VERDICT - Kinniburgh guides Steelmen to welcome success

Leon Lobjoit takes the congratulations after he opened the scoring in Corby Town's 2-1 win over Stocksbridge Park Steels. Pictures by Alison Bagley
Leon Lobjoit takes the congratulations after he opened the scoring in Corby Town's 2-1 win over Stocksbridge Park Steels. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Steve Kinniburgh’s second spell as caretaker-manager at Corby Town started with a much-needed win at Steel Park.

Goals from Northampton Town loanee Leon Lobjoit and second-half substitute Phil Trainer earned the Steelmen a 2-1 success over Stocksbridge Park Steels to move them up a place in the Evo-Stik League South.

Caretaker-manager Steve Kinniburgh watches on from the sidelines

Caretaker-manager Steve Kinniburgh watches on from the sidelines

It ensured that a crazy 24 hours, which saw David Bell sacked as manager on Friday, ended on a happy note as Corby picked up their third win of the campaign.

Quite what happens in the long-term remains to be seen. But in director of football Kinniburgh, who heads up the club’s academy, they have a passionate and knowledgeable character to steady the ship.

Just like he did in the same role at the back end of last season, Kinniburgh kicked every ball from the sidelines and certainly added some fire to a group of players who have really struggled so far.

But if more hard-working displays like this are produced, more positive results will come.

Kinniburgh wasted little time in stamping his own mark by making no fewer than four changes to the starting line-up following the 2-1 defeat at Chasetown on Tuesday.

On loan goalkeeper Sam Wilson replaced Paul Bastock, who wasn’t in the squad, while Sam Warburton and Sam Mulready were also recalled to the starting 11.

And there was also a long-awaited first start in the league for highly-rated teenager Jordan O’Brien.

The early exchanges were fairly scrappy with few chances at either end but the Steelmen made the breakthrough after 25 minutes.

Lobjoit had already sent a shot wide with the outside of his left boot but just seconds later he did find the back of the net.

O’Brien did the leg work with a good run and, after he had threaded a pass through to Lobjoit, the on loan frontman made no mistake as he coolly rolled the ball past David Reay.

Little was seen of Stocksbridge as an attacking force but they did grow into the game and only a terrific last-ditch tackle from Jamie Anton prevented Richard Stirrup from getting a shot off from close-range.

Corby remained solid after that but Stocksbridge did force one clear chance when Scott Ruthven got a clear sight of goal but fired wide of the mark.

And that gave the hosts the chance to wrap things up as two substitutes combined.

Zayn Hakeem got away down the left and his low cross was met by Phil Trainer who made no mistake with a crisp finish.

That, as it turned out, proved to be enough although a first clean sheet of the season continues to elude Corby as Ruthven grabbed a stoppage-time goal for the visitors after a neat turn.

But there wasn’t enough time for Stocksbridge to launch another attack as the Steelmen and their fans were able to celebrate a first home win since the opening day of the season.

Steelmen: Wilson; Anton, Malone, Lee, Warburton; Beeson, Leslie; O’Brien (sub Hakeem, 74 mins), Mulready (sub Trainer, 58 mins), Crawford (sub Diamond, 68 mins); Lobjoit. Subs not used: Bendon, Tanga-Gibson.

Stocksbridge Park Steels: D Reay; Charlesworth (sub Rhodes, 68 mins), Jordan, M Reay, Grayson; Ruthven, Poulton (sub McFadyen, 68 mins), Stirrup, Coleman; Litchfield, Lumsden. Subs not used: Osgathorpe, Thompson, Wiles.

Referee: Mark Tinsley.

Goals: Lobjoit (25 mins, 1-0), Trainer (84 mins, 2-0), Ruthven (90 mins, 2-1).

Bookings: M Reay (dissent), Litchfield, Charlesworth (both fouls).

Attendance: 365.