Corby Town remain rock bottom of the Blue Square North after a nine goal thriller at Steel Park ended in a 4-5 defeat for The Steelmen.
Four players ended the game on a hat-trick despite Corby still looking for that first point this season.
After a horrific first half for Ian Sampson’s men, there were positives to take from the second half as braces from Leon McKenzie and Josh Moreman reduced the score deficit from four to just one.
Manager Ian Sampson handed a first start to Josh Moreman and Sam Ives, while new signings Tom Ingram, who is the son of Chairman Kevin Ingram, and former Rochdale and Bordeaux French forward Marc Magna started on the bench for The Steelmen.
The first effort of the afternoon came after just seven minutes as Jordan Deacey, son of manager John smashed the corner of the post and crossbar for Park Avenue, but Corby didn’t give up and retained possession almost immediately. But minutes later, an almost identical shot from Danny Holland was tipped over superbly by Walker, with the resulting corner wasted by Bradford.
Keeper Walker was almost left embarrassed in the 12th minute as his name sake, Bradford striker Paul Walker skipped past the defence to meet a ground ridden keeper, who fortunately found his feet to keep out the forward.
Greg Kaziboni and Leon McKenzie both had good chances in the opening twenty minutes, but as neither of them could find a breakthrough for the home side, it was the away side that found it on 23 minutes as Richard Marshall fired a free kick off the post before seeing it unfortunately rebound off keeper Walker’s back to go in as an own goal, leaving Corby in the familiar situation of being behind.
Tom McGowan provided Corby’s best effort in the first half as he smashed it from 25 yards on target, only to be denied by Deasy in the Avenue net.
The afternoon got worse once again for Corby as Holland and Walker link up well on the left wing to produce some fantastic football before early substitute Tom Greaves made it 2-0 after just 34 minutes to add to Ian Sampson’s side’s misery.
And to make things even worse, an awful mix up lets Greaves double his tally and make it 0-3, but things were starting to look up for Corby after that, for the time being anyway. Former Premier League striker McKenzie grabbed his first for his new side with an immediate response. Paul Malone’s header from a corner was cleared off the line before Ives’ cross was buried by the former Norwich star.
But the immediate responses weren’t over just yet. Bradford retained their three goal lead through a Danny Holland goal on the stroke of half time. The former Halifax striker beat Nathan Fox to the ball as Ian Sampson was left with yet another complicated half time team talk.
The second half saw two goals in the opening four minutes, one for each side. Holland, who scored two for FC Halifax Town here in January, doubled his tally after 48 to make it 1-5, but McKenzie reduced the lead once again by tapping in Moreman’s cross to add the seventh goal of the game after just 49 minutes.
Moreman should have added to the score sheet on the hour mark as he took on the Bradford defence with help from Nat Wedderburn, but a free kick was given for a high boot on a Bradford body.
Avenue’s number 8 Rob O’Brian was handed the first yellow card of the day for a foul on Moreman, but the resulting free kick, taken by the striker was smashed straight at the defensive wall. Sam Ives shortly followed him into the book for a similar tackle.
Despite seven goals in the first 50 minutes of the game, the next half an hour remained relatively quiet. Corby managed to stay composed and keep possession a bit better, before Holland was denied his chance of taking home the match ball as the referee’s assistant flagged him for offside.
Former Rochdale and Ligue 1 giants’s Bordeaux striker Marc Magna was given a brief introduction to the Corby crowd with only three minutes left on the clock. But despite the little time left, a goal was found thanks to a fantastic cross from substitute Avelino Vieira was buried by Josh Moreman to reduce the gap to just two goals.
And it wasn’t over just then. Moreman popped up and bagged his brace to make it 4-5 to give Corby a more respectable score line, but the drama didn’t end there as the referee said no to plenty of penalty claims for a hand ball on a Bradford player, but the final whistle soon went to hand Corby their fifth defeat in as many games.