“Leslie stepped up to curl his free kick beyond the despairing dive of Steggles.”
Corby Town continued their amazing climb up the table as they made it 12 points out of a possible 12 from their last four league matches. From fourth bottom just two weeks ago the Steelmen are one of seven teams on twenty points and are now technically joint fourth top.
Caretaker manager Steve Kinniburgh has led the charge up the table and is obviously a glass half full person. He even found a positive in going behind after just four minutes of this game as it gave him the opportunity to assess the character of his side. "Today was a different test" said Kinniburgh afterwards. "The character shown was different class".
That early goal came when the Corby defence were caught on their heels and appeals for offside were waved away by referee Mr Scott Tallis. Inside man Mamoke Akaunu was certainly in an offside position when Jordan Wilson played a one-two with Kaylum Mitchell but Wilson was just as clearly onside and the centre forward ran on to fire a low, angled shot past Sam Wilson into the net.
Corby were still feeling their way into the game when they conceded a free kick on the very edge of the penalty area but fortunately Daniel Gordon's shot was blocked.
The equaliser arrived with 18 minutes on the clock. Leon Lobjoit was fouled just outside the box by Reece Bertram and Steven Leslie stepped up to curl his free kick beyond the despairing dive of Jack Steggles - who appeared to be getting ready for Halloween by wearing a pumpkin outfit - and into the top corner.
Carlton's task was made even harder when they were reduced to ten men, still in the first half. Jake Carlisle put himself under unnecessary pressure when he failed to clear the ball and as Lobjoit pounced he had his heels clipped by the defender. The Corby forward still had plenty of work to do but Mr Tallis obviously considered it a goalscoring opportunity as he produced a red card.
On this occasion the position was not so favourable to Leslie but he still forced Steggles into a good low save with his free kick. Corby had one more opportunity from a set piece before the interval when they were awarded a free kick in an almost identical position to the first, This time Lobjoit took on the responsibility but hit his shot over the bar.
Corby totally dominated the second half, which was no surprise bearing in mind their numerical advantage but they were only able to add one more goal to their total.
That came in the 56th minute when a cross by Sam Warburton was deflected out for a corner. Leslie's flag kick found the head of Paul Malone and although Steggles did well to parry Molly's powerful header he was helpless as Sam Mulready nodded the rebound over the line from close range.
It should really have been more for the Steelmen as they piled the pressure on the visiting goal. Lobjoit had a shot saved from a Jordan Crawford shot; a Connor Kennedy effort was deflected wide; Crawford had one effort blocked by Steggles and hit another fractionally too high and Lobjoit also cleared the crossbar with a header shortly being replaced by CJ Tanga-Gibson. The teenaged debutant immediately got in on the act by hitting a shot off target. The introduction of former youth team captain Gibson saw Corby finish the game with five local boys on the pitch and another on the bench.
Little was seen of the visitors in attack but near the end Jordan Wilson did have a header which was easily saved at the foot of a post by his namesake Sam.
With a free midweek ahead of them Corby's next fixture is an intriguing visit to Sheffield FC - the oldest football club in the world.
CORBY TOWN:- Sam Wilson; Jamie Anton, Sam Warburton; Paul Malone, Jason Lee (captain), Steven Leslie (substitute Philip Trainer); Ben Diamond (substitute Jordan O'Brien), Connor Kennedy, Leon Lobjoit, Sam Mulready (substitute CJ Tanga-Gibson), Jordan Crawford. Unused substitute Dean McBride.
CARLTON TOWN:- Jack Steggles; Robbie McNicholas, Daniel Fletcher (substitute Brandon Mutibvu); Edouard Schoenecker (captain), Reece Bertram, Jake Carlisle; Kaylum Mitchell, Daniel Elliott, Jordan Wilson, Mamoke Akaunu (substitutes Daryl Lucas), Daniel Gordon. Substitutes: Harry Gibbons, Kyle Stovell, Wilfried Gnahre.
REFEREE:- Mr Scott Tallis (Coventry).
Updated 14:01 - 8 Nov 2017 by James McCafferty