VERDICT – Goals hard to come by as Steelmen draw again

Corby Town boss Tommy Wright
Corby Town boss Tommy Wright

Corby Town were held to a second successive goalless draw at Steel Park as they continue their hunt for a first win of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division season.

The fact the Steelmen have only scored one goal in their four outings so far will, of course, be a concern for Tommy Wright.

But it wasn’t for the want of trying against a decent Stafford Rangers side, particularly in the second half.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing was that Corby never really got going until the second period.

They were poor in the opening period and fortunate to be on level terms at the break as Stafford missed a couple of decent chances.

But whatever Wright said at half-time clearly worked as the Steelmen looked a different team as they pressed their opponents and started to create good chances themselves.

In the end, neither side was able to make a breakthrough to leave Corby still without a win at home in a competitive fixture since February 13.

It’s definitely not perfect for this new-look team yet. But they do look solid from a defensive point of view. The attacking side of things, however, is in need of some fine tuning.

The Steelmen were without Connor Kennedy, who was serving the first of a three-match ban following his sending-off in the 1-1 draw at Halesowen Town.

And Corby were also without Femi Orengua and Jamie Anton because of injuries while assistant-manager Cleveland Taylor had to fill in at right-back.

From the off, the Steelmen were on the back foot and that set the tone for the vast majority of the first half.

Stafford created the better chances with Jack Sherratt heading wide at the near post before volleying well wide of the target.

The visitors’ best opportunity of the half came on 18 minutes when Kris Taylor’s fine pass found George Cater but he could only curl his shot wide as Steelmen goalkeeper Aidan Grant closed in.

Little was seen of Corby as an attacking threat and the closest they came was when Kurtis Revan’s shot was deflected over the bar for what proved to be a fruitless corner.

Grant pushed away Kyle Perry’s in first-half stoppage-time but there were finally some signs of life from the Steelmen early in the second period when Danny Draper met Liam Marshall’s corner with a firm header, which was hacked off the line.

Draper and Callum Ball both had efforts blocked as the Steelmen gathered some momentum and Ben Milnes’ 30-yard free-kick was held by Adam Whitehouse after Ball had been fouled as he made a driving run towards goal.

The game continued to open up and Reece Webb coolly stopped George Bowerman’s shot on the line before clearing but there were few other chances for either side as the game petered out into a 0-0 stalemate.

Another point on the board for Corby and big bank holiday double-header to come, starting with Coalville Town at Steel Park on Saturday.

Maybe that will be the day...

Steelmen: Grant; C Taylor, Gascoigne, Odofin, Marshall; Webb, Draper (sub Crawford, 81 mins); Revan, Milnes, Johnson (sub Ogilvie, 73 mins); Ball. Subs not used: Aridegbe, Parkes, Kromah.

Stafford: Whitehouse; Griffiths, Mitter, Miles, Bowen; Stevenson, Tolley (sub I Reid, 55 mins), K Taylor, Sherratt, Cater (sub Bowerman, 71 mins); Perry (sub Dacres, 71 mins). Subs not used: L Reid, Melbourne.

Referee: Matthew Law.

Bookings: Odofin, Bowen, Revan (all fouls).

Attendance: 494.