Kettering Town’s hopes of securing a home play-off semi-final in the Evo-Stik South League Premier were dealt a devastating blow as they slipped to a 3-2 defeat to Tiverton Town at Latimer Park.
The Poppies were without injured top scorer Aaron O’Connor and fellow striker Rene Howe but did take a 1-0 lead into half-time.
There had been little to write home about until Rhys Hoenes crossed from the right and Mathew Stevens was there to tap home.
Brett Solkhon had a header cleared off the line early in the second half but the game changed on 73 minutes when Levi Landricombe fired a shot into the corner.
And the same player put Tiverton in front with eight minutes to go with a fine free-kick.
The game was up when Jordan Rogers slotted home after latching onto a ball over the top but Kettering did stage a mini fightback with Solkhon converting from the penalty spot after Stevens had been fouled.
And only another goal-line clearance denied them a dramatic late equaliser.
Nonetheless, the Poppies were condemned to only their second league defeat of the season at Latimer Park and, after Slough Town claimed a victory at Royston Town, Kettering now sit in fourth going into the final day of the season meaning they could yet be away from home in the play-off semi-final next Wednesday night.