BRACKLEY Town suffered a second successive home defeat on a frustrating afternoon for Jon Brady’s side as visitors Altrincham enjoyed an early Christmas present after being gifted the only goal of the game.
After a largely uneventful first half – aside from the goal – Brackley dominated in the second period and frantically searched for a deserved equaliser but they were to be denied, which sees them remain third in the Blue Square North.
Brady was forced to make several changes to his starting XI as injuries and illness gave Saints a selection dilemma with Elliot Sandy and Tom Winters returning to the side.
Following a tame start, the only goal of the game in the 23rd minute after a bizarre gaffe from Billy Turley in the home goal.
Judging the ball to have run out of play, Turley was dismayed to see Damian Reeves race away with the ball and score off the post from a tight angle to give the visitors what would prove to be a match-winning lead.
The referee and his assistant were unmoved by vehement protests and the goal stood to give Reeves his 19th goal of the season.
Saints created pressure and chances in a second half that they dominated and it seemed the equaliser would come.
Yet the Robins always threatened on the break through the lively Reeves and Duncan Watmore and could have grabbed a second to seal the win.
Supporters were on the edge of their seats to the last as the game provided drama and suspense with Saints battling to claim a point that their endeavour and enterprise deserved.
Saints went close straight from the re-start as Owen Story almost connected with Steve Diggin’s cross and then Tom Winters’ cross was met by Solkhon, whose powerful header was narrowly wide.
At the other end, Jordan Sinnott brought a good save from Turley on the hour.
A frantic finish saw Brackley go close as Steve Diggin’s shot was charged down, Ryan Austin’s header was cleared off the line by Gianluca Havern and Brett Solkhon headed over from one of a series of corners, all in added time.
However, Alty held on to avenge their 4-1 mauling on the opening day of the season.
This weekend Brackley travel to bottom of the table Hinckley United, who have lost 18 of their 19 games with a -55 goal difference.
Brackley: Turley, Corcoran (G.Walker 71), McDonald, Sandy, Austin, Nisevic (Green 85), Story, Solkhon, Diggin, Robinson (Odhiamabo 23), Winters.
Subs not used: Sharpe, L.Walker.
Altrincham: Coburn, Densmore, Leather, Rodgers, Havern, Hall, Sinnott (Lacey 90+1), Moult (Reid 90+3), Watmore (Lawrie 75), Reeves, Clee.
Subs not used: Doughty, Brooke.
Referee: Tim Wood
Assistants: Jon Panconi and Sam Lewis