Hereford  1-1  Brackley Town   24/8/19 

Armson leveller earns deserved away point 

Neither team did quite enough to earn the three points from a hard fought game played in exhausting heat that was inevitably a factor and caused the officials to allow an official drinks break in each half. 

Danny Lewis sustained a facial injury in only the second minute of the game requiring extensive treatment.  The game continued in stop-start fashion until Hereford won free-kicks in quick succession in identical positions on the edge of the Brackley penalty area.  For the first, the defensive wall did its job but Brad Ash hit the second over the wall, the ball crashing back off the cross-bar and, with Rowan Liburd first to react heading the ball into an unguarded net, the home side had a 17th minute lead. 

Neither side built any real rhythm until a defensive mix-up allowed Matt Lowe to race up the wing and pick out Jimmy Armson who beat keeper Brandon Hall decisively to level the scores on 37 minutes. 

Saints finished the first half the stronger and the second period promised much.  It failed to deliver however in 45 minutes almost devoid of goal chances until the very final minutes.  Hereford were awarded a hotly disputed 83rd minute penalty for handball but when Tom Owen-Evans stepped up he blasted his kick high over the cross-bar. 

Ellis Myles’ low cross was cleared, Carl Baker’s shot from close range was saved, another chance was headed off the line before Baker again and then Luke Fairlamb could not find the finish of sufficient power to break the stale-mate in added time leaving both sides with a hard-earned and deserved point. 

“A draw is probably a fair result today,” Kevin Wilkin said. “There weren’t a great deal of chances for either side but I think we had the nearest moments in and around the penalty area.  I am disappointed the referee felt the need to give the penalty in the situation he did.  It was incredibly harsh and it would have been a difficult way to have lost the game.  Fortunately it didn’t matter in the end.  The conditions will have taken something out of the players but there can’t be any moans and groans.  We will be fresh and ready to go for another tough game on Monday and we will look forward to it.”  

Brackley Town:   Lewis, Myles, Franklin (Fairlamb 70), Byrne, Dean, Langmead, Lowe, Walker, Ndlovu, Armson (Baker 81), Murombedzi.   Subs unused: Holman, Daire, Audel. 

Hereford:  Hall, Hodgkiss, Hanley (Pope 61), Maye, Cullinane-Liburd, Gowling, Owen-Evans, O’Sullivan (Styche 61), Liburd, Nicholson, Ash (Bishop 89).   Subs unused: Bray, Riley. 

Referee:  Scott Simpson     Assistants:  Thomas Wainman and Daniel Pattison 

Attendance:  2585