The first of four away games awaits Saints on Saturday. The 500 mile round trip to Blyth Spartans is just the first leg of a 1314 mile tour of the North for Kevin Wilkin’s side. After Blyth comes a first ever visit to Farsley Celtic, Guiseley then Boston which has now been moved to Saturday 14 December.
Saints come into the game after the 5-1 win over Darlington but also the narrow FA Trophy defeat against Chester. The team’s resilience on the road over the coming four games before Curzon Ashton visit SJP on 21 December will go a long way to predicting final league standings come April.
Blyth have not enjoyed the best of starts to the season and are currently 21st with just three wins to date. Only Bradford (Park Avenue) have scored fewer goals and only Park avenue have conceded more in a thoroughly miserable few months for Lee Clark’s side. This can all change in an instant of course and only a Brackley side fired up and on the front foot will return with the points so badly needed to get this run of away trips off to the right start.
In last season’s corresponding fixture Saints won 3-1 with two goals from Shane Byrne and a headed second from captain Gaz Dean that put us ahead having gone one behind early on through Dan Maguire, now departed to York City.
For supporters heading north, Saturday looks to be a pleasantly dry and bright day in Northumberland but cold.
If you cannot get to the game you can follow the action on BBC Radio Oxford and via the club Twitter feed.