Goals by Steve Wales and Sean Shields at either end of Saturdayâ€™s 3rd Round Qualifying FA Cup tie sent St Albans City to within 90 minutes of the competition Proper as Conference North side Brackley Town went down to a 2-0 defeat at Clarence Park.
Brackley arrived at the Park in a rich vein of form having conceded goals in just one of their previous six matches, that record was shattered just four minutes into their second visit to St Albans.
Lee Chappell, who just moments earlier had received the September Player of the Month award, swung a free kick deep into the Brackley penalty area from five yards inside the visitors half.
City captain Ben Martin out-jumped his opposite number, Ryan Austin, and headed the ball across the face of the York Road goal for Steve Wales to poke home right footed his sixth goal of the season.
It was a blow from which Brackley never really recovered.
John Bradyâ€™s side, despite their recent of good form, has struggled for goals and against a determined City backline the Northamptonshire Saints never really appeared capable of breaking down the Hertfordshire Saints.
St Albans rewarded the XI that started at Boreham Wood in their previous outing by naming the same line-up for the visit of Brackley who went for the same eleven that won at Lowestoft in midweek.
And the confidence gained from the praise received following the Boreham Wood game was boosted still further as Wales, City leading scorer this season, struck a decisive early blow.
Good work by Chappell created space for John Frendo to increase the lead but the City striker fired high over the target, while Chappell scuffed a shot wide.
Brackley had problems in creating such clear openings and a glancing header by Austin, following a cross by Ebby Nelson-Eddy, that went wide was the closest that they came to scoring inside the opening 25 minutes.
The same duo combined again just after the half hour with Austin heading firmly over the home goal.
St Albans caused problems with the swiftness of their counter-attacks and from one such move, which saw James Comley feed Shields, only a deflection over the bar by Tom Sharpe denied Shields a goal.
Chappell played the resulting corner short to John Kyriacou whose cross was headed straight at Turley by James Kaloczi.
Brackley held the upper hand after the interval but only in terms of possession and with the City defence in dogged mood chances were still a commodity that the visitors seldom grasped.
That said, a flowing move ended with Shaun Jeffers shooting tamely at a grateful Joe Welch in the City goal.
City responded with Frendo receiving a Kyriacou throw before sweeping the ball into the path of Chappell whose first time shot was smothered at the second attempt by Turley.
Credit has to be given to the City management team of Graham Golds and James Gray for inspired use of the substitutes.
Comley, who was due to leave the ground at 5.30pm to begin his trip as part of the England C squad to play in Turkey next Tuesday, was replaced by Danny Green on 58 minutes. Maybe he had other things on his mind but this had hardly been a vintage Comley performance.
Midway through the half Wales made way for Geoff Mitchell who was making his first senior appearance since undergoing a recent operation to remove his appendix.
One of Mitchellâ€™s first contributions, a powerful run down the left flank, at last roused some passion from an unusually muted home crowd.
Sixteen minutes from time Frendoâ€™s afternoon ended prematurely as he made way for David Keenleyside and the former Harpenden Town player was soon causing problems for Bradyâ€™s boys.
Three minutes later Keenleyside made his biggest impression on the game when skilfully beating Sharpe on the City left and touching a short pass inside to Shields.
The Northern Ireland Under-21 international, in switching from his right to left foot, left Curtis McDonald on his backside before drilling a perfectly placed low drive to the left of the diving Turley for his 19th goal for the Saints.
A minute later Mitchell laid a pass wide to Keenleyside whose curling effort went just the wrong side of the far upright.
Brackleyâ€™s last real chance of staying in the competition faded when Greg Pearson burst clear of Martin but could not beat Welch.
Eight minutes from time the game was as good as up for the visitors when Green looked to receive a return pass from Keenleyside just outside the penalty area but was bundled to the ground by the retreating Dwayne Samuels.
Referee Robert Hyde, who had a more than decent game, wasted no time in reaching for his red card, although it did seem a particularly harsh punishment.
Only a good save by Turley from Keenleyside denied the Saints a third goal from the ensuing free kick, while a final flourish from Brackley saw Greg Kaziboni fire just over from the edge of the penalty.
The draw for the final qualifying round takes place on Monday morning with ties to be played over the last weekend of the month.
City defender Darren Locke, who scored in last seasonâ€™s 1st Round meeting with Mansfield Town, is set to miss the next round after being given a one-match ban following his sending off at Boreham Wood.
Before then, City return to Conference South action with a trip to Weston-super-Mare next Saturday, 18th October.