Draw was a fair result, says Brackley Town boss Wilkin

Brackley Town needed a late Shane Byrne penalty to earn a point against local rivals Kettering Town
Kevin Wilkin shakes hands with Kettering Town manager Paul Cox after Brackley Town started 2021 with a 1-1 draw at St James Park. Pictures by Peter ShortKevin Wilkin shakes hands with Kettering Town manager Paul Cox after Brackley Town started 2021 with a 1-1 draw at St James Park. Pictures by Peter Short
Kevin Wilkin shakes hands with Kettering Town manager Paul Cox after Brackley Town started 2021 with a 1-1 draw at St James Park. Pictures by Peter Short

Brackley Town’s four-game winning sequence in the Vanarama National League North was ended after a late goal rescued them a point in their local derby against Kettering Town.

The Northamptonshire rivals served up a competitive clash to kick-off 2021 at St James Park but it was the Poppies who took the lead in the second half when Callum Powell converted from the penalty spot after he had been brought down by Ethan Coleman.

However, Brackley kept going and they eventually found a way back when lively substitute Matt Lowe crossed from the right and it struck the hand of Connor Johnson to give the Saints a penalty of their own.

Shane Byrne's penalty finds the net to earn Brackley a share of the pointsShane Byrne's penalty finds the net to earn Brackley a share of the points
Shane Byrne's penalty finds the net to earn Brackley a share of the points

Shane Byrne held his nerve to beat Adam Collin from the spot but neither side could find a late winner.

And Brackley boss Kevin Wilkin had few complaints as the winning run was ended.

“I would say it was about right,” he said.

“You have to give Kettering credit, they have come here and got in our face a little bit.

Jordan Cullinane-Liburd slides in to challenge Kettering's Callum PowellJordan Cullinane-Liburd slides in to challenge Kettering's Callum Powell
Jordan Cullinane-Liburd slides in to challenge Kettering's Callum Powell

“They settled better than we did, it took us a while to grow into the game.

“It was a competitive affair. We had some moments, they had some moments and I think overall a draw was a fair result.

“I don’t think we moved the ball as well as we did against Gloucester (in the 3-2 win last Monday).

“I think the pitch played a lot poorer than it did on Monday and I think, again, you have to give Kettering credit because they pressed us at the right times and made good blocks, tackles and interceptions. They came here and rolled their sleeves up and worked hard for their point.”

Brackley are back in action with a home clash against Darlington on Tuesday night and they will be sweating on the fitness of striker Lee Ndlovu who was withdrawn with a back injury in the first half.

“We will see how Lee comes out of it,” Wilkin added.

“He clearly wasn’t having the best of times and I sensed something wasn’t right during the warm-up.

“Hopefully it settles down and we have him available in the not-to-distant-future.

“He is a big player for us but we have a decent bench at the moment and if we can get one or two injuries back, it will only strengthen us.”