When Sam Whittall signed on-loan from Cambridge City he didn’t expect his Brackley Town debut would finish with him between the posts.
But an injury to Jon Viscosi, also on his debut, saw Whittall take over and help Saints to take a point at Bradford Park Avenue in Saturday’s Vanarama Conference North clash.
Two sides low on confidence struggled to create clear cut chances in the 0-0 draw in a game full of endeavour but lacking end product, with both teams deserving of their point but nothing more.
While Park Avenue enjoyed greater possession, they rarely threatened and a dour first half saw the teams troop off without a single troublesome effort between them.
Viscosi saved well from Chilaka’s well struck shot on 10 minutes, before Sam Smith’s header was comfortably gathered by Jon Danby.
Bradford’s clearest route to a goal would be to test stand-in keeper Whittall but the home side failed to do this in a second period when the visitors’ well marshalled defence held firm in protecting their stopper.
Nathan Hotte fired wide and Whittall saved well. A goalmouth scramble was cleared and Joe Colbeck’s free-kick was charged down by Ryan Rowe as Saints defended in organised and determined manner.
In stoppage-time Whittall leaped to collect a cross, juggling the wet ball and setting hearts jangling before collecting safely to earn Saints a point.
It was a first point on the road and a second successive clean sheet for Saints, and manager Jon Brady said: “Jon [Viscosi] had been at Tranmere Rovers trying to prove himself in this country and it’s real bad luck for him to get injured in his first game for us.
“It was a fantastic effort by the players after losing Jon.”
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Bradford Park Avenue 0 Brackley Town 0
Brackley Town: Viscosi (Nelson-Addy 29), Samuels, McDonald, Eddie Odhiambo, Sharpe, Austin, Brown, Whittall, Rowe, Smith, Eric Odhiambo. Subs unused: Curtis, Pearson, Built, Kaziboni.
Bradford PA: Damby, Black, O’Brien, Price, Qualter, Priestley, Colbeck, Hotte, Chilaka (Frost 82), Barraclough (Marshall 67), Walker. Subs unused: Rea, Kerr, Howarth.
Referee: Anthony Backhouse. Assistants: Alan Hull and Richard Burgess