Brackley Town  3-0  Curzon Ashton      21 Dec 2019

Three goal Saints win again

Three fine goals and another clean sheet for Brackley’s mean defence brought early Christmas cheer to St James Park on the day the club officially opened its new family stand.

Lee Ndlovu’s audacious back heeled goal after 73 minutes secured the win for Kevin Wilkin’s side against a spirited Curzon Ashton team to move Saints into 4th place in the table at the start of a busy festive programme.

“Overall it was overall a good, strong performance,” Wilkin said.  “You are a bit wary coming into the game off a two week break thinking we might be a bit rusty, but we got a buffer scoring the two goals and we had all the best moments in the first half.  The lads worked hard and were terrific really, we were organised and difficult to break down and then took our moments which often is the difference in the end.”

Saints took a two goal lead into the second half courtesy of Matt Lowe’s fine 28th minute strike and centre-back Thierry Audel’s finish just before the break, his 6th goal of the season. But a determined and organised Curzon side fought back and only an excellent save by Danny Lewis in Brackley’s goal on the hour prevented Andrew Scott from halving the lead and setting up an intriguing final half hour.

Saints dominated the first period, peppering Cameron Mason’s goal bringing the visiting keeper into action on numerous occasions before Lowe broke the deadlock.  Captain Gareth Dean’s fierce shot brought a miraculous save by Mason, his reactions flinging out an arm to push away the goal-bound effort at close range as Curzon battled to stay in the game.

Audel’s goal put Brackley in the driving seat, the defender hammering the ball past Mason as Curzon failed to clear from a corner before Ndlovu grabbed his eighth goal in five games to seal the points.

Looking ahead to the forthcoming games including the Boxing Day trip to Kettering, Wilkin was cautious: “There are no easy games and every one comes with its challenges.  You have to go to difficult places and adapt if you are going to be successful and come through.  If we can apply ourselves as we have before hopefully we can come away with something.  But we are under no illusions that it’s going to be a really tough game for us.”

 

Brackley Town:   Lewis, Myles, Franklin, Byrne (Armson 86), Audel, Dean, Lowe, Murombedzi, Ndlovu, Smith (Daire 63), Walker (Fairlamb 81).    Subs unused:  Baker, Langmead.

Curzon Ashton:   Mason, Halls, Davies, Wroe (Sloan 88), Shaw, Evans, Miller (Sinclair 74), Calveley; Jolley, Scott (Doyle 81), Baillie.     Subs unused:   Thornley, Askew.

 

Referee:  Kristian Silcock      Assistants:  Tom Wainman and Dean Steatham

Attendance:   475