Brackley Town 3-1 Ashton United 5/1/19
Saints secure comfortable win
Brackley were comfortable winners in a game that never hit the heights. The visitors struggled to pose a goal threat and were forced to re-organise with the enforced departure of centre-back and captain Matt Regan after just 15 minutes.
An early chance was created by Shane Byrne’s fine long pass picking out Matt Lowe but his shot flew across the face of goal.
The first goal was not long in coming however as Saints went ahead after 21 minutes through Shaun Jeffers who converted a penalty conceded when Scott Kay fouled Shep Murombedzi. Captain Gaz Dean doubled the lead just before half-time with a spectacular strike from 25 yards to more or less settle the outcome.
In the second period Brackley increased the lead through Matt Lowe who struck his shot beautifully into the top corner after 56 minutes. Saints should have gone on to win by more but spurned chance after chance, Josh Ollerenshaw saving well on at least three occasions.
Shane Byrne’s free-kick was firmly struck and well saved, Jeffers missed the goal with a second penalty kick, Jimmy Armson’s header found only keeper Ollerenshaw from close range and substitute on-loan striker Liam McAlinden’s shot was saved when through on goal one-on-one.
The result narrows the gap for Brackley to the play-off places but continues Ashton’s poor record on the road and their position in the bottom three.
“We went about our work very well today,” Kevin Wilkin said. “I am disappointed to concede the goal at the end, we just haven’t been keeping enough clean sheets and have given away a sloppy goal in added time, and also not to have scored more given the chances we created. I am delighted with the win but I am far from satisfied with where we are at the minute. If we are to be serious play-off contenders we need to sharpen up and improve in key areas.”
Brackley Town: Lewis, Lowe (Fairlamb 88), Franklin, Byrne, G.Walker, Dean, Murombedzi, Armson (Myles 82), Ndlovu (McAlinden 76), Jeffers, A.Walker. Subs unused: Morgan, Nti.
Ashton United: Ollerenshaw, Goulding, Askew, Jones, Regan (Anghel 15 (Slew 56)), Chalmers (Crowther 69), Kay, Roberts, Martin, Ennis, Tomsett. Subs unused: Mendes, Woodford.
Referee: Scott Simpson Assistants: Liam Corbett and Mark Billingham