First clean sheet but Saints have to settle for a point

Danny Lewis kept his first clean sheet of the season for Brackley Town
Danny Lewis kept his first clean sheet of the season for Brackley Town

Brackley Town kept a welcome clean sheet of the campaign but had to settle for a solitary Vanarama National League North point on Saturday.

Saints drew 0-0 with York City and had keeper Danny Lewis to thank for contributing to that clean sheet.

I am pleased we knuckled down and got the clean sheet because that is the foundation to build on for the season

Saints manager Kevin Wilkin

A first half of few chances gave way to a second period of even fewer goal scoring opportunities as Saints and York cancelled each other out in a tight, tactical, tense encounter at St James Park. It was nevertheless an absorbing game for the 580 spectators.

“It was a close contest,” manager Kevin Wilkin said.

“I am a little disappointed with the result but the clean sheet is a real positive, our first of the season. We defended well but did not work their goal-keeper enough despite lots of possession.”

York caretaker-manager Sam Collins, in charge for a first game, will have felt the happier at earning a draw but neither team did enough in front of goal to warrant the three points.

Twice Saints keeper Danny Lewis was called upon at full stretch to keep out long range efforts from Fergus McAughtrie and Russ Penn on the half-hour mark. Saints could not find the final finish after promising moves created openings for Adam Walker, Shep Murombedzi and Jimmy Armson and The Minstermen cleared after a goalmouth scramble in the only chances of note before a late flurry of incidents.

York keeper Adam Bartlett missed his kick from a back pass requiring a scrambled clearance in front of a gaping open goal. Josh Law fired high from a free-kick on the edge of the area and a wrestling match between substitute Gregg Smith and Hamza Bencherif in the York area resulted only in a yellow card for Smith despite penalty appeals.

“There was a penalty shout but frankly there was not a lot in it and you wouldn’t want to make a lot of it,” Wilkin added.

“We had other opportunities to make more of. We moved the ball well at times but we didn’t get the goal that it’s all about.

“I am pleased we knuckled down and got the clean sheet because that is the foundation to build on for the season.”