Kevin Wilkin takes his side to face Kettering Town on Tuesday evening as the two teams try again, the original fixture on Boxing Day called off due to a water-logged pitch and a further January date again rained off.
Kettering’s game at the weekend was also called off as the pitch at Bradford (PA) had standing water but Saints travelled to 3rd-placed Chester and came away with a welcome win, Matt Lowe getting the decisive goal late on. Glenn Walker sustained a facial injury in the game and will now miss a number of matches. Thierry Audel however is available again and returned to the side at Chester replacing Walker from the bench. Audel scored Saints’ second goal proving again his impact at both ends of the pitch. The win at Chester ends a poor run of results and lifts Saints into 4th place.
While the sides met in the Senior Cup a few weeks ago, this will be Brackley’s first ever league fixture away against Kettering.
Since leaving Rockingham Road in 2011, The Poppies have been nomadic, ground-sharing at then Rushden and Diamonds’ Nene Park and Corby’s Steel Park before moving in at Latimer Park with UCL club Burton Park Wanderers in 2013. This has at least brought Kettering closer to home with Latimer Park just 3 miles outside Kettering but a move back home to a new ground still appears some way off for Paul Cox’s side.
The links between Brackley Town and Kettering Town are many as one might expect given the geographical proximity although New Year’s Day 2020 was the first ever league fixture between the two sides. The game was played in front of a crowd of 905 and ended all square, Jimmy Armson’s neat finish and 8th goal of the season cancelling out Michael McGrath’s deflected long range effort. Both sides missed second half penalties and The Poppies had a player sent off late on.
Former Saints players Brett Solkhon, Luke Graham (now player-coach) and Daniel Nti feature in Cox’s squad while Dan Holman has moved the other way. Further links come via former Brackley manager Jon Brady who played at Rockingham Road and Roger Ashby who managed Saints and, with 463 league appearances, has played more times for the club than any other player although Brett Solkhon is closing in.
We will be in the all yellow away strip on Tuesday with Kettering wearing their familiar red and black stripes.
If you cannot get to the game, you can follow the action on BBC Radio Oxford and BBC Radio Northampton and via the club Twitter feed.