Brackley Town cemented their place in the Vanarama National League North play-offs with a 3-0 victory over Spennymoor Town on Thursday.
The re-arranged fixture was switched to Harrogate Town’s CNG Stadium because of the state of the pitch at Spennymoor. But the unusual circumstances of a Thursday evening game did not hold Kevin Wilkin’s side back as they recorded back-to-back away wins.
Sixth-placed Spennymoor look set for the play-offs despite this set-back and the fixture congestion that has beset them. Moors’ manager Jason Aimsley made six changes to his starting line-up from Tuesday’s goal-less draw against Boston.
First half goals from Lee Ndlovu and a Jimmy Armson penalty put Saints in the driving seat.
Ndlovu finished sharply in the 17th minute past out-rushing keeper Daniel Lowson after being played in by Armson’s fine pass. Shep Murombedzi was brought down on the half-hour mark for the penalty award that Armson despatched low into the corner despite Lowson guessing right.
The second half saw chances for both sides but Saints’ lead was never really threatened. Kallum Griffiths fired narrowly wide just after the break and Joe Tait’s 35 yard effort brought a flying save from Danny Lewis to keep his clean-sheet intact.
Meanwhile Saints could not convert a double chance and substitute Matt Lowe’s cross was just inches away from finding the finishing touch for a third goal. That goal eventually arrived in the 90th minute as Shane Byrne slotted home after a goalmouth scramble.
Saints are five points behind second-placed Harrogate, who have played one game more, as the season builds to its finale with four of their remaining five league fixtures at home.