Brackley Town 3-0 Nuneaton Borough FAT 3Q 24/11/18
Trophy holders Brackley successfully negotiated the first defence of their title beating fellow National League North Nuneaton comfortably at St James Park. Lee Ndlovu scored all three second half goals in a 12 minute spell to take his season’s tally to 13.
“We played well today but didn’t find those moments of extra quality in the first half that make the difference,” Kevin Wilkin said. “We did in the second half and Lee has done fantastically well to take those chances. He missed a good chance just before the first goal but he carried on and it’s good to see he didn’t get down about it but has scored a terrific hat-trick in the end.”
After a first half of few goal threats at either end, the second half was a different story as Saints dominated from the re-start. Matt Lowe could only direct his header wide and Ndlovu was off target when well placed from Connor Franklin’s cross before Ndlovu made the break-through just before the hour mark.
From Glenn Walker’s pass the striker took it on, cutting inside the defender and firing low inside Cam Belford’s post. On 61 minutes an incisive move of 11 passes, with Ellis Myles and Shane Byrne instrumental, set up Ndlovu who again found the corner of the goal low past Belford.
The hat-trick came in the 68th minute as Ndlovu’s header powered the ball into the net from Walker’s fine cross.
Brackley had opportunities to increase the lead through substitutes Daniel Nti and Shaun Jeffers, Jeffers bringing a splendid save from Belford after fine work by Byrne to create the chance.
Nuneaton’s Ryan Jennings got a late, straight red card for a challenge on Shepherd Murombedzi but the tie had been long settled.
“As the holders in this competition we are there to be shot at and teams will want to beat us,” Wilkin added. “But it’s part of the challenge we need to meet and to deal with. It’s a good challenge to have. We have to deal with that bit of expectation.”
Brackley Town: Lewis, Myles, Franklin, Byrne, Hall, Dean, G.Walker, Armson (Nti 72), Ndlovu (Jeffers 74), Lowe (Murombedzi 78), A.Walker. Subs unused: Fairlamb, Noon.
Nuneaton Borough: Belford, Panayiotou, Kelly, Lyne, Addison, Calveley, Baker, Kelly-Evans (Tweed 69), McGurk, Angus, Jennings. Subs unused: Edobor, Basso, Etheridge.
Referee: Barry Lamb Assistants: Andy Loe and David Hutton