VERDICT – Confident Steelmen march on with a regulation win

Kabongo Tshimanga puts Corby Town in front against Bradford Park Avenue at Steel Park. Pictures by Alison Bagley
Kabongo Tshimanga puts Corby Town in front against Bradford Park Avenue at Steel Park. Pictures by Alison Bagley

It can only be a good thing if, after five games at a higher level, Corby Town are already picking up what could be described as ‘regulation victories’.

This 2-0 success over Bradford Park Avenue could certainly be filed under that particular section.

Action from Corby Town's 2-0 victory over Bradford Park Avenue

Action from Corby Town's 2-0 victory over Bradford Park Avenue

That’s not to say the Steelmen weren’t tested at times, they were.

But, in general, once the man of the moment Kabongo Tshimanga had given them a 17th-minute lead, anything other than a home victory never really looked likely.

There’s a lot to be said for momentum. Corby have come up to the Vanarama National League North on the back of a sensational title success and appear to be in no mood to take their foot off the gas.

They did have to come through a tricky period just after half-time as Bradford finally took a grip on proceedings.

Action from Corby Town's 2-0 victory over Bradford Park Avenue

Action from Corby Town's 2-0 victory over Bradford Park Avenue

But, as ever, Tommy Wright’s men were a constant threat on the break and the welcome sight of Spencer Weir-Daley grabbing his first goal of the season was the perfect way to round off a good day at the office.

Wright was forced into a reshuffle with Duane Courtney forced to sit out due to a knee injury.

After a scrappy start, Corby took the lead with their first real attack and, not for the first time, Greg Mills was the architect.

The winger has started the new season in excellent form and he was at it again as he skipped past visiting captain Simon Ainge and drove into the box from the left.

And once he had reached the by-line Mills rolled the ball into the path of in-form loan man Tshimanga who forced it home from four yards.

There were few other chances in the scorching heat during the opening period, although Michael Potts sent a fierce warning shot across Paul Walker’s goal before the break.

After half-time, Bradford had much more about them. A change in personnel and formation eventually forced Wright’s hand as he also shuffled his pack in a bid to dampen the visitors’ few moments of enthusiasm.

Walker produced a fine fingertip stop to deny James Walshaw, although it went unnoticed as a goal-kick was awarded and the Steelmen goalkeeper also punched clear a decent strike from the same player to preserve his first clean sheet of the campaign.

There were few other scares after that and it all became a question of whether the Steelmen could add to their lead.

Mills and Ash Sammons, on two occasions, brought good saves out of Jon Stewart before Weir-Daley saw an effort cannon off the bar after more good work from Mills.

Cleveland Taylor shot over after a neat exchange of passes with Weir-Daley but it was the experienced frontman who finally wrapped up the points.

Tshimanga has, and rightly so, been taking the headlines of late but Weir-Daley gave everyone a timely reminder of his own talents as he latched onto a through-ball and calmly slid the ball under Stewart to make the game safe.

It was a fitting conclusion to a job very well done by the confident Steelmen.

The unbeaten start goes on, although that record will surely be tested with a trip to Lowestoft Town and a home clash with early pacesetters Solihull Moors over the bank holiday weekend.

Steelmen: Walker; Kennedy (sub Milnes, 55 mins), Aaron Brown, Carruthers, Thomas; Taylor, Anton Brown; Revan, Sammons, Mills; Tshimanga (sub Weir-Daley, 69 mins). Subs not used: Draper, Donkin, Hartley.

Bradford PA: Stewart; Hall, Burgin (sub McDonald, h-t), Ainge; Howarth, P Marshall (sub R Marshall, 61 mins), Potts (sub King, 80 mins), Turner, Mather; Walshaw, Chilaka. Subs not used: Schofield, Carole.

Referee: Anthony Da Costa.

Goals: Tshimanga (17 mins, 1-0), Weir-Daley (84 mins, 2-0).

Bookings: Hall, Sammons, Ainge, Mills (all fouls).

Attendance: 609.