Young Kennedy earns Steelmen a deserved point

Corby Town manager Tommy Wright
Corby Town manager Tommy Wright

Connor Kennedy’s magnificent first goal for Corby Town earned them a point as they drew 2-2 with fellow Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division high-fliers Dunstable Town in an entertaining clash at Steel Park.

The Steelmen had led through Spencer Weir-Daley but the visitors turned things round to lead 2-1 and they looked to be heading for victory until youngster Kennedy made his mark.

The 17-year-old curled home a sublime shot into the top corner to secure a well-deserved draw for the Steelmen, who might have even gone on to win in the latter stages.

But they once again showed they belong in the upper reaches of the table with an accomplished display for the most part.

Tommy Wright made one change from the team that won 2-1 at Hereford United on Tuesday with Ben Milnes coming straight back into the side following a three-match ban as Wilson Carvalho, who scored in the victory at Edgar Street, dropping to the bench.

The Steelmen were out of the blocks quickly and Greg Mills forced Luke Chambers to punch away his free-kick early on.

The hosts should have gone in front when Elliott Chamberlain was played in by Mills but clipped his shot just wide of the post.

But Corby did take a deserved lead on eight minutes as Weir-Daley made the most of his opportunity when he was sent clear as he hammered the ball past Chambers for his seventh goal in six matches.

The Steelmen’s bright start should have been further rewarded when Milnes had a clear sight of goal but could only shoot straight at Chambers who parried it away.

That proved to be a key moment as, out of nothing, Dunstable equalised just a minute later.

David Hutton swung in a corner from the right and it was flicked on before bouncing off the unfortunate Malone who could do nothing as the ball found its way in.

It proved to be very even after that as the visitors grew in confidence.

Kennedy saw a goalbound shot blocked for the hosts while Steven Gregory flicked a header just wide at the other end.

Corby had a decent shout for a penalty not given when Shane Byrne was sent tumbling as he was set to shoot but it was Dunstable who finished the half the better with Paul Walker pulling off an excellent save to tip away a fierce Scott Davies free-kick.

Chamberlain saw a shot deflected away for a corner early in the second half after a neat passing move ended with Milnes playing him in.

But it was the visitors who took the lead for the first time in the game on 54 minutes.

Gregory was released down the left, his low cross was met by Gary Mulligan who forced a smart save from Walker at his near post. But the ball fell to Shane Blackett who blasted into an empty net.

Davies sent a shot just over the bar soon after while Wright threw on Carvalho in place of Mills to try to give his team a spark.

They almost drew level in bizarre circumstances when a clearance from a Dunstable defender smashed off Malone’s back and rebounded into the side-netting.

Cleveland Taylor’s long-range shot was held by Chambers and Malone headed wide from Milnes’ corner as the Steelmen began to pile on the pressure.

And they were finally rewarded with 12 minutes to go in spectacular style.

Chamberlain was released on the right and he laid the ball into the path of the on-rushing Kennedy who brilliantly curled a first-time shot into the top corner.

Weir-Daley was denied by brave stop from Chambers after Chamberlain’s shot had deflected into his path as the hosts sniffed a winner.

But it never materialised as both teams maintained their lofty league positions with a point apiece.

Steelmen: Walker; Kennedy, Malone, Anton, Thomas; Byrne (sub McInally, 72 mins), Taylor; Milnes, Weir-Daley, Mills (sub Carvalho, 60 mins); Chamberlain. Subs not used: Appleton, Clarke, McInally, May.

Dunstable: Chambers; Herd, Beasant, Blackett, Plowright; Hutton (sub McKenzie-Lowe, 87 mins), Davies, Gregory, Marsh; Dixon (sub Sandy, 65 mins); Mulligan. Subs not used: Amu, Fontanelle.

Referee: Nick Hobbis.

Goals: Weir-Daley (8 mins, 1-0), Malone og (21 mins, 1-1), Blackett (54 mins, 1-2), Kennedy (78 mins, 2-2),

Bookings: Herd, Byrne, Davies, Gregory (all fouls), Chamberlain (deliberate handball).

Attendance: 441.