Leaders Brackley Town focused on the job after setback

Action from Brackley Town's 2-0 defeat at Gateshead. Picture by Glenn AlcockAction from Brackley Town's 2-0 defeat at Gateshead. Picture by Glenn Alcock
Action from Brackley Town's 2-0 defeat at Gateshead. Picture by Glenn Alcock
The Saints suffered their first away defeat of the season in the Vanarama National League North last weekend but still sit top of the pile at Christmas

They may have had a setback last weekend but Brackley Town have the honour of holding top spot in the Vanarama National League North on Christmas Day.

The Saints took over at the summit just under two weeks ago and remain a point clear of AFC Fylde, despite losing 2-0 at in-form Gateshead last weekend.

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But a chance to build on things may have to wait until next Tuesday when Brackley are due to travel to Boston United as their Boxing Day home derby with Kettering Town is now in doubt after Covid-19 cases in the Poppies’ squad saw their home match with Southport in midweek being postponed.

Either way, it’s been a good season so far for Kevin Wilkin’s team and he insists his squad are determined to push on from this point.

“Whoever we play and whenever we play, we want to win,” the Brackley boss said.

“There will be different challenges to come but we have had a great run to this point.

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“If you had said at the start of the season that we’d have only lost once away from home in the league at this stage, given the calibre of the sides we have played, you’d be fairly pleased with where we are sitting.

“But there is a real determination within the group to do well and we will be trying to carry it on.”

Reflecting on last Saturday’s loss in the north-east, Wilkin felt the key moments in the game were crucial as Gateshead moved right into contention at the top end of the table with their win moving them to within two points of Brackley with two games in hand.

“Gateshead are a strong side,” Wilkin added.

“We made a couple of mistakes that cost us the game, which is uncharacteristic of us really.

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“We were loose at a corner and then we turned the ball over in midfield which led to the second goal.

“We had a moment in between where we could have done a bit better so it was the crucial moments in the game that really cost us.

“That’s what happens sometimes. We’ve been on the right side of things at times this season so when it doesn’t go your way you just have to look at bouncing back.

“We had a go but, overall, I think they were the stronger side on the day and probably deserved the victory.”