Boston United found themselves haunted by the spectre of Brackley Town yet again.
The day before Halloween and it was a real horror show for the hosts as the Saints stretched their unbeaten record at York Street to seven matches, six winsd and one draw.
In the first half as United lumbered lifelessly around the pitch like zombies, too few players reaching anything like the standards set during Saturday’s 3-1 win against Hereford.
And keeper Sebastian Malkowski will definitely be having nightmares tonight.
Brackley took a 2-0 lead into the interval following a first half the keeper will want to forget in a hurry.
The keeper was caught out at his near post as Shane Byrne’s corner crossed the line in the 26th minute.
Seven minutes later he failed to get anything like a telling touch on the ball after Connor Hall’s effort had rattled the bar, the Brackley defender nodding home at the second attempt as Malkowski flapped.
While both goals could - and should - have been avoided, the Saints deserved to end the first half in front as they took the game to a leggy, lacklustre Pilgrims.
James Jones was called upon to hook Lee Ndlovu’s effort off the line while Hall and Gareth Dean put free headers over and Malkowski pushed Matt Lowe’s hopeful effort over.
Into first-half stoppage time Saints stopper Danny Lewis got down to palm away Ashley Jackson’s low drive, United’s first real show of intent.
Craig Elliott introduced Jordan Slew and Max Wright for Gregg Smith and Josh Hine at the break and Boston enjoyed a little more possession as the Saints sat back on their lead.
Malkowski did well to palm away Lowe’s close ranger before United pulled one back through Slew.
With 65 minutes gone he danced into the box and slotted a low effort past Lewis from a tight angle.
But Boston failed to add further pressure and it was Malkowski who was again called into action as Shepherd Murombedzi tried his luck from long range.
And the contest was put to bed in stoppage time as Byrne struck a powerful low 20 yarder which flew under the body of Malkowski.
UNITED: Malkowski, Davies, Jackson, Thanoj, Jones, Qualter, Hine (Slew HT), Abbott, Allott, Smith (Wright HT), Walker (Parkhouse 82); Subs: Norris, Harris.
BRACKLEY: Lewis, Murombedzi, Franklin, Byrne, Hall, Dean, G. Walker (Fairlamb 86), Armson (Nti 90), Ndlovu, Lowe, A. Walker; Subs: Jeffers, Myles, Noon.
REF: James Bell.
ATT: 922 (11).
STAR MAN: James Jones - Made some timely interventions for the Pilgrims.
GOALS: UNITED - Jordan Slew (65); BRACKLEY - Shane Byrne (26, 90), Connor Hall (33).
BOOKINGS: UNITED - Max Wright (63).