Brackley Town  0-0  Curzon Ashton     20 Nov 2021

Stalemate at St James Park

Saints in secod place and Curzon Ashton in fifth place fought out a well contested game to share the points.  Both teams had chances to snatch the win but neither deserved to leave empty handed.

A first half of endeavour but little fluency saw only half chances apart from a flashing header by Nyall Bell that brought a save at full stretch from Danny Lewis in Brackley’s goal.

An energised Saints enjoyed the better of the second period without finding the break-through although a double chance for Curzon almost saw the visitors go ahead on 67 minutes as first Craig Barton’s header crashed onto the cross-bar before Alex Curran’s effort was narrowly wide.

Twice Matt Lowe’s running opened up the defence without a resulting goal effort.  Wes York’s close range back-heel was blocked on the line and a scrambled clearance from a corner kept the score-line goal-less going into the final minutes as the home side created a late spell of pressure.

Chris Renshaw showed great reflexes to tip away a point blank chance and twice Curzon survived danger in a crowded penalty area.  Saints’ best chance came as Jimmy Armson’s deep cross was met by Lee Ndlovu’s header but the goal-bound effort struck a Brackley body and was cleared.

This was a sixth clean-sheet in the last seven league games and leaves Saints in second place behind AFC Fylde who came from behind to win at AFC Telford.

“We got better in the second half and our work-rate throughout was fantastic,” Kevin Wilkin said.  “Credit to Curzon who made it difficult for us and you can see why they are having such a good season.  We needed a bit of a break in front of goal.  We had a right go second half and it hasn’t quite fallen for us.”

Brackley Town:  Lewis, Lomas, Franklin (Myles 71), Murombedzi, Walker, Dean, Lowe (Rolt 89), Armson, Ndlovu, York, Yusuf (Mitford 55),.   Subs unused:  Cullinane-Liburd, Putz.

Curzon Ashton:  Renshaw, Rain, Poscha, Challoner, Barton, Dunn, Lussey, Mahon, McKay (Dyche 88), Bell, Curran (Waters 78).     Subs unused:  Witham, Merrill, Hobson.

Referee:  Mike Barlow     Assistants:  Harry Warner and Matthew Perry

Attendance:  466

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