Poppies win battle at the top but Diamonds are felled by Banbury

Paul Diggin celebrates scoring Banbury United's winner against AFC Rushden & Diamonds. It was the only goal of the game and came after two minutes. Picture by Jake McNulty
Paul Diggin celebrates scoring Banbury United's winner against AFC Rushden & Diamonds. It was the only goal of the game and came after two minutes. Picture by Jake McNulty

Kettering Town moved clear at the top of the Evo-Stik League South Premier Central with a 4-2 win over second-placed Stourbridge.

The win gives the Poppies a big boost in their bid to win promotion as it puts them three points clear of their nearest rivals with two games in hand.

Third-placed Alvechurch sit nine points behind Kettering having played a game more.

Poppies' win was a hard-earned one against impressive opposition.

They fell behind when Greg Mills scored from the penalty spot only for a superb Lindon Meikle strike and a smart finish from Michael Richens to put them 2-1 up at half-time.

Mills was on target again to level things up on the hour but then Daniel Holman restored the lead on 70 minutes and Marcus Kelly sealed the points close to the final whistle.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds had a less enjoyable night as they fell to a 1-0 loss at Banbury United.

The only goal of the night came after just two minutes and was scored by former Corby Town striker Paul Diggin.

It was a disappointing night for Diamonds who saw Jack Westbrook sent off early in the second half.