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Corby Town First Team - Match centre

Corby Town FC
Bedford Town
S Diggin (15'), J Crawford (22'), E Sandy (25', 38', 53' Pen), J Carta (81')
Full time
C Donnelly (60'), B Longden (72' Sent Off), J Hall (78'), J Steele (88')
Wed 1 May 19:45 - Cup Attendance 738

Super Steelmen storm into the play-off final

By

Corby Town set up a play-off showdown at Bromsgrove Sporting with a thrilling 5-3 victory over Bedford Town at Steel Park.

It ended up being an Evo-Stik League South Division One Central play-off final that literally had everything but, ultimately, the Steelmen prevailed to edge closer to promotion.

For the most part, Steve Kinniburgh’s team were excellent and, at times, sensational.

And while there were numerous impressive individual displays, Jordon Crawford produced an outstanding performance for the big occasion.

The hometown boy scored one and was involved in the other four as Corby stormed into a 4-0 lead before Bedford, with literally nothing to lose, took the shackles off and ensured it wasn’t all completely plain sailing.

In the end though, the final outcome was right. Corby were well worth their victory and their place in the final on Bank Holiday Monday’s when they will do battle with Bromsgrove for the fourth and last time this season.

Bedford started brightly and it took a fine save from Dan George to deny former Corby loanee Leon Lobjoit after he wriggled clear in the area.

But the Steelmen didn’t really look back after they opened the scoring on 17 minutes.

The ball fell kindly for Crawford in the area and his well-struck shot was parried by Ashlee Jones but Steve Diggin reacted the quickest and hammered the rebound into the roof of the net.

And that advantage was doubled just six minutes later. Sam Warburton sent a free-kick from just inside the Bedford half into the area. Delroy Gordon got up well to head it down and Crawford was there to guide the ball into the far corner to put Corby firmly in control.

The Eagles responded with Jack Vasey seeing his header from a right-wing cross coming back off the bar.

But the Steelmen’s passage into the final was all-but confirmed six minutes before the break.

Crawford was involved again as he found Jordan Francis at the far post. His low strike back across goal saw Diggin stretching to get the final touch. It came back off the post and this time Elliot Sandy was there to pick up the pieces for his 32nd goal in all competitions this season.

And it was so nearly four before half-time when a free-kick from the right was met by the head of skipper Gary Mulligan but he was out of luck as it came back off the crossbar.

If that first half was fast and furious, it was to be eclipsed after the break.

The game looked to be well and truly over when Crawford was fouled in the area by the on-rushing Jones and, after both players had received treatment, Sandy stepped up to send Jones the wrong way for his second and Corby’s fourth of the night.

Bedford responded by throwing men forward and, after Vasey had headed over, they did pull one back when Callum Donnelly sent a looping header beyond George and into the far corner from a Lucas Kirkpatrick cross.

And there may have been a few nerves in the air when Jamie Anton was penalised for a push in the area as Bedford were given the chance to further reduce the arrears.

However, Steelmen stopper George produced an excellent save to keep out Dan Walker’s spot-kick.

Bedford’s hopes of a sensational comeback were hit again when Brett Longden was shown a straight red card for a crude, late challenge on Crawford.

But still the Eagles pushed forward and substitute James Hall converted a right-wing cross from close-range to make it 4-2.

Back came Corby and Crawford was at it again as any doubt about the final outcome was removed. Sandy played him in down the left and his inch-perfect cross was finished off by free-scoring midfielder Joel Carta with a well-placed header.

There was still time for Joe Steele to bundle home Bedford’s third following a free-kick but there were no further problems after that as Corby were able to celebrate a job well done.

The Steelmen have moved one step closer to achieving their target for the season.

And if they produce another attacking display like this on Monday then it could well be a case of mission accomplished...

Steelmen: George; Anton, Mulligan, Gordon, Warburton; Newell, Carta; Francis (sub Bettles, 82 mins), Sandy, Crawford (sub Fortnum-Tomlinson, 87 mins); Diggin (sub Ling, 71 mins). Subs not used: Robinson, Smith.

Bedford: Jones; Longden, Watkins-Clark, Steele; Kirkpatrick (sub Hall, 63 mins), Nelson-Addy, Donnelly, Ford; Vasey (sub Benson, 56 mins), Lobjoit, Walker. Subs not used: Peters, Abbey, Furlong.

Referee: Richie Watkins.

Goals: Diggin (17 mins, 1-0), Crawford (23 mins, 2-0), Sandy (39 mins, 3-0), Sandy pen (53 mins, 4-0), Donnelly (61 mins, 4-1), Hall (79 mins, 4-2), Carta (81 mins, 5-2), Steele (88 mins, 5-3).

