FA Cup: Saints finish off the job in replay

Rugby keeper Raj Gill comes to his side's resuce in Saturday's cup tie at St James Park
Rugby keeper Raj Gill comes to his side's resuce in Saturday's cup tie at St James Park
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A goal in each half from Richard Batchelor and Steve Diggin, along with an improved second half performance, saw Brackley Town through to the fourth qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Saints won 2-0 at Rugby Town in Tuesday’s replay to earn a home tie against Bamber Bridge in the next round, giving manager Kevin Wilkin reason for optimism on a chill night at Butlin Road.

Batchelor showed excellent technique in firing Saints ahead after just four minutes giving keeper Raj Gill no chance.

In a parallel from Saturday, Rugby passed up their best chance when David Kolodynski failed to convert a penalty on the half hour mark, just as Diggin had done in Saturday’s original tie. The striker strode up then hesitated in striking his kick but failed to get Dan Crane moving early and the keeper saved well, low to his right.

If the home side enjoyed the better of the first period despite going behind, Saints came out stronger after the break. Glenn Walker saw his shot well saved and Diggin’s neat lob was only inches wide.

But Diggin doubled Saints’ lead in the 79th minute, nipping in to take advantage of a loose back pass and sliding the ball past the on-rushing Gill, the ball just creeping inside the post, to notch a goal in each game of the tie.