The U13s travelled to Newport Pagnell seeking their first win of 2018 after a challenging start to the year. The hosts had defeated Brackley in a tight fixture a fortnight ago in a 1-0 scoreline.

Brackley were challenged to work in two different formations during the game, one setup when they had possession of the ball and another when the opponents had control. This proved to benefit the young Saints as they raced into a controlling position.

The breakthrough came 11 minutes into the game after a period of dominance from Brackley, a corner which was only cleared as far as Barney Timms, allowed him to place the ball into the far corner of the goal with his weaker left foot from the edge of the box.

A second goal came 6 minutes later – a long ball from Mark Furness in his left wing back position was scuffed by the defender and allowed Brackley to go through on goal with the keeper who missed the ball and fouled Sam Richards in the process. The advantage was played and Kyle McKechnie was on hand to place the ball into an empty net.

Brackley were able to grab a third goal on 21 minutes – another ball from Mark, this time across the field to Nathanael who charged down on goal and found the bottom right corner of the goal to cap Brackley’s strongest first half performance of the season as they ended the half 3-0 up.

Newport Pagnell changed to a 3-4-3 in the second half which created problems for the Brackley defence, eventually scoring in the 44th minute, but Brackley responded positively.

A free kick midway inside the hosts half from Barney bounced awkwardly in the box and Newport Pagnell struggled to remove the danger. Pressure from Joe Nugent forced the defender into a mistake and the ball ended in the net – 1-4 to Brackley afer 46 minutes.

The hosts never gave up and scored from a corner to make it 2-4 after 50 minutes, and again, scored in the 57th to make it 3-4. A nervous 13 minutes followed as Brackley battled to preserve their lead.

Newport Pagnell created chance after chance and eventually came close to grabbing an equalizer after the ball was cleared off the line with 2 minutes remaining. The hosts should have scored with more or less the last kick of the game, a chance from 6 yards out was scuffed wide of Harry Francis-Jones’ near post.

Brackley held out and thoroughly deserved the 3 points. A strong team performance with every single player playing their part – a true credit to the club.