FC United of Manchester 1-1 Brackley Town 27/10/18
Saints rue missed chances
Brackley fell behind for the fourth successive game before Jimmy Armson’s fine equaliser set up an exciting final half hour for the large home crowd getting behind new FC United manager Neil Reynolds.
Saints started well threatening an early goal from Daniel Nti’s breakaway and Armson’s turn and shot but it was the home side that got the break-through. The visitors failed to clear a 30th minute corner allowing United captain Mike Potts on his first appearance to rifle his shot into the top corner to get the home supporters in good voice.
Clear chances were rare in a messy first period but that was to change after the break. Connor Franklin’s block denied Lewis Mansell and Lewis Thompson’s header brought a good save from Danny Lewis as Brackley had defending to do. Meanwhile early second half substitutions bringing on Lee Ndlovu and Matt Lowe injected power, pace and urgency into the game as Saints sought the equalising goal.
Armson’s cross-shot needed only a touch before Matt Lowe’s determined dribbling won a free-kick close to the corner flag. It was Armson himself who found the clinical finish from Shane Byrne’s low free-kick giving Lloyd Allinson no chance for his 9th league goal of the campaign.
With half an hour remaining it seemed that a draw was the least likely outcome as both teams went for the win with Saints in the ascendency. United had late chances to claim the three points but only after Saints had passed up golden opportunities to take the lead. Glenn Walker’s fine run set up Lowe closing in on goal but right-footed his shot found only the side-netting. With 86 minutes played Armson hoisted a shot over the bar in another fine chance before Lowe’s mazy run created the best chance of the game for Armson who fired wide with the goal at his mercy.
An exasperated Kevin Wilkin lamented his side’s profligacy. “At the end of the day it is an away point and we are still in and around the top bunch of teams but that is not where we want to be,” he said. “We had excellent opportunities to win the game today but did not make them count. We have to hit the target and make the keeper make the save if he can. I am disappointed with the goal we conceded because we made things too easy for them. There are positives today of course but there is a lot I am not happy about.”
Brackley Town: Lewis, Murombedzi, Franklin (Fairlamb 79), Byrne, Hall, Dean, G.Walker, Armson, Nti (Lowe 55), Jeffers (Ndlovu 55), A.Walker. Subs unused: Myles, Noon.
FC United: Allinson, Senior, Thompson, O’Halloran, Prostley, Potts, Simoes, Wallen, Mansell (Limpitshi-Bongwanga 79), Donohue, Banister (Crawford 72). Subs unused: Palinkas, Brierley, Perrin.
Referee: Adam Herczeg Assistants: Jonny Unwin and Steven Lawson