First-half blast sets Steelmen up for home success

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Two goals in as many first-half minutes set Corby Town up for a much-needed home win in the Calor League Premier Division as they saw off 10-man Truro City 3-2 at a damp and windswept Steel Park.

The game turned in the Steelmen’s favour during the first period when visiting defender Arran Pugh was sent off for a professional foul on home debutant Claudiu Hoban.

Steelmen joint-manager Andrew Wilson

Steelmen joint-manager Andrew Wilson

Greg Mills scored the resulting penalty and Aman Verma added a second almost immediately as Corby were sent on their way to a welcome three points.

But it wasn’t totally straightforward as the 10 men battled away in the second period and ensured the Steelmen were having to hang on towards the end.

Hoban was handed his debut after joining on a dual registration from Skrill North side Histon during the week and there was a further double boost for the Steelmen with Tom McGowan returning to the starting line-up after an ankle injury while defender Nathan Stanton was named on the substitutes’ bench.

Paul Walker returned in goal after a one-match ban but there was no place for Stuart Hendrie, who is set for a loan move away from Steel Park.

The game was given the go-ahead after an early inspection after some more sterling work by Corby groundsman Gary Seymour and his team of volunteers.

But the conditions were tough throughout as the rain and wind swept across the pitch.

The Steelmen went close early on when Paul Malone fired just wide from Sam Ives’ cross.

But Truro soon came into the contest and the Steelmen were grateful to Walker who made a decent stop to deny Ben Watson before pulling off an even better save from the same player when he punched the striker’s shot over the crossbar.

Verma sent a free-kick over at the other end but the game’s turning point came on 33 minutes.

Hoban got away in the left channel and was hauled down by Pugh just inside the area.

Referee Marc Perry pointed to the spot and then produced a red card for Pugh, who was perhaps a touch unfortunate as there appeared to be a covering defender nearby.

The decision prompted fury from the Truro players but Mills kept his composure to beat Ollie Chenoweth from the penalty spot.

And while Truro were coming to terms with what had just occurred, the Steelmen went for the throat and doubled their lead just two minutes later.

Hoban raced away on the right and he rolled the ball across goal to Verma who couldn’t miss from six yards.

Joint-manager Tommy Wright was denied by Chenoweth soon after the restart but Truro looked a lot more organised and began to pose a threat on the counter-attack.

And the 10 men were given a lifeline just before the hour when Watson was allowed far too much time in the area to turn and shoot past Walker.

But the visitors’ hope was extinguished inside three minutes as Corby produced an immediate response.

Mills sent an inch-perfect cross in from the left to the back post where Verma and Wright were queuing up to finish it off. And Verma did just that as he calmly lofted the ball over Chenoweth to restore the two-goal advantage.

Truro manager Steve Massey was sent from the dugout soon after that goal for his protests after his team were penalised for a foul.

And the truth was that the third goal proved decisive as it seemed to knock the stuffing out of the visitors after that spirited start to the second half.

But, just as it looked like Corby were seeing things out without any problems, a free-kick came in from the left, Paul Kendall headed it back and Shane White stabbed home from close-range.

However, that was the last of the scares for the hosts as they saw the game out to complete a most welcome victory ahead of Tuesday night’s derby at Bedford Town.

Steelmen: Walker; Thomas (sub Stanton, 86 mins), Malone, Carruthers, Jelleyman; McGowan (sub Herbert, 74 mins); Hoban, Ives, Verma, Mills; T Wright (sub D Wright, 82 mins). Subs not used: Carpenter, May.

Truro: Chenoweth; Tully, Kendall, Pugh, White; Green, Broad (sub Brokenshire, 85 mins), Lowry, Copp (sub Cooke, 71 mins); Watson, Eddy (sub Daw, 41 mins). Subs not used: Sims, Gildin.

Referee: Marc Perry.

Goals: Mills pen (34 mins, 1-0), Verma (36 mins, 2-0), Watson (59 mins, 2-1), Verma (62 mins, 3-1), White (84 mins, 3-2).

Bookings: Kendall (dissent), Daw (foul),

Sending-off: Pugh (professional foul).

Attendance: 247.