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Steely performance from City

An entertaining game played out in front of our highest attendance of the season saw The Lilywhites and The Steelmen finish all square in blustery conditions at Westwood Road.

With clear chances at either end and a viable shout for a City penalty, both teams will probably feel hard done by coming away with just a point.

Robbie Nightingale had strengthened the front line bringing in Will Jones from AFC Rushden and Diamonds. The big striker showed why Robbie had been keen to get him in as you ran the front line, holding the ball up well and creating an attacking threat that has been missing in recent weeks.

Joe Hood also made a welcome return although he came off at half time, feeling the same hamstring injury that has plagued him since the Rugby Town Match back in September. Hopefully just a minor set back.

Corby came with a clear game plan to hit City on the break and it was just 7 mins into the match when they did exactly that, a City corner was cleared and the break was on, 3 slick passes and Connor Tomlinson was in on goal, slotting passed Joe Welch and another early goal conceded made it look like it could be another difficult night.

To their credit, the Lilywhites responded well and continued to press forward creating a few half chances and long range efforts but Corby keeper Dan Wallis was equal to anything thrown at him.

Bradley Rolt was looking threatening and in the second half he was hauled down on the edge of the box for a free kick. Mikey Davies stepped up with a superb strike that was tipped onto the bar but as the ball dropped in front of goal, Rolt was on hand to nod home from close range. nothing more than he deserved for his performances in the last few games.

Corby immediately when in search of another goal to take the lead and when a penalty was awarded for a foul in the box, it looked for all the world like City's bad luck had come back to haunt them. Enter Joe welch and the big keeper made an excellent stop down to his left but as the ball rebounded back out to a Corby player, Welch some how managed to get up and block the shot for a brilliant double save.

Soon after, another break down the right left the City defence exposed, the ball was cut back to Tomlinson who had an open goal but the Corby man took an age to get the ball out of his feet which gave George Scales enough time to close him down and block the shot.

The final act of the game was a controversial penalty shout, Mikey Davies cut in from the right and fired his effort goalwards, the keeper spilled the shot and as Bradley Rolt stepped across him with his back to goal Wallis went straight through the back of the City man. What looked like a clear cut penalty was not awarded and the game finished 1-1.

A creditable performance against a Corby side who are significantly better on their travels than they are at home. The City revival continues and that's 4 points from 2 games a with a tough away trip to Spalding but the boys are full of confidence.

Speaking to Robbie after the game.

That must feel good to come away with another point against a good Corby side who pick up most of their points on the road?

I am really pleased for the lads, we've had a tough run lately and it's really nice to be able to get 2 great results on the bounce. We had a vital trip to Gresley and came away with the 3 points in difficult conditions and tonight we showed our quality all over the pitch form 1 to 11. We kept the ball well throughout and looked really threatening at times, obviously we were conscious that Corby came to hit us on the break and they did that well but with the exception of the double save from the Penalty, Joe didn't have too much to do.

It was nice to give the fans who braved the conditions tonight some belief that we're a good side and can compete. We asked them to stick with us and now it's down to us to keep our end of the bargain. I think we did that tonight

They did have a couple of clear cut chances didn't they, what were your thoughts on the penalty and the clearance from George Scales?

I don't think we can have too many arguments about the penalty, it's another one of those where if you give the referee a decision to make then you have to expect the worst. We bought Joe in because in my eyes he's the best keeper in the division, he proved that tonight, not only making a brilliant save but having the agility to get up and block the rebound as well was incredible. Huge credit to Scalesy on the second one, I think their striker probably had too much time to decide which way to go and George threw his body on the line to make the block. It's another example of how much these boys want to win.

What were your thoughts on the decision not to award us a penalty near the end?

It was disappointing when you look at both penalty decisions in isolation, I would think that if you give one you give the other. We felt it was a penalty, the keepers got nowhere near it and taken Rolty out. As I understand it they felt he was looking for it too much. It's a tough one, but he's one of the best refs at this level. Personally I feel he may have got one wrong there but he's had a good game overall, so while it's disappointing, it's one of those you just have to take.

You've bought in a couple of new faces of late, how are the new boys settling in?

We've had Manny [Dahie] for 3 games now, he had a real baptism of fire against Harborough but he's got the type of temperament and quality we need, a real box to box midfielder who'll battle and win the ball but he also gives us something going forward. Will [Jones] only joined us just before Christmas so we haven't had a chance to work with him yet but I thought he looked sharp. He'll bring us goals for sure. We're really pleased to have both of them onboard and we continue to try and bring in anyone that we feel has the quality to improve the group.

We've got a tough run coming up, playing against the top four in quick succession, are you confident we can do well in those games?

For sure, we've seen that we often raise our game against the top teams, Loughborough beat us with a last minute goal at their place earlier in the season, we were disappointed to come away with nothing against Spalding at home in a game we really felt we did enough to win, so we'll be confident going into the games. Stef (Broccoli) will be back for Spalding and the boys confidence has lifted significantly. We'll have them in on Saturday for a session and see where we go but as we proved last season, there's no reason why we can't go to there and get something.

Catch the highlights from last nights game, as we turn attention to the Spalding match. They are promising the first 300 fans get in free so get yourself there early if you want to come and support the boys

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