Corby Town returned to action after an 11-day break with a comfortable victory at Steel Park on Boxing Day.
But what did we learn?
Solid and resilient, the Steelmen were both.
Having suffered a defeat at Didcot Town in their previous fixture, Corby needed to bounce back and they did it in style. It wasn’t overly spectacular but the Steelmen were defensively solid and were rewarded with a first clean sheet since November 3. They showed their resilient side by comfortably seeing the game out after they had made it 3-0 on 65 minutes. It’s displays like this that help you the most when you are chasing a title and/or promotion.
As Steve Kinniburgh observed, the Corby squad is looking as strong as ever.
The manager was keen to stress this point in his post-match interview and it was a good point well made. He was able to make some like-for-like changes without rocking the boat too much and that is a sure sign that the squad is probably as strong as it has ever been under Kinniburgh’s stewardship. It shouldn’t be forgotten, also, that both Jake Bettles and Sam Grouse have gone to Desborough Town and Harrowby United respectively on dual registrations to get some much-needed minutes while promising youngsters Zac Allen, Dean McBride and Luke Aridegbe are all getting game time at Raunds Town, which will no doubt aid their development for the future.
Connor Kennedy epitomised a workmanlike display.
It’s not the first time the midfielder has caught the eye this season. It is, perhaps, easy to single him out after he scored two goals. But that, in itself, is worthy of a mention as it takes his tally to six for the season, a vast improvement on the previous campaign. Kennedy has added goals to his game and that can only be a good thing. He is a tenacious character on the pitch, he covers plenty of ground and wins lots of tackles. This was a game made for him and he took full advantage with a man-of-the-match display.
A slightly disappointing attendance, there are more fans out there for Corby to attract.
Make no mistake, the Steelmen’s Boxing Day attendance of 374 at Steel Park was high in comparison to the vast majority of others in the Evo-Stik League South Division One Central. However, you’d like to think that more could be added. The attendance was a bit disappointing considering it was one of the key dates in the footballing calendar. Admittedly, Step 4 football won’t always attract large attendances but Steve Kinniburgh has put together a team that deserves a bit more backing. We know Corby are capable of attracting crowds of 400 or 500 and more and it would be good to see those sorts of numbers again on a regular basis.
The top two keep picking up points, the Steelmen can’t afford any major slip-ups.
It pretty much goes without saying that when you are trying to launch a promotion challenge, you have to keep the mistakes at a minimum. But that is certainly the case in this division. Leaders Peterborough Sports and second-placed Bromsgrove Sporting aren’t showing many signs of slipping up at the moment. There’s no cause for any panic. The Steelmen are well in touch and have a game in hand on the two clubs above them. But, as the season progresses, the margin for error gets smaller and smaller. Corby must keep on ticking off the wins because you can pretty much guarantee that, for the time being, the top two will do just that.