Matt Bell celebrates his goal with Ryan Brooke in front of distraught Corby Town players

Nantwich Town moved up to fifth and are seven unbeaten in the league despite a frustrating 1-1 draw with Corby Town at the Weaver Stadium, writes Steve Sharman.

Matt Bell opened the scoring two minutes before half time, calmly slotting the ball into the net after excellent play from Joe Mwasile.

But the Dabbers were pegged back in the second half after Corby were awarded a controversial penalty kick for handball against Wayne Riley.

Phil Parkinson made two changes from the draw at Sutton Coldfield as Ryan Brooke and Matt Bell returned in place of Sean Cooke and Steve Jones.

There was a minute’s silence before kick off in memory of the club’s longest serving manager, Colin Hutchinson, who died recently aged 80.

Corby started brightly but Nantwich created the first chance as Riley volleyed narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

Then visiting keeper Aidan Grant got down low to deny Joe Mwasile’s deflected cross.

Andy White and Ben Harrison both fired high and wide for the Dabbers before Stefan Moore was denied by the woodwork for Corby as the striker’s shot struck the base of the post.

Andy White shoots for goal v Corby

The Steelmen ended the first half the better as Daniel Gyollai made a fine save to palm away Aaron Brown’s curling effort from the edge of the box.

But despite their pressure, Corby were a goal down on 43 minutes.

Bell calmly tucked the ball home after Mwasile took advantage of poor defending from Courtney Wildin, before squaring the ball to his team mate, who made no mistake from six yards.

The second half started with the Dabbers finding the net but referee Thomas Parsons disallowed Ryan Brooke’s header for a foul on Grant.

Matt Bell scores for Nantwich

Mwasile caused Corby’s defence problems and after beating several men played the ball to Tom Peers who saw his curling effort go inches past the far post.

But in the 63rd minute, Corby were awarded a controversial penalty after referee deemed the ball to have struck Riley’s arm despite having to consult his linesman.

Former Aston Villa man Stefan Moore stepped up to send Gyollai the wrong way and bring the visitors level.

Nantwich responded and Brooke was inches from scoring as his chip over Grant went agonisingly wide.

Stefan Moore scores the penalty for Corby Town

The visitors were lucky not to be down to ten men as Mwasile was the victim of a poor challenge by Connor Kennedy who walked away with just a booking.

Corby seemed happy to sit back as Peers’ attempted lob went over the crossbar after some hesitant defending.

Bell saw his effort from the edge of the box fly past the post late on, before Peers’ shot was blocked after a goal mouth scramble.

Nantwich are next in action next Saturday away at Hednesford Town with a 3pm kick off.

Nantwich Town: Gyollai, J. Stair, White, Harrison, C. Jones, Hall (c), Brooke (Cotterell 77′), Riley, Peers, Bell, Mwasile. Subs not used: Touray, Howell, Griggs, Burzynski.

(pics courtesy of Jonathan White)

Ben Harrison controls the ball v Corby

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