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By Phil Docherty
Since my last notes we have had four games in the Northant Senior Youth League. On Monday, October 25th we were at home to Cogenhoe United in a top of the table clash. At half time the scoreline was blank but early in the second half the visitors went ahead. We then equalised with a Sean Brennan penalty after Kevin Fowler had been fouled but in the 78th minute Cogenhoe restored their advantage. We had a couple of chances to draw level towards the end of the game but were unable to make them count and slipped to a narrow defeat. It had been a very even game throughout and the lads played well with Alan Barrett being named Man of the Match. Our line up was: Hill, Johnson, Barrett, Hance, Scrivener, Mitchell, Brennan, Doherty (sub. McKay 73 mins.), Julian Burr (sub. Clark 80 mins.) Fowler. unused sub: Robinson.
    On Monday, November 8th we travelled down to Bugbrooke and before we could settle we found ourselves 0-2 down, the first goal coming from the penalty spot and the second resulting from some bad defensive play by ourselves. However, we recovered well to come back into the game and began to create a few chances. Just after half time Shaun Mitchell pulled a goal back but shortly after this we were reduced to ten men when Dominic Johnson was sent off for retaliation. Although short handed we continued to press for an equaliser and were caught on the break fifteen minutes from time when Bugbrooke scored a superb third. Overall though, after a disappointing first half hour when we lacked application and commitment the lads showed good attitude and ability. There were fine performances from the two wing backs Shaun Mitchell and Graham Clark on his full debut and Kevin Fowler at centre forward. The Corby team was: Hill, Mitchell, Barrett, Hance, Scrivener (sub. Norman 68 mins), Clark(sub Adams 72 mins), Brennan, Doherty (sub. McKay 75 mins), Julian Johnson, Fowler.
    Following these two defeats we slipped to fifth in the league. But with a very young side - only four players cannot appear at this level next season - it is still very much a learning curve, with the players being made aware that the future is bright as long as we can add the physical application to go with their good attitudes and ability.
    Our next game was away to Banbury United on Wednesday, November 24th and due to the 120 mile round trip we decided to start with a 4-5-1 formation with Kevin Fowler as the lone striker. Once we found our feet at the beginning of the second half we switched to 4-4-2 with Sean Brennan also up front. After a very even goalless first half the second perion proved pretty much the same but Banbury drew first blood with a header and then scored a second a minute from full time with our lads pushing hard for an equaliser. For Corby captain Paul Hance at the back and Kevin Fowler up front were outstanding. Our full line up was: Hill, Barrett, Scrivener, Hance, Julian, Mitchell, Dohery, Johnson (sub. Norman 71 mins), Clark (sub. McKay 60 mins), Brennan, Fowler (sub. Adams 65 mins). unused sub: Robinson
    Having gone sixteen days without a game we then found ourselves playing twice in five days when we played host to Wellingborough Town on Monday, November 29th. This slightly lop-sided fixture list doesn't help with continuity amongst the squad and perhaps explains our slightly lack-lustre performance in our first goalless draw of the season in what is a very competitive and high standard competition.
    It was good to see youth team players Sean Brennan and Chris Burr in the squad for the first team's F.A Umbro Trophy tie at Lancaster City while the same afternoon 16 year old Graham Clark mad a scoring debut for the reserves.

Phil Doherty