Brackley Town manager Jon Brady says his side must remain positive following their home defeat to Altrincham that sees Saints slip to eighth in the Conference North.
Brackley appeared on course to record a crucial win after David Bridges’ long range effort had given the home side an early lead, but late goals from from Damian Reeves and James Walshaw grabbed the points for the visitors and extended Saints’ winless run to four games.
Brady said afterwards: “We played some fantastic football today and dominated for long spells.
“But we could not get the second goal and two lapses have cost us. Even at this level, such lapses are punished. We had chances still to draw back at the end but it is just not going our way at the moment.
“It is very disappointing because we played some brilliant football. We did not get what our play deserved today.
“Our keeper has been excellent all season but has held up his hands for the second goal and it was another defensive lapse that cost us their first goal. We have 10 games remaining and have to take the drive and belief we showed today into those games. We have to stay positive. I am the manager and it is my job to do this.”
Bridges gave Saints the lead with a 25-yard shot that deceived keeper Stuart Coburn, his first goal for the club, in a first half of few chances, but the home side remained in charge, until Altrincham enjoyed a better spell as the break approached with Simon Richman going close, firing his shot just wide.
The second half was fiercely competitive and saw four yellow cards handed out to add to a harshly awarded caution for Steve Diggin, who went down in the penalty area after a driving run was ended by keeper Stuart Coburn.
Brackley could not capitalise on two fine chances mid-way through the half as Stefan Moore’s header was directed wide from Izak Reid’s deep cross and the striker then inexplicably misfired from close range after excellent work by Diggin.
The late goals came from substitute Reeves, touching home Nicky Clee’s free-kick, before Walshaw created space to fire into the top corner.
Deep into added time, Diggin’s superbly executed effort crashed onto the underside of the bar with many believing it had crossed the line before rebounding to two attackers who contrived to obstruct each other’s efforts to force the ball home.
It was just not to be for Brackley as their indifferent run of form continues with this defeat leaving them down in eighth and one point off the play-offs.
Brackley: Turley, Clerima, Langdon, Bridges, Sharpe, Austin (Mills), Reid, Solkhon, Moore, Diggin, Walker.
Subs not used: Towers, Nisevic, Story, Mulligan.
Altrincham: Coburn, Densmore, Griffin, Rodgers, Havern, Leather, Lawrie (Moult 45), Richman, Perry (Reeves 61), Walshaw, Clee (Marshall 90).
Subs not used: Doherty, Mwasile.
Referee: Mark Ackerman