Corby Town have been relegated from the Blue Square Bet North after ‘Survival Saturday’ ended in somewhat of an anti-climax.
The Steelmen were unable to break Gainsborough Trinity down in front of nearly 2,000 people at Steel Park after a poor display and, coupled with Histon’s 0-0 draw at Bradford Park Avenue, it meant Chris Plummer’s side went down on goal difference after a goalless draw.
Gareth Jelleyman returned to the starting line-up following injury while top scorer Josh Moreman was only deemed fit enough to start on the substitutes’ bench.
Medi Abalimba was ruled out due to an ankle problem so it meant Sam Ives kept his place in the side and was pushed up into an advanced midfield role.
After so much build-up to such a big game, it turned out to be a very tense and nervy first half.
Gainsborough enjoyed plenty of possession in the first 45 minutes but failed to trouble home goalkeeper Paul Walker, who completed an ever-present record for appearances this season.
But it was the Steelmen who had the better chances, despite never really getting going.
They went so close after nine minutes when Paul Malone headed Ryan Semple’s header against the crossbar and their other good opening came when Nat Wedderburn’s driving run saw him find Greg Kaziboni in front of goal but he was unable to get a shot off.
Tom McGowan shot wide from a decent position and Carl Piergianni tested Jason White with a shot on the turn before the break.
But, with Histon drawing 0-0 at Bradford, it meant that at half-time the Steelmen were down.
Ives forced White into a routine save early in the second half but it was Gainsborough who were the better side after that with Simon Russell’s shot being blocked by Jelleyman while Conal Platt fired just over the bar.
Plummer threw on Moreman in place of Gary King and the substitute almost had an immediate impact as he raced away down the left. He got past a defender but then shot into the side netting when he probably should have squared for Semple.
But Corby really lacked intensity for the most part and there were far too many loose passes at key times.
There was one final effort in stoppage-time with a couple of free-kicks and corners into the area and even Walker came up for the last of those.
But there was no fairytale ending and, shortly after the final whistle had gone, the confirmation from Bradford came.
The silence of nearly 2,000 people spoke volumes. Corby are down and ‘Survival Saturday’, unfortunately, was anything but
Steelmen: Walker; Crowe, Piergianni, Malone, Jelleyman; McGowan (sub Vieira, 75 mins), Wedderburn; Semple, Ives, Kaziboni; King (sub Moreman, 64 mins). Subs not used: Galinski, Richardson, Greer.
Gainsborough: White; Roma, Waterfall, Young, Wilde; Williams; Russell, Platt (sub Karkach, 72 mins), Hawkridge; Yates, Jones (sub Connor, 62 mins). Subs not used: Batty, Budtz.
Referee: Colin Lymer.
Bookings: Piergianni (foul).