Brackley Town currently boast the best defensive record in the top six divisions of English football – and boss Jon Brady will be hoping they can extend that against North Ferriby United on Saturday.
Saints entertain the Skrill North new boys yet to concede a goal and looking to maintain third place following Monday’s narrow derby success at Oxford City.
Steve Diggin’s late strike bagged the points for Saints in the Bank Holiday derby at Court Place Farm.
The goal was the highlight of an assured second half performance that saw City well marshalled throughout and left fighting for scraps while, at the other end, Saints created half a dozen chances.
The home side’s rare sight of goal came at either end of the 90 minutes. Steve Basham fired over and again from a narrow angle just moments later in a lively spell early on.
As the halftime whistle neared, another former Saint Tom Winters brought Billy Turley racing from his goal to snuff out the danger before the winger struck a free-kick just over.
In between, Saints went close through Brett Solkhon’s header which Mark Scott tipped over, Glenn Walker saw his shot beaten away and Diggin was twice on the end of moves without hitting the target.
After the break it was one-way traffic and just before the hour mark a move of simplicity and speed had the pulse racing as Diggin and Izak Reid combined for Walker to test Scott.
Solkhon’s header from Reid’s left-wing corner skimmed wide and Gary Mulligan again brought the best from Scott getting his head onto Reid’s cross before the only goal arrived in the 76th minute.
Created by a cleverly flighted pass by Greg Kaziboni beyond the defenders and Diggin’s perfectly timed run, the finish was explosive and clinical.
Last season’s top scorer allowed the ball to drop and a single bounce took him towards goal, two defenders on his heels, before firing home leaving Mark Scott no chance with a clinical finish.