Leaders given a tough test by Saints

Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin saw his side's unbeaten run ended at the leaders
Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin saw his side's unbeaten run ended at the leaders

Brackley Town’s seven-match unbeaten Vanarama National League North run came to an end at leaders Chorley on Tuesday.

Saints came home empty-handed from the long trek north following a 2-0 defeat despite another good performance from Kevin Wilkin’s side. Chorley bounced back from Saturday’s setback at Southport to take all three points with a goal in each half from Marcus Carver and Adam Blakeman’s penalty. Saints did more than enough to have got something form the game but found home keeper Matt Urwin in top form and, when he was beaten, the visitors were foiled by the woodwork.

A lively opening saw Saints create the first chances of the contest. The in-form Matt Lowe capitalised on an error by Andy Teague, advanced to the edge of the box only to see his effort tipped on to the post by keeper Matt Urwin.

It took another intervention from Urwin to keep out Shane Byrne’s header from Glenn Walker’s testing cross which also struck the woodwork and was cleared by Courtney Meppen-Walter off the line.

Lowe then saw his header cleared off the lien before against the run of play, Chorley broke the deadlock in the 38th minutes. Elliot Newby, Josh Wilson and Alex Newby linked up well to open up the visitors’ defence and a low cross was turned in by Carver from close range.

The game was still in the balance after the restart with Saints looking to get back on level terms.

But they were rocked by a second goal for the leaders just past the hour mark when Blakeman’s 63rd minute corner caused confusion in the box. A penalty was awarded for a foul on Josh Wilson and Blakeman sent Danny Lewis the wrong way from the ensuing spot-kick.

Saints still kept looking for a way back and Lowe went close again but the leaders were largely untroubled for the remainder of the contest.