Brackley Town 1
Banbury United 1
Brackley fought out a scrappy draw with local rivals Banbury on Boxing Day to stay in second spot in the Southern League Premier Division.
Town gave the bumper Bank Holiday crowd of 603 little to cheer as the game ended with honours even with the visitors departing the happier with their point.
Banbury’s early lead on four minutes came as Glenn Walker’s free-kick on the right somehow found the net, evading defenders and the keeper on its way across the penalty area.
Dominating possession but creating few clearcut chances, it took Brackley an hour to draw level, Owen Story producing a clinical finish from Elliot Sandy’s fine pass in the move of the match. With 20 minutes remaining it seemed Town would power on to claim a second goal and the win but ultimately could not produce the momentum or telling moment as United proved dogged opponents.
Banbury’s spirited performance produced few moments to threaten although right-back Joe Coleman’s deflected effort in the first half struck the woodwork with Billy Turley beaten and a late flurry saw The Puritans finish strongly.
Brackley’s closest attempts were thwarted by the excellent Andy Kemp in goal who saved well from Jefferson Louis and Sandy in the first half before again keeping out Louis on 50 minutes and maintaining his goal intact on 64 minutes as two corners fired in by Eddie Nisevic on his home debut for Saints threatened the breakthrough.
Next up for Saints are Hemel Hempstead away tomorrow, Saturday, kick-off 1pm and Evesham United on Monday,January 2, 2012, kick-off 3pm.
Brackley Town: Turley, Clifton, Jaszczun (Myles 45), Palmer, Green, Marshall, Story, Solkhon, Sandy, Louis, Nisevic (Thomas 66).
Banbury United: Kemp, Coleman, Kinch, Dolman, Chilton, Polk (Blake 71), Kingston, Cole, Johnson (Edmond 61), Woodley, Walker.