Corby Town returned to winning ways against Blue Square Bet North bottom markers Hinckley United with a 5-3 success at Steel Park.
There was no place in the Steelmen squad for Sam Ives while Leon McKenzie was still absent as he continues to promote his autobiography around the country.
Stefan Galinski was fit enough to start his final game of a loan spell from Derby County while Josh Moreman was recalled to the starting line-up.
And, as expected, it was Corby who controlled the early stages against a fragile-looking Hinckley side, who have suffered financial problems this season and arrived at Steel Park on the back of 14 successive league defeats.
They should have been in front after four minutes when Knitters goalkeeper Robert Peet threw the ball straight to Liam Hughes but the big striker fired the ball straight back at him.
But the deadlock was broken three minutes later when a driving run down the left by Nat Wedderburn ended in a low cross which was picked up by Tom McGowan who eventually rolled the ball into the corner.
Peet produced a fine save to stop Carl Piergianni’s thumping header but it was 2-0 just past the half-hour when Moreman marked his return to the starting 11 with a fine header as he converted Hughes’ cross.
Hinckley struggled to get any sort of grip on the game but they did pull a goal back when Hughes only half-cleared the danger following a corner and Harvey Headley drove the ball past Paul Walker.
But any hope the visitors may have had was wiped out almost immediately as Ryan Semple sent a cross back into the area after his corner was cleared back to him and Hughes finished it off with a diving header.
Peet produced a fine save to tip Semple’s deflected shot over the bar before the break and, soon after half-time, the hosts had an effort chalked off for offside as Hughes finished off Semple’s cross at the far post.
Moreman shot over when he probably should have squared to the unmarked Semple but the former did get a deserved goal when he beat the offside trap and confidently shot past Peet.
But that still wasn’t enough to see of the plucky visitors and they replied within the space of two minutes as Theo Brown raced away and made no mistake with a good finish to beat Walker.
Semple curled another shot just wide but it was Hinckley who gave it a real go in the final 20 minutes and, even though Walker didn’t have a serious save to make, it was enough to make the home faithful more than restless.
But the nerves were settled late on when Peet, for some reason, sent a goal-kick straight to Hughes and there was no mistake this time as the striker fired home.
However, there was still time for the Steelmen defence to allow Headley to cut in from the left and fire home a low shot.
The win was most welcome, of course. But the defending will have to be so much better if Corby want to cause an FA Carlsberg Trophy shock at Tamworth next weekend.
Steelmen: Walker; Horne (sub Richardson, h-t), Piergianni, Galinski (sub Malone, 69 mins), Crowe; McGowan, Wedderburn; Semple, Webb, Moreman (sub Vieira, 69 mins); Hughes. Subs not used: Manga.
Hinckley: Peet; Holt, Towers, Richards-Everton, Raglan, Hartland; Cole, Stenson (sub Conway, 69 mins), Headley, Brown; Wint. Subs not used: Hicks, Heggs.
Referee: Steven Plane.
Goals: McGowan (7 mins, 1-0), Moreman (33 mins, 2-0), Headley (44 mins, 2-1), Hughes (45 mins, 3-1), Semple (59 mins, 4-1), Brown (61 mins, 4-2), Hughes (88 mins, 5-2), Headley (90 mins, 5-3).
Bookings: Cole, Richards-Everton (foul).