Piergianni earns Steelmen a point

Carl Piergianni’s late header earned Corby Town a point as they drew 1-1 with Oxford City in the Blue Square Bet North.

Jason Crowe and frontman Leon McKenzie were both missing from the Corby squad while Pierrick Briand was recalled to the side, which was captained by Piergianni.

Top scorer Josh Moreman received his award for being named the Blue Square Bet North player of the month for October from Football Conference general manager Dennis Strudwick ahead of the game.

Once the game was under way, it was Oxford who started the better and Greg Kaziboni was forced to scramble Andy Ballard’s early header off the line.

But Corby gradually came back into the game and Paul Malone did have the ball in the net as he headed in Sam Ives’ corner but referee Nigel Lugg ruled it out for a push.

It was an even affair after that with Greg Kaziboni testing Matt Ingram while Paul Walker made a decent stop from Jamie Cook after the Steelmen had conceded possession too cheaply on the edge of their own penalty area.

But Oxford should have taken the lead on 28 minutes when Filipe Barcellos poked his shot wide after long throw had been flicked on.

Darren Pond had an effort ruled out for offside for the visitors while Malone went close to opening the scoring when he headed Ives’ free-kick over the bar.

But, in general, it was an uneventful half until the last five minutes when Oxford did go in front.

Malone hauled down Declan Benjamin after he surged into the area. It was a certain penalty and Jamie Cook made no mistake from 12 yards.

And Corby were lucky not to be 2-0 down at the break when Barcellos couldn’t quite get on the end of Benjamin’s low cross.

Oxford had the first chance after half-time when Barcellos raced through but a heavy touch saw him take the ball round Walker but it ran out of play.

From there, the game became scrappy while a number of substitutions upset the flow of the game.

Oxford seemed comfortable but then, out of nowhere, Corby levelled with eight minutes to go.

Ives swung a free-kick in, Malone headed it back and Piergianni nodded it home at the near post.

Steelmen: Walker; Briand, Malone, Piergianni, Horne; Webb (sub McGowan, 78 mins), Wedderburn; Kaziboni (sub Semple, 78 mins), Ives, Moreman; Vieira (sub Manga, 84 mins). Subs not used: Galinski, Richardson.

Oxford City: Ingram; Mills, Learoyd, Gunn, Stonehouse; Benjamin, Ballard, Pond, Stanley (sub Ikponosg, 84 mins); Barcellos (sub Sharriff, 66 mins), Cook (sub Wallcott, 75 mins). Subs not used: Glass, Basham.

Referee: Nigel Lugg.

Goals: Cook pen (42 mins, 0-1), Piergianni (82 mins, 1-1),

Bookings: Malone (foul), McGowan (dissent).

Attendance: 299.