Stalemate as Saints earn opening day point

Brackley Town's James Armson beats Tamworth's Anthony Breslin at St James Park
Brackley Town's James Armson beats Tamworth's Anthony Breslin at St James Park

Brackley Town’s fifth season in the Vanarama National League North kicked off with a stalemate against Tamworth in sweltering conditions that tested both teams to the full.

Neither side did quite enough to earn all three points in an absorbing and tight opener at St James Park. Ironically this was a repeat fixture from the last day of last season when Saints won dramatically to retain their status.

In a game of few chances, Tamworth keeper James Belshaw had the busier afternoon. Young George Jeacock, making his first start for Saints, saw his header find only the post and Lee Ndlovu’s follow-up shot hit Belshaw which was the closest either side came to a first half breakthrough.

After the restart Jimmy Armson set up Ndlovu who saw his shot saved by Belshaw with his feet before Armson fired in a shot of his own that the keeper palmed away for a corner. Glenn Walker’s corner fell to Ndlovu bringing a sharp tip-over by the keeper.

Tamworth’s Jack Lane had a shot cleared off the line by Luke Graham, Saints’ captain Gareth Dean made a saving tackle to deny Danny Newton and only a terrific goalmouth scramble kept out the visitors late on.

Saints might have won the game at the very last as Matt Lowe headed over after fine work by Ellis Myles and Armson on the right flank. An even later penalty appeal was waved away as Armson went down in the area and so both sides kept their clean sheets and bagged a point apiece.