A solitary goal from Izak Reid earned Brackley Town an opening day victory at Barrow in Saturday’s Conference North clash.
Saints had an early effort ruled out for offside, Aaron Bowen’s eagerness to impress brought a yellow card for a reckless challenge on Curtis McDonald, who then squared up to Alex Meechan as both sides struggled to come to terms with atrocious conditions and a difficult surface.
The game took an enforced break on the half hour following an aerial collision between Barrow keeper Tony McMillan and defender Robbie Williams, both men requiring lengthy treatment to head injuries and involving medical attention from staff from both clubs.
The delay disrupted any momentum but on the stroke of halftime came the only chance of the first half when Glenn Walker picked Reid who could only fire wide.
Within minutes of the restart Walker’s shot was deflected just wide but on the hour mark Saints broke the deadlock. Walker collected the ball in midfield and threaded a slide rule pass to put Reid clear and he made no mistake, beating an exposed McMillan.
With Saints in control, the Bluebirds struggled to find the creativity to carve out chances until Robin Hulbert got his shot away from a pack of players at close range to Billy Turley’s goal that the keeper did well to keep out.