Brett Solkhon’s 58th minute goal was enough to send Brackley Town through to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win at Gresley FC on Tuesday evening.
Following an even 1-1 draw on Saturday, the two sides met in a replay on Tuesday and in another close encounter, it was Saints who progressed by the narrowest margins over the Evo-Stik Division One South side.
Saints were on the front foot right from the off with Izak Reid firing straight at Gresley goalkeeper Ross Etheridge in the opening minute as the higher-ranked visitors looked to assert their authority.
A free-kick from Marc Goodfellow gave Gresley a rare sight of goal but Brackley continued their dominance as Etheridge needed to be alert once more to save well from Charlie Griffin.
The hosts had their moments amid the Brackley pressure, with a good move resulting in Goodfellow’s curling shot sailing wide after good work by Kieran O’Connell, but neither side could find the breakthrough in a first half dominated by Saints without creating too many clear-cut chances.
That all changed 13 minutes into the second half, however, when a powerful shot from Eddie Nisevic thundered against the bar and rebounded to Solkhon, who rifled the ball past a helpless Etheridge.
The visitors continued to press forward and looked to secure their progress but they spurned a glorious chance when an unmarked Griffin headed wide from Nisevic’s cross before home defender Marc Strzyzewski was fortunate to see his header go narrowly wide of his own net.
Griffin then skied a shot when well-placed and substitute Gary Mulligan fired wide as Saints struggled to finish off the home side, and they nearly paid the price when Eric Graves had the goal in his sights but shot over. Brackley held on to set up a home meeting with Boston in the third qualifying round on October 12.
This weekend, Saints return to league action, hosting Vauxhall Motors.
Brackley: Turley, Nisevic, McDonald, Towers, Sharpe, Austin (c), Reid, Solkhon, Griffin, Kaziboni, Wallker.