Sampson plays down significance of Steelmen win over Cobblers

NOT GETTING CARRIED AWAY - Corby Town boss Ian Sampson
NOT GETTING CARRIED AWAY - Corby Town boss Ian Sampson

MANAGER Ian Sampson has warned the Corby Town fans not to get too carried away with Saturday’s impressive 2-1 pre-season friendly win over npower League Two side Northampton Town at Steel Park.

The Steelmen followed up their easy midweek win over UCL Premier Division Harborough Town with a deserved victory over the Cobblers, with striker Ricky Miller scoring both goals in the first half.

Jake Robinson pulled a goal back for Northampton from the penalty spot in the second half but the visitors, despite plenty of possession, couldn’t find an equaliser.

It will have been a sweet result for former Cobblers player and manager Sampson, but he played down its significance.

“I think everyone can be very happy with their performance,” said Sampson.

“The team shape was good and there were some good individual performances within the team, so I am very pleased.

“It’s always nice to start off with two wins in pre-season, but it’s the first league game against Vauxhall Motors that counts so don’t read too much into this result.

“But I am happy with the way the team played.”

After a bright opening from Northampton, Corby, who fielded five ex-Cobblers in their starting line-up in goalkeeper Paul Walker, defender Andy Holt, midfield pair Greg Kaziboni and Jason Crowe and striker Leon McKenzie, were the better team for the majority of the first half and fully deserved their 2-0 interval lead.

Sampson made wholesale changes at the break as he handed 20 players some kind of run-out, and the home side were nowhere near as impressive after the interval, particularly in attack where they failed to create a serious chance.

But Sampson denied he has made up his mind on what will be his strongest line-up, saying: “Nothing is set in stone, so the team that played in the first half is not the first team, and the team that played the second half is not the first team either.

“We will keep working on things in training.”

A sunny day saw 830 supporters turn out for the match, and although admission was free for under-16s, Sampson was delighted with the turnout.

“The attendance was fantastic. I am really pleased and that will hopefully put some money into the coffers,” he said.

“I’m not sure how many under-16s turned up, but if there were a lot of them then hopefully they will be the Corby fans of the future. But I was delighted to see a lot of fans from Northampton and Corby.”

Corby are back in action on Monday night when they entertain Premier League outfit Stoke City at Steel Park, and Sampson admitted he won’t know what sort of team he can field until he turns up for the game.

“We’ll have a look on Monday and see who turns up with any bumps and bruises and we’ll pick a team when we get to the ground,” he said.