Byrne and Hall keep Saints on course for play-off spot

Brackley Town top scorer Lee Ndlovu is crowded out against Guiseley. Photo: Jake McNulty
Brackley Town top scorer Lee Ndlovu is crowded out against Guiseley. Photo: Jake McNulty

Brackley Town sealed a comfortable 2-0 win over Guiseley to leave the visitors still on the fringe of the Vanarama National League North relegation places.

But Saturday’s victory kept Saints on course for a play-off spot thanks to a couple of goals either side of the interval from Shane Byrne and Connor Hall.

Had Michael Fowler made more of Guiseley’s best chance on the half-hour mark the game might have taken a different course. As it was, top scorer Lee Ndlovu was thwarted by Scott Garner when well placed before Jimmy Armson’s header evaded keeper Marcus Dewhurst but was just too high.

Those moments led up to Saints’ opening goal a minute before the break and the decisive moment of the game from which they never looked back. Byrne produced a finish of high quality from 15 yards after fine work initially by Armson to send the home side into the break with a narrow lead after a largely scruffy first period in which neither side was able to impose themselves.

Hall headed Saints into a two-goal lead three minutes after the restart from Glenn Walker’s corner kick. From then on Saints enjoyed chances aplenty but were foiled by Guiseley’s resolute defending while the Lions rarely threatened a comeback.

Danny Lewis was rarely tested except for a late Andy Hall’s free-kick that needed a sharp save from the Saints keeper low to his left, the ball rifled through a crowd of bodies.