Brackley Town extended their unbeaten Vanarama National League North run to three games following the New Year’s Day stalemate at Leamington.
But the score-line does not begin to tell the story and Saints were left to rue another penalty miss against Brakes, this time from Glenn Walker. After the Boxing Day draw at St James Park, another draw was harsh on a Town side that dominated the first half and was on top for much of the second period putting in an impressive display lacking only the finishing touch in front of goal.
In Connor Hall’s absence, Saints played with Walker and Connor Franklin joining Gaz Dean as a back three in a re-worked line-up with Shaun Jeffers paired with Lee Ndlovu up front. Defensively, the performance was composed, the team’s passing was cohesive and incisive, the tackling tenacious and, in attack, questions were asked of Leamington’s defenders throughout.
Shaun Jeffers was unable to capitalise on a fine opening early on, bringing a close range save from Tony Breeden. Jeffers was fouled earning a penalty but Walker stepped up and saw his spot-kick graze the outside of the post in another early let-off for the hosts.
The goal threat came from all directions but somehow the Brakes made it to the break all square.
On the hour mark, on-loan striker Jordan Murphy brought a sharp save from Danny Lewis low to his left in almost Leamington’s first goal attempt of the game. Saints continued to probe and threaten with Matt Lowe and Shep Murombedzi always dangerous.
Breeden clung on well to Glenn Walker’s inswinging corner and Jimmy Armson’s header drifted just wide from Lowe’s fine cross. As the final whistle neared, Shane Byrne’s first time pass found Jeffers through on goal getting his shot away but bringing a game-saving stop from Breeden.