Smash and grab for Saints

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Steve Diggin’s third-minute penalty was enough to earn Brackley Town a vital 1-0 win at Gainsborough Trinity on Tuesday evening.

Saints were never at their best but another resolute defensive display earned a third straight clean sheet that moves Brackley closer to securing a play-off place.

Jon Brady’s side are still third in the Blue Square North, eight points inside the play-off places with eight matches remaining.

Following an indifferent run of form, Brackley were handed the ideal chance to score their first goal for five matches after just three minutes against Gainsborough when Shane Clarke fouled Curtis McDonald inside the penalty area. Top scorer Diggin stepped up and made no mistake with his spot kick.

Despite conceding, it was Gainsborough who seized control of the match from then on and came close to drawing level through Bradley Barraclough but his curled effort sailed narrowly wide of Billy Turley’s post.

For Brackley, Marvin Robinson was put clean through but Jason White was quick off his line to clear while Diggin shot straight at White after working space in the penalty area.

The rest of the half saw plenty of Trinity pressure without creating many goalscoring opportunities, although they had strong appeals for a penalty twice turned down.

The second half was much the same story with Brackley happy to allow the home side to dominate possession as they looked to defend their slender lead.

Darryn Stamp’s header flew over before the same player was unlucky to see his overhead kick go just wide.

Gainsborough then created the chance of the match but the impressive Jamie Yates sliced his volley wide with the goal at his mercy.

The expect trinity onslaught failed to materialise in the final minutes as Saints survived to clinch an important victory ahead of games against Bishop’s Stortford tomorrow and Corby Town on Easter Monday.

Brackley: Turley, Clifton, Austin, Sharpe, McDonald, Reid, Odhiambo, Sandy, Winters, Diggin, Robinson.

Referee: S Plane