FA Cup: Thorne denies Saints and forces a replay

George Ball gave Brackley Town Saints the lead at Wantage Town in Saturday's FA Cup tie
George Ball gave Brackley Town Saints the lead at Wantage Town in Saturday's FA Cup tie

Brackley Town Saints face a replay against Wantage Town in the Emirates FA Cup.

But Saints should have got the job done at the first attempt in Saturday’s extra preliminary round tie at Alfredian Park where Nick Thorne grabbed a late equaliser.

Saints went close when Lewis Middleton combined well with George Ball who set Ryan Knight free but his shot was easily dealt with by Charlie McCready. On the half hour mark, Alex Stott’s effort went over the bar before his header from Knight’s fine cross was saved by McCready.

The last action of the first half saw Ball deliver a good cross to the far post but James Hammond was unable to make his header count.

The second half was only a minute old when Saints opened the scoring. Middleton won possession and released Hammond who found Knight and he crossed for Ball to fire into the top of the net.

Wantage were stung into life and raised their level but were not able to breach a well organised Saints defence and failed to trouble Matt Crowther. Saints finished strongly and should have doubled their lead. Knight’s dink over McCready rolled agonisingly wide, Stott’s 40 yard lob drifted over the bar and Ball turned his shot inches wide of the post.

In the final minute Sam Sherratt conceded a controversial free-kick and a neat routine ended with Thorne bursting into the box before rolling the ball under Crowther and into the bottom corner of the net.