Nti’s bravery earns Saints home tie in play-off semi-final

Top scorer Lee Ndlovu is thwarted during Brackley Town's game against FC United of Manchester. Photo: Jake McNulty
Top scorer Lee Ndlovu is thwarted during Brackley Town's game against FC United of Manchester. Photo: Jake McNulty

Brackley Town will face either Bradford Park Avenue or Spennymoor Town in Sunday’s Vanarama National League North play-off semi-final.

Saints secured that vital third place and a home tie with Saturday’s 1-0 victory over FC United of Manchester.

Daniel Nti’s brave late header earned a tenth successive home win after Saints laboured to overcome already relegated FC United. It came in challenging conditions as the wind swirled around St James Park in front of the season’s second highest league attendance swelled by United’s vocal travelling supporters.

Jimmy Armson and Lee Ndlovu had both spurned chances while Kurt Willoughby had the only chance of the match for the visitors bringing a strong second half save from Danny Lewis.

But Saints never gave up and with Spennymoor leading in their game and time ebbing away Saints finally made the breakthrough in the 86th minute. Lee Ndlovu challenged keeper Andy Fisher, Matt Lowe hooking the loose ball goal-wards for Nti to head the ball into the net, the substitute sustaining a head injury that led to his immediate substitution.