Walker and Diggin send Brackley through

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Brackley Town are through to the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup after a 2-0 victory over Boston United this afternoon.

Glenn Walker put Saints ahead on the stroke of half time after his weak shot somehow trickled into the Boston net before Steve Diggin secured the win five minutes from time.

Saints could now face the likes of Luton Town or Wrexham in the fourth qualifying round when the draw is made on Monday.

It took Brackley 10 minutes to get going as, following a scrappy opening, they applied pressure on the visitorswith Diggin’s shot well blocked before Gary Mulligan put his free header narrowly wide after a succession of corners.

Diggin had another half chance moments later but his attempted lob was easily dealt with by Ashley Timms as Brackley threatened to take control, with Boston rarely venturing into the Saints half - although Ricky Miller did test Billy Turley with a low effort.

Brackley continued to shade a scrappy first half, Brett Solkhon’s header brought a fine save from Timms, but constant soft fouls disrupted the flow of the game.

It looked like the game would enter half time goalless as both sides struggled to get a foothold in a stagnated first half, but three minutes before the break a howler from Timms gifted Saints the lead. Walker was the scorer after he cut in from the right and scuffed what looked like a harmless shot goalwards, but Timms let it through his legs and the ball trickled into the net, giving the hosts a slender half time lead.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first – Saints again shaded the play and had a chance to double the lead when Mulligan rose well to head Reid’s cross just wide before Diggin lifted his lob well over.

A triple substitution seemed to give Boston a greater attacking threat as they briefly posed problems for Saints and came within inches of levelling when Ben Milnes’ low driven shot from a clever free-routine was tipped onto the post by Turley.

Saints retained their threat, though, and were only denied a second goal by a superb save from Timms after Mulligan’s header seemed destined to hit the net.

As the home side pushed for a second, Boston had a glorious opportunity to force a replay when Spencer Weir-Daley received the ball inside the penalty area but his shot was well blocked, with the rebound falling to Scott Garner, whose shot was again denied by some last-ditch defending.

That was the chance for Boston to earn a replay as all hope was ended seconds later when Saints then secured their passage through to the fourth qualifying round with a second goal that was created by an outstanding piece of play by Walker. Having won the ball back on the edge of his own penalty box, the winger drove up field, taking on two Boston players, before laying off to Diggin, who finished coolly.

Boston threw everything forward in desperate hope of a way back into the game but it was to no avail as Saints had done enough to seal a place in the next round.

Brackley: Turley, Odhiambo, Sharpe, Austin (c), McDonald, Reid (Kaziboni 69), Solkhon, Towers, Walker, Diggin (Jarvis 88), Mulligan.

Subs not used: Story, Nisevic, Sandy, Griffin, Worby

Boston: Timms, Galinski (Aujia 56), Sansara, Marshall, Garner, Piergianni, Hall, Milnes, Miller (Bore 58), Newsham, Fairclough (Weir-Daley 58).

Subs not used: Reed, Ross, Vince

Referee: Dan Messon

Attendance: 406