Brackley Town’s season continues to peter out following a lacklustre goalless draw with Stockport County at St James’ Park on Saturday.
In a season that promised so much, Saints now find themselves well adrift of the play-off places and stuck down in seventh in the Conference North.
With kick-off deliberately delayed until 3-07pm, players, officials and 390 spectators at St James Park joined those at grounds around the country to observe a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy 25 years ago.
Once under way, the match was a lacklustre affair with an end-of-season feel as both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances.
Dominic Langdon received a straight red card in the 39th minute after a clash with Iain Howard, reducing Brackley to ten men, but Stockport failed to make their advantage count with Billy Turley tested only once throughout the entire match, tipping away Phil Jevons’ second half free-kick.
In the Hatters goal, Ian Ormson was the slightly busier as players on both sides laboured.
Saints enjoyed the better of possession and chances, although rare, as Owen Story wriggled free in the penalty area and shot just wide when well-placed, while Remy Clerima’s powerful header from Story’s corner brought a fine save from Ormson in the only goalmouth action of a dour first half.
Adjusting to a changed formation, Brackley were the more poised after the break but lacked fluency. Izak Reid’s free-kick from 30 yards was just over and a neat move on the left involving Steve Diggin and Glenn Walker only saw Reid’s effort thwarted.
Both sides made full use of their substitutions but neither keeper was further threatened as the game drew to its goal-less conclusion, extinguishing any lingering hopes for Saints of a play-off spot.
Brackley: Turley, Reid, Langdon, Odhiambo, Sharpe, Clerima, Story (Moore 90), Solkhon, Rowe (Mulligan 90), Diggin (Nisevic 76), Walker.