Corby Town climbed out of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division for the first time since the end of August as Ben Milnes’ goal sealed a 1-0 victory over Mickleover Sports at Steel Park.
Gary Mills brought his big guns back into the fold after making a number of changes for Wednesday’s NFA Hillier Cup semi-final success over Desborough Town.
There was little to write home about in the first half as the Steelmen failed to create a clear-cut chance.
Mickleover were the better side with Andy Dales and Tom Burgin both going close with efforts just off target.
Things didn’t really improve after the break but the breakthrough came on 69 minutes when David Bell’s free-kick was cleared only as far as the edge of the area and Milnes hammered his shot home.
Milnes had another effort deflected wide and Jason Lee volleyed just over for the hosts.
But they saw the game out to secure another priceless three points.
Kettering Town slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division leaders Chippenham Town.
Marcus Law recalled Aaron O’Connor and Brett Solkhon to the starting line-up with Matthew Barnes-Homer dropping to the bench while Liam Bateman missed out due to injury. New signing Jorrin John was named among the substitutes.
The hosts broke the deadlock in the first half when Lewis Hornby was caught in possession and Will Richards beat Paul White with a 20-yard strike.
White spilled an effort from Richards but recovered to save at the second attempt and then pulled off a fine stop from a free-kick.
Gary Mulligan shot over before the break and Hornby did likewise early in the second half.
White was forced into another good save from a free-kick but the Poppies had a great chance to level when Liam Canavan volleyed over after a good build-up involving Rene Howe and O’Connor.
Howe saw an effort saved by the home goalkeeper and Kettering went even closer towards the end when Solkhon headed James Brighton’s against the crossbar.
Joe Curtis was sent off as AFC Rushden & Diamonds shared a 0-0 draw with Belper Town in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South at the Dog & Duck.
As expected, Liam Dolman was passed fit for the clash while Ben Ford was given the nod at left-back with Sam Brown not included in the squad.
After an even start the key moment of the first half came on 24 minutes when Curtis was sent off for catching Mike Armstrong with his leading arm as they went up for an aerial challenge.
Diamonds had appeals for a penalty waved away when Tom Lorraine looked to be held at the far post and they went close twice before the break through Dolman and then Ben Farrell who fired a shot just wide.
Diamonds started the second half positively and Nabil Shariff had two shots, one going wide and the other over the bar.
Shariff also had their best chance when he was unable to hit the target with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot after Farrell had an effort blocked.
Belper went close when a header went just over and they had an effort ruled out for offside late on.