Saints need to bounce back after long trip proves fruitless

Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin saw his side have a fruitless trip to Gateshead
Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin saw his side have a fruitless trip to Gateshead

Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin will be looking for his side to bounce back at Kidderminster Harriers in midweek.

Saints will want to quickly forget the first ever visit to Gateshead’s International Stadium, the 470-mile round trip a fruitless endeavour on a frustrating afternoon. Saints lost 2-0 in Saturday's Vanarama National League North clash thanks to a goal in each half goal from Michael Nelson and Josh Kayode.

“We conceded a crucial early goal but there was not too much else between the sides in the first half,” manager Kevin Wilkin said.

“We had our own chances that we didn’t take but conceding a second made it difficult and we lost our way a bit towards the end of the game. Gateshead made life difficult for us, kept it tight and worked very hard.”

Michael Nelson took full advantage of a free header to put The Heed ahead in the ninth minute in the only real threat on Danny Lewis’ goal in the first half. Saints were close to levelling as keeper James Bradley pushed Shane Byrne’s free-kick away and it was eventually cleared after a bagatelle in the box.

Greg Olley nearly doubled the lead immediately on the restart, cutting in and curling a fierce effort just wide before Lee Ndlovu forced a sharp save from Bradley at the other end. Jimmy Armson’s shot squirmed just wide from close range on the hour mark but three minutes later Gateshead were two goals to the good, a weak defensive clearance setting up Josh Kayode who finished neatly.

Saints never really got going and the comeback did not materialise with the hosts enjoying an ultimately comfortable first home win of the season leaving Wilkin’s side with just one point from four away games.