Brackley Town are up to fourth in the Vanarama National League North ahead of Saturday’s trip to Chorley.
Six points in four days against two of the league’s strugglers have propelled Kevin Wilkin’s side into the play-off positions. The latest success was Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Nuneaton Town, one of Wilkin’s former clubs.
It was a tight affair at St James Park but the home side had the edge in the final third as they answered Wilkin’s call to be more clinical in front of goal. But it took a crucial penalty save from Laurie Walker to keep his side on level terms before goals from Glenn Walker and Steve Diggin earned the points despite Joe Ironside’s late reply.
In an even opening, James Armson’s cross found Diggin in the six yard box but his header bounced down and over the bar.
At the other end Greg Tempest and Elliott Whitehouse combined to set up James Clifton who was fouled by Walker. But the keeper saved Whitehouse’s ensuing spot-kick.
Saints broke the deadlock in the 29th minute when Glenn Walker intercepted a pass from Billy Daniels, played a one-two with Lee Ndlovu before firing over keeper Christian Dibble.
Saints had more chances before the break. Alex Gudger’s looping header floated just wide and Adam Walker saw his chip beat Dibble but go the wrong side of the upright.
After the restart, Nuneaton began well but Saints are made of sterner stuff at the back this season and Walker had little to do.
Saints dealt comfortably with anything Nuneaton threw at them and doubled their advantage in the 63rd minute when Ellis Myles set up Diggin and this time the marksman beat Dibble from close range.
The visitors reduced the arrears four minutes later when Ben O’Hanlon picked out Ironside who managed to force the ball over the line.
Boosted by the goal, Kevin Wilson’s side produced a late rally. O’Hanlon was a constant threat but found no-one in the box to apply the finishing touch to one of his many crosses.