29th January 2020 

Brackley Town Saints (1) Flackwell Heath (0)
Hellenic League Premier Division

Saints: Crowther, Middleton D, Gabbidon (Brady 83), Brock, Goddard, Hartley, Godfrey, Kille, Knight (Wood 60), Ball, Middleton, 

Subs not used: Thompson, Mickley, Dowse 

Attendance – 53 

A smash and grab by Saints who stole a valuable three points in a game where Flackwell wasted two glorious chances and were on balance the better team over the 90 minutes. Fair to say that neither team was at their best in a game that generally was quite forgettable however Saints took advantage of hesitation in the Flackwell defence on 95 minutes and a brave header by Charlie Kille meant that Saints are still yet to play in a goalless game this season. 

The first 10 minutes saw a flurry of corners for both teams, and it was clear that Flackwell were not comfortable defending them. On 4 minutes Saints had a great chance when Godfrey swung over a corner and although Olly Goddard did not quite catch his shot Ryan  Knight was on hand to hook the ball goalward but the ball was deflected over the bar by a defender on the line. 

The first Flackwell attempt on goal was on 20 minutes when full back Hassan Jibreel shot from 25 yards, but it was easily dealt with by Matt Crowther. Shortly afterward Adam Thomas attempted a spectacular overhead kick. A good try but wide of the post. 

On 25 minutes Flackwell had a marvellous chance. A back pass from Goddard in the left back channel was a little short and Crowther completely missed his kick leaving Zakari- Simon free on goal. He seemed to decide that the angle was tight and chose to walk the ball into the net ignoring a simple square pass to the unmarked Thomas. Crowther recovered his ground and was able to smother his shot. A passage of play that would not have been out of place in a Monty Python sketch…! 

Saints then created their best moment of the first half with Godfrey fizzing in a good corner to the near post with Goddard connecting well with a header that flew just over bar. 

HALF TIME – Saints 0 Flackwell 0 

Saints started the second half on the front foot and George Ball was close with a good strike from the edge of the box which was a touch short. 

Following his early miss Zakaria-Simmo was a constant threat for Flackwell showing good movement and tricky feet. On 56 minutes he came close with a good free kick that Matt Crowther did well to cover. 

The visitors then decided to have their Monty Python moment at the back with goalkeeper Sonny Wheeler and centre half Brandon Eaton getting in each other’s way under a high ball, but on this occasion. The ball fell kindly for Flackwell. 

On 62 minutes Flackwell created a couple of chances and I cannot find the words to describe how they didn’t score. Firstly, a great cross from the left eluded all the Saints defenders and found Thomas who with an open goal in front of him headed the ball sideways. The ball fell to Simeon Weekes whose shot was powering past Crowther and into the net, but it smashed into James Burrell stood on the Saints goal line and bounced back to Weekes who swung again but missed the ball. 

Minutes later Zakaria- Simmo showed great skill down the left-wing outpacing Godfrey and getting in a good cross which Weekes cleverly back heeled but it looped up and onto the crossbar. 

Saints were hanging on but on 65 minutes George Ball made a positive run from the halfway line before squaring for Kille whose shot was on target but lacked power. Ball was involved again on 70 minutes when substitute Dan Wood made a great tackle just outside the Saints box and played a cracking pass in behind the Flackwell defence. Ball was away and headed for the left side of the box. He waited for the right moment to shoot hoping that Wheeler would commit but eventually his left foot shot was dragged past the right-hand post. 

Both sides were pushing for a winner. Kille put in a good left foot cross from a free kick but Wood and Hartley get in each other’s way. Flackwell had a shot cleared off the line by Lewis Middleton, and Kille set up Ball whose shot was deflected wide. 

5 minutes into added time and just when it looked as though the spoils were to be shared a messy passage of play was punctuated by a bit of composure from Sam Brady who defended well. The ball fell to Sam Hartley who hoofed a long ball right into the danger area. Wheeler and a defender hesitated, but Kille did not bravely nipping in to nod the ball past the keeper and into an empty net. Cue celebrations that saw all 11 players on top of Kille. So not only was he taken out by the Flackwell goalie (who arrived at the ball just as Kille headed it) but he was then steamrollered by his teammates……. 

Flackwell will be kicking themselves. They had the 2 best chances in the game but did not take them. Neither side was at their best and overall the game was not one that will stay in the memory for long.

Saints have a weekend off now, with their next game at home to Binfield on 8th February.

Be a good game to come and watch. Binfield are flying high.