Brackley Town 1-0 Alfreton Town 3/8/19
Opening day cheer for Saints
Shepherd Murombedzi’s late goal settled a tight opening day affair with Alfreton Town the visitors to St James Park. Neither side achieved any great fluency in a hard fought game and a goal-less outcome appeared on the cards until Murombedzi’s fierce strike took all three points for the Saints.
“It’s a big three points. I cannot say wholeheartedly that we deserved the win today,” Kevin Wilkin said. “We defended well denying them chances on goal but we did not do enough in the final third. Shep hit his shot well and deserved his goal. Hopefully the win will settle people down and we can take this forward.”
Wilkin’s side started brightly dominating the opening period. Carl Baker’s effort was close and Baker’s cross was met by Kelvin Langmead’s header that was just wide as the home side threatened to open the scoring. But The Reds came back into it and Josh Thacker’s shot brought a magnificent point blank save from Brackley keeper Danny Lewis to send the sides into the break still level.
After an opening spell of the second half when both sides looked rusty with mis-placed passes the order of the day, it was Brackley who went on to enjoy the better of the second period. Lee Ndlovu struck the bar, the ball crashing down onto the goal-line and the referee initially appearing to signal a goal before whistling for a foul. Matt Lowe fired over when well placed as the home team pressed. But it was not until the 84th minute when Murombedzi worked the ball onto his left foot and struck the crucial goal to earn his side an important first win of the new season.
Brackley Town: Lewis, Myles, Franklin, G.Walker, Langmead, Dean, Lowe, Armson (Daire 72), Ndlovu (Holman 81), Baker (Fairlamb 58), Murombedzi. Subs unused: Audel.
Alfreton Town: Atkinson, Clackstone, Wilde, Lynch, Smith, Qualter, Thacker, Witham (Johnson 66), Clarke (Blake 87), Morgan-Smith, East (Tomlinson 78). Subs unused: Bacon, Williams.
Referee: Matt Corlett Assistants: Mark Billingham and Mark Pearson