Poppies extend their lead but Steelmen exit the Trophy
Kettering Town moved five points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central after they claimed a 3-0 success at St Neots Town.
The Poppies did their damage in the second half after struggling with the windy conditions in a goalless first half in which former Nabil Shariff had one of the better chances for the hosts when he shot wide after a quickly taken free-kick.
But it was the Poppies who broke the deadlock just before the hour when Rhys Hoenes was fouled by home goalkeeper Harry Reynolds and Brett Solkhon stepped up to maintain his fine record from the penalty spot to put his team 1-0 up.
Michael Richens headed wide soon after but Kettering wrapped things up in the final six minutes.
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They were awarded a second spot-kick when substitute Andrea Borg was felled in the box and, with Solkhon having been withdrawn by that stage, Hoenes took responsibility to score from 12 yards.
And Kettering’s eighth win from nine league matches was confirmed late on when Marcus Kelly fired home after the ball broke for him when Borg’s effort was blocked.
The Poppies are back on the road again on Tuesday night when they head to Tamworth.
Corby Town’s interest in this season’s Buildbase FA Trophy was ended at Steel Park as Yaxley claimed a 3-2 success in the preliminary round clash.
Manager Steve Kinniburgh made changes to his starting line-up but the Steelmen held a half-time lead after Sam Grouse marked his full debut with a low shot into the bottom corner nine minutes before the break.
But their Evo-Stik League South Division One Central rivals fought back after the break with Tom Waumsley levelling with a header before the same player put the Cuckoos in front.
Corby made it 2-2 when Joel Carta converted from the penalty spot but it was Yaxley who moved into the first qualifying round thanks to a fine winner from Matthew Sparrow.