VERDICT – Crawford shines but Steelmen left frustrated as hunt for a win goes on

Youngster Jordon Crawford celebrates after he scored Corby Town's goal in the 1-1 draw with Buxton at Steel Park. Pictures by Alison Bagley
Youngster Jordon Crawford celebrates after he scored Corby Town's goal in the 1-1 draw with Buxton at Steel Park. Pictures by Alison Bagley
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Corby Town finally ended their goal drought at Steel Park but it was very much a case of mixed feelings after they claimed a 1-1 draw against Buxton.

Without question, there were more positives than negatives for Tommy Wright, his players and the Steelmen fans to draw from this particular display.

Femi Orenuga gets on the ball for the Steelmen

Femi Orenuga gets on the ball for the Steelmen

But the biggest negative for them was the fact that they didn’t claim the victory their performance merited.

It’s fair to say those rocking up to Steel Park may have been fearing the worst.

With just one goal to the club’s name going into this game and the fact they were up against the second-best team in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division, hopes weren’t exactly high.

But the Steelmen, with a number of new faces in the starting line-up, showed that there really isn’t a great deal to choose in this particular division.

Jordon Crawford capped his first start for Corby Town with their first home goal of the season

Jordon Crawford capped his first start for Corby Town with their first home goal of the season

They dominated for long periods and scored a lovely goal but couldn’t quite hold on as one lapse in concentration proved costly.

However, as Wright observed afterwards, the huge positive for the Steelmen was the performance of young striker Jordon Crawford.

Thrown in for his first start for the club with Callum Ball suspended, Crawford proved to be a real livewire in attack and it was almost fitting that he broke the barren run in front of goal by making the difficult look easy.

The Steelmen, in general, had more about them in the final third.

There was no messing around from Wright as he handed debuts to new signings Duran Martin and Shaquille Whittingham while Femi Orenuga was also included from the start.

And their attacking intent was clear from the start as Crawford forced Jan Budtz in a good, low save after a neat turn and shot.

It actually proved to be a game of few chances and Buxton rarely threatened, although Evan Garnett - a target for the Steelmen earlier in the week - shot wide from a good position.

But the moment the Corby fans had been waiting for arrived on 32 minutes.

In fact, the Steelmen had been waiting precisely 553 minutes for a goal but it was well worth the wait.

Ben Milnes’ ball forward was beautifully taken down by Crawford in the penalty area and the youngster was the coolest man in the building as he stroked the ball past Budtz and into the far corner.

Buxton were quick out of the blocks after the break and Aidan Grant produced an excellent double-save to deny Garnett and then Brad Abbott.

Reece Webb curled an effort onto the roof of the net at the other end but, just as it seemed Corby would see things out, the visitors snatched an equaliser with nine minutes to go.

A quick counter-attack and a ball over the top caught the Steelmen out and Brad Grayson was there to beat Grant.

There was almost late drama as Budtz was forced to race from his line and block substitute Sekou Kromah’s effort and that ensured it ended all-square.

There is, of course, still work for Corby and Wright to do to ensure this season does start heading in the right direction.

But this performance will go a long way to restoring the faith from the home supporters.

More displays like this and that first win will surely soon arrive...

Steelmen: Grant; Kennedy, Gascoigne, Anton, Marshall; Martin, Webb; Orenuga (sub Ogilvie, 78 mins), Milnes, Whittingham (sub Kromah, 71 mins); Crawford (sub Frisch, 90 mins). Subs not used: Bell, Draper.

Buxton: Budtz; J Bembo-Leta, Burns, Young, Green; Taylor, Ravenhill, Abbott, Doran (sub Walker, 64 mins); Grayson, Garnett (sub Jackson, 64 mins). Subs not used: Evrington, F Bembo-Leta, Williams.

Referee: James Turner.

Goals: Crawford (32 mins, 1-0), Grayson (81 mins, 1-1).

Booking: Milnes (dissent)

Attendance: 469.