Tommy Wright conceded Corby Town “didn’t get going” after they needed a late fightback to see off Desborough Town and book a place in the semi-finals of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup.
The Steelmen fielded a strong line-up for the clash with the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division side as the manager and midfielder Shane Byrne both completed 90 minutes to confirm their returns from injury.
But the Steelmen needed late goals from Elliott Chamberlain and Ben Milnes to seal the 2-1 victory after Liam Boath had headed Desborough in front after 16 minutes at Steel Park.
However, Wright was keen to take the positives from a productive run-out for his players.
“I think Desborough probably played out of their skins and that’s what we expected,” the Corby boss said.
“They have a lot of local boys in their side and a lot of lads from Corby who would have wanted to impress their families and mates who were watching.
“I am sure there were a few with big points to prove, they had nothing to lose and they played very well and work hard.
“We didn’t get going and that was possibly because of the likes of myself, Shane Byrne and others who came into it.
“On paper, it was a strong side but there were still a lot of changes and it wasn’t until we brought “Cleveland Taylor on and changed the system that things turned for us.
“We got the win in the end and the fact that I have come through 90 minutes along with Shane and some of the young lads is a big positive for us.”
Wright, meanwhile, confirmed the club are waiting to find out the full extent of Kalern Thomas’ knee injury.
The full-back collapsed in a heap with no-one around him during the 1-1 draw with Chesham United last weekend.
And Wright explained: “We don’t know the full extent yet.
“We don’t think it’s massively serious because there were fears that he had done some damage to his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).
“He is due to go back next week and we will get a scan done and see what is going on.
“But he has been getting the movement back in the knee, which is a good sign.”
The Steelmen are now without a game until next Wednesday night when they take on Arlesey Town in the second round of the Red Insure Cup at Steel Park.