Shrivenham 2 v 1 Brackley Town Saints
(Saturday 7th October 2017)
For the fourth time this season Saints were knocked out of a cup competition in their first game.
Missing influential skipper Lewis Baldwin, keeper Ali Worby, experienced attacking midfielder Matt Johnson, and the Hellenic Premier league's top scorer Josh Bowden, Saints manager Gordon Kille would still have hoped that his young side would have too much for their Division 1 opponents.
Playing up the slope Saints forced a couple of early corners but, from their first real attack, Shrivenham caught the Saints defence flat-footed and Adam Bright finished comfortably to give the hosts the lead after just 9 minutes, 1 – 0.
Saints worked hard to get back into the game with chances created for Chris Jordan, Alex Stott, and James Watts, but on each occasion Shrivenham keeper Connor Johns was able to save comfortably.
At the other end Saints keeper James Green misplaced a clearance giving an opportunity to the home side but centre-back Joe Ward was able to intervene and clear the danger.
Midway through the half midfielder James Watts, playing in a more attacking role than normal, brought a good save from Johns in the Shrivenham goal and a few minutes later Watts again caused problems for the hosts as he drove into the box and pulled the ball back across the goal, but, unfortunately his pass was just out of reach of the on-rushing Alex Stott.
Just before half time Shrivenham almost got a second when a short free kick caught the Saints defence out but this time keeper James Green pulled off an excellent save.
Half Time – Shrivenham 1 v 0 Brackley Town Saints
Saints started the second half playing at a much higher tempo and an early shot from James Hammond went just wide before James Watts tested the home side keeper with another shot from the edge of the area.
Unfortunately for the away side they were reduced to 10 men when attacker Ryan Knight was shown a second yellow card following a tackle.
Despite the setback the Brackley youngsters continued to take the initiative with the home side reduced to clearing the ball as high and far as possible. Finally the away teams pressure paid off when a good passing move found Chris Jordan on the edge of the Shrivenham area and the Saints striker cut back inside and smashed his shot into the bottom corner of the net, 1 – 1.
The effort put in by the away sides 10 men to get back into the game started to take its toll as time passed and their tempo dropped a little allowing the home team to get back into it. Then, with just 10 minutes of the 90 left, and Saints defenders stopped waiting for the offside flag, Shrivenham substitute Danny Hale put the home side back in front, 2 – 1.
Again the Saints went on the attack in search of another equaliser but this time they were unable to take any of the chances created and find themselves out of the cup.
Full Time – Shrivenham 2 v 1 Brackley Town Saints
Saints: James Green, Sam Bridges, Joe Ward, Dean March, Dan Middleton, James Hammond, Keegan Giles, Alex Stott, James Watts, Ryan Knight, Chris Jordan
Subs: Callum Williams (replaced Sam Bridges), Calum Pearce (unused)