“Ben Bradshaw's kick was headed into the net by Connor Kennedy.”
A new-look team, a new-look kit and a new optimism made Steel Park an enjoyable place to be as Corby Town began their home campaign with a victory. For supporters who have had few enjoyable moments for the past three seasons it was a feeling which it was to be hoped would last for a further 36 league fixtures. But let's take just one step at a time.
Corby started this game confidently with Sam Warburton having a fourth minute shot blocked and Jordan Francis hitting an effort wide three minutes later. Jake Bettles was then stopped in his tracks by an offside flag before the Steelmen made loud appeals for a penalty. Elliot Sandy certainly appeared to be pushed in the back inside the penalty area but referee Alan Cox was not impressed and waved play on.
The visitors were struggling to find a way through a defence which was well marshalled by skipper Gary Mulligan and when Omar Haughton did get a sight of goal his effort was saved by Dan George. The Corby 'keeper did not have a lot to do in the first half but his sound handling and excellent distribution must have given confidence to those in front of him.
In the 19th minute a piece of left wing trickery by Jordon Crawford earned Corby a corner and Ben Bradshaw's kick was headed into the net by Connor Kennedy for the Steelmen's first home goal of the season and a rare strike by the full back-turned-midfield player.
Corby were well on top at this stage and Sandy and Crawford both hit shots off target before the interval and Warburton and Crawford did likewise upon the restart, Sutton Coldfield were still struggling to make an impression and when they did threaten Jordan Nadat was twice flagged offside.
That all important second goal continue to elude Corby and Bettles and Crawford (again) were denied by defensive blocks. The Steelmen also had two more shouts for penalties for fouls on Sandy and Greg Ling but again they were waved away by Mr Cox - who as well as coming from Coventry was in danger of being sent there by the disgruntled Corby fans.
Dominic Dell was introduced to the action as a substitute for Sutton Coldfield in the 65th minute but had barely been on the pitch for fifteen minutes when he got himself involved in an unseemly incident and was shown a straight red card by Mr Cox.
As Corby attempted to make their numerical advantage count Francis and Joel Carta both had shots saved by Lewis Gwilliams in the Royals' goal but at the final whistle they had to be content with the narrowest of victories.
CORBY TOWN:- Dan George; Miles Smith, Sam Warburton; Ben Bradshaw, Jamie Anton, Gary Mulligan (captain); Jordan Francis (substitute Greg Ling), Connor Kennedy, Elliot Sandy (substitute Zac Allen), Jake Bettles (substitute Joel Carta), Jordon Crawford, Unused substitutes: Ashley Robinson, Dean McBride.
SUTTON COLDFIELD:- Lewis Gwilliams; Ben George, James Beresford; Steve Palmer, James Mutton, Mitchell Clarke; Matthew Hearsey (substitute Jonathon Letford), Judd Ellis, Leo Brown (substitute Dominic Dell), Omar Haughton, Jordan Nadat (substitute Jack Concannon). unused substitutes: Kieron Davies, Damien Lomas.
REFEREE: Mr Alan Cox (Coventry).
Updated 13:22 - 10 Sep 2018 by James McCafferty