After an early goal – the best of the day – and a promising first-half display, all looked good for Spalding United at Steel Park on Saturday.
But they were undone in the second period, largely by a couple of lively and tricky Corby Town runners who with some regularity nutmegged their markers and created the openings for eager strike partners to take advantage.
Corby could have had a fourth goal but Leon Lobjoit’s penalty during five minutes of added time grazed the outside of a post after he had slipped.
The Tulips opened the game superbly and were within fractions of taking a fifth-minute lead with Ellis Humble’s header palmed to safety by Sam Wilson.
On the counter-attack, only a last-ditch tackle halted Ben Davison.
But the towering front man was not to be denied in the 15th minute as he connected with Lee Beeson’s cross and beat Wilson with a header.
However, it took the Steelmen just seven minutes to level the scores with Ben Bradshaw providing the vital finish.
Corby stepped up the pressure after the interval with their attacks from the wings becoming ever more frequent and telling.
Michael Duggan kept out Steven Leslie’s header but he was soundly beaten on 57 minutes as Cameron Healey homed in on Visan-Vasile Cretu’s right-wing cross.
The Tulips were thankful for the efforts of their man-of-the-match centre-back Neal Spafford who constantly ended attacks and cleared one effort from the line.
Phil Trainer made it 3-1 with 20 minutes left while the Tulips battled gamely but created few opportunities in response.
Their best chance came in the closing stages but Jonny Lockie – who had bagged a midweek hat-trick for the under-21 team against title rivals Boston Town – fluffed his lines at the crucial stage.
Spalding: Duggan, Fixter, Jackson, Marshall (sub Maddison 73 mins), Humble, Spafford, Acar (sub Couzens 72 mins), Beeson, King (sub Lockie 66 mins), Davison, Neil. Sub not used: Smith.