VERDICT - Super Steelmen move into second spot
Corby Town's incredible revival under Steve Kinniburgh continued as they moved into the second automatic promotion place in the Evo-Stik League South after a 3-1 success over Spalding United at Steel Park.
They did things the hard way after the visitors had taken the lead after 15 minutes through Ben Davison.
But Ben Bradshaw’s first goal for Corby levelled things up before the break and a fine second-half display was rewarded with further goals from Cameron Healey and Phil Trainer.
The win put the Steelmen in second spot, three points clear of Alvechurch, albeit from seven matches more.
And caretaker-manager Kinniburgh was delighted with the win that sets his team up for the busy festive period which continues with a derby clash at Stamford on Boxing Day (1pm).
“In the second half I thought we controlled the game the whole way through,” Kinniburgh said.
“We had upteen chances and it could have been a lot more.
“But we need to be able to start games in the right way. We have done a lot of good things over the last 15 games and we need to implement that.
“Towards the end of the first half we did it a bit better but we had to go out and show it in the second half and, to a man, I can’t fault any of them.
“We are sitting in a good place going into a busy period, we right in the thick of it.
“That’s a fantastic three points for us because we have three tough games now where we have got to be really up for it.
“From what I have seen over the last two or three months, I know we have enough in that dressing-room to deal with this next week or so and I am quite looking forward to it.”
Leon Lobjoit started in attack after rejoining the Steelmen on loan from Northampton Town while Dino Tuksar was ruled out with an ankle injury.
It was the visitors who started the brighter and Sam Wilson produced an excellent save to turn Davison’s header round the post early on.
But there was nothing the Corby goalkeeper could do to deny Davison on the quarter-hour when the frontman powered home an excellent looping header from 15 yards after a good ball in from former Steelman Lee Beeson.
That was only the spark for the hosts to wake up, however, and they levelled seven minutes later. Bradshaw started the move in the middle of the pitch and when a cross came in from the left, the midfielder rose above everyone else to head into the far corner.
As the half progressed, Corby looked the more likely to strike again and Sam Warburton was just off target with a long-range effort while Jordon Crawford was robbed of possession by Neil Spafford after he had broken into the area and skipped round goalkeeper Michael Duggan.
The Steelmen came out of the blocks quickly after the break and Crawford drew a good, low save out of Duggan before they went into the lead for the first time on 57 minutes.
Steven Leslie found Lobjoit on the right side of the area and the striker did brilliantly to hold off a defender before pulling the ball back into the path of Healey who rolled it into the bottom corner.
From there, it was one-way traffic as Duggan made a fine save to deny Paul Malone before the crucial third arrived.
Once again, Lobjoit did the leg work as he drove the ball across the penalty area and it was met by substitute Trainer who found the top corner from 15 yards.
Trainer headed wide from a Leslie cross and Leslie himself was denied by Duggan who made a smart stop at his near post.
But the Steelmen missed a chance to round things off in stoppage-time when the unfortunate Lobjoit slipped as he stepped up to take a penalty he won after being fouled and he sliced the ball wide of the mark.
That would have given him the goal he deserved but, in the end, it didn’t matter.
The job was already done by then as the Steelmen march on...
Steelmen: Wilson; Kennedy, Anton, Malone, Warburton; Healey, Bradshaw; Cretu (sub Trainer, 59 mins), Leslie, Crawford (sub Tanga-Gibson, 84 mins); Lobjoit. Subs not used: McBride, D Smith, Lee.
Spalding: Duggan; Fixter, Humble, Spafford, Jackson; Beeson, Acar (sub Couzens, 78 mins), Marshall (sub Maddison, 74 mins), Neil; Davison, King (sub Lockie, 67 mins). Subs not used: A Smith.
Referee: Oliver Mackey.
Goals: Davison (15 mins, 0-1), Bradshaw (22 mins, 1-1), Healey (57 mins, 2-1), Trainer (71 mins, 3-1).
Bookings: Crawford, Beeson (both fouls).