Brackley Town 1-1 Kettering Town 2 Jan 2021
Saints strike back late
This Northamptonshire local derby was fast and furious and fiercely competitive and at times had an unpleasant edge. Surprisingly this was only the second ever competitive fixture between the two sides. It finished level as did the first encounter exactly 12 months previously.
A first half corner count in double figures may suggest an exciting and attacking first 45 minutes but this really wasn’t.
In a first period almost devoid of goal threat, the two clearest chances were for the home side. First, only a fine reaction save by Adam Collin from Jordan Cullinane-Liburd’s close range header kept the scores goal-less before Shep Murombedzi on his 100th appearance for the Saints stung the gloves of Collin with a well struck effort.
But the second half opened up with both sides creating chances. Shane Byrne shot just wide before Brackley had a penalty appeal waved away. Kettering immediately went up the other end and won a penalty as Callum Powell was fouled. Powell stepped up to score his third goal in two games to give The Poppies a 68th minute lead.
Decarrey Sherriff fired wide when well placed and then brought out a fine save from Danny Lewis at his near post as the visitors threatened to increase their lead.
Brackley pressed for an equaliser. Substitute Tre Mitford had his shot well saved by Collin and Matt Lowe’s header was just over before Saints were awarded a 87th minute penalty for handball. Shane Byrne added to his two goals in Monday’s win over leaders Gloucester City by coolly finding the net from the spot for a seventh goal of the season.
Despite six minutes of added time neither side could find a second goal so that the points were shared.
“Overall it was a scrap and a battle,” Kevin Wilkin said. “We found it tough on this playing surface. Fair play to the lads to take something from the game. Two penalty decisions are the reasons we have shared the points. The draw is probably a fair result. I don’t think we did enough to win the game and you have to give Kettering a lot of credit. They forced us into having to defend and had some near misses and made things difficult for us. We didn’t show quite the sharpness of decisions today.”
Brackley Town: Lewis; Myles, Cullinane-Liburd, Dean, Coleman; Byrne, Murombedzi (Lowe 64), Chambers (Franklin 77), York; Ndlovu (Mitford 40), Armson. Subs unused: Tee, Worby.
Kettering Town: Collin; Stohrer, Johnson, Fryatt, McGrath, Sherriff; Milnes, Richens, Kennedy; Perry (Bailey-Nicholls 88), Powell. Subs unused: Jones, Stephens, Williams, Pryce.
Referee: Tom Kirk Assistants: Ash Clarke and Andy Ellis