Before starting this blog let's just get one thing straight. Corby is not the home of the trouser press which was, in fact, invented many miles South in Windsor. It is however home to Corby Town FC, The Steelmen, which is just where I was heading this Wednesday evening. Corby were due to host Stourbridge in the NPL Premier and it was a rare opportunity for me to watch my own team as well as visit a new stadium.
Steel Park is situated to the North of the town within the Corby Triangle Sports Complex. It is one of the more modern stadiums in the league having been opened in 2011. Despite this and maybe because it is built on the an existing sports ground, it retains some character. The Steelmen Club, which is up several flights of stairs, has the feel of an old working men's club and adds to the atmosphere of the ground. There are two covered areas, the Peter Mallinger stand which can seat over 500 and the standing area behind the far goal, the James Ashworth VC Stand. Dugouts and players facilities are opposite the main stand in the shadow of the neighbouring athletes track stand which rises over Steel Park but faces away from the pitch.
The Steelmen were relegated from National League North last season and have been finding life back at Step 3 quite difficult. The 4-3 victory over Blyth Spartans last month remains their only 3-pointer so far and they kicked off on Wednesday in the bottom four. The Glassboys were in twelfth after a mixed start to the season although they began the game on a steak of five unbeaten in all competitions.
It was Stourbridge who started the stronger of the two sides. Kicking towards the car park end, they immediately had Corby on the back foot but although they were having more possession they were not troubling the Corby keeper to any extent.
In fact there was very little goalmouth action at either end in the first half until the final minute when, after being on the back foot for the majority, Corby had a couple of late chances to snatch a lead.
Half-time after a fairly drab 45 minutes, Corby Town 0 Stourbridge 0. The main concern at this point was how on earth am I going to get a match blog out of this?
Corby Town 1 Stourbridge 0.
The goal had The Glassboys reeling for a few minutes and they had too see off a number of Corby raids to keep the score at 1-0. Weather the storm they did though and as the half wore on Stourbridge began to assert the authority that they had shown in the first half.
After 65 minutes the ball fell to Brown who drove into the Corby box only to be pulled down by the home keeper. The referee pointed to the spot and issued what I thought was a quite fortunate yellow card, it could easily have been red. The new rules state that the red card will only be shown if a goal-scoring opportunity is deliberately blocked. The referee must have thought that the keeper accidentally pulled down the striker rather than it being a deliberate foul.
Luke Benbow picked up the ball, despite the best efforts of the Ultras behind the goal, smashed the ball low to the keeper's right. Corby may have lost it's industrial heritage since the closing of the large steelworks but industrial language is alive and well amongst the pre-teen population of the town.
Corby Town 1 Stourbridge 1.
Three minutes later another Glassboys attack led to the Benbow receiving the ball just inside the left hand-side of the Corby penalty area. He jinked inside his man and hit a speculative effort across the keeper who somehow managed to let it bypass him and nestle in the far corner. Comeback complete.
Corby Town 1 Stourbridge 2.
Benbow could have had a hat-trick late on when put through one on one with Grant but teh keeper made a good stop with his legs. Benbow could have squared it for Richards to slip away but to be honest not many strikers on a hat-trick would pass up the opportunity of a one on one with the keeper.
Stourbridge saw out the last few minutes without incident and took away a hard-earned three points.
Full-time Corby Town 1 Stourbridge 2.
Corby Town - @corbytownfc