Stuttering Saints see hopes take a knock in stalemate

No sooner had Brackley Town put themselves back in the Vanarama National League North play-off picture than they were back out of it.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 18th April 2017, 8:54 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:23 pm
Lee Ndlovu gets in a header during Brackley Town's stalemate with Gainsborough Trinity
Lee Ndlovu gets in a header during Brackley Town's stalemate with Gainsborough Trinity

Saturday’s 0-0 draw with lowly Gainsborough Trinity, the third home stalemate in succession, has all but ended Saints’ chances of making the play-offs.

A lack-lustre display, especially in the second half, saw Saints struggle to create chances. Saints extended their unbeaten run to seven games but that was scant consolation as further precious points slipped away.

Relegation-threatened Gainsborough stuck to their game plan, frustrated Saints and departed with a valuable point in their battle to escape the drop.

The 7-0 corner count told the story of the first period as Saints dominated possession with Trinity rarely breaking out of their half. Two close range efforts by Glenn Walker and Steve Diggin were blocked after good work by Matt Lowe.

Shane Byrne’s 25-yarder was tipped over by keeper Tom Nicholson while Alex Gudger and Luke Graham headed wide from corners as Saints sought the breakthrough. The visitors’ sole goal attempt came on the stroke of halftime when captain Nathan Jarman’s fine control allowed him to shoot, firing just wide.

A stop-start second half never got going and, despite desperate endeavours by both sides and seven minutes of added time, the contest meandered to its sterile conclusion. Glenn Walker’s shot was saved low down by Nicholson, substitute David Pitt fired over from a tight angle and neither Gudger nor Lee Ndlovu could capitalise on opportunities while Trinity had the ball in the net but it was rightly ruled out for offside.