Bradford (PA)  1-2  Brackley Town      18 Jan 2020 

Battling win on the road 

Lee Ndlovu’s 11th goal in 8 games in first half added time sent Brackley into the second half with a narrow lead that was doubled by Jimmy Armson on the hour to more or less settle the outcome and Park Avenue’s late goal was just a consolation. 

“We are delighted to come here and pick up the three points today,” Kevin Wilkin said.  “It’s never been easy for us coming here so it’s an important win against a side much improved from when we played earlier in the season.  Bradford enjoyed more possession than we would have liked in the first half but I am pleased with the way we managed events throughout the game and we came out worthy winners.” 

On a heavy and bumpy pitch with a strong wind at their backs, the hosts started strongly pinning Saints back without really threatening to score as the visitors struggled to gain a toe-hold.  But a spell of better possession around the half hour mark saw both Armson and then Ndlovu well placed but unable to find the net while for Bradford Ryan Hall shot over in a rare opening. 

Ndlovu’s 46th minute goal came as Park Avenue failed to clear from Shane Byrne’s corner and in the mêlée it was Saints’ in-form striker who was able to apply the crucial touch.  Armson’s 61st minute header doubled the lead as keeper Joe Green could only push away Matt Lowe’s cross and from there the visitors’ dominance grew with Ndlovu, Glenn Walker, Gaz Dean and Lowe all with scoring efforts off target 

Park Avenue’s Jake Hibbs brought Danny Lewis into action pulling off a fine save before substitute Tom Clare grabbed a goal back with Bradford’s last kick of the game as the referee whistled for full-time as Brackley re-started the game.  The points moved Saints into third place, hard on the heels of York City who succumbed to runaway leaders King’s Lynn Town. 

“Lee has done brilliantly for his goal and it gave us that platform on which to build,” Wilkin added.  “Jimmy worked hard and got his goal and everyone has knuckled down today and played their part.  It’s not ideal to have the stop-start situation we have had with games called off but everyone has looked after themselves and there were no cobwebs there today.” 

Brackley Town:   Lewis, Myles, Franklin, Byrne, Audel, Dean, Lowe, Murombedzi, Ndlovu, Armson (Baker 89), Walker (Fairlamb 90+2).    Subs unused:  Daire, Langmead, Maye. 

Bradford (PA):  Green, Toulson (Clare 67), Lund, Nowakowski, Hughes, Priestley, Hall (Knight 63), Hibbs, Johnson, Hurst, Clee.   Subs unused:  Nicholson, Boshell. 

Referee:  James Westgate         Assistants:  Iain Turner and James Bancroft

 

Attendance:  256