VERDICT – Harrogate make light work of it as sorry Steelmen are well beaten

Clayton McDonald sees his header hit the crossbar during Corby Town's 3-0 defeat to Harrogate Town. Pictures by Alison Bagley
Clayton McDonald sees his header hit the crossbar during Corby Town's 3-0 defeat to Harrogate Town. Pictures by Alison Bagley

It’s difficult to describe this one as anything other than a job well done by Harrogate Town.

The high-fliers ultimately made light work of Corby Town at a perishing Steel Park and their 3-0 victory pretty much did exactly what it said on the tin.

Action from Corby Town's 3-0 home defeat to Harrogate Town

Action from Corby Town's 3-0 home defeat to Harrogate Town

Looking at it from a Steelmen point of view, it was disappointing after their fine midweek success at Stalybridge Celtic had been a cause for some much-needed optimism.

On this occasion, however, they were ultimately beaten by a better team.

They started brightly enough with Clayton McDonald seeing an early header bouncing off the top of the crossbar.

Sadly, that was as close as they would come with their next real threat not arriving until the 81st minute when McDonald saw another header tipped over by visiting goalkeeper Peter Crook.

Action from Corby Town's 3-0 home defeat to Harrogate Town

Action from Corby Town's 3-0 home defeat to Harrogate Town

By then, however, the damage had been done as Harrogate showed just why they are already right in the shake up at the top end of the table.

They took their time to grow into the game but once Jerry Yates had rounded off an excellent passing move with a thumping shot into the far top corner on 27 minutes, the final outcome never really looked in doubt.

Yates saw another shot bobble across the face of goal before the break but the visitors wasted little time in finishing the job in the second period.

An excellent free-kick routine paved the way for the second. Brendon Daniels ran over the dead ball on the left-hand side, Joe Colbeck sent the winger away down the left and his low cross was converted by Luke Shiels from close-range.

And worse was to follow for Corby as a poor back-pass left Harry Burgoyne exposed and Yates raced through, skipped round the goalkeeper and slotted into the empty net. Job done.

Perhaps the biggest concern for the Steelmen followers was the lack of response from their team.

There appeared, at times, to be a lack of fight and when you are in the position they are, that’s the last thing you need to see.

Ultimately, this season is turning into one that will be a battle for survival. And that will mean the games that truly do matter will be the ones they face against those around them.

It is, therefore, hardly surprising that some thoughts are already turning towards Christmas.

A double-header with county rivals Brackley Town sandwiched by a home clash with Lowestoft Town, two teams in and around them, will surely be massive in deciding just what direction Corby’s season goes.

A big battle lies ahead and the Steelmen, unlike on this occasion, will have to be up for the fight.

Steelmen: Burgoyne; Kennedy, Courtney, McDonald, Thomas; Draper (sub Bell, 87 mins), Taylor; Revan, Mills (sub Kromah, 87 mins), Johnson; Ball. Subs not used: Donkin, Milnes, Wright.

Harrogate: Crook; Turner, Shiels, Ellis, Swain; Colbeck (sub Thewlis, 79 mins), Thirlwell (sub Nyoni, 68 mins), Kerry, Daniels (sub Emmett, 71 mins); Knowles, Yates. Subs not used: Clayton, Bloomer.

Referee: Lloyd Wood.

Goals: Yates (27 mins, 0-1), Shiels (56 mins, 0-2), Yates (63 mins, 0-3).

Bookings: Thomas, McDonald, Mills (all fouls).

Attendance: 477.