VERDICT '“ Ruthless Steelmen get back on track

It was a game Corby Town really had to win and these days it's good to know you can rely on them to get the job done.

Sunday, 5th March 2017, 7:17 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:56 am
Jordon Crawford opens the scoring for Corby Town in their 3-0 victory over Skelmersdale United at Steel Park. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Such is the confidence that flows through this Steelmen side nowadays, they had things wrapped up by half-time as they hammered another nail into Skelmersdale United’s relegation coffin with a decisive opening 45 minutes at Steel Park.

The ruthlessness that Corby showed to ensure this contest was pretty much over before it even got going was a most welcome sight and it bodes well for the crucial games yet to come.

The Steelmen came into the game on the back of a tricky week after they had been beaten at leaders Blyth Spartans while Frickley Athletic and Marine had taken the opportunity to pull away slightly with their games in hand.

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Jordon Crawford takes the congratulations after scoring his second goal for the Steelmen

But plenty can change inside 90 minutes. Just like Gary Mills promised, his team focused on themselves and took care of their business in comfortable style.

Elsewhere, Frickley and Marine both faltered. There will be plenty more twists and turns to come but, on this day, the Steelmen demonstrated just how important it is to concentrate on yourselves and do the job that is put in front of you.

Mills handed a first league start to Northampton Town youngster Joe Iaciofano while Spencer Weir-Daley and Michael Ogilvie were both named on the bench after returning to the club this week.

And the Steelmen didn’t take long to take control of the game.

Jordon Crawford heads off to celebrate after making it 2-0 at Steel Park

They took the lead when, after a driving run from Ben Milnes, the ball broke kindly for Jordon Crawford and he finished it off with a shot into the far corner.

Only a last-ditch challenge from Cameron Glennon prevented Phil Trainer from making it 2-0 but the lead was doubled on 27 minutes.

And again, it was the lively Crawford who found the net, this time after he slid in to score from a left-wing cross from Courtney Wildin.

But Corby didn’t stop there and the points were wrapped up six minutes before the break when Aaron Brown headed home David Bell’s pinpoint free-kick at the far post.

Jordon Crawford takes the congratulations after scoring his second goal for the Steelmen

The young Skelmersdale side had offered little as an attacking force but they did improve after the break and Aidan Grant produced a good save from Max Allan’s inswinging free-kick from the touchline.

At the other end, chances continued to fall Corby’s way with Stefan Moore being denied by Chris Cheetam after he got in on goal.

And the visiting goalkeeper made an even better save when Iaciafano, who was a real livewire all afternoon, produced a brilliant chip that so nearly beat the stopper who backpedaled well to tip it over the bar.

There was still time for Grant to make an outstanding reflex save from Ramirez Howarth to preserve the clean sheet and round off a comfortable afternoon for Mills’ men.

Jordon Crawford heads off to celebrate after making it 2-0 at Steel Park

Unfortunately, afternoons and evenings won’t be as routine as this going forward.

But the fact the Steelmen wasted no time in getting back to winning ways is a very good thing as they look ahead to the final 10 games and the race for safety.

Rough mathematics suggests five wins from those 10 matches will do it, on to Rushall Olympic on Tuesday night then...

Steelmen: Grant; Anton, Brown, Lee, Wildin; Bell (sub Leslie, 76 mins), Milnes, Crawford, Iaciofano; Trainer (sub Ogilvie, 79 mins), Moore (sub Weir-Daley, 66 mins). Subs not used: Kennedy, Kinniburgh.

Skelmersdale: Cheetham; Glennon, Mooney, Grogan, Jeffries, White; Watts, Gillespie (sub Allan, 27 mins, sub Bradshaw, 51 mins), Irwin; Shacklock, Randell (sub Howarth, 27 mins). Subs not used: Bradshaw, Callaway.

Referee: Robbie Dadley.

Goals: Crawford (11 mins, 1-0), Crawford (27 mins, 2-0), Brown (39 mins, 3-0).

Bookings: Mooney, Cheetam, Watts, Grogan, Glennon (all fouls), Leslie (unsporting behaviour).

Attendance: 536.