Performance of the season sees off The Steelmen
The visit of promotion-chasingCorby Town, and given the poor home form of Rovers this season, promised to be a game that Rovers needed to be at their best to secure even a point. Football confounded us again and this Rovers side threw any criticism straight back in our faces. From the off it was Rovers dictating play with some of the best man to man football seen all season, sound defending and a willingness to get forward and look sharp this entire match. As early as the second minute Drew Phillips almost opened the scoring with a cute back-heel which Corby keeper Dan George eventually smothered to prevent an opening goal. Lee Close then headed narrowly over from a corner before Tony Williams had a shot palmed wide by the Corby keeper. Victor Osubu struck the bar from a corner after 9 minutes and, in reality and assuming conversion of some tremendous play by Rovers, the home side could and should have been two or three goals to the good and the game barely started. You worry that, having failed to convert their opportunities to this point, Rovers might be undone with a Corby Town backlash but Rovers nudged in front on 10 minutes when Connor Vincent converted from a low Osubu cross to prove that theory wrong. Further good goalscoring chances came and went when first Williams headed against the bar on 12 minutes closely followed by Vincent, foiled by a last-ditch tackle, when clean through after 13 minutes. Both Drew Phillips and Williams, from a super Dan Olineran cross, had efforts wide and over the bar that ought have been converted. Rovers though did pay the price for not capitalising fully on their pressure when Corby forced their way into this match with two Joel Carta goals, the first a powerful drive from the edge of the box after 40 minutes and then what looked a fortunate headed second after 42 minutes from a corner when Gary Malone appeared to be obstructed in his attempts to collect the crossed ball. So a half of exciting, attacking intent from Rovers looked suddenly as if the home side was to have little to show for it but never say die Rovers equalised on the stroke of half-time when Vincent somehow headed home at the near post from a corner - half-time came with the sides tied at 2-2.
Would Rovers sustain this fine performance second half - of course!! 53 minutes gone and Osubu, from a fine Stef Bailey through ball, put the home side in front once more. 61 minutes gone and Corby have what looks like an equaliser but, to Rovers relief, referee chalks it off for an infringement on Malone. Osubu was having the match of his life now, and looked to be capable of creating or scoring a goal with his every touch and so it proved after 70 minutes when his low cross from the right was fired home by all people Robbie Goodman our right-back at the back post - a rare goal he'll no doubt recount to his colleagues!! So Rovers two goals to the good but would we see any Corby Town revival? Despite a rash of Corby substitutions, and a Malone save from a point blank Jordon Crawford shot with 12 minutes remaining, it was Rovers who killed the game when Connor Vincent had the last word when Osubu again played him clear off the Corby defence and he completed his hat-trick on the night with a cool and decisive finish to seal a 5-2 home victory and three home points for the Sharpenhoe Road boys.
A superb night for all in the Rovers set-up but where oh where has this sort of form been at home this season - in all honesty Rovers looked for all the world as the promotion chasers in this match. Well done lads!!