Tommy Wright was delighted to see Corby Town “get going” as fine second-half display helped them get their Southern League Premier Division campaign off to a winning start.
After an even first period against Hitchin Town at Steel Park, Corby stepped things up after the break as Greg Mills gave them the lead from the penalty spot before he provided the assist for Wilson Carvalho to wrap up a 2-0 win.
The Steelmen were indebted to goalkeeper Paul Walker, who had an outstanding afternoon with a series of fine saves to preserve the clean sheet.
Boss Wright confirmed after the game that striker Bidemi Afolabi had left the club due to “personal reasons” but with Spencer Weir-Daley only fit enough to be on the bench, it left the Steelmen without a recognised striker.
And he was full of praise for Mills and Carvalho as they provided the attacking thrust during a decisive second period.
“We have discussed that slow start, it kind of had that pre-season feel to it,” the Corby manager said.
“The lads didn’t seem to get going as much as we expected them to, we asked them to turn them with the pace we had up there to see if we could cause them some trouble.
“But we didn’t get going. We were compact and we looked good defensively but we didn’t have that cutting edge in the final third.
“Both Greg and Wilson are wingers and they wanted to keep spinning down the wings. We asked Greg to take one for the team and be the one up there who was going to get kicked.
“It was a lot better in the second half and I was delighted to see Greg tuck the penalty away, that will be massive for his confidence.”
Wright, meanwhile, piled the praise on stopper Walker and reaffirmed his belief that the Steelmen currently have “the best goalkeeper in this league” within their ranks.
“It is pleasing to have three points and a clean sheet and you can’t underestimate Paul Walker’s influence in this team,” Wright added.
“He has become a man over the last 18 months. He has come on in every respect of his game. He has taken things on to a different level and he is the best goalkeeper in this league.”