Brackley Town  5-2  Blyth Spartans     7 March 2020

Turn-around sees Saints triumph

A disappointing first half when neither side really tested the opposition keeper, gave way to a much livelier second half as Brackley recorded a convincing home win to remain in 4th place and Blyth suffered a first defeat under new manager Michael Nelson. 

“We weren’t great in the first half offensively,” Kevin Wilkin said.  “We got them in at half-time and we were all a little bit frustrated.  But they’ve taken that on board and it has obviously paid dividends in the end.  Our players understood what to do to break them down and in fairness in the end we probably should have scored a couple more.”

Shane Byrne’s free-kick brought a fine save from Blyth keeper Zack Hemmings in Saints’ best chance of the first half but it was the visitors who went ahead as Leighton McIntosh was let in by defensive hesitancy and the ball somehow squirmed off the post and over the line to give Blyth a half-time lead.

But Brackley were ahead within seven minutes of the re-start as Lee Ndlovu headed in from Matt Lowe’s cross and Lowe fired in a superb effort giving Hemmings no chance.

Blyth levelled through Adam Wrightson’s deflected shot from 20 yards just before the hour before Saints pulled away as Lowe notched his second goal after 68 minutes beating three defenders before shooting low to find the corner and Ndlovu bagged his second also bundling in from Byrne’s delivery after 77 minutes.

Byrne got in on the act two minutes later to score a fifth as Wes York’s shot could only be parried by Hemmings and Saints could have added more goals in a second half that was a complete turn-around from the opening 45 minutes.

 

Brackley Town:   Lewis, Myles, Franklin, Byrne, Audel, Dean, Lowe, Murombedzi (Maye 82), Ndlovu, Holman (Armson 67), York (Daire 87).     Subs unused:  Langmead, Smith.

Blyth Spartans:  Hemmings, Evans, Thackray, Hunter, Cunningham, Hawkins, Wrightson (Dale 65), Waddington, Harmison (McKeown 79), McIntosh, Scott (Callaghan 83).   Subs unused:  Mullen, Summerly.

Referee:   Dale Baines       Assistants:  Rob Hathaway and Luis Martin

Attendance:   390