FA Cup: Diggin at the double to book Saints passage

Brackley Town's Glenn Walker takes on  Bamber Bridge duo  Darren Green and Paul McKenna at St James Park
Brackley Town's Glenn Walker takes on Bamber Bridge duo Darren Green and Paul McKenna at St James Park

Steve Diggin bagged a brace as Brackley Town beat Bamber Bridge 3-0 in Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie at St James Park.

Bamber Bridge returned to Northamptonshire for the second tie running, having beaten Kettering in a replay in the previous round.

Saints went close when Glenn Walker’s cross was helped on by David Moyo but Story squandered the opportunity. Moyo went even closer when his header from Story’s cross was superbly tipped over by Lee Dovey.

The Evo-Stik Northern Premier League outfit replied when Sam Joel cut inside and his low drive was palmed around the upright by Hornby.

But it was the Vanarama National League North side who broke the deadlock in the 17th minute when Curtis McDonald released Diggin with a defence-splitting pass and the hitman did the rest, coolly rounding Dovey to slip the ball into an empty net.

The goal failed to dampen the visitors’ spirits and they continued to play some neat football. The lively Joel created another opening but Hornby was again equal to his low drive while Diggin’s looping header from Richard Batchelor’s deep cross evaded Dovey but drifted wide of the far post.

The visitors picked up from where they left off after the restart but it took a smart save from Dovey to keep out Walker’s low drive.

The visitors had more possession with Saints relying on the counter-attack for their best moments. Walker should have done better when exchanging passes with Diggin in the box before firing well wide from eight yards.

Diggin went close to doubling Saints’ advantage when he beat Dovey from 25 yards only to see the ball hit the bar and bounce down on to the line and out. But Diggin was not to be denied and he doubled Saints’ lead in the 72nd minute when he latched on to Eddie Odhiambo’s cross to beat Dovey from ten yards.

Moyo exchanged passes with Diggin and raced into the box only for Dovey to keep out his effort at the near post. But Saints added a third goal in the 80th minute when Joe Clarke’s deep cross found Batchelor and his header looped over Dovey following a short corner.