Date: Sun 14 Apr 2019

By David Simpson

It`s Kettering`s Title

#SFL Weekend Review - Premier Central

Kettering Town achieved their goal of winning promotion back to the Vanarama National League after beating Halesowen Town on Saturday to lift the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division Central championship.

On a day of mixed fortunes at The Grove, the Poppies` 1-0 win also condemned the Yeltz to relegation.

A crowd of 938, including a healthy following from Northamptonshire, saw top scorer Rhys Hoenes score what proved to be the only goal of the game in the 19th minute.

Long-time chasers Stourbridge did what they had to do – they beat Kettering`s neighbours AFC Rushden & Diamonds – but in truth the title has looked like heading to Latimer Park for some weeks now.

A crowd of 519 at Hayden Road saw Nathan Hicks give Diamonds an 18th-minute lead which Rob Thompson-Brown levelled 10 minutes before the break.

Luke Benbow`s 75th-minute effort won it for the Glassboys and also left Diamonds` own play-off hopes hanging by a mathematical miracle.

King`s Lynn Town secured their play-off place after a 2-1 win at The Walks against Tamworth.

A crowd of 820 saw Ross Barrows scored his first goal for the Linnets to give them an 11th minute lead.

But, mainly thanks to a virtuoso performance by Lambs` keeper Jasbir Singh, Lynn weren`t able to add to that and Tyrell Waite eventually equalised in the 82nd minute.

But Chris Henderson won it for the hosts 3 minutes later.

Alvechurch and Stratford Town occupy the two other top five slots after wins today, while Biggleswade Town kept themselves in the hunt, but six points behind Stratford, after a 4-1 triumph at the Oval against already-doomed Bedworth United.

Alvechurch virtually ended Coalville Town`s top five hopes with a resounding 5-0 win at Lye Meadow with a brace from Josh March in the 10th and 23rd minutes and the third goal from Jamie Willets on 37 minutes making it 3-0 at the break.

Tom Tonks on 76 minutes and James Roberts a minute into stoppage time made it a nap hand for the Worcestershire side.

Stratford were 2-0 winners at The DCS Stadium against Royston Town.

Goals from Lewis Wilson after 13 minutes and Michael Taylor 8 minutes after half-time sealed the victory for the hosts.

At the other end of the table, Lowestoft Town`s 3-1 win at Hitchin Town almost certainly secured their Premier Division Central spot coupled with third-bottom St Neots Town`s 3-2 defeat at Rushall Olympic which leaves the Saints eight points behind the Trawlerboys with only nine left to play for.

Dylan Williams gave Lowestoft a 14th minute lead at Top Field and Jake Reed doubled that 9 minutes later.

Charlie Thake reduced the deficit 4 minutes later, but Reed`s second of the game 16 minutes from the end sealed a good win for the Suffolk outfit.

St Neots led through Ben Bradley`s 39th-minute effort which Simeon Maye levelled on 55 minutes.

Just 2 minutes later, Mason Rhiney shocked the hosts with a stunning 30-yard second for the Saints.

But Rushall keeper Matt Sargeant was injured on 62 minutes and defender Sam Whittall has to go in goal as there`s no sub keeper on the bench.

And he was to prove the hero in more ways than one!

Danny Waldren pulled the Pics level in the 82nd minute and then 5 minutes from time, the defender-turned-keeper stroked home the winning penalty after Aram Soleman was tripped in the box.

Elsewhere on Saturday, there were wins for Needham Market – 2-0 at Barwell, courtesy of Gareth Heath after 12 minutes and Jamie Griffiths on the half-hour mark, and St Ives Town, whose good campaign finished with a 1-0 win at home against Redditch United, courtesy of a 54th minute Andrew Osei-Bonsu effort.

Leiston and Banbury United shared a 0-0 draw in Suffolk.

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