’s run in the competition was ended as they went down 3-0 at Blaby & Whetstone in caretaker-manager Richard Scott’s first game at the helm.

Jermaine Gordon put the hosts in front and that advantage was doubled on 29 minutes when Josh McGoldrick put through his own net. And Ar Tarn’s fate was sealed by Mason Hirst in the second half.

Wellingborough Town moved into sixth place in the UCL Premier Division as one goal proved to be enough for them at the Dog & Duck.

Josh Winters struck the only goal of the game on the stroke of half-time as the Doughboys edged out Sleaford Town.

Stewarts & Lloyds are in danger of being sucked into things at the wrong end of the table after they went down 3-0 at Holbeach United.

Tom Waumsley and Luke Hollingworth gave the hosts a 2-0 half-time lead and Andy Law rounded things off in the last minute.

Rothwell Corinthians are very much one of the form sides in Division One and they made it nine league games without defeat with a fine 4-1 victory over Bourne Town at Seargents Lawn.

The hosts were quick out of the blocks with Luke Phillips putting them in front after just two minutes and that lead was doubled by Jordan Henson before Anton Wells pulled one back for Bourne.

But Shaun Morris restored the two-goal advantage four minutes into the second half and Chris Clarke completed the scoring the stoppage-time.

It was a tale of three local derbies and three stalemates for the other local teams in the division.

The action started on Friday night as Thrapston Town and Raunds Town shared the points in a 2-2 draw at Chancery Lane.

The hosts held a 1-0 lead at half-time thanks to Cory James’ goal but the Shopmates turned things round in the second half as Alex Wills headed them level before joint-manager Jim Le Masurier arrowed a shot into the bottom corner.

However, Thrapston hit back to earn a point when Luke Cummins converted Jedd Whiteman’s cross.

There was a dramatic finish in the other derby match played on Friday evening as Irchester United left it very late to draw 2-2 at Whitworth.

The Romans had led at the break but Kyle Walter equalised with 12 minutes to go before Taylor Orosz grabbed what looked like being the winner.

However, Irchester snatched a point when Ryan Cherry struck four minutes into stoppage-time.

The third derby of the weekend was at Hayden Road where both goals came in the first half as Rushden & Higham drew 1-1 with Burton Park Wanderers.

Steve Ainge put the home side in front but Dan Turiccki equalised before half-time to earn Wanderers a share of the spoils.