Saints pay the penalty after stalemate with Telford

Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin saw his side slip back into the relegation zone
Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin saw his side slip back into the relegation zone
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Brackley Town are back in the Vanarama National League North relegation zone following Tuesday’s stalemate with AFC Telford United.

Saints failed to win the six-pointer at St James Park while Lowestoft Town beat Worcester City to go above Kevin Wilkin’s side. In the end it was a first half penalty miss from top scorer Steve Diggin which proved so costly as Saints had to settle for a solitary point yet again.

Given the urgency of their situation, Saints started brightly and David Moyo cut inside before forcing James Montgomery to turn his shot around the near post.

Both teams were fired up and the ball spent a lot of time in the air in the opening exchanges. Telford soon got into the game and Dave Hibbert fired over from the edge of the box before Izak Reid cut inside before shooting straight at Sam Hornby.

But Saints created the better openings. Diggin twisted and turned before flashing a shot across Montgomery’s goal before the lively Moyo latched on to a mistake by Lucas Dawson and burst into the box but he dwelled on the ball and the chance was gone.

Glenn Walker volleyed well wide after being neatly set-up by Diggin after Stephan Morley’s free-kick wasn’t fully cleared. Walker tested Montgomery with a first time drive from just outside the box as Saints edged the first period.

Former Saints striker Reid went close just before the break when he created some space in the box before firing into the side-netting from a tight angle.

Saints missed a glorious chance to break the deadlock in stoppage-time when Diggin won and missed a penalty. A flowing move ended with Diggin being tripped by Mike Grogan in the box but the top scorer saw his spot-kick comfortably saved by Montgomery.

After the restart Grogan fired over with a shot on the turn as Telford started with a spring in their step having survived the penalty. Grogan went close again when he latched on to Reid’s knockdown but Sam Hornby was equal to his low drive.

Telford began to look more dangerous and Josh Wilson forced Hornby to save at his near post. Saints began to sit deeper and Telford seized the initiative to pose a greater threat.

Wilkin threw on an extra striker in Lee Ndlovu and seconds after coming on he helped the ball on for Moyo who was just inches away from converting Walker’s low cross at the far post.

Wilson went close when he fired a great shot from 30 yards which Hornby tipped around the post at full stretch. Hibbert then saw his header saved by Hornby.

Saints piled on the pressure late on, Montgomery palmed away Joe Clarke’s free-kick and from the ensuing corner Moyo headed just over. Montgomery then tipped over Luke Graham’s fierce drive in stoppage-time as Saints sought that elusive goal and the three points.