Spencer Weir-Daley scored his 50th goal for Boston United - but a stoppage-time winner earned Corby the points.
There was no New Year’s Day victory for United boss Graham Drury on his return to Steel Park.
But there was action aplenty.
Boston created the first clear-cut chance as Spencer Weir-Daley was put through on goal, but a starfish-shaped leap from Corby keeper Paul Walker saw him get enough contact to make a decent save.
Marc Newsham then saw a low effort saved before the same man completely miscued in front of goal.
Corby then created their first real oportunity on 20 minutes, Paul Malone somehow heading wide at the back post from a corner.
And then, growing in confidence, the Steelmen were in front on 24 minutes.
Lewis Webb skipped across the Boston United defensive line far too easily before beating Dan Haystead with a low 20-yard finish that had both power and precision... and a fortunate nick off Ben Milnes.
But that lead lasted less than two minutes as Weir-Daley drew United level.
Latching on to Newsham’s low centre, he swept the ball beyond the helpless Walker from 12 yards out.
Weir-Daley almost put the Pilgrims in front moments later, but another firm block from Walker - again making himself big - denied the hotshot.
Before the interval, Corby created two fantastic chances... but they went begging.
Tom Ward was in the right place to block Webb’s goalbound strike.
And then Jason Crowe was wasteful with a free header.
After the interval, there was more of the same from the Steelmen, with Sam Ives forcing a shot wide.
The second half was more of a subdued affair, but Haystead conjured up a moment to remember with a fantastic point-blank save to deny Avelino Vieira’s powerful header.
Just after the hour mark, Boston introduced Mark Jones and Jason Stokes, replacing Weir-Daley and Ben Fairclough.
Jones almost made an instant impact against his former club, but his strike from the edge of the penalty area, dipped wide.
Then in the final minute of time added on, Malone won it for the hosts, heading beyond the helpless Haystead.
CORBY: Walker, Horne, Crowe, Malone, Piergianni, Webb, Semple, Wedderburn, Vieira (Moreman 83), IIves (McKenzie 64), Kaziboni; Subs (not used): McGowan, Richardson, Manga.
UNITED: Haystead, Marshall, Jelleyman, Silk, Ward, Ross, Fairclough (Stokes 61) Milnes, Newsham (Reed 72), Weir-Daley (Jones 64) J. Smith; subs (not used): Stainfield, K. Smith.
Ref: Michael Blackledge.