Saints retain top spot with fifth win on the spin

James Hammond gave Brackley Town Saints the lead
James Hammond gave Brackley Town Saints the lead

Brackley Town Saints made it five wins on the spin as they retained top spot in the UHLSport Hellenic League.

Saints won 3-1 at Royal Woottoon Bassett Town in Saturday’s premier division clash.

Ryan Knight struck the bar and Charlie Kille fired over from the rebound as Saints got off to a quick start. Saints took the lead midway through the half when Harry Brock released Knight who whipped in a dangerous cross which keeper Charlie McCready could only palm into the path of James Hammond who headed the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

Two minutes later Saints increased their lead. Clever movement from one side to the other resulted in Hammond finding the versatile Alex Stott, who showed great pace and control moving on to the ball and striking an absolute cracker from the right angle which speared into the top corner of the net.

The hosts reduced the arrears from a penalty after Joe Ward had impeded Steve Yeardley from an inswinging corner and TJ Bohane made no mistake from the ensuing spot-kick.

Kille came close to restoring the two-goal cushion when his effort was blocked and Knight again escaped his marker and set up James Watts who shot powerfully but could not keep it on target.

It was all Saints after the restart. Knight volleyed wide and had another effort ruled out for offside, while Watts blasted over the bar. Alistair Worby had to make a smart save from Bradley Pagliaroli at the other end.

Saints soaked up the pressure defensively and broke at speed. Hammond shot over while a defensive header fell for Iggy Ilott but he was unable to get his shot on target for the hosts.

Hammond was denied by McCready before Saints sealed the deal with a third goal. Hammond and Watts set up Chris Jordan whose crisp shot was saved by McCready but he could only parry the ball into the path of Kille who gleefully tapped the rebound into the empty net.