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Saturday 23 December 2006
British Gas Business Southern League Premier
(match 19)
at Rockingham Triangle, Corby.
BGB Southern League logo

Scarey Steel Man of Corby

Corby Town


Gloucester City

New Tigers Badge: no-one knows why...

HT (2-2)

K.Byrne (12,36)
Corby ColoursCity Blues
B.White (22 og), J.Welsh (23),
J.Reid (88)
C.Thompson ©
B.White ©
(for 12, 76) C.Goodman
(for 3, HT) J.Clarke
A.Wilson (for 11, 84)
M.Fowler (for 6, 60)


Corby: S.Goodwin (foul tackle 66)
City: T.Hamblin (late tackle 41)
Dismissals: Corby: C.Goodman (stamping 89)

T-Ender City MotM: Tom Hamblin - with the City defence looking put upon Hamblin showed great compsure to consistently clear his lines.

grass trim rule

City managed to grab all the points as a late Jamie Reid strike condemned the new Corby manager to a losing start despite the home team putting a makeshift Gloucester defence under real pressure in the second half. Corby had started brightly before City got lucky with a couple of goals, but when the scores were level at the break the league's bottom side looked capable of getting their first home victory. City might not get many points for attractive football from this game, but the side worked hard and showed plenty of determination to hang in there before delivering a sucker punch that left the traveling support feeling they'd sneaked a win under their coats and made off while the security guard was helping an old lady with their shopping.

City started brightly out there in the lonely mists swirling around the cavernous soulless athletics track surrounded stadium. We soon lost our way though and Corby were all too predictabley full of new found enthusiasm to show their new boss what they could do. Before long there were sings our defence was creaking as Mustoe was needed to nip the ball from the toe of Kevin Byrne as the Corby forward poised to shoot and then a fine bit of Chris Thompson defending unravelled as his mazey run from the back saw him daftly gift the ball to Steve Towers who fired in long distance drive just over the bar. The signs were there before Guiney found room down our left and put in an inviting hanging cross that Byrne leapt well to meet and power beyond Bath with a header that seemed just a little too easy.

City were soon back in the running though and a lot of hard work from Wilko and Webb in the midfield softened Corby up a little. The equaliser still came as a bit of a shock though. Alex Sykes seemed to be testing his range and his shot hardly seemed one of his better efforts, but it looped off the unfortunate Bobby White's back as the defender turned from the shot and the huge deflection left the keeper wrong-footed as the ball dropped into the net. It'll probably go down as an own goal, a shame for Syko as the Corby skipper seemed anxious to pretend the whole thing had nothing to do with him. If nothing else though it goes to show what can happen if you chance your luck from distance - if you don't buy a ticket you won't win the raffle (football cliche no. 74).

If that was funny a better punchline was to come. Corby suddenly had the look of a side that had seen luck go against them before and were loathe to do anything to stop it happening to them again. They were slow out of defence and with Jason Welsh given so much room he'd have been daft not to have a pop even though he was a good 30 yards out. His shot was well hit enough and on target, but didn't seem to really have enough on it to find the net, especially as it was close to the keeper. However Corby's goalie Darren Watts was climbing into his Santa outfit and he had something very special in his sack for little Jason Welsh. The keeper seemed to get his positioning all wrong and pushed at the ball as if confident he'd done enough to put the shot wide for a corner. What he didn't know was that he wasn't by the post, he was in the centre of his goal, leaving the ball to flick into the far corner much to his comedy double-take surprise. I'm saw Welshie was shouting something about swerve and spin - but the poor bloke deserves some luck and at least this time he didn't end up in casualty.

It looked as if Corby might fold but as City failed to really get much possession around the penalty box both defences pushed up and the match got very congested. When another goal came Corby had managed to pull level thanks to a great bit of individual quality from Kevin Byrne. Jephcott put in a good ball to the forward just inside the City box, but little seemed on until Byrne brought the ball down with his thigh and managed to spin and volley in to the City net with one very slick movement. Sykes came close to regaining the lead with another good shot from distance but this time Corby's keeper had regained his bearings and tipped the ball over the bar.

Corby really came at us in the second half and at times we defended more by instinct than by the book. at some points Corby were nipping behind our full-backs with alarming regularity and from one good cross Byrne could have completed his hatrick as he hooked the ball just wide of Matt Bath's far post. Jephcott then sailed beyond Reid with a clever trick and his pull back seemed to by-pass all of our defenders, but fortunately this time Byrne fluffed his shot and we battled on. We did have our own chances but we were playing on the break and at one point Cox scampered clear on the left only to look up and find himself completely alone. Noakes and Sykes also had chances but neither could get close to troubling the Corby keeper. At the back we were creaking, but at least this time Mustoe and Thommo were doing lots of pointing and shouting and with numbers getting back to help out we never looked like we'd given up even when it did look a little ugly. There's nothing wrong with putting the ball out of play when you're holding on!

