Makeshift Steelmen beaten at home again

Corby joint-manager Tommy Wright
Corby joint-manager Tommy Wright

A new era is set to dawn at Steel Park and it probably can’t come quick enough as Corby Town slipped to another home defeat in the Calor League Premier Division.

Arlesey Town claimed a 3-1 success on this occasion with a flurry of goals coming during the first half, the best of which was actually scored by Steelmen midfielder Sam Ives.

But the real story had come earlier in the day when it was revealed that chairman Kevin Ingram has now agreed a deal to sell the majority shareholding of the club to a consortium of local businessmen.

With the Steelmen’s season having come off the rails following the problems in paying players’ wages and a cut in the budget, the fans will now be hoping there are better days to come.

On the pitch, battle-weary Steelmen joint-bosses Andrew Wilson and Tommy Wright were forced into changes for the game with young full-back Connor Kennedy ruled out with the ankle injury he picked up in Wednesday’s 3-2 home defeat to Redditch United.

Claudiu Hoban was also missing while Wright was deemed fit enough only for a place amongst the substitutes.

It all meant starting places for Zondi Chunga, Georges Ehui and Ben Barton while the Corby managers also decided to give Josh Carpenter a chance to impress in goal with Paul Walker being included on the bench.

But the young stopper’s first real job was to pick the ball out of the net as Arlesey took the lead after just 25 seconds.

The beautifully-named Hallelujah Basmel got in behind a makeshift home defence, Carpenter raced from his goal but the striker knocked it across goal and former Fulham frontman Barry Hayles was left with the simple task of finishing from close range.

Corby looked for a quick response and they got it on eight minutes thanks to the best goal scored at Steel Park so far this season.

There appeared to be little on for Sam Ives when he received the ball 25 yards from goal. But a sublime touch to get away from his marker was followed by a quite brilliant chip over visiting goalkeeper Aidan Grant. Ives wouldn’t have scored many better than that before.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the spark for the hosts to go on from. Instead, the visitors came storming back and scored twice in the space of a minute to take the game away from the Steelmen.

Hayles played in Jonny McNamara in the right channel and he got a stroke of luck as his final shot deflected past the helpless Carpenter.

And, straight from the kick-off, the home defence was turned far too easily again as Basmel got away and he beat Carpenter with an excellent finish into the far corner.

Corby responded by making changes in personnel and formation at the back but the visitors really should have been out of sight before the break as chances kept coming.

Carpenter got down well to save from McNamara after he had cut in from the right before Hayles fired over from the edge of the box. And Basmel was also off target when he fired wide after again racing clear of a static Steelmen defence.

Only a fine clearance from Kalern Thomas prevented Basmel from making it 4-1 just before half-time after Carpenter had parried McNamara’s shot.

Jorrin John was denied by Grant in first-half stoppage-time after Greg Mills’ free-kick was headed back across goal and Mills tested Grant with an early second-half effort.

But the second period was poor as no chances of note were created by either side.

Things livened up a little bit late on when Wilson came off the bench to make his debut for the Steelmen after making up the numbers amongst the substitutes for a number of weeks.

Bobby-Joe Taylor curled an effort wide for the visitors but that was as close as either side came during a poor second half.

What happened on the pitch on this occasion and what happens in the final week of the season, including in Monday’s bank holiday date at Cambridge City, matters little as far as Corby are concerned if truth be told.

It’s what happens off the pitch over the next few weeks that will determine what the future holds for the Steelmen.

Steelmen: Carpenter; Chunga (sub Wilson, 85 mins), Thomas, Carruthers; May, McGowan, John, Ehui, Ives; Mills, Barton (sub Mafini, 73 mins). Subs not used: Walker, Wright.

Arlesey: Grant; Powell, Gallagher, Farrell, Willet; McNamara (sub McNulty, 84 mins), McGovern (sub Musumbo-Tambue, 84 mins), Tavernier, Taylor; Basmel (sub Shaw, 73 mins), Hayles. Subs not used: Femiola.

Referee: Mark Hutchinson.

Goals: Hayles (1 min, 0-1), Ives (8 mins, 1-1), McNamara (11 mins, 1-2), Basmel (12 mins, 1-3).

Booking: Chunga (foul).

Attendance: 196.