Steelmen battle back to stay on course

Steelmen boss Tommy Wright
Steelmen boss Tommy Wright

Corby Town produced a stirring fightback to earn a 2-1 victory over Chippenham Town at Steel Park.

The Steelmen were struggling when they fell behind eight minutes into the second half.

But the introduction of substitutes and a raw determination to battle back enabled Corby to record another home victory as Greg Mills’ late penalty secured the points to keep the promotion bid in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division firmly on course.

Claudiu Hoban had to settle for a place on the bench after he rejoined the club from Kettering Town this week while Stephan Morley made his home debut at left-back.

Herve Pepe-N’Goma continued at the heart of the defence alongside Paul Malone with Edi Appleton serving the second of a two-match ban while Kalern Thomas was also suspended for the game following his red card in the defeat at Paulton Rovers.

The first half proved to be one of those that won’t stay in the memory bank for too long.

Corby struggled to get going as Chippenham proved to be defensively sound and content to sit back.

The Steelmen should have taken the lead when Mills’ cross found Wilson Carvalho all alone at the far post but he completely missed the ball as he attempted to volley it goalwards.

Ashan Holgate dragged an effort wide at the other end but, aside from a Carvalho shot from distance which fizzed wide of the post, there was little else to report as the Steelmen struggled to get into any rhythm.

Things were more open at the start of the second period and Kent Kauppinen spilled a Carvalho shot but neither Elliott Chamberlain or Spencer Weir-Daley could pick up the pieces.

Weir-Daley mis-controlled at the crucial moment soon after following good work from Chamberlain.

But Corby soon found themselves behind. They even got a warning when Luke Ballinger got in behind the defence but could only shoot wide as Paul Walker came to narrow the angle.

However, Chippenham made no mistake in their next attack. Walker saved an initial shot but Paul Malone failed to clear properly and Alex Ferguson needed no second invitation to score into an unguarded net.

Tommy Wright responded by throwing Hoban and Ben Milnes on in place of Chamberlain and Carvalho.

And the Steelmen did draw level on 63 minutes. A corner wasn’t cleared properly by the visitors, Shane Byrne sent the ball back into the area, Malone flicked it on and Weir-Daley did the rest as he stabbed home.

The Steelmen tried to get on the front foot from there but they were almost caught out at the other end as Walker made an excellent low save to deny Michael Pook.

Wright brought himself on and saw a shot deflected over before he had a header brilliantly turned round the post by Kauppinen.

But the Steelmen’s fortunes turned with three minutes to go. Hoban was fouled on the by-line after chasing a lost cause.

Referee Alan Dale had to confirm it with his assistant before awarding the penalty but once he had, Mills made no mistake as he stepped up and sent Kauppinen the wrong way.

There were no nervous moments after that either. They may have done it the hard way but once again the Steelmen showed the right attitude and character to fight back from a goal down.

Now on to Weymouth...

Steelmen: Walker; Kennedy, Malone, Pepe-N’Goma, Morley; Byrne, Taylor; Mills, Weir-Daley (sub Wright, 76 mins), Carvalho (sub Hoban, 60 mins); Chamberlain (sub Milnes, 60 mins). Subs not used: Hartley, Donkin.

Chippenham: Kauppinen; McCormack, Coupe (sub Campbell, 90 mins), Preece, Beeden; Pook, Smith; Ferguson, Ballinger (sub Roberts, 76 mins), Odam; Holgate. Subs not used: Osman, Harvey.

Referee: Alan Dale.

Goals: Ferguson (53 mins, 0-1), Weir-Daley (63 mins, 1-1), Mills pen (87 mins, 2-1).

Bookings: Morley, Kennedy, Beeden, Odam (all fouls).

Attendance: 521.