Brackley Town knocked off the top as they are held to a draw

Brackley Town were knocked off top spot in the Vanarama National League North after they were held to a 0-0 draw at local rivals Leamington on Good Friday.

Saturday, 16th April 2022, 8:02 am
The Brackley Town players applaud the travelling fans after their goalless draw at Leamington on Good Friday. Picture by Glenn Alcock

While the Saints had to settle for a share of the spoils, title rivals Gateshead claimed a thumping 6-0 victory at bottom side Guiseley to move a point clear of Kevin Wilkin’s team with five games to go in the race for the title and sole automatic promotion spot.

The goalless draw means Brackley’s decade-long wait for a win at the New Windmill Ground goes on but they are now unbeaten in 18 matches.

A big bank holiday crowd of 907 were on hand for the clash and Wilkin conceded it may not have been the best of games as his team now look ahead to a clash with seventh-placed Boston United at St James Park on Easter Monday (3pm kick-off).

Sign up to our daily Banbury Guardian Today newsletter

“We knew we’d get a tough and competitive game here,” Saints manager Wilkin said.

“The game wasn’t helped by the surface but we don’t make excuses of that. I guess it was a difficult watch for the decent sized crowd.

“But the desire and endeavour and application the players showed was fantastic today.

“We kept going until the end and, by and large, looked the more likely to score. It’s a point on the road and we go again on Monday.”

Leamington edged the first half, top scorer Dan Turner three times going close, while Matt Lowe shot just wide and Jimmy Armson headed too high from a Glenn Walker corner in Saints’ best moments.

The visitors enjoyed the better of the second period, restricting the Brakes to rare forays on Danny Lewis’ goal but for all Saints’ possession and build up play, clear-cut chances were at a premium.

Jaanai Gordon rifled in a shot that Callum Hawkins punched away, Shep Murombedzi’s shot through a crowd of players was well saved, Lowe’s header was just too high and Lee Ndlovu’s shot was well struck but just the wrong side of the post as Brackley were unable to find a way through.