Clayton's solitary strike sinks shot-shy Saints

Brackley Town skipper Gaz Dean and Thierry Audel snuff out the danger against Farsley Celtic. Photo: Jake McNulty
Brackley Town skipper Gaz Dean and Thierry Audel snuff out the danger against Farsley Celtic. Photo: Jake McNulty

Brackley Town received a big blow to their Vanarama National League North promotion hopes.

Saints suffered a first home defeat for more than a year as Adam Clayton’s first half goal secured a first win in five games for Farsley Celtic. The three points moved Farsley up to 11th as Saints slip back to fifth.

On a poor surface in blustery conditions, neither side got into their stride in a disappointing first period. Saints were close to opening the scoring as Glenn Walker stabbed his effort wide after a fine run by Matt Lowe while the visitors were only inches away as Ben Atkinson spurned a chance with a free header.

But in a game of rare shots on target Clayton made no mistake on 34 minutes as Saints failed to clear from a deep cross, Celtic’s long serving defender rifling his shot past Danny Lewis.

Saints returned for the second half with renewed intensity and kept Farsley penned back for much of the second half. But despite the lion’s share of possession Saints could not break down the visitors’ obdurate defending and as the game wore on Town’s frustration grew as they sensed vital points slipping away.

Lowe’s fierce effort struck the post and substitute Carl Baker’s scuffed shot was wide when well placed as the home side pressed for the equaliser but it never came.

After seeing his side fail to score for the third game in a row, manager Kevin Wilkin said: “Scoring goals has obviously been an issue over these three games.

“When you don’t take your chances you will struggle in games and that’s been evident. We haven’t created a lot of moments today but when they pass you by you will struggle.

"Good sides like Guiseley and Farsley today come here and set up and make things difficult for us. They defended resolutely to close the points out so well done to them. We need to reflect on this and learn from it.

"We take this one on the chin. We need to knuckle down, re-group through the week and continue to work hard at what we do.”