Robinson: Steelmen must start better

Callum Westwood tangles with AFC Rushden & Diamonds winger Ben Acquaye during Corby Town's Challenge Cup defeat at Hayden Road. Picture courtesy of HawkinsImages
Callum Westwood tangles with AFC Rushden & Diamonds winger Ben Acquaye during Corby Town's Challenge Cup defeat at Hayden Road. Picture courtesy of HawkinsImages

Ashley Robinson is hoping his Corby Town players will have learned a useful lesson after their BetVictor Southern League Challenge Cup exit on Tuesday night.

The Steelmen paid the price for a slow start as they fell 2-0 down at local rivals AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the first-round clash at Hayden Road.

Joint-manager Robinson admitted he “had to have a few words” at half-time and whatever was said worked as the Steelmen emerged a different team.

Assistant-manager Elliot Sandy scored twice but, in the end, Matthew Slinn’s free-kick proved decisive as Diamonds sealed a 3-2 success.

And while Robinson was pleased with the reaction of the players in the second period, the final outcome left him disappointed.

“We want to win every game and we want to go into every one of them believing in what we are doing,” Robinson said.

“This was no different. We prepared properly and we came into it wanting to win.

“But in the first half we weren’t at the races and there were two poor goals that were given away and against a team like this you can’t do that.

“We had a word with them at half-time and it was a better performance but we can’t go 2-0 down and expect to win the game.

“I had to have a few words. The lads knew what was coming but I thought they all needed a gee up and that’s exactly what I did.

“That’s my job, to get the lads going and to prepare right for the second half.

“You could say it worked and I thought a couple of the lads took it on board and really came out fighting to be honest.

“And if we want to be where we want to be at the end of the season, we have got to work hard and we have got to start games like that.

“It’s very disappointing from my point of view. To see a reaction after half-time was pleasing but, at the same time, it’s difficult to come back from 2-0 down.”

The Steelmen return to Division One Central duty on Saturday as they bid to maintain their unbeaten start in the league when they take on Biggleswade at Steel Park.