Poor Saints beaten by struggling Gloucester

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A second half strike from substitute Steve Davies sunk a well below-par Brackley Town side in poor Blue Square North encounter at St James’ Park last night.

Following the highs of Saturday’s excellent draw at leaders Chester, Saints produced a uncharacteristic performance to lose just their third home game of the season to a lowly Gloucester side on a wet and windy night.

The determined visitors fought hard and deserved at least a point after creating arguably the best chance in each half before Davies’ late winner, which came after Brackley failed to clear the danger.

The difficult conditions limited any fluency for either side in a scrappy, stop-start first period.

Saints came closest when keeper Mike Green’s clearance was hit directly at Steve Diggin but the rebound off the striker squirted wide, much to Green’s relief.

For the Tigers, Lewis Hogg’s well struck shot on six minutes had Billy Turley diving low to his right to make the save and left-back Danny Andrews hit a fine effort that Turley had to turn away for a corner.

Brackley started the second half more brightly but could not create any real pressure on Green’s goal.

Diggin was lively and Glenn Walker’s appearance from the bench made an impact, the winger always having the beating of full-back Sam Rawlins, but the end product was rarely a goal threat.

Gloucester’s only second half chance was the decisive moment in the game as Davies finished smartly to provide three welcome points for struggling City and a truly terrible conclusion to a disappointing evening for Brackley.

Brackley Town: Turley, Clifton, McDonald, Mulligan (Louis 54), Sharpe, Austin, Story (Robinson 84), Solkhon, Diggin, Sandy, Nisevic (G.Walker 45).

Subs not used: Odhiambo, L.Walker.

Gloucester City: Green, Rawlins, Andrews, Coupe, Holland, Webb, Hogg, Hamblin, Edwards, Mann (Davies 67), Harris.

Sub not used: Green, Bagasan, Mustoe.

Referee: Adrian Quelch

Assistants: Stuart Jack and Sam Ogles

Attendance: 169