Corby Town suffered their second defeat in the space of four days as they were beaten 2-0 at Blue Square Bet North play-off contenders FC Halifax Town.
Manager Chris Plummer made three changes to the side that lost to Hinckley on Monday, but the visitors were on the back-foot right from the whistle with Chris Worsley and Jason St Juste producing numerous opportunities for the hosts.
Just seven minutes in, it was a teasing run by Worsley that caused all sorts of problems down the right. Fortunately for the Steelmen, Jason Crowe headed away the danger.
Two minutes later, St Juste caused problems down the opposite wing. His pass diverted into the path of Worsley, but between a number of Steelmen bodies, again they managed to clear the danger.
Corby’s first opportunity came 20 minutes in. A stray back-pass by Halifax skipper Danny Lowe almost played in Gary King, but goalkeeper Matt Glennon managed to just reach the ball ahead of the onrushing striker.
Just a couple of moments later, Halifax very nearly took the lead through Worsley. Once again, Corby had plenty of men behind the ball. Worsley found himself alone at the back post with just Paul Malone to beat, but the defender got his body in the way of the shot and cleared the danger.
Gareth Jellyman was back in the Steelmen starting line-up after missing Monday’s match due to an injury, but was forced off just before the half-hour mark.
Halifax struggled to break down the Steelmen despite the majority of possession. However, the deadlock was broken after 38 minutes. A teasing corner from St Juste found defender Scott McManus at the front post to head the ball past Paul Walker with the aid of a slight deflection.
The hosts had a chance to extend their lead just before the break. Liam Needham found himself with too much room in the box, but a brilliant save from Walker kept the score to 1-0 at half-time.
After the restart, possession was shared, but it was the Steelmen that had the first shot. Ryan Semple passed a few Halifax players, but his shot from 25-yards went just wide of Glennon’s goal.
The hosts, having drawn two and lost three of their last five league matches at home since March, almost doubled their advantage just before the hour. A smart turn by Alex Titchiner in the box forced an equally as impressive save from Walker.
A brilliant pass from Nat Wedderburn to Semple split the Halifax defence and forced Lowe into a strong illegal tackle. Lowe was booked for his troubles, but would have been glad to see the resulting free-kick go straight into the wall.
Neil Aspin made a double substitution on 67 minutes replacing attacking duo Titchiner and Lee Gregory with Gareth Seddon and Danny Glover.
But it was the Steelmen who enjoyed more possession than the hosts.
Plummer introduced Josh Moreman with a quarter of an hour remaining, and his fresh legs appeared to lift the Steelmen going forward.
But it was the introduction of James Bolton for his home debut for the hosts that put the game beyond doubt with just over five minutes remaining. A corner by Sean Williams found the on-loan Macclesfield man six yards out and he headed past Walker to seal it.
Corby are back in action on home soil on Saturday when they take on Workington. They still hold a nine-point advantage over Colwyn Bay, who have three games in hand.
FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Toulson, McManus, Needham, Knowles, Lowe, Worsley, Williams, Titchiner (sub Glover, 67 mins), St Juste (sub Bolton, 75 mins); Gregory (sub Seddon, 67 mins). Subs not used: Senior, Johnson
Steelmen: Walker; Crowe (sub Cuffy, 88 mins), Malone, Piergianni, Jellyman (sub McGowan, 28 mins); Abalimba, Wedderburn; Semple, Webb, Vieira (sub Moreman, 75 mins); King. Subs not used: Galinski, Greer
Referee: R Jones.
Goals: McManus (38 mins, 1-0), Bolton (85 mins, 2-0).
Booking: Lowe (foul).