SATURDAY SPORT '“ Diamonds' fine run goes on but Steelmen and Poppies are beaten
AFC Rushden & Diamonds extended their unbeaten run in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South to 16 matches as they hit back to claim a 1-1 draw at leaders Shaw Lane.
Andy Peaks handed starting roles to both Ben Farrell and Jake Newman and the first half proved to be an even contest with few chances.
Diamonds’ best opportunities saw Nabil Shariff having a couple of efforts blocked while Richard Bunting fired one over.
Shaw Lane started the second half well before Bunting sent another effort over and then Liam Dolman was inches wide with a free-kick after Tom Lorraine had been brought down on the edge of the area.
But Diamonds fell behind with 10 minutes to go when Gary Burnett put the visitors in front.
However, the lead didn’t last long and the visitors grabbed an equaliser when Bunting’s shot deflected over the goalkeeper and in.
Corby Town’s miserable run in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division continued as the rock-bottom Steelmen were beaten 3-1 at home by Workington.
Gary Mills included no fewer than four new signings in his squad with Steve Kinniburgh being one after he joined from Kettering in a player-coach role, which will also see him become the club’s academy director in the new year.
Other new arrivals at Steel Park included full-back Miles Smith, defender Jason Lee who had recently been with AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Philip Bilson, who signed from Leicester Nirvana.
Corby started well and Connor Kennedy should have done better when he scooped over from close-range after Steven Leslie had nodded down Stefan Moore’s cross.
But Workington opened the scoring on 14 minutes when a free-kick was sent in and the ball was eventually teed up for Joe McGee who hammered home a low shot with Dan Farrell unsighted.
The Steelmen continued to create chances though and Jamie Tank’s header looped wide before their best opportunity of the half arrived.
Jordon Crawford’s shot was parried by Aaron Taylor and it fell to Lee. The flag stayed down but the defender could only blast over.
Farrell produced a decent save at the other end when Jack Ryan beat the offside trap but Corby finished the half with another chance as Kennedy headed wide at the far post from Moore’s cross.
After a slow start to the second half, Corby did grab a deserved equaliser on the hour.
The ball was played through for Moore who was left one-on-one with Taylor and the striker held his nerve before coolly rolling it under the goalkeeper.
Leslie flashes a volley just wide as the Steelmen hunted a winner but it was Workington who snatched victory with nine minutes to go.
It was a mistake from Farrell as he was deceived by Jakob Simpson’s cross and could only palm it out. It fell to substitute Elliot Newby and he turned and scored into the far corner.
And the game was well and truly over in stoppage-time when McGee’s shot was too hot for Farrell to handle and substitute Scott Allison bundled in from close-range.
Kettering Town found high-flying Slough Town too hot to handle in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division as their recent good form ended with a 3-2 defeat.
The Poppies found themselves up against it from the start and they were a goal down inside two minutes when Charlie Moone beat the offside trap and while everyone else stopped, he went on and fired into the bottom corner.
Aaron O’Connor did the have the ball in the net but was flagged offside and James Haran headed wide from a good position.
Moone should have made it 2-0 when he raced clear but this time clipped the ball wide.
However, he did get his and his team’s second on 28 minutes when he scored following a free-kick.
Rene Howe sent an effort over before the break and Marcus Law made two changes at half-time with Liam Canavan and Nathan Hicks introduced into the action.
However, it was almost 3-0 when Jack Kelly almost put a James Dobson cross into his own net.
But the game was up on 57 minutes when Dobson sprinted clear and rounded Dean Snedker before slotting home.
O’Connor pulled one back late on with a good shot on the turn and Howe added a second in the third minute of stoppage-time from 18 yards.
But it was all too late for the Poppies.