Brackley Town Saints saw their UHLSport Hellenic League title hopes take a huge setback.
Saints were edged out 3-2 by Wantage Town in a thrilling premier division encounter.
Saints started brightly with James Hammond shooting over and George Ball failing to trouble keeper Curtis Meare. Saints were caught out when Meare quickly found Jack Dunmall just inside the Saints’ half and, spotting Ali Worby on the edge of his area, fired home from 40 yards.
Wantage had chances to double their advantage. Steve Robertson was twice denied by Worby before Saints equalised when a corner from James Watts was headed home by Olly Goddard. But Wantage regained the lead when Watts’ clearance was charged down by Dunmall and the ball found the bottom corner of the net with Worby unable to react.
Saints started the second half in the ascendency, Meare did really well to bravely block at the feet of Goddard. But Wantage quickly broke to the other end with Nick Thorne slipping the ball past Worby but Harry Brock was able to get back to retrieve the situation with a tremendous clearance off the line.
The game was very open and Ball’s effort was matched by Meare who made another good save. Saints were looking far more fluent and a good passing move ended with Ryan Knight crossing but Watts was unable to get his header on target. The unmarked Jordan Godfrey was denied by Meare who made another point-blank save before Connor Mattimore combined well with Robertson whose crisp shot came back off the post.
Ryan Markham got a straight red card for a foul on Watts and Ball perfectly flighted his free-kick over the wall and into the top corner of the net. But in stoppage-time Worby’s misplaced pass fell Robertson who rolled the ball into the net.