Post-Cox era starts with defeat for Kettering Town but AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Corby Town both win

A round-up of today's local football action

By Jon Dunham
Saturday, 22nd January 2022, 5:54 pm
Updated Saturday, 22nd January 2022, 5:56 pm
Liam Dolman celebrates after he scored AFC Rushden & Diamonds' first goal in their 2-1 win at Alvechurch. Picture courtesy of Hawkins Images
Liam Dolman celebrates after he scored AFC Rushden & Diamonds' first goal in their 2-1 win at Alvechurch. Picture courtesy of Hawkins Images

The post-Paul Cox era started with a dramatic defeat for Kettering Town as they were beaten 2-1 at 10-man Bradford (Park Avenue).

Less than 24 hours after Cox had resigned to take over at Vanarama National League North rivals Boston United, the Poppies were led by academy director Luke Graham and technical director Alan Doyle in Yorkshire.

Kettering had Rhys Davies back in the starting XI with Jackson Smith not included in the squad while Chris Smith missed out after being forced off through injury in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Curzon Ashton.

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After a half of few chances, Kettering fell behind on the stroke of half-time when Simon Richman fired into the bottom corner to give the hosts the lead.

Bradford were left up against it when they had goalscorer Richman sent-off for a second bookable offence but when Connor Kennedy had an effort hacked off the line and Alex Brown hit the post, it looked like the hosts would hold on.

But, in the 89th minute, Callum Powell fired a low ball in and substitute Decarrey Sheriff was on hand to finish it off.

However, that wasn’t the end of the drama as, in the fifth minute of stoppage-time, as Bradford won a corner and the ball was bundled home at the near post to give them the points.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds emphasised their Southern League Premier Central play-off credentials with a superb win 2-1 win at Alvechurch.

Diamonds made the perfect start when Liam Dolman poked the ball into the far corner after Ty Deacon headed on from a Ravi Shamsi free-kick.

But Alvechurch levelled after 15 minutes when a ball in from the left was headed home by Daniel Waldron at the far post.

But, in an entertaining half, Diamonds regained the lead just five minutes later when Deacon intercepted a poor back pass and then dinked the ball over the goalkeeper to make it 2-1.

Goalkeeper Dean Snedker made a couple of fine saves after the break but Diamonds saw things out to move ever closer to the play-off places.

Corby Town picked up their first win since November 10 with a fine 3-0 success over Coleshill Town at Steel Park.

The Steelmen looked much-improved in the first half and they took a deserved lead on 14 minutes when Elliot Sandy did well to tee up Jordan O’Brien who fired past visiting goalkeeper Paul Hathaway.

And things only got better after the break.

Great work from Peter Abimbola ended with his cross being handled in the area by Shay Palmer. And O’Brien stepped up to send Hathaway the wrong way from the penalty spot.

And just four minutes later, the scoring was completed when O’Brien’s shot was spilled by Hathway and Sandy was on hand to fire home the rebound.