The Non-League Football Paper - - EVO-STIK NPL PREMIER, NORTH & SOUTH - By Gerry Lu­cas

THIS re­sult helped nei­ther team in their quest to move away from the rel­e­ga­tion spots, al­though Hale­sowen Town will con­sider them­selves un­for­tu­nate hav­ing twice rat­tled the cross­bar in the sec­ond half.

But, in the end, the oc­ca­sion was marred by a se­ri­ous in­jury to Hale­sowen’s Louis Ezewele, who had to be stretchered off with a sus­pected bro­ken leg on 20 min­utes.

Ezewele crum­pled un­der a seem­ingly in­nocu­ous chal­lenge from Corby’s Ben Milnes be­fore be­ing car­ried off to sym­pa­thetic ap­plause from the crowd of 413.

Up to that point, the vis­i­tors en­joyed the greater share of pos­ses­sion, al­though bot­tom club Corby cre­ated the bet­ter chances.

Tyler Blake chased a lost cause to the by-line and his cross found Jor­don Craw­ford’s, who first-time strike flew inches over John Bate­man’s cross­bar.

In re­ply, a slip by Corby’s Jamie Tank let in Kaiman An­der­son one-on-one with keeper Ai­dan Grant but the big stop­per de­nied him with a brave dive at his feet.

Within min­utes, both Danny Bragoli and Jor­dan God­dard had shots blocked by the hard-work­ing Corby rear­guard.

Buoyed by this, Gary Mills’ side started the brighter af­ter the break with Ste­fan Moore’s ef­fort blocked by the legs of Bate­man.

Moore then tried his luck from a full 35 yards but the ball drifted wide with Bate­man scram­bling back, while Craw­ford saw a rather wild ef­fort blaze high and wide into the car park.

Hale­sowen too, how­ever, had their mo­ments and went clos­est to break­ing the dead­lock with two ef­forts which can­noned off the wood­work.

First, An­der­son’s loop­ing shot bounced to safety off the top of Grant’s cross­bar then, min­utes later, Lee Chilton’s ef­fort from a full 30 yards hit the same spot on the bar but again was cleared to safety.

On re­flec­tion, a draw was prob­a­bly the fairest out­come, al­though home boss Mills was dis­ap­pointed not to claim a vi­tal three points as they look to climb off the bot­tom of the ta­ble.

“Both teams were lack­ing in con­fi­dence,” Mills ad­mit­ted. “We did, though, cre­ate enough chances to have won the game. My lads’ work rate and en­deav­our war­ranted more than a point.

“How­ever, we will take the pos­i­tives from the game and move for­ward to Mon­day’s home game against Spen­ny­moor Town.”

PIC­TURE: Mike Capps

PUNCH­ING CLEAR: Hale­sowen keeper John Bate­man clears from Corby’s Steve Kin­niburgh

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