Brackley Town  2-1  FC United of Manchester   Sat 5 August 2017

Saints are off the mark with home win

Brackley bossed much of a game that had an early season feel to it as both sides struggled to find their rhythm in a first half of few clear cut chances.

United’s Joel Senior cleared off the line from Lee Ndlovu, Jimmy Armson’s fierce shot was parried by keeper Lloyd Allinson and Alex Gudger fired over at full stretch as the visitors were on the back-foot and rarely threatened themselves.  The best chance of the opening period fell to Shane Byrne after good work by Glenn Walker but Byrne’s shot spun wide.

Saints finally made their dominance count taking the lead through Armson in the 51st minute.  Adam Walker’s surging run into the penalty area set up the chance and Armson made no mistake converting from close range.

As the home side spurned numerous half chances to put the game out of reach a rare foray by United brought a fine cross by Connor McCarthy that Jason Gilchrist finished off expertly to level the scores after 74 minutes.

But within three minutes Brackley were back in front as debutant Andy Brown headed in Shane Byrne’s neat cross. United created some moments of discomfort for the home defence in the closing stages but Saints held firm for a deserved opening day win.

“It’s a good start and a welcome three points,” was Kevin Wilkin’s verdict. “We played a solid game but had a nervy period when we allowed them to equalise.  We created lots of chances in the first half that we failed to take but having been pegged back we came back with a terrific second goal.”

Brackley Town: Lewis, Myles, Gudger, S.Byrne, Graham, Dean, G.Walker (Franklin 79) , Armson (J.Byrne 87), Ndlovu (Lowe 74) , Brown, A.Walker.   Subs not used: Diggin, Kaziboni.

FC United: Allinson, Senior, Wisdom, Brown (Greaves 83), Fagbola, Corbett, McCarthy, Lowe, Gilchrist, Jones (Logan 63), St Juste (Baker 63).   Subs not used: Baird, Glynn.

Referee: Declan Bourne

Assistants:  Paul Buck and Ian Jackson

Attendance:  654