NON-LEAGUE ROUND-UP: Wins for Brackley Town, Kettering Town and AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Brackley Town manager Kevin WilkinBrackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin
Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin
It was a good day for the local non-League clubs

Brackley Town maintained their title challenge in the Vanarama National League North with a crucial 1-0 victory over fellow high-flyers AFC Fylde at St James Park.

There was little to choose between the two sides for long spells but the big moment arrived for Brackley in the 74th minute.

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And it was Shepherd Murombedzi who was the hero as his fine effort put Kevin Wilkin’s team in front.

They saw things out and secured yet another clean sheet - their 17th in the league this season - to stay level on points with leaders Gateshead who were 4-0 winners at Alfreton Town.

Callum Stead scored his first goal for Kettering Town as they maintained their place in the top seven of the Vanarama National League North with a 2-1 victory at Blyth Spartans.

The Poppies made the perfect start as they took the lead inside the first two minutes when Callum Stead seized on a mistake in the Blyth defence and slotted home his first goal for the club.

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But the hosts levelled after 20 minutes when Robbie Dale’s free-kick deflected off the defensive wall and beat Jackson Smith in the Kettering goal.

However, the Poppies regained the lead three minutes before half-time when Decarrey Sheriff played in Jordon Crawford and his deflected effort looped over home stopper Alex Mitchell and into the net.

There were few chances after the break as Kettering saw things out to secure a first-ever win at Croft Park and ensure the long trip home was a happy one.

Ty Deacon scored both goals as AFC Rushden & Diamonds claimed a 2-1 victory at Barwell to move into the Southern League Premier Central play-off places for the first time this season.

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There were chances at both ends in the first half with the closest Diamonds coming to a goal when Nathan Tshikuna’s curling shot was brilliantly tipped onto the woodwork.

Barwell struck the crossbar themselves in the second half with home captain Brady Hickey out of luck.

But it was Diamonds who made the breakthrough just past the hour when Ty Deacon latched onto a long ball over the top and slid the ball past the goalkeeper for his ninth goal since joining the club.

And Deacon wrapped things up late on when he seized on a loose ball and slotted home.

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There was still time for Ben Stephens to pull a goal back for Barwell but it didn’t matter as Diamonds saw things out.

And their afternoon was made even better when it was confirmed Alvechurch had been held to a 1-1 draw at Tamworth, which meant Andy Peaks’ team moved into the top five.

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