Corby Town were on the end of a defeat as two of the Evo-Stik League South Division One Central high-flyers clashed at Steel Park.
But what did we learn?
On this day there could be few arguments, Peterborough Sports were that bit better.
It was a bitter pill for everyone associated with the Steelmen to swallow but, in the end, it was difficult to find any arguments with the final outcome. After a bright start, Corby faded somewhat and Sports certainly posed a bigger threat in the attacking areas in the first half. Yes, you could question the penalty that was awarded to give them the lead but the visitors showed just why they are in the position they are. At 2-0 up, they did a good job at stifling the Steelmen and, even after a goal had been pulled back, Corby struggled to unlock the door. It was disappointing because the Steelmen can and have played better than they did. Sports were disciplined, well drilled, took their opportunities and had the standout players on the day. In the end, they deserved their win.
The defeat has clearly hit Corby’s title hopes but no-one will be throwing in the towel just yet.
The title is now completely out of the Steelmen’s hands and, having responded to their defeat to current leaders Bromsgrove with this win, you’d have to say that Sports are probably the favourites to go on and win it all now. But, in the aftermath, it’s important that the right noises are made and, after giving his assessment of the game, Corby boss Steve Kinniburgh did just that. There are 10 games to go, 30 points to play for and, even if the title isn’t achievable, home supremacy in the play-offs most certainly is. Yes, this defeat could well have spelled the end of the title hopes. But it certainly hasn’t spelled the end of the season.
A crowd of 933 shows that the Steelmen can still draw in the fans.
This game got got the big build-up it deserved in the media and on social media. I expected something around the 600 mark but as the turnstiles continued to click, it was clear it was going to be a lot bigger than that and so it proved. An attendance of over 900 was bigger than anyone would have expected and it once again showed that Corby Town are still capable of attracting large crowds. For the most part, Steve Kinniburgh’s team have played some good, attacking football and provided good value for money for those who have been in regular attendance. Of course, the disappointment was that the team couldn’t produce the result the majority of the crowd were hoping for. But it was great to have that ‘big game atmosphere’ back at Steel Park. Let’s hope there are opportunities for more of them before this season is over.
On a day of few positives, Corby can be encouraged by the form of Steve Diggin since his return to the club.
Steve Diggin’s return to Steel Park came with plenty of fanfare and rightly so considering the good things he did for the Steelmen in his previous spell. The move to bring him back was a sure sign of Corby’s intentions for the remainder of the season and, thankfully, he has hit the ground running. His fine header to give them a lifeline in this game was his third in as many matches. It was one of the few good moments on a disappointing day. But, with Elliot Sandy heading for 30-plus goals for the season and Diggin now in the fold, goals hopefully won’t be in short supply in the remainder of the campaign and the play-offs that will surely follow.
There’s little time to dwell, the Steelmen must respond on Wednesday night.
There’s only so long you can cry over spilt milk. This defeat was bitterly disappointing but Corby mustn’t let it derail the good work they have done this season. It has been a good campaign and it can still end in promotion. There haven’t been many setbacks but when they have come along, in general, the Steelmen have responded well and now they must do it again. They go to Barton Rovers on Wednesday night, they must get the show back on the road. And there are enough characters within the dressing-room to ensure this setback doesn’t turn into an untimely blip.