Corby Town produced their best performance of the season to claim the Northamptonshire bragging rights with a brilliant 4-2 win over Brackley Town at St James Park.
The Steelmen were excellent from start to finish against the side who started the day in third place in the Blue Square Bet North.
And a second victory in as many days handed another big boost to Corby’s survival hopes as Colwyn Bay could only manage a 3-3 draw at Stalybridge Celtic.
Steelmen boss Chris Plummer made two changes from the team that beat Worcester City on Saturday with Lewis Webb and Greg Kaziboni coming in for Joseph N’Guessan and top scorer Josh Moreman. It meant a change of tactics as well with Gary King playing as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
The early exchanges were even with Jefferson Louis unable to get on the end of Tom Winters’ dangerous cross for the hosts.
Corby seemed in confident mood, however, and Webb forced a save out of Billy Turley when he got on the end of Kaziboni’s ball in from the left.
Steelmen goalkeeper Paul Walker, playing against his former club, got down well to turn a Winters free-kick round the post but it was the hosts who drew first blood on 23 minutes.
Winters did brilliantly to get to the by-line and clip a cross over and former Steelman Steve Diggin rose to head into the corner.
But Corby’s response was good and they were back on level terms inside six minutes after King had dragged a shot wide of the target.
Ryan Semple lined up a free-kick on the left side, some 30 yards from goal. Clearly he was trying to whip the ball into the danger area but it completely deceived Turley and flew into the top corner.
The Steelmen could have been in front three minutes later when Jason Crowe was left unmarked from a corner but he didn’t get a proper connection on the ball and sent it wide.
But the Corby captain made no mistake four minutes before half-time as he stunned the home side by powerfully heading home Semple’s corner.
If that was good, it got a whole lot better eight minutes into the second half when King brilliantly fired into the top corner from an impossible angle as he was virtually on the goal-line.
That third goal prompted Brackley boss Jon Brady to make a triple substitution with Izak Reid, Marvin Robinson and former Corby man Glenn Walker all entering the fray.
And the hosts were back in it on 59 minutes when the impressive Winters crossed from the left and Carl Piergianni slid in to stab the ball into his own net.
Tom Sharpe headed just wide from a corner as the hosts began to step things up but the siege on the Corby goal never really came.
And with 13 minutes to go, Piergianni gained redemption. Another Semple corner saw the centre-half get in front of Turley and head home, much to the delight of the healthy number of travelling fans.
From there, Corby held on with ease as they rounded off their best display of the season in comfortable style.
The job of staying in the division is not done. But this was the day Chris Plummer’s men came of age.
Brackley: Turley; Clifton, Sharpe, Austin, Nisevic; Story (sub G Walker, 56 mins), Sandy, Odhiambo, Winters; Louis (sub Reid, 56 mins), Diggin (sub Robinson, 56 mins). Subs not used: Nelson-Addy, McDonald.
Steelmen: P Walker; Crowe, Galinski (sub Malone, 49 mins), Piergianni, Jelleyman; Wedderburn, Webb; Semple, Abalimba, Kaziboni (sub Moreman, 90 mins); King (sub Vieira, 82 mins). Subs not used: Ives, Greer.
Referee: John Busby.
Goals: Diggin (23 mins, 1-0), Semple (29 mins, 1-1), Crowe (41 mins, 1-2), King (53 mins, 1-3), Piergianni og (59 mins, 2-3), Piergianni (77 mins, 2-4).
Bookings: Clifton, Semple, Odhiambo, Robinson (all fouls).