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Tranmere Rovers  1-0  Brackley Town  FAC Rd2   27 Nov 2020

No Black Friday blues for Brackley

A stunning strike midway through the second half separated the sides on a night when Kevin Wilkin’s side stood tall for non-league football.  A determined and resilient performance was not enough to overcome opposition 56 leagues places higher but instead Saints left Prenton Park and a live BBC television audience of millions with great credit and heads high as a third attempt to reach the FA Cup 3rd round faltered by the narrowest of margins.

Substitute Kaiyne Woolery’s 18 yard curling effort gave Danny Lewis no chance and was the one attacking moment that lit up the evening as defences were on top with neither keeper having a shot to save.

“It’s obviously disappointing to go close again but a finish of great quality made the difference,” Kevin Wilkin said.  “I am proud of the team tonight.  It was a strong all-round team performance and there were plenty of excellent individual performances.  We need to take this into our league form now.”

Lewis and Franklin returned to the side after injury lay-offs and Reiss McNally made a first start at right back.

Saints enjoyed marginally the better of the first period with shots from Tre Mitford and Shep Murombedzi off target while Lewis was rarely threatened in the Brackley goal.  A double substitution on the hour mark brought Woolery into the action and it was his fine effort on 67 minutes, given too much space, that put the League Two side in front.

Saints pushed and probed for the equaliser matching the energy and organisation of the home side to the last but clear-cut chances remained a rarity at both ends and despite some late pressure the clock ran out on Brackley’s FA Cup run. 

Brackley Town:  Lewis, McNally, Franklin (Chambers 77), Byrne, Coleman (Flowers 90+3), Dean, Lowe, Murombedzi, Ndlovu, Mitford (York 70), Armson.    Subs unused:  Myles, Hinds, Phillips, Worby.

Tranmere Rovers:  Davies, Ridehalgh, Monthe, Morris, Spearing, Vaughan, Blackett-Taylor (Lloyd 82), Khan (Lewis 60), MacDonald, Feeney (Woolery 60), Clarke.     Subs unused:  Murphy, Nelson, Ferrier, Banks.

Referee:  Tom Nield           Assistants:  Richard Bartlett and Oliver Bickle       Fourth official:  Anthony Backhouse

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