Brackley Town closed the gap on second-placed Harrogate Town to a couple of points following their fourth Vanarama National League North win on the spin.
Two late goals of high quality from Aaron Williams, who has now scored in nine successive league and FA Cup games, and substitute Jimmy Armson earned Saints a 2-0 victory over Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday.
It appeared the well contested game at St James Park might edge to a stalemate conclusion with Trinity providing a tougher nut to crack than in last week’s 6-0 drubbing by Evo-Stik Southern League high fliers Slough Town.
Shane Byrne’s low cross flashed across the face of goal needing just a touch and Aaron Williams headed over from Glenn Walker’s corner in just the first few minutes but then the game became bogged down as Saints struggled to break down a stubborn defence. Trinity‘s Liam King almost stole in to put his side in front on the stroke of halftime but his shot was superbly blocked by captain Gaz Dean.
The second period opened up a little but frustration was beginning to creep into the home side’s play as the visitors stood firm. It was not until the 75th minute that Williams put his side ahead with a solo goal, firing in from 25 yards.
Armson then combined well with Adam Walker and Shane Byrne to double the lead four minutes later. Both sides had a chance to score in the dying minutes, Matt Lowe’s shot was well saved while Trinity’s Michael Jacklin saw his header go just wide from a stoppage-time corner.
Boss Kevin Wilkin said: “It happened time and again last season, teams coming here to frustrate us.
“They came to defend but we found what we needed, something we haven’t always managed to do. Aaron [Williams] came inside and struck a terrific first goal for us and then it was a super second goal. Shane Byrne was fantastically unselfish and it’s moments like that which are crucial in a tight game.”