Bookings: Diggin, Sandy, Carta, Lobjoit (all fouls), Francis,Donnelly (both unsporting behaviour).

Sending-off: Longden (serious foul play).

The Raj (www.therajrestaurant.net) man-of-the-match (Selected by Jon Dunham @JonDunhamNT): Jordon Crawford - the facts speak for themselves. The hometown boy scored one of the goals and was involved in the other four. When you play big games, you need your top players to perform and Crawford certainly produced the goods when his team needed it the most. When he’s in this sort of mood, there aren’t many defences at this level that can live with him. Let’s hope he is in the mood again on Monday.

Attendance: 738.

Thanks to Jon Dunham of the Northants Telegraph for the above match report!

Key moments

15:00
Goal Stephen Diggin scores for Corby Town FC
22:00
Goal Jordon Crawford scores for Corby Town FC
25:00
Goal Elliot Sandy scores for Corby Town FC
38:00
Goal Elliot Sandy scores for Corby Town FC
53:00
Scored Penalty Elliot Sandy scores a penalty for Corby Town FC
60:00
Goal Callum Donnelly scores for Bedford Town
72:00
Red Card Brett Longden is sent off for Bedford Town
78:00
Goal James Hall scores for Bedford Town
81:00
Goal Joel Carta scores for Corby Town FC
88:00
Goal Joe Steele scores for Bedford Town

Highlights

View 0 new events
88:00 Goal 6 - 3
Joe Steele scores for Bedford Town
87:00 Sub Off
Jordon Crawford is substituted off for Corby Town FC
87:00 Sub On
Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson is substituted on for Corby Town FC
82:00 Sub Off
Jordan Francis is substituted off for Corby Town FC
82:00 Sub On
Jake Bettles is substituted on for Corby Town FC
82:00 Sub Off
Stephen Diggin is substituted off for Corby Town FC
82:00 Sub On
Greg Ling is substituted on for Corby Town FC
81:00 Goal 6 - 2
Joel Carta scores for Corby Town FC
78:00 Goal 5 - 2
James Hall scores for Bedford Town
72:00 Red Card 5 - 1
Brett Longden is sent off for Bedford Town
68:00 Missed Penalty
Dan Walker misses a penalty for Bedford Town
60:00 Goal 5 - 1
Callum Donnelly scores for Bedford Town
53:00 Scored Penalty 5 - 0
Elliot Sandy scores a penalty for Corby Town FC
50:00 Yellow Card
Jordon Crawford is yellow carded for Corby Town FC
End of period 1
38:00 Goal 4 - 0
Elliot Sandy scores for Corby Town FC
25:00 Goal 3 - 0
Elliot Sandy scores for Corby Town FC
25:00 Yellow Card
Elliot Sandy is yellow carded for Corby Town FC
22:00 Goal 2 - 0
Jordon Crawford scores for Corby Town FC
20:00 Yellow Card
Stephen Diggin is yellow carded for Corby Town FC
15:00 Goal 1 - 0
Stephen Diggin scores for Corby Town FC
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Corby Town FC
  • Bedford Town
  • 0
  • Stephen Diggin Goal 15:00'
  • Stephen Diggin Yellow Card 20:00'
  • Jordon Crawford Goal 22:00'
  • Elliot Sandy Goal 25:00'
  • Elliot Sandy Yellow Card 25:00'
  • Elliot Sandy Goal 38:00'
  • Jordon Crawford Yellow Card 50:00'
  • Elliot Sandy Scored Penalty 53:00'
  • Callum Donnelly Goal 60:00'
  • Dan Walker Missed Penalty 68:00'
  • Brett Longden Red Card 72:00'
  • James Hall Goal 78:00'
  • Joel Carta Goal 81:00'
  • Greg Ling Sub On 82:00'
  • Jake Bettles Sub On 82:00'
  • Stephen Diggin Sub Off 82:00'
  • Jordan Francis Sub Off 82:00'
  • Jordon Crawford Sub Off 87:00'
  • Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson Sub On 87:00'
  • Joe Steele Goal 88:00'

Team selection

Corby Town FC
Bedford Town
  • 1. Ashlee Jones
  • 2. Lucas Kirkpatrick
  • 3. Ben Ford
  • 4. Brett Longden
  • 5. Mason Watkins-Clark
  • 6. Joe Steele
  • 7. Ebby Nelson-Addy
  • 8. Callum Donnelly
  • 9. Jack Vasey
  • 10. Leon Lobjoit
  • 11. Dan Walker
  • 12. James Peters
  • 13. Nathan Abbey
  • 14. James Hall
  • 15. Paul Benson
  • 16. Connor Furlong

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