Saturday 5th March 2016 – Corby Town 1 – 4 North Ferriby United
National League North @ Steel Park, Corby
“Get back to your farms, you Northerners…”
Saturday 5th March was supposed to be a trip to the second city to watch Hull take on Birmingham City at St. Andrews. Sky Sports however had other ideas, switching the game to a Thursday evening, making travel for the exiled fan (and I imagine those with HU postcodes also) almost impossible, especially on a school night.
But a game was needed. And so it was we opted to follow Hull’s neighbours down the river, North Ferriby United, in one of their most southerly fixtures, away at Corby Town.
The title of this blog entry is “End of the line….Corby”, in reference to the fact the town sits at the end of a single train line into London St. Pancras. An easy trip for me, but not for my mate travelling from Birmingham, who had to change twice.
Corby is a steel town (as the name of their football ground suggests). Also of interest is that it has a large Scottish population, due to the fact many from North of the border came here to work in the industry, and stayed. This was observed in our first pub (a small place near the train station, I don’t recall the name) where the order of the day was the early kick-off between Rangers and Dundee.
We didn’t stay long in the centre as were keen to get to the ground, which we heard had a good bar (always prefer to line the pockets of a small club than a pub chain).
Steel Park is quite a walk from the centre of Corby. We were lucky that day, a mate giving us a lift to the ground, on the outskirts of town, in amongst a business park and leisure facilities.
At the entrance to the ground we came in, there were two pitch side areas along the left of the ground (including behind the goal, where the bar could be found), a small terrace opposite, but quite a large seated stand to our right. Along one side of the ground, it appears as if there is a second stadium next door (I believe it is a leisure centre).
Through the turnstile (only £10 to get in) there is a small club shop, with what has to be the weirdest mannequin I have seen anywhere on display!
Prior to the match we frequented the club bar, a friendly place with a good range of beers on tap. Corby were (and still are) bottom of the National League North (Conference North to us traditionals) so I wasn’t expecting a huge turnout. I was wrong, and was assured that often there are more. The weather that day was pretty treacherous; freezing cold with constant showers and wind. That may have been a factor.
The score was 2-1 to North Ferriby within 15 minutes of the game kicking off – proper schoolboy scoreline, with the dozen or so North Ferriby United fans in a good mood. Not that surprising given North Ferriby were sitting in the play-off places. Corby didn’t look like a bottom of the table team though, with their fans urging them to attack and pull something back.
I liked their fans; the ‘Northern abuse’ hurled at Ferriby’s players was decent. There was also a cracking moment when a Corby player went down near the box in an attempt to win a free-kick – real Ronaldo stuff, feigning injury. A couple of dozen or so home fans shouting at him that they had paid money to watch him roll around soon cured whatever injury he had.
It finished 4-1 to the visitors though. The game memorable in reality more for the big skies created by the weather than the football. It was good to see Ferriby again, the last time being their FA Trophy Final win at Wembley last year. For Corby though, it looks like they will be going down.
Steel Park, whilst quite far away from the centre of town, is well worth a trip; decent fans, a nice neat little ground, good bar, and palatable enough food kiosk.
Other photos from the day