Darlington  0-2   Brackley Town   20/2/19

Brackley back into fourth spot with crucial away win

A goal in each half earned Kevin Wilkin’s side a vital away win making it eight wins from nine games in all competitions and lifting Saints back into fourth place in National League North and right into the mix among the front-runners.

Will Smith’s headed own goal after 45 minutes gave Saints a half-time lead after Darlington had started well without bringing Danny Lewis into action.  Gaz Dean’s header struck the bar as Brackley fought their way into the game before Shane Byrne’s free-kick brought the own goal.

Former Brackley midfielder Jordan Nicholson’s shot demanded a first save of the game from Lewis on the hour before Shaun Jeffers’ lobbed shot struck Jonny Maddison’s cross-bar.

Daniel Nti replaced Jeffers and the substitute was on the score-sheet after 78 minutes finishing neatly after Byrne’s free-kick was helped on by Matt Lowe and Connor Hall for Nti to apply the coup de grace doubling Saints’ lead to secure the points.

A midweek, 400 mile round trip is all the more bearable when the three precious points return with you to St James Park.  Next up is the visit of Leyton Orient for FA Trophy action before the team is again on the road to the North-East with a trip to Blyth Spartans.

Brackley Town:   Lewis, Myles, G.Walker, Byrne, Hall, Dean, Lowe, Fairlamb, Jeffers (Nti 69), Baker, A.Walker.   Subs unused:  Armson, Murombedzi, Sterling-James, Jackson.

Darlington:   Maddison, Trotman, O’Hanlon, Wheatley (Palmer 86), Hughes, Smith, Henshall (Kneeshaw 62), Elliott, Ainge (Saunders 62), Thompson, Nicholson.     Subs unused:  Glover, Kokolo.

Referee:   Adam Herczeg            Assistants:  Jack Gordon and Alex Clark

Attendance:  915