Byrne bags a brace as Saints pick up another three points

Shane Byrne bagged a brace for Brackley Town at Blyth Spartans
Shane Byrne bagged a brace for Brackley Town at Blyth Spartans

Brackley Town maintained their play-off push in Vanarama National League North with another three points on the road.

Shane Byrne bagged a brace as Saints returned from Blyth Spartans with a 3-1 victory on Saturday.

The victory came on the back of a strong first half display in which Kevin Wilkin’s side hit three goals in 13 minutes at Croft Park where keeper Mark Foden had a debut to forget. But they had to come from behind after top scorer Dan Maguire had bagged his 20th goal of the season.

Spartans broke the deadlock in the tenth minute when Byrne was dispossessed by Kieran Green who released Maguire and he raced away to beat Danny Lewis from the edge of the area with a low drive into the bottom corner of the net.

Saints gradually got into the contest and drew level in the 25th minute when top scorer Lee Ndlovu was upended by Foden after he got into the box and Byrne converted the ensuing spot-kick.

Five minutes later Saints got their noses in front when scorer turned provider as Byrne’s corner eluded Foden and was headed home by skipper Gaz Dean.

Saints increased their lead in the 38th minute when Matt Lowe raced down the right and found Byrne on the edge of the box and his shot through a crowded area beat Foden.

With a two-goal advantage to defend in the second half, Wilkin’s side produced a strong defensive performance and Spartans never really looked like getting back into the contest. With three more points in the bag it made another long journey home from the North East a much more satisfying one.