A lethargic performance by Brackley saw them miss the chance to move away from trouble in Midlands Three East as they went down 19-7 to fellow strugglers Northampton Men’s Own.
A win would have taken Brackley up to mid-table, but as it is they are left hovering just one point above the relegation zone.
Having establishing an early lead which they never relinquished, Men’s Own were by far the livelier outfit and might have inflicted more damage in the first minute had flanker Phil Gale not made a try-saving tackle when an attempted clearance kick was charged down.
Brackley’s performance was riddled with careless mistakes as almost all the opposition’s points came from penalties.
Northampton opened the scoring with a penalty goal, then capitalised on a line out following a penalty kick to touch to create an overlap for an unconverted try.
Forceful running by Ken Marshall-Grant brought Brackley back into contention with a try converted by Mike Lowdell, but a second Men’s Own penalty goal extended their lead to 11-7.
The visitors were right in the match at half time, but a sloppy start to the second half allowed the hosts to run in eight more points and seal a crucial victory.