Saints slip into relegation zone for the first time

Saints winger Owen Story went close late on to an equaliser at Colwyn Bay
Saints winger Owen Story went close late on to an equaliser at Colwyn Bay

Brackley Town slipped into the relegation zone at a crucial stage of the Vanarama Conference North campaign following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Colwyn Bay.

Rob Hopley’s second half goal separated the sides at full-time, lifting Bay out of the danger zone and consigning Jon Brady’s side to occupy one of the bottom three places for the first time this season.

For the first half hour the sides fought out a stalemate with Saints playing the better football and a fine driving move ended with Sam Whittall shooting not too wide of the mark. Seagulls’ keeper Chris Sanna was injured midway through the first half, to be replaced by Gareth Rees, and Roddy Collins soon tested the young keeper from the edge of the box.

But as the half concluded Bay turned the tide, Michael Wilson hit the post from a free-kick and three times they went close. Dean Snedker saved in spectacular fashion from James Ellison, Wilson fired the ball across the face of goal and Chris Noone could only hook his effort wide.

Brady had his team out early for the second half but it was the home side that was out of the traps first and looked more composed on the ball in the second period. The winner came in the 66th minute when Saints could not clear and Hopley picked up the loose ball to beat Snedker despite the keeper getting a hand to his shot.

Brady threw on Will Green, Ryan Rowe and Eric Odhiambo but Saints continued to struggle to build momentum or put Rees under any pressure. That was until late on when Owen Story’s fine cross nearly caught Rees out of position before the Saints winger shot wide late on.