Edi Appleton’s early goal proved to be enough for Corby Town to book their place in the third round of the Southern League’s Red Insure Cup as they beat Arlesey Town for the third time this season.
The central defender’s strike took most by surprise, mainly because no-one could really see that he had scored as thick fog descended over Steel Park ahead of the game.
It looked touch and go for a while but referee Andrew Fox agreed to let the game start with the visibility being better at pitch level than it was from the stands.
What transpired was a low-key affair but the Steelmen at least got back to winning ways following their Premier Division defeat at Dorchester Town last Saturday.
Tommy Wright handed starts to goalkeeper Sam Donkin and young full-backs Curtis Hartley and Elliott Bentley while former Oadby Town man Rob Morgan was also included in the Steelmen line-up.
And Corby made an early breakthrough, although the sparse crowd took a while to react after it had happened due to the mist.
Greg Mills sent a corner in from the right and, after a scramble, Appleton was on hand to break the deadlock.
From there, it was a game of few chances. Wilson Carvalho dragged a shot wide after cutting in from the right while Appleton made a fine challenge to deny Jamil Shariffu as he shaped to shoot,
Corby did have the ball in the net again just past the half-hour but Spencer Weir-Daley was flagged offside after Nick Thompson had parried Carvalho’s long-range effort.
Arlesey threatened early in the second half when Hallelujah Basmel beat the offside trap and forced Sam Donkin into his first save of the game.
Carvalho blasted over from a good position at the other end while Basmel went into the referee’s book for diving after he went down while trying to go round Donkin in the area.
Morgan forced Thompson into a save from distance after a neat nutmeg sent him on his way while Donkin held on to Martel Powell’s strike.
Elliott Chamberlain could have settled things when he was played in by fellow substitute Shane Byrne but his final effort was weak and straight at Thompson.
But a second goal wasn’t needed as Corby saw things out to book their place in the next stage.
The victory would have been a welcome tonic but the Steelmen will need to reproduce it again when they take on Bideford in the real business on Saturday.
Steelmen: Donkin; Hartley, Malone, Appleton, Bentley; Morgan, Anton, Milnes (sub Byrne, 62 mins); Carvalho (sub May, 75 mins), Weir-Daley (sub Chamberlain, 62 mins), Mills. Subs not used: Kennedy, Walker.
Arlesey: Thompson; Powell, Plowright, Sage, Willett; Mason, Bailey (sub Kabuye, 81 mins), Carr (sub McGovern, 68 mins), Shariffu; Basmel, Hackney (sub Hilaire, 62 mins). Subs not used: Kabuye, Hayles.
Referee: Andrew Fox.
Goals: Appleton (2 mins, 1-0).
Bookings: Plowright (foul), Basmel (diving).
Don’t miss a full match preview of Saturday’s clash with Bideford in Thursday’s Corby Telegraph