Corby Town finally broke the curse of Solihull Moors, beating the Birmingham side 2-1 on New Years Day.
The Steelmen had previously lost each of their last five encounters against Marcus Bignot’s side, but a brace from new signing Mark Jones ensured a much needed win for Drury’s outfit.
Solihull, keen to repeat their Boxing Day performance against the Steelmen, were out of the blocks quickly and threatened right from the kick-off, earning a corner after Ryan Beswick’s shot was deflected wide.
With the first half still in its infancy, the home side continued to pile the pressure on Corby. Steelmen old boy Jordan Fitzpatrick fired over from just outside the area, while Dean Bennet lashed a shot inches wide of Mackenzie’s left-hand post.
Junior English almost made their domination count, driving a low shot at goal following a Moors free-kick, but Mackenzie was on hand to palm the ball away.
But it was to be the Steelmen who would celebrate the first goal, albeit against the run of play. Jas Singh could only parry Jordan Spruce’s deflected shot away to the feet of Jones, who obliged by slotting the ball into the back of the net for his first goal in Corby colours.
Aggrieved at conceding the first of the match, Solihull began to increase the pressure on the Steelmen goal once more. Gavin Hurren’s low shot from the edge of the box was well held by Mackenzie and Ryan Beswick saw his snapped free-kick punched away at the near post.
The Moors continued their onslaught after the restart, English forcing another save from Mackenzie following an error in the Corby defence.
A rare Steelmen attack almost lead to Jones’ second of the game in the 71st minute, following up Hall’s strong shot after Singh parried the ball away. But with the goal gaping at his mercy, he couldn’t make a successful connection and his shot bobbled harmlessly wide.
There were shouts of ‘red’ from the travelling Corby faithful in the 85th minute, Broadhurst seemingly pulling down Mullarkey who was en route to goal. The last line in defence, many expected the Moors man to be sent packing, but the referee produced only a yellow.
Controversial decisions can often prove to be a team’s undoing, but Corby didn’t let the verdict unsettle them and they were rewarded a minute from time when they snatched their second.
Mullarkey did well to pick up a long ball from midfield and turned away from the Solihull defence, he rolled the ball into the path of Jones who just nipped the ball past Singh.
The home crowd finally had something to cheer deep in injury time when Walker converted a penalty following Paul Mayo’s foul in the box.
But it was too little too late for Moors and the Steelmen were left to celebrate a great start to 2012 with a hard-fought victory.
Solihull: Singh; Francis (sub Melligan, 80 mins), Broadhurst, Hinton, Blackwood; Fitzpatrick (sub Johnson, 77 mins), Hurran (sub Morris, 59 mins), Bennett, Beswick; Walker, English. Subs not used: Connolly, Martinez.
Corby: Mackenzie; Gordon, McDonald, Mayo; Hall, Hibbert, Towers, Spruce (sub Smith, 81 mins); Jones, Rhead (sub Ozmen, 90 mins), Mullarkey. Subs not used: Land, Bexford, Beeson.
Referee: Ollie Yates.
Goals: Jones (26 mins, 0-1), Jones (89 mins, 0-2), Walker pen (90 mins, 1-2).
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