Brackley Town made it back-to-back Vanarama National League North wins for the first time this season on Saturday and they’ve both come on the road.
Kevin Wilkin’s side returned from the long trip to Lowestoft Town with a priceless 2-1 victory from a game that very nearly never started given the terrible playing surface. Junior English bagged the second haf winner as Saints picked up three vital points.
Boggy and heavily sanded in places, the pitch passed an early morning inspection but had the forecast steady rain arrived the game may not have survived. Instead, squally bursts of rain swept in from the North Sea to provide a testing and very muddy afternoon for both teams.
It was a test that Wilkin’s men passed to earn three precious points against another side in and around the danger zone.
An early facial injury to Ryan Austin required treatment on the pitch and then continued work off of it denying Saints the full compliement of players until the central defender finally gave way to Pablo Mills midway through the first half.
Lowestoft had the ball in the net disallowed for offside and David Moyo fired up his side turning inside, driving for goal and bringing a flying save from keeper Ben Killip as both sides showed commitment and energy in an absorbing battle.
Calamity arrived for the home side on the half hour mark as Moyo chased the ball down with the keeper under no threat. Killip dribbled back into his area but failed to gather allowing the Saints striker to advance on goal and fire the visitors ahead.
The Trawler Boys were level seven minutes later as defensive hesitation allowed Michael Spillane to prod home and moments later Killip redeemed himself with an excellent save at close range from Lee Ndlovu to deny Saints a halftime lead.
If the score line at the halfway mark fairly reflected the balance of the game, a resilient and organised second half performance secured the away win. Despite some inevitable late pressure that Saints’ back-line weathered, Lowestoft rarely tested Sam Hornby in the second period although Chris Henderson fired over when fine build-up play deserved better.
The decisive goal came in the 65th minute following a goalmouth tangle. Patient possession brought an excellent cross from English prompting defensive indecision. Several players tried to get a touch as the cross found its way into the back of the net.