Hammond comes off the bench to bag all three points

Easington Sports striker Owen James is foiled by Brackley Town Saints defender Lewis Gabbidon at Addison Road
Easington Sports striker Owen James is foiled by Brackley Town Saints defender Lewis Gabbidon at Addison Road

Matt Hammond came off the bench to bag all three uhlsport Hellenic League points for Brackley Town Saints.

Saints beat neighbours Easington Sports 1-0 in Monday's premier division clash at Addison Road where Hammond hit the late winner in a first meeting between the two sides at this level.

One goal was always going to be enough in stifling conditions and once Hammond got it there was no way back for Sports.

In a tight opening period, the visitors were better in possession and created the early chances. Charlie Kille almost caught out Lee Farrow who managed to push the ball around his post at the last minute before comfortably dealing with Ryan Knight's header from Jordan Godfrey's free-kick. Alex Stott produced some good moments on the left flank and he tested Farrow from the edge of the box.

In between, Joe Eyre fired over from the edge of the box before Knight's sweeping pass found Stott who cut inside before seeing goal bound shot blocked. Sports wemnt close when Andrew Stidder latched on to a long pass but his angled drive was palmed away by Matt Crowther.

After the restart, Knight raced on to a long pass but, with just Farrow to beat, his attempted lob went the wrong side of the upright. Dean March's header was saved by Farrow, James Hammond fired over and George Ball cut in but shot straight at Farrow as Saints created all the openings.

At the other end, Sports failed to create any chances and Crowther, who had a confident game, never had a shot to save. Crowther and his back four snuffed out any threat and it was Saints who always looked the more likely of the two sides to break the stalemate.

Hammond was unable to divert a shot from Ball past Farrow following a deep cross from Knight. But he made amends moments later when his free-kick found a gap in the wall and nestled in the back of the net with Farrow stranded.

Sports went in search of a late point, Tom Smith fired just over from the edge of the box but that was to be their only attempt in the second period. Saints almost grabbed a second goal when Farrow claimed the ball at the second attempt to thwart Knight at the far post.