Brackley Town continue to surprise us all with their immaculate start to the season having won all three of their opening matches.
Last week we heard about their adventure up in Manchester, next up was a trip far closer to home...
Matchday Four: We are on day 10 of the new season and it’s already the fourth game. It is our first visit to Corby Town’s new Steel Park stadium, adjacent to its previous Rockingham Road home where Brackley Town’s record was far from distinguished before Corby were elevated to the Conference North.
The drive across Northamptonshire from south-west to north-east was pleasant, if cool and dull, but full of expectation. After three games Saints stand second with three wins with the Steelmen bottom. This counts for nothing and we brace ourselves for a tough afternoon.
Injured keeper Billy Turley is replaced by young Polish debutant Krzysiek Zylski and striker Elliot Sandy is also side-lined with a knock but the core of the side remains and a strong bench gives the manager many options and different permutations.
The wind whips across a grey Steel Park with squalls of rain as if the weather-man has forgotten it is August and fast-forwarded to November. Where will Saints sit in that league table in November?
In black and white stripes Corby Town lead out next to Saints in all yellow with the magnificent tannoy system utilised to the full announcing team changes, bar prices and car parking notices all in one breath.
Fully appraised of all necessary information notices, the 644 supporters make some noise and the game is under way with Saints immediately on top. And that is the way of it on a trying afternoon for Ian Sampson, ex-Cobblers boss and newly appointed Corby manager.
Steelmen followers are leaving well before time, disgruntled and pegged firmly to bottom spot in the division. After four goals and an embarrassing imbalance in play, referee Guy Stretton blows for the end of the game. Saints fans gathered at one end celebrate another win that keeps the team level on points with Guiseley at the top of the table. This brings a few half-hearted jeers and ribald remarks from home supporters who know they were well beaten and do not know where the next goal, let alone win, will come from.
Sated with goals and success, the travelling public of Brackley make for the exits to head west for tea-time. For now, all is rosy in the garden.