BRACKLEY Town recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since November after easing to a 3-1 win against Bradford Park Avenue.
On a freezing cold, grey afternoon at St James Park, the 304-strong crowd were treated to a fine game of football that lifted the spirits and warmed the fingers.
Both sides created chances throughout the match but Brackley ran out ultimately worthy winners to cement their position in the play-offs.
Having retained the same starting line-up that beat Droylsden, Brackley started brightly in what proved to be a goalless first half despite chances for both sides.
Paul Walker was dangerous for Avenue on the left and he created a fine chance spurned by Matty James before Jordan Deacey scuffed another good chance on the stroke of half-time.
Saints also came close through Jefferson Louis’ header while Steve Diggin ran through on goal on two occasions but placed his shot just wide each time. John Lamb in the visitors’ goal saved well low down from Glenn Walker.
After an entertaining but goalless first half, the deadlock was finally broken with a goal of great quality on 56 minutes.
An interchange between Tom Winters and Jefferson Louis 40 yards from goal put Winters away and the winger raced past the full-back to reach the by-line before producing the perfect lay-back to find Walker, who netted from close-range giving Brackley a deserved lead.
The speed and incisiveness of the move brought a goal worthy of winning any match but the home side were not finished.
Saints extended the lead on 78 minutes through Diggin’s header from Winters’ deep cross and the third came as defender Adam Clayton turned Diggin’s cross into his own goal at full stretch with 10 minutes to play.
Avenue grabbed a consolation from Deacey’s excellent finish to a flowing move but Brackley had further chances to establish a greater margin of victory and this would not have flattered them. The win registered a double over Bradford and keeps Saints firmly in third place.
Brackley: Turley, Clifton, McDonald (Sharpe 80), Odhiambo, Austin, Nisevic, Walker, Solkhon, Diggin (Story 86), Louis (Mulligan 64), Winters.
Subs not used: Sandy, Corcoran.
Bradford PA: Lamb, Clayton, Duckworth, Daly, Knowles, Price, James (O’Brien 35), Davidson (Snodin 72), Holland, Deacey, Walker.
Subs not used: Corner, Drury, Hume.
Referee: Chris Powell
Assistants: Martin Bloor and Ben Cobb