Corby Town: Jon Dunham’s 2021/22 season review

The 2021/22 campaign will be one Corby Town will want to put towards the back of their memory bank.

Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 12:38 pm

Having been switched to what looked like a much stronger Northern Premier League Midlands division last summer, the Steelmen were still hopeful of launching a promotion challenge.

In Gary Mills, they certainly seemed to have a manager with the pedigree to do so.

Unfortunately, it was a campaign that never really got going and, in the end, it resulted in the manager and club ‘parting company’ soon after it was all over.

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It was a season to forget for Corby Town and Gary Mills who left the club straight after the campaign had ended. Pictures by Jim Darrah

Three defeats in the first four matches almost set the tone for what was to come and, although there was a most welcome run to the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup, the Steelmen struggled to make any inroads in the league, particularly when it came to the games against those towards the top

Having said that, they were handily placed in the top 10 in the middle of November before things unravelled in devastating fashion.

Between November 20 and New Year’s Day, the Steelmen lost seven league matches in a row to leave any hopes of a play-off push in tatters while, instead, there were a few nervous weeks as they got the points needed to ensure they didn’t become embroiled in a relegation scrap.

In fairness, Mills wasn’t helped by a huge injury list at one stage with a number of young players being given an opportunity to shine as a result.

Lewis White was the standout performer for the Steelmen

But the damage was well and truly done and, despite a purple patch during February and March, Corby were condemned to a lower mid-table finish - a long way from what had been expected back in August.

The inquest into what was, ultimately, a season of failure didn’t take long with Mills’ departure and now a new era will begin at Steel Park.

Whoever the new manager is will have a big job in front of them when it comes to rebuilding the squad and restoring some much-needed positivity into the club’s loyal fanbase.

Jon Dunham’s totally unofficial Corby Town player of the year - Lewis White.

Despite a bitterly disappointing campaign, there were some performances to take note of for Corby Town.

The likes of experienced trio Gary Mulligan, Elliot Sandy and James Clifton did what they could to maintain their high standards.

Youngster Connor Furey showed plenty of promise on the wing and more football at this level will only benefit him for the future.

And Jordan O’Brien, albeit cruelly hit by injury at times, finished as the club’s top scorer with 12 goals.

But it was Lewis White who really stood out.

The central defender had his campaign blighted by a knee injury but, even when he probably shouldn’t have done, he played through the pain and delivered solid displays at the heart of the back four.

He also finished the season with eight goals, showing he could also offer a threat from set-pieces and when used as a makeshift striker.

That was shown in the 2-1 win over Sutton Coldfield Town in early November when he brought the house down at Steel Park with a late brace to turn no points into three as Corby fought back from a goal down.

White showed the sort of grit and determination football supporters love.

While others allowed their standards to slip at times, he didn’t.

He made himself one of Gary Mills’ most trusted lieutenants in a season of struggle, regularly earning high praise from the manager.

He’s got a bright future ahead of him.