STEELMEN REACH 100 LEAGUE GOALS BUT LOSE AT HOME
By James McCafferty
CORBY TOWN 1 WELWYN GARDEN CITY 4
Corby Town have enjoyed a successful season and are already guaranteed third position and a place in the promotion play offs. Every now and then, however, they have produced a display which has slipped below what would be considered acceptable for a team of their talents. This was one such display.
The Steelmen went into the game without injured Northampton Town loanees Camron McWilliams and Jack Newell and attacking duo Elliot Sandy and Steve Diggin who were both unavailable. But the personnel on view should have been good enough to put on a better show than they did.
In the opening minutes Corby lived dangerously by conceding three free kicks around the edge of their penalty area. The first from the right side of the box was fired wastefully into the side netting by Dave Keenleyside and the Welwyn skipper's second effort, from a little deeper was easily headed clear. But when a third opportunity presented itself in the 18th minute, this time in front of goal, Keenleyside hit his shot through the Steelmen's ineffective five-man wall and past Dan George.
To be fair Corby reacted positively to going behind and created several decent attacking situations. Jamie Anton hit a deep centre from the right wing which was fractionally too high for Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson and a driven centre by Sam Warburton from the opposite flank flew across the area without anyone getting a touch.
Jordon Crawford then sprinted away from Jack Mace before hitting a shot which was pushed away by Rueben Rabstein and the Welwyn goalkeeper did just enough to prevent Connor Kennedy from getting a decisive touch to a Crawford pass on the edge of the six yard box.
The Steelmen continued to go in search of an equaliser right up until half time - and this was to prove their undoing. Warburton and Crawford combined in an attempt to unlock the visiting defence but Crawford was crowded out and the ball quickly cleared out to Eoin McKeown on the flank via Matthew Campbell-Mhlope. With Warburton out of position and his fellow defenders slow to cover the space the right winger had ample time to line up an angled shot which was too good for George's full stretch dive.
Corby came out after the interval still with hopes of getting back into the contest but these were virtually extinguished three minutes into the second period when George got his hand to a 25-yard shot by Eusebio Da Silva but couldn't prevent it from crossing the line to give the visitors a three-goal lead.
The Steelmen's spirits were briefly raised just before the hour when they pulled a goal back. Crawford floated one corner harmlessly out for a goal kick but when he was given another opportunity minutes later Joel Carta rose highest to head the centre into the net.
This was Corby's 100th league goal of the season but in the context of the match the milestone passed with a muted unenthusiastic response.
A fourth goal, and second of the match for McKeown, after George had kept out a header by Elliot Bailey restored Welwyn's three-goal advantage and it could have got worse for the out of sorts Steelmen as Henry Ocheng smacked a shot against the crossbar.
Carta went close to scoring a second when he poked a close range shot wide after Rabstein had allowed a long throw by substitute Ashley Robinson to slip through his hands and in the dying minutes Corby were reduced to ten men when Kennedy was shown a straight red card by referee Mr Kevin Saunby for a foul on Da Silva who was able to continue after treatment.
The wild, and fully deserved, celebrations at the final whistle showed just what this result meant to the relegation threatened visitors.
CORBY TOWN:- Dan George; Jamie Anton, Sam Warburton; Joel Carta, Delroy Gordon (substitute Ashley Robinson), Gary Mulligan (captain); Greg Ling, Connor Kennedy, Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson, Jordan Francis, Jordon Crawford. Unused substitutes: Steve Kinniburgh, Miles Smith, Dan Smith (GK).
WELWYN GARDEN CITY:- Rueben Rabstein; Jack Mace (substitute Dan Carr), Jon Sexton; Henry Obeng, Jay Rolfe, Jack Humphrey; Eoin McKeown, Dave Keenleyside (captain) (substitute Jesse Walklin), Eusebio Da Silva (substitute Nathan McGreevey), Elliot Bailey, Matthew Campbell-Mhlope. Unused substitutes: Isaac Ebelebe, Brendan Oclan.
REFEREE:- Mr Kevin Saunby (Lincoln).