SATURDAY SPORT '“ Brilliant Poppies hit six, Steelmen's problems mount and nine-man Diamonds draw at home
Kettering Town enjoyed another fine away-day as they made it three Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division wins in a row with a big 6-1 success at Cirencester Town.
In an explosive start, the Poppies were 2-0 up inside the first two minutes with Cirencester contributing to their own downfall with two own-goals - the first from close-range after a corner and the second after a shot from Aaron O’Connor.
And it only got better from there.
It was 3-0 when James Haran headed home a corner and then James Brighton broke through before smashing a shot in off the crossbar, all with just 18 minutes on the clock.
Cirencester pulled one back thanks to a fine Dan Demiv header and there were chances at both ends before the break.
But Kettering moved further ahead eight minutes into the second half when Haran headed home another corner and it was almost six when Paul Malone’s header hit the bar but was deemed not to have crossed the line.
It was six on 64 minutes though and it came from yet another corner and this time it was substitute Matthew Barnes-Homer who headed home his first league goal for the club.
And that proved to be the end of the scoring as the game petered out.
Rock-bottom Corby Town’s miserable run of form continued in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division as they were beaten 3-1 by leaders Rushall Olympic at Steel Park.
Rushall opened the scoring on six minutes when Alex Reid beat the offside trap and went round Dan Farrell before slotting home.
And the visitors doubled their advantage just before the half-hour mark when Reid went down after a tangle of legs in the area and Karl Hawley stepped up to score from the penalty spot.
However, the Steelmen were given a lifeline on the stroke of half-time when Ben Milnes, on his first start since injury, danced through the defence and guided the ball past Jose Veiga.
Rushall restored their two-goal advantage 10 minutes into the second half when Joe Hull seized upon some poor communication in the Corby defence to score.
And the leaders rounded off a comfortable victory when Stan Mugisha ran through and went round Farrell before making it four.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds ended the game with nine men but still made it 15 games without defeat in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One Central as they shared a 1-1 draw with Lincoln United at the Dog & Duck.
It proved to be an open first half with Fazel Koriya forcing Jack Turner into a low save before Lincoln opened the scoring on 18 minutes.
Diamonds stood off Andrew Toyne and he took aim from 25 yards with his fine strike finding the net with the aid of the the inside of the post.
Koriya came close to an equaliser when he beat a couple of players but then saw his shot cleared off the line by James Blunden.
But Lincoln were reduced to 10 men early in the second half when Jordan Hempenstall was shown a straight red card after he struck Brad Harris while challenging for a high ball.
Diamonds immediately piled the pressure on and they drew level on 65 minutes when Tom Lorraine powerfully headed home Sam Brown’s cross from the left.
The hosts went in search for a winner but the game changed again with six minutes to go when they themselves were reduced to 10 men when Brad Harris was sent off for a second bookable offence.
And they soon had the numerical disadvantage when Koriya was also saw red for a second booking three minutes before the end.
But they saw things out without any problems to ensure their unbeaten run continues.