Brackley Town’s frustrating start to the Vanarama National League season continued at the New Bucks Head Stadium on Tuesday.
AFC Telford United beat Saints 2-1 to inflict a third defeat on last season’s FA Trophy winners.
Dominating the first half, Kevin Wilkin’s side went in at the break behind and a more even second period saw Telford eventually hang on to the three points in a nervy finish.
Telford’s Daniel Udoy’s long range shot beat Danny Lewis in the 14th minute to put United ahead. But that should only have been an inconvenience for Saints who had began brightly enjoying good possession, passing the ball well and on the front foot.
Shep Murombedzi shot wide from Glenn Walker’s cross, Jimmy Armson fired over from six yards and then saw his header off target from Shane Byrne’s cross, all chances that on another day would have comfortably found the net.
Lee Ndlovu’s driving run into the area was stopped only when keeper Sheridan Martinez brought him down earning the visitors an 18th minute penalty. But Armson’s spot-kick was first saved by Martinez before his follow-up header came back off the post and was cleared.
It was a moment that summed up Saints’ season to date. Telford grew into the game as halftime approached and the second period saw chances for both sides and more composed play from the home side.
Telford captain Shane Sutton spurned a chance to extend his side’s lead directly after the break, heading over from Knight’s cross.
On occasions, Saints moved the ball quickly and with precision, as on the hour when Armson turned inside finding Byrne who won a corner from which defender Theo Streete cleared the inswinging delivery as Telford defended in numbers. Armson shot over from Glenn Walker’s cross in another good opening as Saints pressed for the equaliser.
Wilkin made a triple substitution, bringing on Gregg Smith, Luke Fairlamb and Ellis Myles with 20 minutes remaining. But Telford immediately doubled the lead, Darryl Knights turning the ball into the net with a fine finish from Adam Dawson’s cross.
Saints never stopped battling and a goal eventually came at the start of four minutes added-time when substitute Smith slid in to convert Fairlamb’s cross to cut the deficit. But it was not enough as Telford held on despite further late goalmouth action.