Mills thrilled as threadbare Steelmen hit a high five
Corby Town had just 13 players available for the trip to Histon but it didn't stop them from claiming an emphatic win
Gary Mills was delighted to see his threadbare Corby Town squad bounce back at Histon last night (Tuesday).
Having been well beaten 3-0 at Northern Premier League Midlands leaders Halesowen Town on Saturday, the Steelmen headed to Cambridgeshire with just 13 players available with the likes of Jake Holt, Elliot Sandy and Jordan O’Brien all ruled out.
It meant a first senior start for youngster Owen Montgomery while the substitute’s bench was made up of Lewis White’s brother Ben, who was signed on Monday, and goalkeeper Nemanja Grubor.
But it proved to be an excellent night as goals from Lewis White, Niall Towle and two from Steve Diggin put Corby 4-0 up.
Then, Mills threw on goalkeeper Grubor as an outfield player in place of Montogomery and the stopper turned into a striker as he remarkably grabbed the fifth goal to seal an emphatic 5-0 success.
“The way I look at it is that we have won three out of the last four now and those wins have all been done with clean sheets,” Mills said.
“We lost to a good side on Saturday but, like I said to the players, you either go home and wallow in self pity or you roll your sleeves up and do something about it.
“And we certainly did that last night. We put in a good performance.
“It was a bit of a worry bodies wise and we had to sign Lewis White’s brother on a dual registration on Monday just to sit on the bench for us along with the second goalkeeper, who obviously stole the headlines.
“I said to Nemanja that he would be on the team sheet as number 14 because the chances were that he would have to go on and play on the field and not in goal.
“He’s a great lad, a great team player. He has a fantastic attitude and we had young Owen getting his first start but he had to come off with 20 minutes to go.
“So we sent Nemanja on and I just asked him to go on, play down the middle and work hard.
“He got on with the job and it was a great finish from him.
“It cost me £10 to be honest because the physio whispered to me when he went on that he would score, I said ‘you’re on’ and I had over £10 after the game!”
The night did end on a sour note, however, as Diggin was sent-off for a second bookable offence, much to the disappointment of Mills who was far from impressed with the referee’s performance.
“It was ridiculous,” the Corby boss added.
“His first challenge was something and nothing and then the second one, the referee has to use his head.
“Diggs has tried to hook the ball down the line and the lad has come in to head it. There was no malice in it but the referee has given him a second booking.
“And there was a first for me as well because I had a word with the referee and he gave me a yellow card which is the first time I have had one on the touchline.
“It’s disappointing because it means we lose Diggs for the game a week on Saturday or the FA Cup replay if there is one.
“We just have to get on with it and deal with it when the time comes.”
The Steelmen are now preparing for their big FA Cup second qualifying round clash at Vanarama National League North side Boston United on Saturday.