Out-of-sorts Brackley held to draw by Town

Brackley Town's Carl Palmer fends off Cirencester players
Brackley Town's Carl Palmer fends off Cirencester players

Brackley Town go into this weekend’s home fixture against Redditch United looking for a confidence-boosting three points after a run of five games without a win.

Saints’ early season sparkle has faded rapidly and a laboured 0-0 draw at St James Park last Saturday against table proppers Cirencester Town continued the cycle of disappointment.

Brackley’s strike pair of Elliot Sandy and Jefferson Louis failed to fire all afternoon, Tom Winters lacked his usual spark, while only Owen Story threatened with some good runs down the wing.

The visitors were a better side than their lowly position suggested and in the second half they came close to winning the contest, but were kept out by some excellent Brackley defending.

On-loan Saints keeper Paul Walker made several outstanding saves, while Josh Green, returning from a spell at Oxford City, was assured at the back, closing down attackers and clearing away confidently.

In a scrappy first half Brackley’s best chance came in the 18th minute after Cirencester’s Henry Callum fouled Sandy on the edge of the box. Winters’ free kick was whipped into a crowded goalmouth but Louis just failed to get his head on it.

The same player had another chance 10 minutes later but fired his effort straight at keeper Mike Green.

Story was busy down the right wing and in the 31st minute Callum was booked as he tried to keep up with the pacy winger.

Two minutes later Jon Else fired a shot from distance at the Brackley goal which Walker fumbled and then gathered up.

The second half livened up but it was Cirencester who were the more dangerous. On 56 minutes Walker made a great stop with his knees from Mitchell’s Bryant’s snapshot, while Winters went close the other end with a left footed strike.In the 64th minute Else was just off target with a header from a good cross.

After Sandy was replaced by substitute Paul Dempsey, a rare foray up front by Brackley saw Joe Magunda pick out Louis in the vistors’ box with a well directed cross, but the striker was just wide with his header.

The last 10 minutes threw up a flurry of chances for Cirencester with Mike Tambling replacing Bryant. Walker denied the visitors with a great close range reflex save and then a fierce shot from James Reid was acrobatically parried away. Green headed clear a dangerous corner floated into the Brackley box from skipper Richard Mansell.

For Brackley, defender Ellis Myles went close with a shot with eight minutes left.

At the final whistle a point for both teams was a fair result.

Brackley Town: Walker, Magunda, Myles, Palmer, Willmott, Green, Story (Chennells 85 mins), Solkhon, Louis, Sandy (Dempsey 65 mins), Winters.

Cirencester Town: Green, Arndale, Mansell, Callum, Mayo, Sysum, Reid, Mortimer-Ones, Else, Bryant (Tambling 82 mins), Westlake.