Brackley Town’s first ever visit to the Exacta Stadium brought frustration for runaway Blue Square Bet North leaders Chester and a deserved draw for Jon Brady’s side.
With Glenn Walker, Tom Winters and Eddie Odhiambo missing through illness or injury, Brady produced a team for the occasion with Michael Corcoran and Elliot Sandy making rare starts and central defender Tom Sharpe making his full debut alongside Ryan Austin.
First half threats on goal came through Ben Mills’ header, a short back-pass to Billy Turley that the keeper bravely scrambled to safety and Wes Baynes’ well flighted cross that failed to find a touch.
After the interval the expected onslaught from the home side failed to materialise. The closest the Blues came to breaking the deadlock was from striker Nathan Jarman, his neat turn and shot comfortably saved by Turley.
Saints worked hard for the clean sheet while Blues keeper John Danby had a largely untroubled afternoon as Saints’ forward forays were sporadic.
Outstanding performances from Austin, Curtis McDonald and Sharpe were matched by Turley’s vocal and reassuring presence in goal and Corcoran’s assured midfield display. But above all else it was a fine team performance, Saints being the first team to leave the Exacta with a clean sheet and only the second to take a point.