Diggin hits hat-trick to send Saints top

MHBG-09-05-13 Brackley fc'Pictured :'Player 15 Brackley: Steve Diggin'Player 14: Patrick Lacey
MHBG-09-05-13 Brackley fc'Pictured :'Player 15 Brackley: Steve Diggin'Player 14: Patrick Lacey

Steve Diggin bagged a hat-trick as Brackley Town went top of the Conference North with a 3-0 win over Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday.

Saints, who have only conceded one goal in their opening seven matches, are level on points with Altrincham but sit top on goal difference.

Jon Brady’s side made a flying start against Stalybridge, with Diggin forcing a fine save from Matthew Urnin in the first minute before the striker’s clinical finish on five minutes put the home side ahead.

Celtic had plenty of possession but they rarely tested Billy Turley in the Saints goal, while at the other end, Eddie Odhiambo’s long-range effort flew narrowly over.

Brackley kept their slender lead intact until the break, and they stepped up a gear in a second half that saw Glenn Walker twice come close to adding a second, before the second goal arrived on 71 minutes when Walker danced through three tackles and set up Diggin to tap home for his second.

Diggin then completed his hat-trick with a superb finish after more good work from Walker.

Saints had further chances to extend their lead, but they settled for another impressive victory that saw them rack up their sixth clean sheet of the season.

Brady said afterwards: “We had worked hard but I was more than disappointed at half-time. After the early goal we were just not good enough. The reaction in the second half was pleasing, as we were much better.

“Our forwards will score goals. Steve Diggin showed his class today with top quality finishing.

“We are not looking at the league table. We focus on us, on our performance and winning. That’s it.”

Brackley: Turley, Cartwright (Nisevic 82), McDonald, Odhiambo, Sharpe, Austin, Reid (Story 86), Solkhon, Griffin (Mulligan 54), Diggin, Walker.

Attendance: 303