Corby Town gave their battle against relegation from the Blue Suare Bet North a significant boost as they claimed a 1-0 victory over Stalybridge Celtic.
In the days leading up to this clash, Chris Plummer said that he expected the game to a bit of a scrap.
Well he was spot on because the fare offered up at Steel Park from the hosts and Stalybridge would’ve had the purist embarking for the exit well before the final whistle.
Both sides started the afternoon in need of a few points - the Steelmen, just one point above the relegation places, more so than the visitors - and a lack of any kind of form from both was all too evident but that wasn’t much of an excuse.
An almost complete unwillingness to pass the ball on the floor meant that there was little in the way of cohesion with lunging challenges far outnumbering decent touches.
But to trot out a ridiculously overused cliche, it’s the results that matter and I doubt if Plummer and his charges are too fussed how they managed to come away with a maximum points haul, for the first time in two months, that could do them the world of good.
The first half was dominated by the home side and a lead at the interval was probably just about deserved.
That the goal came about 25 minutes in from the Stalybridge keeper, Alex Cairns, making a hash of Ryan Semple’s mishit, skied cross to allow Josh Moreman to tap in was somehow apt because apart from that there wasn’t much in the way of goalmouth action.
Avelion Vieira saw a firm strike skewed wide unwittingly by Cairns early on and at the other end Paul Walker saved superbly from Chris Hall’s volley when Stalybridge finally worked their way into proceedings five minutes before the break.
The second period started in the same ungainly fashion but it was the northerners who should have equalised when Lewis Hatch was given a gilt-edged opportunity as Carl Piergianni managed to squander possession 35 yards out, but under no pressure, he dragged his effort wide.
The ebb and flow, minus the flow, continued without either side appearing capable of adding to the scoreline however, with so many mistakes on show, there was every chance of another a error proving decisive.
The Steelmen were handed a bonus when Mitchell Austin, who was only on the field for 20 minutes, was dismissed for a second yellow card.
A man advantage made little difference to the hosts’ play and they were grateful for the presence of the woodwork when Kristian Platt’s free-kick cannoned off the bar in the dying stages.
And hold on they did for what could turn out to be a decisive success.
Steelmen: Walker, Ives, Crowe, McGowan, Piergianni, Malone, Semple, Wedderburn, Vieira (sub Ivey-Ward, 56 mins), N’Guessan, Moreman. Subs not used: Webb, Richardson, Bryan, Manga.
Stalybridge: Cairns, Bleau, Lees, Platt, Bembo-Leta, Haywood (sub Austin, 61 mins), Buckley, Warburton (sub Gregory, 85 mins), Wilkinson (sub Pepper, 72 mins), Hatch, Hall. Subs not used: O’Connor, Parkhouse.
Referee: Adrian Sannerude.
Goals: Moreman (25 mins, 1-0)
Bookings: Ives (foul), Buckley (foul), Wilkinson (unsporting)
Sending off: Austin (two yellow cards)