“Beeson stepped up to take the free kick and curled his shot into the top corner”
Corby Town produced a performance of determination and character to gain their first away victory of the season at Market Drayton Town. Connor Kennedy replaced Miles Smith at right back in an otherwise unchanged starting XI against a side who began the day bottom of the table without a league win to their name.
The hosts were first to create goal scoring opportunities with Sam Wilson making a good low save at his near post from Glynn Coney and Kevin Buxton and Joe Cuff both hitting weak shots which were easily gathered by the young Corby goalkeeper.
The Steelmen then came into the game as an attacking force with Philip Trainer failing to get enough contact on a dropping ball inside the penalty area and then setting up Sam Mulready for a shot which was saved by Ashley Rawlins in the home goal.
In the 16th minute Corby were awarded a free kick for a foul on Kennedy but the full back continued to play after the whistle and caught Buxton with a poor tackle. Under the circumstances it was a needless challenge and was certainly worthy of a caution but when referee Mr Blake Antrobus reached into his pocket he produced a red card.
From the resulting Corby free kick Trainer and Mulready were both unable to turn the ball goalwards from Steven Leslie's centre.
Paul Malone was then the victim of a challenge by Sean Griffiths which was not dissimilar to the one which had brought Kennedy's involvement to a premature end but on this occasion Mr Antrobus took no action - despite the evidence of a nasty cut on Molly's thigh.
The feeling that it was not going to be Corby's day grew even stronger two minutes before half time when the hosts took a controversial lead. A long ball down the right wing found Coney in a clearly offside position but their was no flag and after he had got the better of Sam Warburton the winger played the ball inside to Judd Ellis who scooped the ball high into the net.
The Steelmen left the field at the interval with a strong feeling of injustice and skipper Jason Lee spent several minutes airing his views in the officials' dressing room.
The spirits of the Corby supporters in the sparse crowd of 103 were hardly raised when the injured Mulready failed to appear for the second period. But there was a hint that events might be turning in their favour when Drayton's Andre James had an effort ruled out for offside shortly after the restart.
In the 61st minute Mulready's replacement Ben Diamond got his head to a Lee Beeson corner despite being challenged by three defenders to draw the Steelmen level. It was the former ON Chenecks strikers' first goal for the club.
Corby were now the better side and the hosts were rarely able to make their numerical advantage count - although Wilson was forced to make one excellent save from Cuff.
With thirteen minutes remaining Diamond linked up with fellow substitute Zayn Hakeem on the edge of the area and the latter was fouled by Dan Beddows. Beeson stepped up to take the free kick and curled his shot into the top corner of the net with Rawlins no more than an admiring spectator.
In recent games Corby had conceded several late goals but despite the home side pushing 'keeper Rawlins upfield for an injury time corner there were to be no late scares on this occasion as the Steelmen began to put some daylight between themselves and the foot of the table.
MARKET DRAYTON TOWN:- Ashley Rawlins; James Tindall-Bennett, Kevin Buxton; Sean Griffiths, Andy Hartlebury, James O'Reilly; Joe Cuff, Dan Beddows (captain), Andre James, Judd Ellis, Glynn Coney. Substitutes: Charles Knowles, Tyrell McFarlane, Scott Ryan, Michael O'Reilly, Nicky Porter.
CORBY TOWN:- Sam Wilson; Connor Kennedy, Sam Warburton; Paul Malone, Jamie Anton, Jason Lee (captain); Lee Beeson, Steven Leslie, Philip Trainer (substitute Zayn Hakeem), Sam Mulready (substitute Ben Diamond), Jordan Crawford. Unused substitutes: Jordan O'Brien, David Bell.
REFEREE:- Mr Blake Antrobus.
Updated 15:57 - 5 Oct 2017 by James McCafferty