“"The Legends were playing some neat f ootball but at times the bodies were not up to doing what the brains were telling them to"”
The day could not have gone much better for Corby Town. A big crowd had witnessed a thumping win against a team of ex-Premier League stars who answered every request for an autograph or photo with a smile and a considerable amount of money was raised for both the club and Prostate Cancer funds. Even defeated manager Peter Reid did not need much cheering up!
Although this was a special occasion for the supporters it must be remembered that this was still a big part of the Steelmen's pre-season build-up and manager David Bell was delighted about the way his players went about their business.
There was another surprise inclusion in the Corby starting XI with Phil Trainer joining Steven Leslie in the starting line up. Missing was Jordan Yong who was playing for Wisbech in their opening United Counties League fixture against Wellingborough Town.
Corby began the game in positive fashion and Sam Mulready had already lobbed an attempt just wide before he beat ex-Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Mark Crossley to an Alan Stubbes backpass to force in the opening goal.
Jordan Crawford then smacked a shot against the crossbar and Leslie picked up the loose ball on the left. He played it into the near post where Ollie Brown-Hill reacted quickest to squeeze his shot just inside the post.
The legends were playing seem neat football but at times the bodies were not up to doing what the brains were telling them to.
A torrential downpour just before half time was obviously to their liking and they could have gone in level at the interval. Skipper Matt Holland, looking much as he had done in his heyday with Ipswich Town, broke clear to pull one back and ex-Celtic and Aston Villa star Stiliyan 'Stan' Petrov missed a great opportunity to equalise after Steelmen 'keeper Paul Bastock had blocked an effort from former England man Trevor Sinclair.
At half time the Legends might have still fancied their chances of getting back into the game but a quick-fire Corby double put the hosts out of reach.
Crossley got just enough of a fingertip to touch a Crawford effort wide of the post but when the 'keeper gifted the ball to Crawford - who was to be voted Man of the Match - moments later he clinically buried that chance in the back of the net.
A fourth goal duly arrived when Mulready, who has been on fire throughout pre-season, cut in from the left and hit an angled shot across goal into the far corner. Minutes later Brown-Hill was on target again but this time he was ruled offside after Crossley had parried a Trainer shot into his path.
With the game won David Bell began to make changes and two of his substitutes added further goals. Shay Brennan scored his first goal for the club and almost doubled his total when a Grant Ryan shot came back off the post - but he was unable to turn the ball over the line from close range.
The Legends were then awarded a penalty when Emile Heskey was fouled inside the area but Sinclair ballooned his shot over the bar - with Peter Reid questioning why Danny Murphy had not taken the kick.
The final act of the afternoon saw young Jordan O'Brien thump the ball high into the net to continue his own impressive pre-season goalscoring form.
CORBY TOWN SQUAD:- Paul Bastock; Miles Smith, Jason Lee; Connor Marshall, Kern Miller (captain), Jamie Anton; Jordan Crawford, Steven Leslie, Phil Trainer, Sam Mulready, Ollie Brown-Hill. Substitutes: Connor Kennedy, Phil Nield, Steve Kinniburgh, Danny Setchell, Shay Brennan, Grant Ryan, Dan Bendon, Adam Frisch, Michael Ogilvie, Jordan O'Brien.
MARATHONBET PREMIER LEAGUE LEGENDS SQUAD:- Mark Crossley; Danny Mills, Nigel Winterburn; Alan Stubbs, Stan Varga, Danny Murphy; Trevor Sinclair, Matt Holland (captain), Dion Dublin, Chris Waddle, Darren Anderton. Substitutes: Ian Harte, William Gallas, Matt Elliott, Stiliyan Petrov, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Kevin Davies, Emile Heskey.
REFEREE:- Mr Wayne Chalmers (Northampton).
Updated 10:31 - 21 Aug 2017 by James McCafferty