By David Tilley
6th September 2018
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From 3-0 down at half time in the original tie to 4-0 winners in the replay, this was a truly impressive comeback by the Steelmen.
It is no exaggeration to suggest that Corby could have been four goals to the good with next to no time played as they totally dominated proceedings. In their very first attack Connor Kennedy hit a shot off target and minutes later Joel Carta fired in a low effort which skimmed narrowly wide. Elliot Sandy then played a good ball in to Ben Bradshaw and he forced a decent save from Will Hunt in the home goal.
Two chances then fell to Jordan Francis but he was unable to get a decisive touch in front of goal to the first and blasted a shot over the bar from the edge of the box from the second when a corner was only half cleared. In between those efforts Carta went close again with a header from another corner.
It had been all Corby up to this point but Dunstable served notice that they needed to be taken seriously when Saul Williams appeared to be clear on goal but was stopped in his tracks by an excellent tackle by Carta who appeared to be popping up all over the field.
In the 33rd minute Carta was certainly in the right place at the right time when Sandy and Bradshaw opened up the Dunstable defence down the right and Carta finished the move off with a firm low shot into the bottom corner of the net.
The home side's immediate response saw Gary Mulligan make a good block from Erin Amu and Chris Wreh only half-hit a shot which was comfortably saved by Dan George - whose handling was impeccable all evening.
The tie was ultimately decided by a quick-fire Steelmen double either side of half time. In the 43rd minute Bradshaw floated yet another corner into the six yard box and a host of players converged on the ball as it ended up in the net. Connor Kennedy was given the immediate congratulations but it was eventually given as an own goal as Kieron Ogden possibly got the final touch.
That made Corby's half time cuppa taste all the sweeter and things got better still two minutes into the second period. Francis showed great determination to retain possession under pressure from Dunstable skipper John Sanuga and goalkeeper Hunt and even better awareness to lay it off into the path of Bradshaw who fired in the third.
It was to Dunstable's credit that they refused to give up despite being outplayed on the night. Sam Warburton kept a Steelmen attack going when the ball appeared to be going out of play on the left, it eventually found its way to Jordon Crawford whose shot was blocked and the rebound was struck high into the net by Bradshaw. A mixture of never-say-die attitude, great determination an d a high level of skill.
A word of praise,too, must go to 18-year-old centre back Dean McBride who fitted in seamlessly alongside skipper Mulligan in a reshaped back four.

DUNSTABLE TOWN:- Will Hunt, Joe Mead, Gedeon Okita; Johnny Barnett, John Sanuga (captain), Kieron Ogden; Erin Amu, Hassan Sheikh, Arel Amu, Saul Williams, Chris Wreh. Substitutes: George Naismith, James Lauder, Connor Perlmutter, Daniel Trif, Nathan Mullings.

CORBY TOWN:- Dan George; Jamie Anton, Sam Warburton; Joel Carta, Dean McBride, Gary Mulligan (captain); Jordan Francis, Connor Kennedy, Elliot Sandy (substitute Zac Allen), Ben Bradshaw (substitute Lee Garvie), Jordon Crawford (substitute Jake Bettles). Unused substitutes: Ashley Robinson, Luke Aridegbe, Dan Smith (GK).

REFEREE:- Mr Daniel Robinson.


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