Walker’s late show denies Pilgrims to earn Saints a point

Brackley Town keeper Laurie Walker pulled off two stoppage-time saves
Brackley Town keeper Laurie Walker pulled off two stoppage-time saves

Brackley Town were unable to get the three points they needed to keep their fading Vanarama National League play-off hopes alive in Saturday’s stalemate with Boston United.

Saints and Boston played out a 0-0 draw in Saturday’s clash at St James Park where Laurie Walker earned his side a late point. Walker pulled off two first-class stoppage-time saves to ensure honours finished even.

Walker repeated the heroics he produced in the first meeting between the two sides in the 3-2 victory in Lincolnshire back in November when he saved a Lewis Hilliard penalty.

Saturday’s contest couldn’t have been further from the five-goal thriller the Pilgrims and Saints previously conjured up. Tentative at best and lack-lustre at times, both sides carved out half chances but lacked any cutting edge up front until the closing stages.

Saints started brightly, Shane Byrne saw his rising drive beat the outstretched fingertips of Ross Durrant but sail inches the wrong side of the goal frame.

But the early pressure failed to bring any further chances and the contest fizzled into a scrappy midfield battle punctuated by hopeful cross-field balls. That was until United had their first sight of goal when Jack Broadhead’s effort was diverted away from danger by Glenn Walker.

The midfielder also made his presence felt at the other end, putting in a cross for Matthew Barnes-Homer which Durrant did well to divert wide before heading over from close range. Just before the break, Byrne saw his 20-yard free kick tipped over by Durrant at full stretch.

After the restart, Boston carved out two good chances in as many minutes when Broadhead drove wide from the edge of the area and Nat Brown’s header looped over the upright.

At the other end, Ellis Myles wasted a good opportunity when he volleyed Jimmy Armson’s cross into the ground before Lee Ndlovu’s curling effort was just off target and David Pitt stabbed inches wide.

Boston had two chances in stoppage-time to win it. Jay Rollins slipped Glenn Walker but Laurie Walker produced a fingertip save. And from the ensuing corner, Mani Dieseruvwe’s header was forced over from point-blank range by the Saints keeper.