The Corby fans sensed they could snatch a first home league win of the season and were in good voice, impressive in their volume and range of songs and given their small number perhaps the best home support we've encountered in this campaign. You have to think that given more to cheer them and getting out of that awful hovel of an athletics stadium they could make Corby a tricky place to visit. However their voices are lost in the atmosphere suffocating vastness of the place and with just a few minutes left their hopes were choked in their throats. Wilson came off the bench and immediately City were getting forward with more intent. Webb saw a half-volley fly wide after a neat Welsh lay-off, and then another Wilson run saw a couple of mishit defensive clearances and the ball fell into the path of Jamie Reid just inside the Corby area. He rifled his shot low past the keeper to spark wild celebrations on the far side of the ground. It's some testament to the youngster's character that he was still making that kind of forward run so late in a match when he'd endured a rather torrid time defensively. It was all too much for Corby sub Chris Goodman who made things even worse for the home team as he picked up a dumb frustrated red card for stamping on Reid as he lay prone on the far touchline. That ended things and City legged it with all the points - now can we go on and play like this at home?


grass trim rule
T-Ender Match Snaps
City at Corby
Welsh on the attack at Corby
Corby's Tom Guiney flies in on Jason Welsh Welsh on the attack as City make Corby - erm, blue.
Athletics Track hell
Nice stand but what about the other three sides? City escape from athletics track hell at the Rockingham Triangle.

Team Selection:

The late loss of Ollie Barnes from the City defence due to a chest infection led to a massive City reshuffle. Tim Harris sought safety in numbers, reverting to 5-3-2 and pushing both Mustoe and Chris Thompson into central defence with Reid and Noakes operating in wing-back type of roles. Jason Welsh returned from his head injury alongside Jimmy Cox up front.

TBBM Said:

"Och no, mchit y'ken traff n' vere n ASBO"
Or something. What's wrong with this place - Scotland's that way mate. Irn-bru? McMadness.

Tactics Board:
Tim Harris tries to change games with his substitutions and gambled at the end of this match with a change which worked and helped win the match. Having ridden our luck to head into the closing stages at 2-2 a lot of managers would have taken the away point and the draw - but the City boss gambled that the win was there. Aaron Wilson may still not be fully fit but his five minutes unsettled a tiring Corby defence and created enough panic in their back line to help create the chance that fell to Reid for that cruel winner.
Anorak Corner:
This is the fourth league match Corby have thrown away a result in the last three minutes of the game, no wonder they looked so pig sick yet not that surprised. Our own record isn't that much better - we've chucked away three results in the last few minutes ourselves.
T-Ender Verdict

Doing well in the league is all about grabbing your chances and managing to take things out of games without necessarily producing your best. That was certainly the case today as several Corby players acted as Santa to provide us with an early gift-wrapped win when at times it looked as if city would be the first visiting side to taste defeat at the Rockingham Triangle this season. Corby may well be left cursing their luck, but this was a game where City showed good spirit to overcome defensive uncertainties and withstand some pressure on a grim day at a fairly grim venue. We may not have deserved the win on the balance of play, but while there may not have been a great deal silky football to applaud this was the kind of spirited performance we looked incapable of just a few weeks ago.

Highlights Elsewhere:

There are some strange things going on in the Southern League this season and for every sign things are righting themselves there are other results that suggest so many teams are lost in the Bermuda traingle. The league is still tighter than the fit between Santa and a gas flue but the leaders aren't who you'd expect.

Mangotsfield stay top for Christmas with a 3-1 win at Cheshunt helped by goals from David Seal and Rob Claridge, but Hitchin are still chasing hard in third spot with a highly impressive 5-2 away win at Yate Town, Chris Dillon again among the goals with a hatrick. The pre-season favourites continue to stutter with free-scoring Hemel Hemsptead hammering out an impressive 1-0 home win over Bath City, while King's Lynn's new manager Keith Webb failed to lift the Linnets poor run with a 1-0 home defeat to Maidenhead United. To think the rot set-in with that City win!

Other Match Reports:

Tiger Roar post-match Tim Harris interview

Further Reading:

BGB Southern League Premier Results & Website
BGB Southern League Table

Referee: G.Mellor (Alvaston, Derbyshire)) City League Pos: 12th (+4) City Form: WDWLLL

Ref Watch:

7 - The only things missed were due to wayward linesmen.

Attendance: 151    
Conditions: misty, grey and wintry
Lorry Score:


Match Report:
by t-towel

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