football: Brackley Town’s barren run was extended to five games on New Year’s Day after two late Oxford City goals and a Steve Diggin missed penalty saw them beaten 2-1.
Saints controlled much of the encounter and appeared to be heading for victory when Tom Winters gave the visitors the lead 17 minutes from full time but Oxford struck twice in two minutes to deny Brackley.
After a tight first half, Brackley upped the ante in the second as Winters first shot wide on 50 minutes before Elliot Sandy failed to apply the finishing touch to a Winters cross.
Pressure mounted on Matt Ingram’s goal as Winters’ well-struck free-kick thundered back off the cross-bar before the break-through finally came in the 73rd minute.
With a perfectly weighted first-time pass, Eddie Odhiambo found Winters lurking on the right and the talismanic winger cut inside before he danced inside the full-back and into the penalty area to fire a low, venomous shot that gave Ingram no chance.
Within minutes of the goal, Brett Solkhon found himself unmarked five yards out but the header from Winters’ corner was powered over as Brackley spurned the chance to double the lead and seal the win.
What happened next will haunt Saints as two moments of defensive frailty were punished by Barcelos and then Ballard.
However, Brackley were then gifted a route back into the game in the 86th minute when Marvin Robinson was fouled in the penalty area but Diggin saw his penalty saved by Ingram.
Despite the addition of five minutes extra play, Saints could not find the equaliser on a sorry afternoon of harsh footballing lessons and a bitter start to the new year.