PRE-SEASON: Poppies and Steelmen draw while Diamonds are on the spot
Kettering Town, AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Corby Town continued their preparations for the new season at the weekend.
The Poppies claimed a 2-2 draw against Southend United in their only home pre-season friendly of the summer at Latimer Park.
Former Wisbech Town striker Sam Bennett featured for Kettering he opened the scoring on 13 minutes with a low left-footed effort.
A trialist brought the visitors level and Southend then went in front early in the second period.
However, Lee Glover’s team found an equaliser courtesy of summer signing Neo Richard-Noel on the hour.
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The Poppies head across the English Channel for their next pre-season outing when they travel to Jersey Bulls at the weekend.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds put defeats to Stamford and Loughborough Students behind them as they moved into the next stage of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup as they beat Cogenhoe United 6-5 on penalties after sharing a 1-1 draw with the United Counties League side.
Diamonds, who have announced the return of midfielder Nathan Hicks to the squad, fell behind to an Alex Parkes goal 10 minutes before half-time.
However, Andy Burgess’ team levelled on 67 minutes through Jensen Cooper and, with no further goals, the tie was decided in a shoot-out with summer signing Courtney Lashley scoring the decisive spot-kick to send his team through.
Diamonds are due to be back in action against Northampton Town XI at Hayden Road tomorrow (Tuesday) night.
Corby Town’s encouraging pre-season under new boss Lee Attenborough continued with a 1-1 draw at higher-ranked Nuneaton Borough.
The Steelmen took the lead seven minutes before half-time when recent signing Florian Tsaguim finished off a counter-attack.
However, Corby were pegged back on 83 minutes when Matty Stenson struck for the hosts.
The Steelmen’s pre-season campaign continues at Quorn on Saturday.