Brackley Town extended their unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions when they beat Curzon Ashton to go eighth in the National League North and within three points of a play-off spot.
The win extends also an impressive run of just one defeat in 14 games in all competitions and means Saints have still only lost twice in the league this season.
“We moved the ball well, created good chances and kept a clean sheet,” said a delighted Kevin Wilkin afterwards.
After a delay to the kick-off of 35 minutes due to motorway congestion, it was the visitors who had the first chance of the game as Niall Cummins brought a good save from Laurie Walker.
Brackley got into their stride and should have taken at least one of three good first-half chances in what was the Steve Diggin and Jimmy Armson show.
Good work by Ellis Myles and then Diggin set up Armson who fired wide when well placed, then a stunning move of simplicity but incision brought a cross from Diggin that Armson headed just over before Diggin brought an excellent save by Hakan Burton to send the teams in at the interval still level.
The introduction of Lee Ndlovu made an immediate impact and Brackley forced the breakthrough just before the hour as Luke Graham headed in Glenn Walker’s fine free-kick to beat Burton at the foot of his post.
While the Nash did not offer a great goal threat they rallied and the points were not secure until the 87th minute when Walker scored Saints’ second with a direct free-kick, the ball whipped in low and finding the corner.
Near the end Curzon’s Joe Guest was sent off for a second yellow card offence.
“We should have been ahead at the break,” added Wilkin. “But I am pleased with the win as Curzon have been on a good run and we need to stay up with the top teams especially as we miss games through the cup run.
“It was important we took our chance to get this home win.”
Brackley remain in contention at the top of the National League North but face a stern test this weekend when they travel to pre-season title favourites FC Halifax, who are currently fourth.
That’s then followed by Saints’ clash at Gillingham in the first round proper of the FA Cup.