Brackley Town  5-1  Darlington   16 Nov 2019

Famine or feast

After netting just once in four games, Brackley ended their goal famine and found a goal feast in an impressively ruthless display.  A fire-cracker of a first half saw Saints run in five goals to end the game as a contest by the break.  It could have been very different had Jarrett Rivers’ curling effort found the target or Stephen Thompson’s header not hit the post from the ensuing corner all in the first five minutes as the visitors started strongly.

But Lee Ndlovu put Brackley ahead after 11 minutes finishing decisively after Liam Connell could only parry Wes York’s shot.  A mazy run and fine finish by Matt Lowe quickly doubled the lead and Ndlovu’s headed second goal of the game put Saints in complete control on the half hour.

York added a 41st minute fourth goal and there was still time for Shane Byrne’s free-kick to evade defenders and attackers to find the net giving the home side an unassailable advantage.

A shell-shocked Darlington grabbed a goal back with Thompson’s 65th minute penalty, slamming the ball past Danny Lewis for his 99th career goal for The Quakers.  But Saints continued to create chances, twice Thierry Audel was denied, Ndlovu’s long range effort brought a good save from Connell and substitute Dan Holman could not apply the finish to Connor Franklin’s excellent cross.

One of only two teams in the top seven to record a win, the three points move Kevin Wilkin’s side into 6th place with games in hand ahead of FA Trophy action next weekend.

“We played very well today, creating chances and finishing clinically,” Wilkin said.  “Darlington are a good team and you can see why they have been doing well.  They began the game well and were perhaps unlucky not to go in front but we stuck to our game plan and executed it well, turning them over and using our speed on the ball to go for goal.  We had plenty of chances to have scored more in the second half but it is an important win for us after two draws when we felt we had enjoyed the better of things in both those games.  The league is really competitive and it is tight.  There is a long way to go yet.” 

Brackley Town:   Lewis, Myles, Franklin, Byrne, Audel, Dean, Lowe, Murombedzi, Ndlovu (Daire 79), Walker (Holman 60), York (Fairlamb 75).   Subs unused: Noon, Armson.

Chester:   Connell, Storey, Watson, Wheatley, Laing, Galbraith, Rivers (Armstrong 75), Hatfield, Campbell (Hurworth 75), Holness (Lambeth 46), Thompson.   Subs unused:  Elliott, Johnson.

Referee:  Matt Corlett      Assistants:  Dan Pattison and Mark Billingham

Attendance:  730