Saints continue to set the pace at top

Ryan Knight got the equaliser for Brackley Town Saints against Reading City
Ryan Knight got the equaliser for Brackley Town Saints against Reading City

Brackley Town Saints maintained their healthy advantage at the top of the UHLSport Hellenic League.

Saints beat Reading City 4-1 in Saturday’s premier division clash and hold a six-point lead over second-placed Brimscombe & Thrupp.

But it was the visitors who took an early lead when Saints failed to deal with a corner, Ali Worby kept the ball out twice before Osuman Darboe smashed it into the empty net.

Saints were soon back on level terms when George Ball won possession and scurried forward, played in James Hammond who set up Ryan Knight and he lifted the ball over keeper Matt Carr and into the net.

Saints took the lead moments later when Hammond cut into centre, outpaced his marker and exchanged passes with Knight before clipping the ball over the advancing Carr and into the net.

James Watts was denied by Carr and Alex Wheeler was off target at the far post.

Saints picked up from where they left off after the restart. Knight was off target before Reading were reduced to ten men just past the hour mark when Carey Best was shown a red card and Knight got a caution following the incident.

James Watts was denied by Carr but from the resulting corner Olly Goddard rose to firmly head into the far corner of the net.

Reading kept plugging away and Worby had to be on his toes to make a fine save to deny the lively Lamin Ceejay.

Saints continued to press and Joe Ward hit the post with a powerful header. Substitute Caleb Chukwuemeka made his mark when he picked the ball up inside his own half before racing clear and his intended pass to Knight was deflected into an empty net by Carr.

Further chances came and went. Knight volleyed just wide and Ball shot just past the post. Ceejay nearly chipped Worby on a rare break but Saints saw it out.