VERDICT – The same old story is proving so costly for Steelmen

Greg Mills scores from the penalty spot but it was only a consolation as Corby Town lost 2-1 to Gainsborough Trinity at Steel Park. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Greg Mills scores from the penalty spot but it was only a consolation as Corby Town lost 2-1 to Gainsborough Trinity at Steel Park. Pictures by Alison Bagley

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Another defeat at Steel Park and another all-too-familiar story for Corby Town.

Sadly, at this moment in time, the match reports for the Steelmen’s home games could be written before they’ve even been played.

Ryan Robbins is fouled by Josh Lacey to earn Corby their penalty

Ryan Robbins is fouled by Josh Lacey to earn Corby their penalty

Bright starts, scrappy periods of play and, most crucially, lapses in concentration have become the norm for Tommy Wright’s men in front of their own fans and it is proving more and more costly as the weeks go by.

The end of April may seem like a long way away.

But the reality is the Steelmen have 15 games left.

They are going to have to win at least a third of them to give themselves any chance of staying in the Vanarama National League North and, if they continue to gift beatable teams goals then that task is only going to get harder.

Ben O'Hanlon gets on the ball for the Steelmen

Ben O'Hanlon gets on the ball for the Steelmen

Once again, there was something of a grandstand finish as Corby pulled a goal back and gave it a real go towards the end.

But the fact was that the damage had already been done with Gainsborough Trinity’s quickfire double just before half-time proving decisive.

Wright would have been pleased with the way his team started.

They looked lively and they created a couple of chances with Spencer Weir-Daley hooking a shot over the bar after a neat turn while Duane Courtney’s fierce 20-yard drive was parried by Jan Budtz with Cleveland Taylor crowded out as he tried to gather the rebound.

But it was a good start that they were unable to build on.

Gainsborough grew into things and the warning signs were there when Craig Reid shot narrowly wide after a good turn in the area.

When the deadlock was broken three minutes before the break, there was more than a hint of controversy over it.

But the Steelmen were the creators of their own downfall as they conceded possession cheaply and it all ended with referee Simon Barrow pointing to the spot when Anton Brown was adjudged to have fouled Liam Davis.

It looked soft but Simon Russell stepped up to beat Sam Donkin from 12 yards.

Greg Mills curled a shot wide but there were no excuses for what happened in first-half stoppage-time.

Substitute Jamie Yates whipped in a corner from the left and Davis, possibly the smallest player on the pitch, was allowed to flick the ball home at the near post. A cheap goal to concede and a crucial one at that.

It left the Steelmen chasing the game but a big response didn’t look like it was going to come until they were awarded a penalty of their own on 67 minutes.

Debutant Ryan Robbins, who signed on loan from Boston United on Friday, showed a good turn of pace to race into the left channel of the area.

He was clipped by Josh Lacey, again it looked soft, and Mills made no mistake from 12 yards as he fired into the top corner.

That stirred the home crowd up but they were almost stunned into silence when Lacey’s audacious 45-yard free-kick almost caught Donkin out but he managed to back-track and tip the ball over the bar.

Mills forced Budtz into a good, low save after finding space in the area and the Steelmen came within inches of an equaliser in the first minute of stoppage-time.

Substitute Massiah McDonald got to a high ball ahead of Budtz and flicked it on towards goal, only for Courtney Wildin to come from nowhere to brilliantly head it off the line.

It was not to be for Corby as the whistle brought to an end another day to forget at Steel Park.

The defeat means the pressure is now on for a tough game at promotion-chasing AFC Fylde on Tuesday night, especially with no match next weekend.

The clock is ticking and time is running out. And the truth is, the Steelmen could really do with helping themselves...

Steelmen: Donkin; Thomas, Appleton, Malone (sub Downey, 59 mins), O’Hanlon; Courtney, Brown; Robbins (sub Kromah, 76 mins), Taylor, Mills; Weir-Daley (sub McDonald, 59 mins). Subs not used: Aridegbe, Draper.

Gainsborough: Budtz; Lacey, Roma, Picton, Wildin; Richards, Russell, D’Laryea, Davis; Reid, Newsham (sub Yates, 6 mins). Subs not used: Stamp, Binns, Karkach, Hedge.

Referee: Simon Barrow.

Goals: Russell pen (42 mins, 0-1), Davis (45 mins, 0-2), Mills pen (67 mins, 1-2).

Bookings: Malone, Brown, D’Laryea, Picton, McDonald (all fouls), Appleton, Courtney (both dissent), Mills (unsporting behaviour).

Attendance: 541.