“his near post cross was turned in by leading scorer Sam Mulready.”
This always had the look of being a close, hard-fought fixture, and so it proved. Both clubs made valid points as to why they could have won it but in the end a draw was greeted with a degree of satisfaction all round.
Steve Kinniburgh surprised most supporters by keeping Jason Lee and Philip Trainer on the bench and given first starts to foreign imports Visan Vasile Cretu and Dino Tuskar.
Cleethorpes created the game's first opening in the seventh minute when a cross from the right by Adam Drury was met by Jack Richardson whose shot only just cleared the crossbar. The visitors did get the ball into the net from their next attack but Danny North's celebrations were stifled by a linesman flagging for offside.
Corby responded by winning a free kick on the edge of the penalty area in the 12th minute. Goalkeeper Richard Walton appeared to have Steven Leslie's kick well covered but was ultimately relieved to see the ball go wide after squirming through his body.
Paul Malone headed over from the resulting corner and another Molly header was juggled by Walton before the 'keeper claimed the ball. After 25 minutes Cretu cut in from the right wing and after holding off the challenge of Peter Winn fired in a shot which beat Walton but bobbled just wide.
With most supporters heading off for their half time refreshment Cleethorpes took the lead in the 44th minute. A long free kick caught out the Corby defence and North got to the ball just ahead of Steelmen skipper Jamie Anton to fire in an angled shot which went through the legs of Sam Wilson and ended up in the net.
Undeterred, Corby came out for the second half full of attacking intent. Ten minutes in Malone played the ball out to 21-year-old debutant Tuskar on the left and his near post cross was turned in by leading scorer Sam Mulready.
As the Cleethorpes goal came under continued pressure Cretu and substitute Jordan O'Brien both went close with first time efforts and Jordan Crawford fired in an excellent effort which struck the outside of the post.
Both teams had penalty appeals waved away by referee Mr Martyn Gospel during the second period and a dangerous centre by North flew across the goalmouth with no visiting forward able to get a touch.
The final chance of the game fell to Corby when a cross by Philip Trainer was headed onto the roof of the net by Mulready.
CORBY TOWN:- Sam Wilson; Connor Kennedy, Sam Warburton; Paul Malone, Jamie Anton (captain), Steven Leslie; Visan-Vasile Cretu (substitute Jordan O'Brien), Ben Bradshaw, Dino Tuskar (substitute Philip Trainer), Sam Mulready, Jordan Crawford. Unused substitutes: Jason Lee, CJ Tanga-Gibson, Dean McBride.
CLEETHORPES TOWN:- Richard Walton; Adam Drury, Peter Winn; Liam Dickens, Matthew Bloomer (captain), Timmy Lowe; Liam Davis (substitute Luke Alderich), Jack Richardson, Luke Mascall, Danny North, Jonathan Oglesby (substitute Laurence McKay). Unused substitutes: Mitchell Taylor, Charlie Parker.
REFEREE:- Mr Martyn Gospel (Daventry).
Updated 20:16 - 21 Nov 2017 by David Tilley