Late arrivals were made to pay the price as Saints took a tight grip on their FA Trophy game in the opening minutes, taking full advantage of a badly misfiring Phoenix defence to wrap up their first cup win of the season before it had really begun.

Inevitably it was Jake Cass, returning after a four game layoff with a hamstring injury, that got the game going after Rob Hastings picked off a weak back pass to set up Cass to beat the stranded keeper.

Phoenix, struggling to make their back three work against the wide attacking menace of Hastings and Max Holland, were soon further behind as they went to sleep at a corner which Hastings took short to Holland, who then wriggled through several defencers before netting from an angle.

Phoenix were left like statues again as a crossfield ball from Alex Lafleur found Rob Hastings and his run and angled shot again went through the keeper for a third goal. 

The second half had to bring a reaction from the home side, even if a three goal deficit was beyond them to rescue. Rob Hastings in particular, continued to torment the home defence, demanding a fingertip save in the early exchanges, but the early introduction of some talented youngsters from the bench brought Phoenix more into the game. 

George Fenton was again in dominant form and was central to a strong performance from the Saints’ defensive unit. 

Saints comfortably closed out the game to make sure they progressed to the next round of The Buildbase FA Trophy. There they will travel to Bostik North side Bury Town FC on Saturday October 28.