Corby were condemned to an opening day defeat against Vauxhall Motors on Saturday, a single goal the difference between the two sides.
With thirty minutes on the clock, the Steelmen left Motormen skipper Tom Hannigan unmarked to their peril, as he headed home the only goal of the game.
Sampson’s charges pressed for an equaliser from then on in, but despite their best efforts they couldn’t break down the visiting side and were left feeling frustrated.
It was a cagey start from both sides, as they looked to ease their way into the start of a new Blue Square Bet North campaign. Both Avelino Vieria and Paul Malone saw headers float wide in the opening stages, whilst Greg Kaziboni tried his luck from distance.
Playing with a five-man defence, Vauxhall looked comfortable to soak up pressure from the Steelmen, then try to hit the home side on the break. Dan Parkinson did just that in the 25th minute, beating the offside trap and pulling the ball back for Danny Fearnehough who forced Paul Walker into a good save.
The only goal of the game proved to be a lot simpler then that and came five minutes later. Mike Burns floated a corner into the six yard box, finding an unmarked Hannigan who nodded the ball home.
Corby struggled to provide a response, whilst the visitors looked content with their slender lead and went back to soaking up the Steelmen pressure.
Kaziboni went the closest for the home side, carving out his own chance from twenty yards out following a good run. Unfortunately, much to the dismay of the home crowd, his effort whistled just past the post.
The Motormen were still looking dangerous on the counter and James Ellison almost doubled their lead with a driven effort, butWalkerdid well to push the ball round the post.
Corby had a number of corners late in the day but couldn’t take advantage. Vieira went agonizingly close in the dying minutes, but his deflected shot skimmed just wide.