Steelmen lift the Hillier Cup

Chris Plummer

Chris Plummer

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Corby Town put their league problems aside for the evening as they lifted the NFA Hillier Senior Cup after a 3-1 success over Daventry Town at Sixfields.

The Steelmen eventually had just a bit too much for the Southern League Division One Central side, who more than played their part in an entertaining affair.

As expected, Corby boss Chris Plummer was forced into changes with skipper Jason Crowe, Tom McGowan and Gareth Jelleyman all ruled out through injury.

It meant a surprise return to the starting line-up for Liam Richardson, who has been at Stamford of late, while Stefan Galinski started at right-back with Carl Piergianni captaining the team in Crowe’s absence.

The Steelmen started brightly enough with Paul Malone heading a Ryan Semple corner wide early on.

But from there, it was Daventry who looked the more threatening and only a fine save from Paul Walker kept the scores level as he clawed away Ashley Robinson’s volley after a good run and cross from Marcus Jackson.

Robinson had another effort blocked by Malone and then headed straight at Walker before also dragging another effort wide after being played in by Josh Blake.

But it was Corby who made the breakthrough and it came somewhat against the run of play just past the half-hour.

Josh Moreman raced on to a long ball over the top and he held off the presence of a defender before firing across Richard Morris and into the far corner.

Unfortunately, that was close to being Moreman’s last contribution as he pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury as he chased back four minutes before the break.

Daventry started the second period on the front foot and only an excellent reflex save from Walker stopped them from drawing level as Nat Liburd unleashed a fierce volley.

But the Corby goalkeeper was beaten on 52 minutes when Callum Burgess rose highest to head home Neil King’s inswinging free-kick.

However, the Steelmen’s response to that equaliser was good and they regained the lead just past the hour mark.

Lewis Webb sent substitute Greg Kaziboni clear in the right channel and his pacy run ended with a perfect square pass to the far post where Ryan Semple arrived to hammer home.

Semple forced Morris into a decent low save after cutting in from the right and the Daventry goalkeeper was called into action again 10 minutes from the end when substitute Gary King raced away and shot towards the near post.

Malone saw a header hacked clear from the resulting corner but the centre-half had his moment on 83 minutes when he rose to glance a Semple flag-kick into the far corner.

That sealed the deal as Corby comfortably saw the rest of the game out to bring a bit of joy to their healthy band of travelling fans.

Unfortunately, lifting the Hillier Cup was where the good news ended for the Steelmen as news filtered through of Colwyn Bay’s 3-1 success at Brackley Town.

It means the Welsh club, who sit in the final Blue Square Bet North relegation spot, are now just three points behind Corby with two games in hand.

The Steelmen now must find a way to win at Gloucester City on Saturday as the scrap for survival continues.

Steelmen: Walker; Galinski, Piergianni, Malone, Ives; Richardson, Webb; Semple, Abalimba (sub Wedderburn, 86 mins), Moreman (sub Kaziboni, 41 mins); Vieira (sub King, 72 mins). Subs not used: Harrison, Cuffy.

Daventry Town: Morris; Jackson (sub Confue, 40 mins), Dolman, Howell, Burgess; Oulton, King, Cartwright, Liburd (sub Beckley, 78 mins); Robinson, Blake (sub Cross, 69 mins). Subs not used: Holford, Gould.

Referee: Ian Rathbone.

Goals: Moreman (33 mins, 1-0), Burgess (52 mins, 1-1), Semple (63 mins, 2-1), Malone (83 mins, 3-1).