Steelmen beaten by last-minute goal

FC Halifax Town v Corby Town'Paul Holden and Graham Drury
FC Halifax Town v Corby Town'Paul Holden and Graham Drury

Corby Town suffered last-gasp agony as they lost 2-1 at home to Boston United in the Blue Square Bet North.

Ben Fairclough scrambed home the winner for the Pilgrims in injury-time.

It was devastating for Corby but, on the balance of play, no more than Boston deserved.

Boston dominated the opening half-hour and forced eight corners.

But the home defence coped well with the pressure and Chris Mackenzie was only required to make one serious save when he turned away a dipping volley from Danny Sleath on 24 minutes.

Boston were also responsible for Corby’s first effort on goal when Gareth Jelleyman almost turned Mark Jones’ cross into his own net.

The incident seemed to galvanise the hosts and soon after, Jordan Smith rolled a shot wide.

Then on 38 minutes, from their first corner, the Steelmen took the lead as Paul Malone’s header was blocked and Delroy Gordon nodded home the rebound from virtually on the line.

Four minutes before the break, Mackenzie needed to be alert again to keep out an Ian Ross shot for Boston.

But the home keeper was powerless to keep out Ross’ superb free-kick equaliser from the edge of the box on 53 minutes.

The Pilgrims began to get on top again after that and only a fine block by Paul Mayo stopped Fairclough from putting them ahead on 62 minutes.

Soon after, Corby thought they should have had a penalty when Jones tangled with Tom Ward in the box but referee Guy Stretton waved away the appeals.

The Steelmen then had a let-off of their own on 77 minutes when Marc Newsham rattled the crossbar with a fine strike.

Going into the final 10 minutes, either side could have won it.

Smith was denied by a fine save from Pilgrims keeper Paul Bastock on 84 minutes.

And it proved crucial as, in the 93rd minute, Specer Weir-Daley’s shot was blocked and, in the scrambled that followed, Fairclough forced home the winner.

Corby: Mackenzie; Gordon, Gulliver, Malone, Mayo; Hall (sub McDonald, 88 mins), Ozmen (sub Farden, 71 mins), Towers, Smith; M Jones, Mullarkey (sub Bexfield, 76 mins). Subs not used: R Jones, Walton.

Boston: Bastock; Marshall, Ward, Canoville, Jelleyman; Sleath, Ross, Milnes (sub Hall, 90 mins); Fairclough, Weir-Daley, Newsham (sub Constantine, 78 mins). Subs not used: Stainfield, Edwards, Austin.

Referee: Guy Stretton.

Goals: Gordon (38 mins, 1-0), Ross (53 mins, 1-1), Fairclough, 90 mins, 1-2).

Attendance: 552