Steelmen sunk as Bideford battle back

Corby Town manager Tommy Wright
Corby Town manager Tommy Wright

Corby Town were sent tumbling to a second Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division defeat in a row as struggling Bideford fought back to win 2-1 at Steel Park.

The Steelmen seemed to be in control after Edi Appleton, with his second goal in two games, had given them an early lead.

But Corby conspired to throw things away as the hard-working visitors battled their way back into it before sealing the points late on.

The defeat will be a bitter blow to Steelmen boss Tommy Wright as he plots a promotion bid but home losses like these won’t help the cause in the long run.

Paul Walker, Connor Kennedy, Cleveland Taylor and Shane Byrne were all recalled to the starting line-up following the 1-0 success over Arlesey Town in midweek.

And the start of the game was almost a carbon copy of what happened on Wednesday.

The Steelmen forced an early corner and it couldn’t have been much simpler as Greg Mills delivered the cross and Appleton made no mistake as Bideford left him unmarked.

The visitors did get into a stride soon after as they had a succession of corners themselves, although Walker wasn’t troubled.

Corby should have doubled their lead just before the half-hour when an excellent move saw Wilson Carvalho release Cleveland Taylor down the right. His low cross was perfect but Spencer Weir-Daley somehow scooped the ball over the bar when it looked easier to score.

From there, the Steelmen were very much on the back foot as Bideford had more possession and got into some dangerous areas despite never troubling Walker in the home goal.

Bideford did threaten again early in the second half with substitute Matt Villis heading towards goal from a corner only for Paul Malone to head it clear.

And, just a few moments later, Malone nodded wide from another Mills corner.

But the visitors continued to be the better side and Walker had to be at his very best to keep out Ben Watson’s shot after Craig Veal had danced his way into the area and pulled the ball back.

However, Bideford were rewarded with a deserved equaliser when Walker was given no chance as Mickey Parcell fired home low from 15 yards after the ball broke to him.

Corby boss Wright brought himself on for the final 18 minutes and the hosts went close when another substitute, Elliott Chamberlain, got on the end of Carvalho’s cross with a diving header, only to be denied by a good low save from Grant Fisher.

But the killer moment arrived with seven minutes to go and the Steelmen only had themselves to blame.

The defence stood still as Watson ran through the middle and he showed fine composure by calmly lobbing over the advancing Walker.

Corby were unable to find a way back after that as the visitors comfortably saw things out.

So Wright has suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time since taking charge of the Steelmen.

A big improvement will be needed if they are to get anything from fellow high-fliers Redditch United on Wednesday night.

Steelmen: Walker; Kennedy, Malone, Appleton, Anton; Byrne (sub Chamberlain, h-t), Milnes; Mills, Taylor. Carvalho; Weir-Daley (sub Wright, 72 mins). Subs: subs: Bentley, Donkin, Hartley.

Bideford: Fisher; Sampson, Milton, Harrison, Reed; Charran (sub Veal, 60 mins), Groves (sub Villis, 24 mins), Watson, Parcell, Downing; Tapp (sub Cheney, 63 mins). Subs not used: Barker, Villis.

Referee: Grant Taylor.

Goals: Appleton (2 mins, 1-0), Parcell (70 mins, 1-1), Watson (83 mins, 1-2).

Bookings: Downing, Byrne (both unsporting behaviour), Charran, Malone (both fouls), Milton (dissent).

Attendance: 399.