Steelmen complete pre-season unbeaten as Holt retires

Corby Town boss Ian Sampson
Corby Town boss Ian Sampson

Corby Town completed an unbeaten pre-season programme with an impressive 3-1 victory over a Birmingham City XI at Steel Park.

The Steelmen had been hit with some bad news in the build-up to the game after it was confirmed that Andy Holt has retired from football due to a knee injury.

The former Northampton Town man had signed for Ian Sampson’s side and looked set to play a key part in the Blue Square Bet North campaign, which gets under way at home to Vauxhall Motors on Saturday.

But, despite that setback, Sampson’s side, which included another former Cobbler Nat Wedderburn, ended pre-season on a high note in front of 469 people.

The Steelmen were the better side in the first half and they went close when Avelino Vieira headed Ryan Semple’s cross over the bar before Semple saw an effort deflected over after more good work on the right.

But the hosts did take the lead on 13 minutes when Greg Kaziboni sprinted down the left. His low cross was dummied by Vieira and Leon McKenzie was on hand to thump home from close range.

The youthful Birmingham side posed few problems and the Steelmen doubled their lead four minutes before the break when Tom McGowan’s through-ball released Vieira and he showed good composure to beat Callum Preston.

The visitors pulled a goal back seven minutes into the second half when Marcel Henry Francis’ cracking low drive flew in off the post.

But Corby responded within nine minutes and it was substitute Josh Moreman who battled his way into the area and produced a lovely finish to restore the two-goal advantage.

Goalkeeper Paul Walker made a couple of decent saves late on to keep the Steelmen in front and, despite a flurry of substitutions, the hosts remained in control until the end.