Paul Malone believes Saturday’s 2-1 success over Chesham United showed the rest of the Calor League Premier Division that Corby Town are “here to compete with the best”.
The centre-half, who took over as captain in the absence of the injured Gareth Jelleyman, put the Steelmen in front at Steel Park with a trademark header from a corner.
Corby looked like they would have to settle for a share of the points when Daniel Brathwaite levelled four minutes from full-time, only to put through his own net just two minutes later.
It was a notable success for Corby with it being their fifth win in a row in all competitions at Steel Park while they inflicted only a second defeat of the season on a Chesham side who had arrived sitting in second spot.
And Malone believes the victory sent out a couple of clear messages.
“We expected them to turn up all guns blazing but we prepared in the right way and we had reports on them,” he said.
“But the day wasn’t about them, it was about us and it showed how we can adapt for the teams we are playing against.
“It was a bit of a heartbreak when they equalised because we were in control of it but we showed good character to come back and win it.
“It is a massive three points for us and it shows the rest of the league that we are not here to make up the numbers and that we are here to compete with the best.”
The Steelmen are now preparing for a tricky trip to Evo-Stik Northern League Division One South side Mickleover Sports in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup this weekend.
Despite enjoying a winning streak on their own pitch, Corby are yet to taste victory on the road as a first defeat for joint-managers Tommy Wright and Andrew Wilson came at Banbury United last Tuesday.
And Malone insists the Steelmen can’t continue to send out “mixed messages” and make excuses for their form away from Steel Park.
“I have heard some of the lads talk about the quality of our pitch compared to others,” the defender added.
“But that is no excuse, you have to adapt whenever you go away from home.
“If you want to compete for titles then it is the tough nights at places like Banbury that make it.
“You can’t just turn up and say ‘this pitch isn’t good enough’. You have to roll your sleeves up and get on with it.
“We can’t send out mixed messages, it has to be the same every week.”