“Visan-Vasile Cretu fired in a volley for his first Corby goal.”
Corby Town's hopes of finishing the season in a promotion play-off spot suffered a blow with this first home league defeat under Steven Kinniburgh, slack defending and wasteful finishing contributing to the reverse.
There was little sign of the horrors to come in the opening minutes as Lincoln goalkeeper Phil McGann saved an angled shot by Jordan Crawford and pushed away a Steven Leslie free kick which was just creeping inside the post. This early spell of Steelmen dominance also saw Jamie Anton head over the bar following a Leslie corner.
The big difference between the teams as that when Lincoln got a sight of goal their finishing was clinical. In the 18th minute a Paul Grimes cross from the left was only cleared to the edge of the penalty area and Matt Cotton fired in a shot which flew past Sam Wilson in the Corby goal.
The visitors' second goal three minutes later was simplicity itself. A free kick from wide on the right was headed down by Jack McGovern and as the Corby defence did a passable impersonation of statues Lincoln skipper Phil Watt reacted quickest to prod the ball in.
Corby's immediate response to this double-whammy was positive enough. Paul Malone directed a header onto the crossbar following a Jason Lee free kick and Crawford hit an overhead kick over the top after Anton had knocked another Leslie set-piece back into the danger area.
A rare foray into the Corby box saw Lincoln appeal in vain for a penalty after Grimes had been bundled over while at the other end McGann made a proper meal of a challenge on him by Connor Kennedy.
The Steelmen continued to press forward at the start of the second half. A centre whipped in by Crawford was fractionally too far ahead of Ben Bradshaw and McGann made an instinctive point-blank save from a powerful Malone header.
McGovern fired Lincoln's best chance of the second period high over the bar before Corby were gifted the best possible opportunity o get back into the game in the 72nd minute. Nuneaton referee Mr Richie Watkins judged that Charlie Ward had handled the ball whilst challenging Crawford for possession and pointed to the spot.
Top scorer Sam Mulready, only on the pitch for ten minutes as substitute for Mansfield Town loanee Cameron Healey, stepped up to take the penalty but hit his kick at a height which invited the save from McGann.
A Corby goal then would have set up a grandstand finish but as it was an ill-advised back pass by Anton et up Jack Wightwick for a simple 83rd minute third goal which had many of the 379 crowd heading for the exit.
Those that did leave early missed Corby's spirited injury time response. In the second added minute Crawford chased a seemingly lost cause to the byline and pulled back a centre which was rifled into the net by Malone.
Two minutes later a Corby free kick was cleared to Visan-Vasile Cretu just ouside the box and he fired in a volley for his first Corby goal.
There was just time for the hosts to launch one final attack but it was hoofed to safety and the final whistle followed immediately.
CORBY TOWN:- Sam Wilson; Jamie Anton, Sam Warburton; Paul Malone, Jason Lee (captain), Cameron Healey (substitute Sam Mulready); Connor Kennedy (substitute Visan-Vasile Cretu), Ben Bradshaw, Jordan Crawford, Steven Leslie, Jordan O'Brien (substitute Philip Trainer). Unused substitutes: Dean McBride, CJ Tanga-Gibson.
LINCOLN UNITED:- Phil McGann; Luke Hornsey, Callum Ward; Charlie Ward, Phil Watt (captain), James Blunden; Rob Norris, Matt Cotton, Jack McGovern (substitute Jack Wightwick), Paul Grimes (substitute Ryan Oliver, substitute Kallum Smith), Scott Matthews. Unused substitutes: Daniel Brooks, Kane Hutchinson-Wilkes.
REFEREE:- Mr Richie Watkins (Nuneaton).
Updated 21:09 - 5 Dec 2017 by David Tilley