Guest spoils hosts’ party with stoppage-time equaliser at Saints

Brackley Town's Aaron Williams put his side back in front against Curzon Ashton
Brackley Town's Aaron Williams put his side back in front against Curzon Ashton

Joe Guest struck the stoppage-time equaliser to stun Brackley Town as Curzon Ashton snatched a late point in Saturday’s Vanarama National League North clash.

Kevin Wilkin’s side appeared to be easing to a comfortable home win at St James Park. But Guest pounced to send his side back up the M6 with an unlikely point following the 2-2 draw.

Lee Ndlovu shot just over after a fine sweeping pass from Alex Gudger picked out the striker who cut inside before shooting in the first real chance of the game before Saints went ahead through Glenn Walker’s perfect free-kick after 25 minutes. But they were pegged back by Richard Baker’s equally precise free-kick on 35 minutes in a rare attack by the visitors.

Aaron Williams scored his second goal of the season to restore his side’s lead on the stroke of halftime, finishing on the volley after Lee Ndlovu had headed on Shane Byrne’s free-kick.

A lively start to the second half saw Saints spurn three chances to extend their lead as first Ndlovu and then Adam Walker twice could not find the net.

Curzon were largely on the back-foot and the game appeared to be heading for a home win with Saints in control, especially when Curzon’s Niall Cummins was sent off for violent conduct in the 81st minute. However the visitors pinched a point in the first minute of added-time as Guest fired first time from 20 yards with a fine effort low past Danny Lewis.

The final whistle was met with fury and frustration at the self-inflicted loss of valuable points as Saints conceded twice for only the second time this season and lost ground on the leaders Harrogate and Salford.

Wilkin said: “This was a game we should have won. We were leading against ten men in added-time and have to be able to hold onto that lead. The players must take responsibility as I do from the touch-line for allowing that late goal to happen.

“It is deeply frustrating and bitterly disappointing not to win that game having played well and had it in our hands.”