Steelmen still in the hunt after stalemate

Corby Town boss Tommy Wright
Corby Town boss Tommy Wright

Corby Town were forced to settle for a share of the points as they drew 1-1 with Hungerford Town at Steel Park.

The Steelmen looked to be heading for a seventh win in a row in all competitions when Wilson Carvalho headed them in front in the second half.

But the visitors levelled through Mark Draycott with neither side really doing enough after that to earn a winner.

The point did move Corby closer to the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division’s top-two Weymouth and Poole Town, who were both beaten.

Tommy Wright chose to bring Shane Byrne and Kalern Thomas back into the starting line-up at the expense of Jamie Anton and Ben Milnes, who had been nursing a hamstring injury during the week, but was fit enough to be included on the bench.

It proved to be a forgettable opening period with few chances for either side.

The Steelmen had the majority of possession but the closest they came was when Elliott Chamberlain forced Paul Strudley into a save at his near post after being played in Byrne.

Cleveland Taylor sent a long-range effort wide and Greg Mills headed over from a Chamberlain cross while the visitors struggled to make any inroads at the other end.

Hungerford started the second half brighter but it didn’t take long for Corby to get into their stride again.

And, after Paul Malone’s header had been deflected over the crossbar by James Rusby, the hosts broke the deadlock.

Mills sent in a free-kick from the right and Carvalho rose unmarked to bury his header into the far corner.

Hungerford responded by making a triple substitution and, within six minutes, they had found an equaliser with their first real attempt of the game.

A throw-in from the left wasn’t dealt with, it was flicked on and Draycott made the Steelmen pay with a cool finish.

That stunned the home faithful but Corby went straight on the attack and Spencer Weir-Daley’s shot was deflected just over the bar after he cut in from the left.

And they were right out of luck on 67 minutes when Malone nodded Cleveland Taylor’s cross towards the far corner, only to see it bounce off the inside of the post and into the grateful hands of Strudley.

Wright brought himself on while Milnes also arrived for the last 10 minutes but it was Hungerford who almost took the lead when substitute Alan O’Brien raced away on the left but could only shoot wide as Walker came out to meet him.

Malone made an excellent challenge to deny Draycott as he shaped to shoot in front of goal.

But, as time ticked down, neither side really did enough to merit a winner as the spoils were shared.

Steelmen: Walker; Kennedy, Malone, Appleton, Thomas; Byrne, Taylor; Mills, Chamberlain, Carvalho (sub Milnes, 80 mins); Weir-Daley (sub Wright, 73 mins). Subs not used: Anton, Donkin, Milnes, Morgan.

Hungerford: Strudley; Horgan, Day, Rusby, John; Clark, Rees (sub Pilling, 61 mins), Collins, Smith (sub Mpi, 61 mins); Godger (sub O’Brien, 61 mins), Draycott. Subs not used: Munday, Wilson.

Referee: Mark Howes.

Goals: Carvalho (58 mins, 1-0), Draycott (64 mins, 1-1).

Bookings: Rusby, Rees, Appleton, Day, Kennedy, Thomas (all fouls).

Attendance: 441.