DATE  28.1.2017
COMPETITION   Evo-Stik Premier League
Corby Town  CORBY TOWN (2) 3
 Moore (3), (33), Brown (85)
Hednesford Town  HEDNESFORD TOWN (1) 2
 Mukendi (26), Thorley (48)
MoTM  Tom Thorley
TOP SCORERS  Carline / Glover (9)
FORM GUIDE  D  L  L  L  W  W  L  L  L  W  L
1st Blyth Spartans 28 59
2nd Workington 30 51
3rd Buxton 30 50
4th Whitby Town 30 50
5th Spennymoor Town 27 49
6th Stourbridge 27 49
7th Rushall Olympic 29 49
8th Grantham Town 31 48
9th Nantwich Town 27 47
10th Warrington Town 29 44
11th Barwell 31 44
The Pitmen failed to follow up last week's morale-boosting victory over Rushall Olympic with defeat at Steel Park this afternoon against basement side Corby Town

The preceding week at Keys Park had once again seen more player movements, with experienced midfielder Jordan Fitzpatrick joining the Pitmen after leaving the high-flying Pics last week

Corby - relegated alongside the Pitmen last season from Vanarama National League North - had endured a rotten season back at step three level, sitting at the foot of the Evo-Stik Premier League table. Despite this, new manager Gary Mills had started to turn things around for the Steelmen since taking charge, with Corby currently in a run of form that had seen them lose only one game in the last five. Former Hednesford men Phil Trainer and Courtney Wildin were amongst the Corby side named by Mills, alongside old adversary Stefan Moore, who had recently signed for the strugglers

And, perhaps unsurprisingly for the seasoned watchers of the Pitmen, it was Moore who was to have a major say in the game straight from the off; in the first minute, a ball from Ben Milnes found Moore out wide, with the former Villa man crossing for Trainer, whose header was saved by former team-mate Dan Crane, who had been restored to the starting line-up after two games away

Two minutes later, dreadful defending from the Pitmen gifted Moore a golden opportunity to open his account with a simple chance. Jordan Crawford showed Kyle Haynes a clean pair of heels down the left and crossed towards Moore, who was lurking in the penalty area. Gavin Caines looked favourite to head a simple cross away, but somehow allowed the ball to drift over his head and fall to Moore, who chested the ball down and slotted past a horribly exposed Crane

 With their tails up, Corby went looking for a second goal as they tested the Pitmen's fragile defensive resolve. Milnes fired narrowly wide of goal on seven minutes after bursting past a static Hednesford central defence

The Pitmen responded through Jamie Sheldon in the ninth minute, picking up a Dan Preston pass before testing Aiden Grant's reactions in the Corby goal with a low drive that was turned away for a corner kick

Crane came to his side's rescue again in the fourteenth minute, once again denying Trainer a goal after the veteran midfielder had got in behind the Hednesford defence to shoot at goal

Tom Thorley looked to add to his solitary goal for the campaign on twenty minutes, as he reacted quickest to a bouncing, bobbling ball inside the Corby penalty area and forced Grant into a save low down to his right to concede a corner

The Pitmen pulled themselves level through new cult hero Vinny Mukendi on twenty six minutes, as the giant striker did brilliantly to get above the Corby defence and head Iwan Cartwright's lofted ball past Grant from eight yards out for his fourth goal in four games

Mukendi followed this up three minutes later with a yellow card after incurring the wrath of the referee following a number of niggly fouls

The Pitmen's good work in getting themselves level was all wasted on thirty three minutes, as that man Moore once again punished some poor defending to score his, and his side's, second goal of the afternoon. A long ball forwards saw Moore nip in behind the Hednesford defence once more and lob the ball over the onrushing Crane and into the net

Former Corby striker Spencer Weir-Daley played in Sheldon in the final action of a busy first half, but the midfielder lacked conviction and skewed his shot horribly over the crossbar, rather than testing Grant

The visitors made a flying start to the second half, and equalised for a second time just three minutes after the restart. A cross from youngster Remeao Hutton picked out skipper Thorley, who fired past Grant with a brilliant first time shot from twelve yards out

Suddenly, it was the Pitmen who were looking the more likely to take the lead in this topsy-turvy game, with Sheldon again getting into a great position on fifty two minutes, but saw his effort blocked by Aaron Brown

Danny Glover was introduced into the action on fifty six minutes, coming on up front in place of Weir-Daley to add power and craft to the Hednesford attack

At the other end, Crane was again on top form to deny both Jason Lee and Jordan Crawford in quick succession as the game remained deadlocked at 2-2

The Pitmen made their last two changes of the afternoon within a few minutes of each other, with Fitzpatrick coming on for his debut in place of Cartwright, followed soon after by the introduction of big Tony Clarke in place of the off-target Sheldon

With the game entering the final minutes, Corby stole all three points to continue their good run in 2017; a corner kick from David Bell found Trainer at the far post, with the former Hednesford man heading back across goal and gave Brown the chance to nod the winning goal home from close range

The Pitmen had left themselves little time to produce a response, leaving Paul Casey's men to record a fourth defeat in five league games since December 10th. They drop to twelfth as a result of this defeat, with any hopes of a run to the play-offs now looking remote. Next weekend sees a mid-table clash between the Pitmen and Barwell as Casey looks for a response from his misfiring, inconsistent squad
No. Player Mins On On/Off For Goals
Dan Crane 90  
Kyle Haynes 90    
Remeao Hutton 90
Stuart McNaught 90    
Gavin Caines 90    
Dan Preston 90
Tom Thorley 90   1
Iwan Cartwright 70 Fitzpatrick  
Vinny Mukendi 90 1
Jamie Sheldon 75 Clarke
Spencer Weir-Daley 56 Glover  
Lloyd Ransome 0    
Danny Glover 34 Weir-Daley  
Tony Clarke 15 Sheldon  
Jordan Fitzpatrick 20 Cartwright
Dan Brenan 0