Murombedzi’s late strike seals three opening day points for Saints

Brackley Town's Carl Baker gets his shot away before Alfreton Town's Daniel East can close him down. Photo: Jake McNulty
Brackley Town's Carl Baker gets his shot away before Alfreton Town's Daniel East can close him down. Photo: Jake McNulty

Brackley Town made a winning start to the new Vanarama National League North campaign on Saturday.

Shepherd Murombedzi’s late goal settled a tight opening day affair with Alfreton Town at St James Park.

It’s a big three points, I cannot say wholeheartedly that we deserved the win today

Saints boss Kevin Wilkin

Neither side achieved any great fluency in a hard fought game and a goal-less outcome appeared on the cards until Murombedzi’s fierce strike took all three points for the Saints.

Kevin Wilkin’s side started brightly dominating the opening period. Carl Baker’s effort was close and Baker’s cross was met by Kelvin Langmead’s header that was just wide as the home side threatened to open the scoring.

But the Reds came back into it and Josh Thacker’s shot brought a magnificent point blank save from Saints keeper Danny Lewis to send the sides into the break still level.

After an opening spell of the second half when both sides looked rusty with mis-placed passes the order of the day, it was Saints who went on to enjoy the better of the second period.

Lee Ndlovu struck the bar, the ball crashing down onto the goal-line and the referee initially appearing to signal a goal before whistling for a foul. Matt Lowe fired over when well placed as the home team pressed.

But it was not until the 84th minute when Murombedzi worked the ball onto his left foot and struck the crucial goal to earn his side a crucial first win of the new season.

Wilkin said: “It’s a big three points, I cannot say wholeheartedly that we deserved the win today. Hopefully the win will settle people down and we can take this forward.

“We defended well denying them chances on goal but we did not do enough in the final third. Shep hit his shot well and deserved his goal.”