Corby Town boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Vanarama National League North with an impressive 2-0 win over Tamworth at Steel Park.
After a busy week in the transfer market, Steelmen boss Tommy Wright handed starts to new signings Ellis Myles, former Wycombe Wanderers winger Nathan Evans and Nathan Hicks, who joined on loan from league rivals Nuneaton Town.
Other new faces were also on the bench with defender Liam Marshall and Tom Manship among the substitutes.
Corby enjoyed a fine start as they opened the scoring on six minutes. A Duane Courtney long throw was only half-cleared and Cleveland Taylor’s volley was deflected in by Greg Mills.
Taylor forced James Belshaw into a save at his near post but the game turned in the space of three minutes as former Steelmen Leon Mettam saw a header bounce off the post before the Steelmen doubled their advantage soon after.
A free-kick was cleared only as far as Taylor and he crossed to the far post where Edi Appleton was waiting to finish it off.
Courtney almost made it 3-0 before the break when his looping header bounced off the crossbar and out for a goal-kick.
Mills forced Belshaw to punch away a free-kick in the second half but the frontman missed a big chance to make it three when he shot narrowly wide after being played in by Ben Milnes.
But Corby were forced to play out the final 20 minutes with 10 men after Hicks picked up two bookings in the space of four minutes and was sent off.
However, they remained solid defensively and substitute Ryan Robbins forced Belshaw into two saves before Sam Donkin got down well to push away an Elliott Durrell volley.
But that was as close as Tamworth came as the Steelmen saw things out for a crucial win.
Kettering Town returned to winning ways in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division with an excellent 2-0 victory at second-placed Chippenham Town.
The Poppies handed Spencer Weir-Daley his debut and he wasted little time in opening his account after joining on loan from Corby Town.
Just four minutes had gone when Wilson Carvalho played a ball forward for the striker to volley home.
Chippenham worked their way back into things but Liam Canavan headed wide for the Poppies.
And things really turned in their favour when the hosts were reduced to 10 men before the break when Matt Smith was sent off for a poor challenge from behind on Chris Carruthers after the ball had gone out of play.
Rene Howe headed wide for Kettering early in the second half but Chippenham continued to push hard and Alan Griffin spooned over the bar with one of their best chances.
The hosts had an effort ruled out for offside but the Poppies wrapped up the points with a minute to go when Carvalho blasted home the rebound after Elliot Sandy had headed against the post.
Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central leaders AFC Rushden & Diamonds were forced to settle for a point as they drew 0-0 at Fleet Town.
It was a first half of few chances in tough conditions with Matt Finlay making a good early save while, at the other end, Diamonds’ best opportunity saw the home goalkeeper deny Tom Lorraine after he was played in by Claudiu Hoban.
In the second half, Jon Stevenson forced a fine save from Fleet goalkeeper after a shot on the turn while Jack Ashton headed over from the resulting corner.
There were few other opportunities forever as the game ended in stalemate.