Poppies see off Leamington in the FA Cup, Diamonds beaten and Corby are held
Kettering Town are through to the fourth qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup
Kettering Town finally broke their hoodoo with Leamington as they claimed a 2-0 success at Latimer Park to book a place in the fourth qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.
The National League North rivals shared a thrilling 3-3 draw in Warwickshire at the weekend but there was nothing pretty about the third qualifying round replay as the Poppies produced a battling display to ensure it will be them who host Buxton in the next stage a week on Saturday.
The Brakes started the better and came close to taking an early lead with Rhys Davies making a fine save to deny Kelsey Mooney before some desperate defending saw an effort cleared off the line.
But that would be as close as Leamington would come all night as the Poppies’ defence dealt with everything thrown at them with Chris Smith an outstanding performer in the back three.
They broke the deadlock just past the half-hour with Callum Powell racing away before beating Jake Weaver with a fine low finish for what was the club’s 900th goal in the FA Cup.
And, after a scrappy second half in which Kettering continually took the sting out of the game, they grabbed goal number 901 to regain their place ahead of Tottenham Hotspur as the competition’s all-time leading scorers.
Substitute Isaac Stones had the honour, scoring from close range to spark scenes of celebration around Latimer Park.
Fellow substitute Jordon Crawford was unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet as his brilliant flick was well saved by Weaver before a fine block stopped another goalbound effort.
It didn’t matter though as the Poppies saw things out to secure a spot in the next round.
It was a landmark night for Tom Lorraine as he scored his 100th goal for AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
But it proved to be only a consolation as they were beaten 4-1 at Peterborough Sports in the first round of the Southern League Challenge Cup.
Corby Town were forced to settle for a point as they were held to a 0-0 draw at Shepshed Dynamo in the Northern Premier League Midlands.
In a game of few chances, the Steelmen went close when James Clifton’s fierce strike was saved by the home goalkeeper.
And they had late shouts for a penalty waved away when Jude Brittain appeared to be fouled in the area.