Corby Town’s Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division survival hopes suffered another blow as they were beaten 3-1 at Ashton United.
Boss Gary Mills named himself on the bench while assistant David Bell was fit to start.
But they went in a goal down at half-time as Ashton opened the scoring on 36 minutes thanks to a fine strike from Ryan Crowther from the edge of the box.
However, the Steelmen drew level on 64 minutes when Ben Milnes fired home an excellent strike.
Corby hit the post as they searched for a winner but they had their hearts broken with four minutes to go when the defence failed to clear and Crowther grabbed his second of the game.
And the Steelmen’s misery was compounded in stoppage-time when Matty Chadwick added a third for the hosts.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds got their Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South play-off push back on track with a comfortable 6-1 success over Northwich Victoria at the Dog & Duck.
Diamonds blew their visitors away with three goals in nine early first-half minutes.
Jack Bowen set the balling rolling after racing away before beating Dylan Forth and it was 2-0 soon after when Ollie Brown-Hill met Ben Ford’s fabulous crossfield pass with a well-placed header.
Diamonds made the game safe when Bowen flicked a Sam Brown throw into the path of Nabil Shariff who made no mistake from close-range and it was 4-0 before the break after another composed finish from Bowen.
Northwich pulled one back in the second half when Dave Short’s 40-yard free-kick deceived Ben Heath and found the net.
However, top scorer Shariff made it 5-1 when he fired into the roof of the net following a corner and it was 6-1 when substitute Dan Quigley, who had only been on the pitch for 20 seconds, hammered home a volley from the edge of the box.
Shariff hit the post late on but Diamonds saw the game out comfortably.
Kettering Town scored two late goals as they picked up a second successive Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division win by beating relegation-threatened Cirencester Town 3-1 at Latimer Park.
The Poppies, who were without Rene Howe who wasn’t in the squad, fell behind after eight minutes when Kerry Morgan’s long-range free-kick beat Paul White.
Aaron O’Connor did have the ball in the net but his effort was ruled out for handball.
However, he played a part in the equaliser when he was brought down by Matt Liddiard in the area. Nathan Hicks’ penalty was saved but he followed up to score the rebound.
Cirencester were reduced to 10 men on 64 minutes when Ellis Dunton was sent-off for a second bookable offence.
The Poppies eventually made them pay as O’Connor was sent through on goal with five minutes to go and placed it past the goalkeeper.
And the points were wrapped up in stoppage-time when Liam Canavan was brought down in the area and James Hall stepped up to score from the spot.