Brackley Town  2-2  Chorley     1/9/18

O’Keefe double secures unlikely come-back

Chorley surrendered the division’s only 100% record in a game that had everything for the neutral. Brackley dominated the first hour of the match and should have been out of sight creating chances seemingly at will against an oddly muted Chorley side.  Matt Lowe hit the post, Lee Ndlovu headed over when unmarked and Matt Urwin turned Jimmy Armson’s header over from close range in a first half in which Saints denied The Magpies even a glimpse on goal and scored twice to earn a deserved half-time lead. 

After 33 minutes Connor Franklin headed past Urwin from Shane Byrne’s corner to give his side a deserved lead. Lee Ndlovu doubled the advantage finishing from close quarters on 41 minutes after fine work by Matt Lowe, the striker’s sixth goal of the season.

Saints were unable to make more of further chances after the break and the game changed as Josh O’Keefe converted Chorley’s first effort on goal finishing neatly after 66 minutes. The visitors sensed that the momentum was shifting but still it was Brackley creating scoring opportunities, substitute Murombedzi shooting close and Adam Walker’s shot testing Urwin.

Only fine defending by Brackley captain Gaz Dean kept Chorley out in a 73rd minute attack but The Magpies were level ten minutes later as O’Keefe headed the equaliser to complete the come-back and retain his side’s unbeaten run ensuring a score-line that had looked most unlikely at the half-time point.

“The way we performed in the first half, we created so many chances, you’d take coming off at half-time at 2-0 and we could have been home and dry in the first half,” Kevin Wilkin said. “Then young players switch off and let the game go on around them to encourage them to get moments in the game.  That’s disappointing.  We gave them a life-line back into the game.  To only have scored two goals today is a disappointment.  Without a shadow of a doubt we played our best half of football of the season so far and against the league leaders.  We played on the front foot, made terrific chances, hit the post, scored good goals, had good saves from the keeper but we knew we needed a third goal to make the game safe.  Individually and collectively we have to do better.”  


Brackley Town:   Lewis; Myles, Franklin, Hall, Dean; Byrne, A.Walker, Fairlamb (Nti 93), Lowe (Murombedzi 68); Ndlovu, Armson (G.Walker 60).   Subs unused: Graham, Smith.

Chorley:   Urwin; Short (Almond 46), Leather, Anson (Witham 84); Challoner, Teague, Cottrell, O’Keefe, E.Newby; Carver, Wilson.  Subs unused: A.Newby, Jordan, Eccles.


Referee: Aaron Jackson         Assistants:  Liam Corbett and Stuart Morland

Attendance: 530