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Diggin's double sinks Worcester
WORCESTER City missed out on climbing to fourth in the table as they suffered their second successive defeat at St George’s Lane.
Brackley Town scored either side of the break through Steve Diggin, punctuated by a Ryan Austin own goal to draw City level, as the Northamptonshire outfit returned to the Blue Square Bet North summit.
City, looking to build on last Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Boston United, had chances to grab a point in front of their third four-figure gate of the season but could not take them, the best falling to subs Michael Taylor and Charlie Reece late on.
In stark contrast, they struggled to forge openings in the first period with Tom Thorley’s two strikes from distance all they had to show for their efforts.
Brackley had pace on the counter and served notice of their intentions when Eddie Nisevic’s left-wing cross into the six-yard box evaded both Diggin and Marvin Robinson.
Fifth-placed City failed to heed the warning and, seconds later, Owen Story’s barn-storming run down the opposite flank ended with a fine delivery into the box and Diggin swept the ball home from close range.
City sought a way back but, despite purposeful approach play, the cutting edge evident in the Boston triumph deserted them.
Alex Meechan, making his home debut, showed some tidy control and the passing from Thorley and Matt Breeze was precise but the visitors were comfortable at the back.
A slippery surface also played its part as several players, including Ellis Deeney and Brackley keeper Billy Turley, struggled to keep their footing.
Reece replaced the ineffective Danny Edwards at half-time and, three minutes into second period, captain Stuart Whitehead made way for Rob Elvins in the heart of defence.
But if the game was flat in the first-half, it burst into life at the start of the second when Brackley manager John Brady, enraged by a decision against his side, confronted the assistant referee and was sent to the stands.
That acted as a catalyst and City equalised in the 55th minute. Greg Mills swung a corner into the near post and centre-half Austin, on loan from Kidderminster Harriers, diverted the ball past his own keeper.
Taylor arrived mid-way through the half, at the expense of Meechan, and the striker had an effort blocked within seconds.
But Brackley, for whom Story planted a free-kick against the bar, restored their lead with 15 minutes to go. Glenn Walker beat Deeney on the byline with some neat footwork and set-up Diggin to unleash a powerful shot across Glyn Thompson into the top corner.
City, who had Deeney cautioned for dissent late on, refused to give in and the rampaging Reece volleyed inches wide with seconds remaining.
Worcester City: Thompson 6, Weir 7, Deeney 6, Thorley 8, Whitehead 7 (Elvins 48, 7), Rowe 7, Breeze 8*, Edwards 5 (Reece H/T, 7), Symons 7, Meechan 7 (Taylor 67, 6), Mills 7. Subs not used: Shabir, Sargeant.