Johnson earns leaders a point in derby clash

Easington Sport striker Steve Howkins and Brackley Town Development's Ryan Hunt challenge at Addison Road
Easington Sport striker Steve Howkins and Brackley Town Development's Ryan Hunt challenge at Addison Road

Brackley Town Development go into 2015 as the long-time leaders in the UHLSport Hellenic League.

The young Saints came through a tough test in Saturday’s Division One East derby at Easington Sports to earn a point and maintain top spot ahead of Wokingham & Emmbrook who overtook Craig Pearman’s side.

Matt Johnson’s second half equaliser earned Saints a point in Saturday’s 1-1 draw which attracted a bumper crowd to Addison Road.

Sports had the better of the first half and broke the deadlock in the 20th minute when Connor Grant was fouled in the area. Andrew Stidder’s ensuing spot-kick was saved by Piotr Jacucha but the rebound fell kindly for the striker to beat the keeper at the second attempt.

Sports had chances to double their advantage and after the restart Steve Howkins missed a great opportunity when he shot wide with just Jacucha to beat.

But Saints got on top as the half progressed and a fine move ended with the impressive Michael Built thumping the bar.

But Saints deservedly drew level on the hour mark when Johnson beat Darren Booker with an excellent drive.

Boosted by the equaliser, Saints went on to control the second half with some excellent movement on and off the ball, keeping possession for long periods against a tiring Sports outfit.

Saints found plenty of joy down the flanks with Sports lacking the pace to trouble the visitors on the counter attack but neither keeper was seriously troubled.