26th October 2019

Hellenic League Premier division
Shrivenham FC (1) Brackley Town Saints (0) 

SAINTS: – Crowther, Gabbidon, Brock, Middleton D, March, Hartley (Stott 67), Ball, Hammond, Knight, Godfrey Sherratt (61), Kille. 

SUBS NOT USED – Middleton (L), Goddard 

A disappointing defeat on the road for the Saints on an awful day weather wise. Shrivenham were faster out of the traps and in all honesty could have scored four or five times in an initial 25-minute spell where Saints seem to be completely odds with themselves. It was only a combination of good goalkeeping from Matt Crowther, dreadful finishing by Shrivenham and a little bit of lady luck that kept Saints in the game.  

It was not until 15th minute that Saints had their first attempt on goal when James Hammond picked up the ball in midfield and played an accurate through pass to George Ball who shot early to catch Curtis Meare in the Shrivenham goal unawares, but Meare got down well to parry the ball out for a corner.  

Shrivenham missed the best of their first half chances in the 24th minute when Matt Crowther made a good reflex save but could only palm the ball out to the Shrivenham striker who somehow contrived to blast over an open goal from 6 yards.  

As the half moved on Saints were edging their way back into the game and playing some nice football without necessarily getting an end. There was a definite feeling that Saints had ended the half in the ascendancy.  This continued into the second-half when within 60 seconds of the restart  Ryan Knight made some space for himself on the edge of the Shrivenham box and his shot looked to be destined for the far corner only for Meare to get his fingertips to the ball and push it onto the post. The ball came out to George Ball but unfortunately his shot was off target and over the bar. 

On 51 minutes a pacy attack down the right wing saw James Hammond play a couple of slick give and go passes before putting over a cross pulling which was just to high for Ryan Knight as he arrived at the far post.  

At the other end Crowther was required to make a good save low down to his left from Nick Stanley’s freekick.  Saints continued to look promising coming forward and were finding more space and on 68 minutes George Ball jinked through on the left side of the Shrivenham defence and his cross shot flew across the face of the goal without anybody being able to supply the finishing touch.  A minute later Ball was through again but Meare was well positioned to thwart Ball’s shot with his legs. 

With Saints perhaps looking the more likely at this stage of the game matters turned on 74 minutes when a long freekick on the halfway line was hoisted by Nick Stanley to just inside the Saints box. Matt Crowther made the decision to come to punch the ball away but unfortunately, he got nowhere near the ball, and Steve Robertson cleverly flicked a back header which looped over Crowther and into the empty Saints goal.  

Matters got worse for saints on 85 minutes when Ryan Knight was shown a second yellow card following a scuffle in the Shrivenham penalty box.  

FULL TIME – Shrivenham (1) Saints (0) 

Given the atrocious weather before and during the game this was actually a very good game of football. That will be of no comfort to Saints who are now sitting precariously above the lower regions of the Premier Division and they will need to start accumulating points sooner rather than later to pull away to a more comfortable position. The first opportunity to do this will be on Wednesday evening when Saints entertain local rivals are Ardley United at St. James’s Park, kick off 7-45pm. 

Please come and support the Saints. It really does make a difference.