ANOTHER SECOND HALF FIGHT BACK AT STEEL PARK EARNS STEELMEN VICTORY
CORBY TOWN 2 AFC DUNSTABLE 1
A definite feeling of deja vu at Steel Park as Corby Town recovered from being behind at half time, saw their opponents be reduced in numbers and converted a penalty on their way to their third victory in four league games this season.
The Steelmen made a bright start and straight from the kick off Sam Warburton had a cross blocked for a corner by Dunstable skipper Leon Cashman. In the fifteenth minute Ben Bradshaw made a surging run into the penalty area but saw his shot saved by the feet of goalkeeper Jamie Head. Jordon Crawford then hit a shot over the bar as Corby continued to dominate.
Just as the previous week, however, that dominance counted for nothing when the visitors took the lead. A high cross from the right by Danny May was headed out by Gary Mulligan but the clearance struck Greg Ling and the ball landed at the feet of Nathan Frater who hammered it into the net.
The Steelmen responded with an Elliot Sandy shot which Head should have saved more comfortably than he did but once again Corby found themselves behind at half time despite enjoying the greater amount of possession.
Dunstable began the second period intent n adding to their advantage and substitute Terry Griffiths had a shot fingertipped wide of the target by Dan George. From the resulting corner the ball eventually fell to Charlie Clayton but he hit his effort high and wide.
Frater then fired in a shot following a free kick which George claimed, lost and finally gathered safely.
Corby then made a significant change in the 54th minute when, in search of extra fire power up front, Jake Bettles replaced Greg Ling.
Four minutes later Adam Watkins sent Kyle Ajayi scurrying down the left wing and when the 18-year-old winger had his progress halted by Miles Smith he impetuously raised his hands at the Corby full back to earn himself a needless red car - so becoming the sixth opposing player to be sent off in Corby's five matches.
It took the Steelmen just six minutes to make their numerical advantage count as in the 62nd minute Bettles took the ball past former Steelman Cashman, chipped it over goalkeeper Head and saw it bounce down over the line off the underside of the crossbar. No VAR required here as the ball was clearly over the line before being cleared (see photo above).
Head then clattered sandy as the pair challenged for a ball inside the area but Coventry referee Mr Ryan Williams gave the free kick in Dunstable's favour.
In the 81st minute, however, Mr Williams did point to the penalty spot when Sandy was fouled by Watkins as they contested a Warburton centre. A bit of nonsense on the edge of the box delayed the kick but Sandy kept his nerve to coolly roll the ball into the net.
Bradshaw fired in a shot which was deflected narrowly wide and then found no takers for his well placed corner kick.
As the visitors went in search of an equaliser goalkeeper Head went up for an injury time corner but that was safely gathered by George and three more points were safely in the Steelmen's bag.
CORBY TOWN:- Dan George; Miles Smith, Sam Warburton; Greg Ling (substitute Jake Bettles), Jamie Anton, Gary Mulligan (captain); Jordan Francis, Connor Kennedy, Elliot Sandy, Ben Bradshaw (substitute Dean McBride), Jordon Crawford (substitute Zac Allen). Unused substitute Dan Smith (GK).
AFC DUNSTABLE:- Jamie Head; Danny Maye (substitute Terry Griffiths), Newman Carney; Joe Steele, Leon Cashman (captain), Christian Tavernier; Kyle Ajayi, Adam Watkins, Charlie Clayton (substitute Michael Gullerton), Nathan Frater, Joel Norris (substitute Dylan Baker). Unused substitutes: Damon Pickering, BJ Christie.
REFEREE:- Mr Ryan Williams (Coventry).