Stott at the double as Saints cruise into the next round

Alex Stott struck twice for Brackley Town Saints
Alex Stott struck twice for Brackley Town Saints

Brackley Town Saints booked their place in the next round of the Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup.

Saints beat Old Bradwell United 4-2 in Wednesday’s first round tie.

The early exchanges were even with the lively Alex Stott and George Ball going close. But Bradwell came closest when Lewis Gabbidon’s pass was intercepted on the halfway line, a long accurate pass split the Saints’ defence and found Darryl Smith whose left foot shot whizzed past Matt Crowther’s post.

Saints finally broke the deadlock when Gabbidon found room in the box after an incisive move. His shot was going wide of the far post but Dan Smith diverted the ball into his own net.

Saints almost doubled their advantage when Stott rose to meet a James Thompson cross with a good downward header which was hooked off the line. But the visitors equalised when poor defending allowed Dale Collins to head a free-kick past Crowther.

Saints restored their lead just before the break when Dean March rose to powerfully head home a Jordan Godfrey corner.

Saints started the second half at pace with shots from Ball and Ryan Knight testing Dan Willett. Saints increased their lead when a move down the left saw Harry Brock and Godfrey combine to release Stott whose dipping shot from 30 yards beat Willett and found the top corner.

Moments later another good passage of play, this time down the right, saw Ethan Dowse feed Godfrey and he crossed for Ryan Knight to smash the ball past Willett.

Bradwell reduced the arrears when a cracking long ball found Ben Green whose excellent first touch took him past Gabbidon and his second touch was coolly slotted past Crowther.