Tommy Wright felt his Corby Town players gave the club’s supporters the perfect Christmas present as they confirmed themselves as genuine title contenders with a dramatic 1-0 victory over fellow high-flyers Poole Town.
The highest attendance of the season so far of 602 were on hand at Steel Park and the vast majority of them were sent into raptures when captain Cleveland Taylor fired home the only goal of the game in the third minute of stoppage-time.
The Steelmen’s fourth win in a row in all competitions ensured they drew level on points with Poole in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division table, which now sees Redditch United sitting on top following their 2-0 success over Arlesey Town.
Wright set up the winner having come off the bench as a second-half substitute.
And he admitted the feeling of seeing the late goal go in was “incredible” as the Steelmen savoured the moment.
“That’s what football is all about, scenes like that at the end,” Wright said.
“To have that moment when you can jump in with the fans and everyone being that happy for a split second, the feeling is just incredible.
“What a way for the boys to say merry Christmas to the fans. We have put ourselves in such a good position by winning that game and I couldn’t have asked anymore from the players.
“I think the fans believe in us.
“We have let them down at times when they have come in their numbers when we have either lost or put a performance on to make them come again.
“They have come along and we have sent them home happy for Christmas. Every single one of them would have left with a smile on their face and that is what it’s all about.
“You only have to look at Poole’s results, they go to the wire. They are a good side and they have the quality.
“They are probably the most organised team we have played against and you have to give a lot of credit to them for the way they set up.
“Our boys matched them and we had that extra bit at the end. I genuinely believe we deserved the three points.”
Wright, meanwhile, singled out central defender Edi Appleton for praise after he turned in an excellent display at the heart of the Corby defence.
With Paul Malone absent due to him attending a wedding, Appleton partnered Jamie Anton in the centre of the back four and Wright believes Malone, who will be available for the Boxing Day trip to St Neots Town, now has a battle on his hands to get back into the side.
The Steelmen boss added: “Edi Appleton was like a man possessed, he won absolutely everything. He was a rock.
“Jamie has the pace alongside him and the back four did really well.
“I think Edi really stood out and it all means Paul will have a challenge to get back in the side.”