Owen Story’s stoppage time goal rescued a point for Brackley Town in an entertaining encounter at struggling Colwyn Bay at the weekend.
Goals at the very start and very end saw the points shared against a Colwyn side whose performance belied their struggling form and lowly league table position.
A well-worked second-minute goal gave Saints the perfect start as Glenn Walker’s cross was headed back across goal by Gary Mulligan for Steve Diggin to finish emphatically for his ninth goal of the season.
The Seagulls responded in determined fashion and created the best chances of the half with only a close-range reaction save by Billy Turley and then the crossbar from Mike Lea’s free-kick keeping the visitors in front, before a dubious penalty decision on 35 minutes brought the equaliser as Cameron Darkwah made no mistake from the spot-kick, placing it high to Turley’s left.
Brackley started the second half brightly but both sides had their chances as a fine cross by substitute Story saw Diggin rise well but head over before a goalmouth scramble at the other end was somehow cleared.
Bay thought they had won it when Marc Williams turned neatly and fired his shot past Turley with 86 minutes played, but Saints showed their fighting spirit with a rousing finale.
In added time, Story found himself through on goal only for keeper Chris Sanna to save with his feet, the ball falling to Steve Towers whose shot was only partially repelled allowing Story to find the net for the equaliser in a dramatic finish to the game.
With Saints showing their quality only in flashes, the draw was a fair result given the balance of chances in Bay’s favour and was certainly the least that the home side deserved.
The point lifts Brackley up to third in a remarkably tight Conference North table, with the top five teams all on 32 points. Brackley are in action again on Tuesday evening when they go to seventh-placed Solihull Moors - the winners of that game will go top of the table.
Brackley Town: Turley, Odhiambo, McDonald, Towers, Sharpe, Austin, Reid, Solkhon (Story 63), Mulligan (Mills 73), Diggin (Newton 80), Walker.
Subs not used: Sandy, Griffin.
Colwyn Bay: Sanna, Taylor, Lea, Stevens, Sinclair, Crowther (Joyce 80), Evans, S.Williams, Hopley, M.Williams, Darkwah (Matthews 80).
Subs not used: Pearson, Moss, Ellison.
Referee: Matthew Bristow