VERDICT '“ Aaron's late goal has the Steelmen believing
A huge goal from a huge man secured a priceless victory for Corby Town who truly believe that the great escape is on.
It looked like the Steelmen would be left to reflect on what would have been a missed opportunity as they were locked at 2-2 with Hednesford Town at Steel Park having led twice thanks to Stefan Moore’s brace.
But just when it seemed they would have to settle for a point, giant centre-half Aaron Brown made himself the late hero as he nodded home with just five minutes remaining.
The 3-2 success keeps the Steelmen’s bandwagon going and with just one defeat in January, they are starting to give themselves a very real chance of getting out of trouble.
There will, of course, be big games to come and big games to win over the next three months or so.
But one thing that can’t be denied is the desire and belief is there to make what seemed impossible on Boxing Day now become a reality.
If Gary Mills was looking for his team to get out of the blocks quickly, he got his wish.
They opened the scoring after just three minutes when Jordon Crawford’s pinpoint cross was missed by the Hednesford defence and Moore, whose goals are proving crucial, took one touch before beating Dan Crane.
Ben Milnes sent a 20-yard strike just wide but it needed a good stop from Aidan Grant, who got down low to push away Jamie Sheldon’s well-struck volley, to keep the hosts in front.
The returning Phil Trainer was denied by Crane after being played in by Milnes and, after Grant had made another good block from Tom Thorley, Hednesford got back on level terms.
Connor Kennedy misjudged things when he attempted to intercept a crossfield pass and it left Iwan Cartwright with plenty of time to pick out Vinny Mukendi who headed home from close-range.
But the Steelmen regained the lead, somewhat against the run of play, just five minutes later. The visiting defence didn’t deal with a long ball forward and Moore got in behind them before brilliantly lobbing Crane.
Sheldon missed the target from former Steelman Spencer Weir-Daley’s pass just before the break but Hednesford wasted little time in levelling the game for a second time when Remeao Hatton’s cross eventually fell to Thorley who gave Grant no chance with a far-post volley.
From there, it all became a bit scrappy. Hednesford barely threatened while Corby huffed and puffed without being able to carve out any clear-cut chances.
Mills threw on Andrew Osei-Bonsu, who has signed on a work experience deal from Milton Keynes Dons, and his shot from a Trainer pass was turned round by Crane for the corner that led to the winner.
David Bell sent over the set-piece, Trainer headed it back at the far post and Brown was there to nod home.
The roar of delight was one that hasn’t been heard much at Steel Park in the last year or so.
Corby saw things out without any problems as they racked up their fourth win seven matches.
All of a sudden the gap between the Steelmen and safety is down to four points.
And that will be down to one if they can win at Frickley Athletic – the team immediately above the relegation zone – in what could well be a season-changing game next weekend…
Steelmen: Grant; Smith, Brown, Lee, Wildin; Kennedy; Milnes (sub Tank, 89 mins), D Bell, Crawford (sub Osei-Bonsu, 75 mins); Trainer, Moore (sub Leslie, 61 mins). Subs not used: Anton, R Bell.
Hednesford: Crane; Hayes, Caines, Preston, Hutton; Thorley, McNaught, Cartwright (sub Fitzpatrick, 70 mins), Sheldon (sub Clarke, 75 mins); Mukendi, Weir-Daley (sub Glover, 56 mins). Subs not used: Ransome, Brenan.
Referee: James Oldham.
Goals: Moore (3 mins, 1-0), Mukendi (27 mins, 1-1), Moore (32 mins, 2-1), Thorley (48 mins, 2-2), Brown (85 mins, 3-2).
Bookings: Mukendi, Milnes, Wildin (all fouls).