An Ebby Nelson-Addy goal was enough to secure Brackley Town their third win on the bounce with a 1-0 defeat of Harrogate Town on Saturday.
In a game notable for a one-off appearance in a Brackley shirt by former Chelsea centre-back Frank Sinclair – the 1997 FA Cup winner stepping in at centre half as a favour to Brackley boss Jon Brady – the three points cemented Saints’ position in 13th in the Vanarama Conference North table.
Harrogate started the game brightly, winning the physical battle and creating several half chances before Saints found a toehold to snatch the only goal of the game, when Greg Kazaboni’s fine run set up Ebby Nelson-Addy to plant his shot past keeper Phil Barnes.
Billy Turley saved well to deny Ryan Fallowfield on the stroke of half-time, the Harrogate full-back striking his shot with power and accuracy from 20 yards, and there was still time for Harrogate to feel aggrieved as Dwayne Samuels hooked clear off the goal-line in a hair’s breadth decision that might have benefitted from goal-line technology.
The second half had opportunities for Saints to double the lead and at the other end Harrogate pressed for the equaliser without ever convincing. Nelson-Addy and substitute Will Green went close for Brackley and James Walshaw and Leigh Franks threatened for the visitors.
Having capitulated late so often in the early half of the season, the five minutes of added time seemed like an eternity for the home supporters but a more resolute and resilient Saints side held out to extend the winning run.
Brady felt the win was deserved after an opening spell when the visitors had been on top. He said: “It took us a while to get a grip in the game because Harrogate are a big team with eight or nine players all six foot or more. Then we started to counter attack with some pace and to play to our strengths.”
Commenting on the appearance of Sinclair – who recently stood down as manager of Colwyn Bay – Brady said: “Frank was first class both on the pitch and with the younger lads. He fitted in, which is true testament to him. His desire and enthusiasm to play and to win are brilliant.”