VERDICT: A night of frustration as Corby are floored by late sucker-punch

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Corby Town were floored by a late, late sucker-punch as their first home game of the Northern Premier League Midlands season ended in a 1-0 defeat to Shepshed Dynamo.

It proved to be a frustrating evening for the Steelmen and boss Gary Setchell as Shepshed executed a near-perfect away performance, defending stoutly, ensuring the game wasn’t allowed to flow and then, when a chance arrived, seizing the moment.

Having started brightly enough, Corby never really got into their stride and never really found a way to solve the puzzle that had been put in front of them. It was a night when things simply didn’t click.

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Setchell made one change from the 3-2 win at Boldmere St Michaels with Khristopher Oti, who came off the bench to score the winner on the opening day, handed his first start for the club while Abdul Koroma was among the substitutes.

Drew Richardson can't believe it as a chance goes begging in Corby Town's 1-0 home defeat to Shepshed Dynamo. Picture by Jim DarrahDrew Richardson can't believe it as a chance goes begging in Corby Town's 1-0 home defeat to Shepshed Dynamo. Picture by Jim Darrah
Drew Richardson can't believe it as a chance goes begging in Corby Town's 1-0 home defeat to Shepshed Dynamo. Picture by Jim Darrah

Fresh from that victory in the curtain-raiser, the Steelmen started brightly and visiting goalkeeper Brandon Ganley was called into early action as he produced a good save to keep out Tristan Thompson-Matthews’ well-struck shot from the edge of the box.

And it was Corby who continued to create the better openings with skipper Michael Jacklin heading over from a corner while Oti was just off target with a header of his own after Toby Hilliard crossed from the left following a quick free-kick.

Shepshed weren’t without their own threats and Mason Lee probably should have done better than drag a shot wide after the ball broke kindly for him just inside the box.

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The final quarter-of-an-hour of the first half turned a bit scrappy, however, with neither side able to carve out any clear chances.

The theme continued in the early stages of the second half with neither side able to get a grip on proceedings with the Steelmen a bit careless in possession at times with Shepshed happy to frustrate them.

Kieran Cummings blasted over on the angle for the visitors after a pacy counter-attack while Corby struggled to create anything of note until Jordan O’Brien forced an error out of Jahdahn Fridye-Harper and raced towards goal but the defender recovered well to block the final effort.

Setchell introduced both Koroma and Dylan Edge from the bench in an attempt to find a spark and the substitutes combined to create an opening with Koroma leaving two defenders in his wake with a fine turn before finding Edge, who saw his shot held by Ganley.

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It looked as if the game would simply peter out into the goalless draw it deserved but, in the third of eight minutes of stoppage-time, Shepshed struck.

With Corby committing players forward, the visitors broke quickly through substitute Reece Morris. He exchanged passes with Lee and then gave Ben Heath no chance with a powerful finish.

As far as an away performance is concerned, Shepshed could rightly say it was picture perfect.

For the Steelmen, it was a night of frustration that they will need to shake off quickly with an Emirates FA Cup clash approaching at the weekend.

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Steelmen: Heath; Thomas, Sanders, Jacklin, Gordon; Keeble, Thompson-Matthews (sub Edge, 70 mins), Richardson, O’Brien; Hilliard (sub Koroma, 60 mins), Oti (sub Sillah, 86 mins). Subs not used: Adebayo, Milne.

Shepshed: Ganley; Fridye-Harper, Smith, Rai (sub O’Neil Brooks, 89 mins), Lynch; Bucalossi, Prenderville; Cummings, Dixon (sub Morris, h-t), Lee; Shaw (sub Snedden, 68 mins). Subs not used: Master, Ruzvidzo.

Referee: Harley Hetherington.

Goal: Morris (90 mins, 0-1).

Bookings: Fridye-Harper, Snedden, Lee, Sanders (all unsporting behaviour), Hilliard, Keeble, Bucalossi, Richardson (all fouls).

Northants Telegraph man-of-the-match: Jack Keeble – a hard-working display in the middle of the pitch.

Attendance: 570.

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