Corby secure a battling draw

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Corby Town battled their way to superb 2-2 draw at league leaders Hyde in the Blue Square Bet North.

Few gave Corby’s patched-up side much hope of getting something at Ewen Fields where Hyde have not lost a league game all season.

But the Steelmen showed great spirit and character throughout and deserved a share of the spoils.

The home side made the early running and Corby had a lucky escape on 13 minutes when Reece Gray’s shot came back off the post, the Hyde striker firing the rebound straight at Chris Mackenzie.

However, all Corby’s hard work holding Hyde at bay was undone when they conceded a soft goal on 17 minutes as a free-kick was allowed to go through everyone and Andy Pearson tapped home from almost on the line.

Soon after, the woodwork came to Corby’s rescue again as Ryan Crowther’s shot was deflected on to the post with Mackenzie beaten.

But after being on the back foot early on, the Steelmen then began to get into the game.

James Ozmen saw a 24th-minute shot parried by home keeper David Carnell and Adam Griffin just prevented Jordan Smith getting to the rebound.

Sam Mullarkey then just failed to connect properly with a Smith cross before the Steelmen’s persistence was rewarded on the stroke of half-time when superb interplay between Mullarkey, Smith and Ozmen ended with Ozmen’s shot just crossing the line for the equaliser.

The second half then started as well as the first had ended for Corby as Carnell flapped at free-kick and presented the ball to Mullarkey, who had a simple task to score.

Moments later, Andy Hall nearly made it three for Corby when his shot squirmed under Carnell’s body but got held up in the goalmouth mud.

Mullarkey was even closer on 61 minutes as his shot beat Carnell but came back off the post.

At the other end, Hyde wanted a penalty when Matthew Berkeley went down in the box but the referee waved away the claims.

However, the equaliser did come on 76 minutes when Ozmen lost possession to David Poole and his cross was bundled home by Berkeley.

Steelmen substitute Mark Jones so nearly restored their lead straight away when Carnell fumbled Lee Beeson’s shot but the ball rolled wide.

Berkeley was even closer at the other end when his header bounced back off the post before being hacked clear.

But despite some late pressure from the hosts, they could not break through the Steelmen again as the visitors took a deserved point.

Hyde: Carnell; Brizell, Hall, Havern, Griffin; Byrne (sub Poole 66 mins), Moses, Pearson (sub Worsley, 76 mins), Crowther; Gray, Broadbent (sub Berkeley, h-t). Subs not used: Williams, Birch.

Corby: Mackenzie; McDonald, Gulliver, Gordon, Mayo; Beeson, Ozmen, Towers, Hall; Smith, Mullarkey (sub Jones, 66 mins). Subs not used: Ekins, Bexfield, Farden, Spruce.

Referee: Robert Jones.

Goals: Pearson (17 mins, 1-0), Ozmen (45 mins, 1-1), Mullarkey (51 mins, 1-2), Berkeley (76 mins, 2-2).

Attendance: 537