Jack Blake's goal was not enough to prevent Nottingham Forest's Under 21s from a 2-1 defeat at Corby Town tonight.
Blake had levelled with a second-half strike but Bedimi Afolabi struck either side of that to give Tommy Wright's side the win.
Jimmy Gilligan gave starts to Dimitar Evtimov, Roger Riera and Tyler Walker at Steel Park but it was the home side who started brightest on a cool evening in Northamptonshire.
Excellent build-up play from Corby allowed Shane Byrne to break free down the right-hand channel but despite Afolabi turning the ball home from close range, the linesman's flag was raised after Byrne's cross was adjudged to have gone behind for a goal-kick.
Blake was inches away from handing Forest the lead with a trademark free-kick on the half-hour mark. The midfielder curled a sumptuous effort up and over the wall but the ball bounced agonisingly off the top of the crossbar.
The home side made a change at half-time and had the advantage nine minutes into the second half. Afolabi produced a mazy run through three Forest defenders before calmly sliding the ball underneath the body of Dimitar Evtimov.
It only took Forest five minutes to restore parity though thanks to a superb strike from Blake. Noticing goalkeeper Paul Walker slightly off his line, the midfielder struck a looping, curling effort over the goalkeeper's head and into the far corner.
With 19 minutes left on the clock, Afolabi was in the right place to put the Steelmen back in front. After Eric Yeboah's header from a corner had bounced back off the post, the tall striker was on the spot to tuck home past a stranded Evtimov.
Forest pushed to find a second equaliser but it wasn't forthcoming as Gilligan's side slipped to pre-season defeat at Steel Park.
Evtimov, Wholey, Riera (Fenton 73'), Gurr, Polimos, Gee (Todorov 59'), Schoenecker (McDonald 57'), Rees, Blake (Gnahore 86'), Otim, Walker (Demetriou 76')
Subs not used: Kerrigan, A. Grant
Corby: Walker, Kennedy, Hartley, Malone, Appleton (Daramola 63'), Byrne, May, Milnes (Yeboah 63'), Afolabi, Wright (Taylor 46'), Jackson
Subs not used: Thomas, Clarke
Referee: Mr Carl Henry