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Robbins Hat-Trick Keeps Diamonds On Top Spot

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A crowd of 679 saw AFC Rushden & Diamonds beat neighbours Kempston Rovers 3-1 at Hayden Road on Boxing Day to retain a two-point lead at the top of the Evo-Stik League South East table.

There was a late Christmas present for Diamonds` well-travelled striker Ryan Robbins as he netted a first half hat-trick with goals in the 20th, 25th and 31st – the last being a spectacular 30-yard effort.

And all that after former Diamonds` striker Jake Newman had given the Walnut Boys an early 10th minute lead.

Second-placed AFC Dunstable were made to scrap for their win at Creasey Park against Thame United.

In the end, a 67th minute goal from BJ Christie was all that separated the sides.

Cambridge City are now third after they enjoyed a 5-1 romp at St Ives against a Bedford Town side who suffered back-to-back festive defeats.

However, things didn`t look good for City when, with the game still goalless after 20 minutes, they lost goalkeeper Niall Conroy to an injury.

And with no sub keeper on the bench, sub left-back Mason Spence came on to don the gloves.

And he was helpless as the Eagles took a 31st minute lead from an Ashton Grant penalty.

But City were level within 6 minutes, thanks to James Hall, who made it 2-1 right on the stroke of half-time.

It wasn`t until the 72nd minute that City were able to add a little breathing space with a third from Jordan Williams, but just 5 minutes later, Hall completed his hat-trick and Ryan Sharman added a fifth with 8 minutes remaining.

Moneyfields are fourth after being held to a 1-1 home draw by lowly Fleet Town.

Joe Briggs gave Moneys a good start with a goal after 12 minutes.

But Fleet earned a point, thanks to a Chris Wales spot-kick 10 minutes from time.

Beaconsfield Town and Hayes & Yeading United complete the top six picture, but the former were beaten 4-2 at neighbours Chalfont St Peter

Victor Osobu gave the hosts a 25th minute lead that Frankie Jones doubled after 36 minutes

Then Callum Woodcock added the Saints` third in the 76th minute, with a fourth coming 5 minutes later from Ben Ward-Cochrane.

Town kept going though and pulled two back from an 86th minute Andre Costa free-kick and a Wes Daly effort 2 minutes into stoppage time.

Hayes & Yeading won the home derby with Northwood by the same scoreline, although they had to come back from being an early 7th minute Mahlondo Martin goal down.

Manny Duku levelled 13 minutes later and a Lewis Hobbs own goal a minute before the break took the hosts into the break in front.

A Duncan Culley penalty in the 79th minute made it 3-1 and Duku added his own second and Hayes & Yeading`s fourth just 4 minutes later, with Martin netting his second 3 minutes into stoppage time.

Bottom-markers Arlesey Town picked up only their seventh point of the campaign to date after sharing as goalless draw with third-bottom Barton Rovers, while Aylesbury FC took bragging rights by winning 2-1 at Thame against second-bottom Aylesbury United.

In the contest known locally as the `El Quackico`, saw Connor Furlong give the Ducks an early lead that Ty Deacon cancelled out shortly afterwards.

But it wasn`t until the 88th minute that Brian Haule`s header won it for the Moles.

Hanwell Town are now fourth-bottom after winning the derby at Honeycroft against Uxbridge.

Alfie Cann gave the visitors an early 6th minute lead that Cole Brown eventually cancelled out on the hour-mark.

But just 2 minutes later, Callum Duffy scored what proved to be Hanwell`s winner.

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