Brackley Town head to Gainsborough Trinity for Sunday’s Vanarama Conference North clash on the back of a much-needed victroy.
Saints deservedly won the New Year’s Day battle against Gloucester City 1-0 to avenge the Boxing Day defeat at Whaddon Road. Before kick-off manager Jon Brady had billed this game of 18th versus 19th as “the biggest of the season for us, a massive game that we must win” – his team did not let him down.
On a day when the whole team worked as one, Greg Kazaboni put in a top performance combining work-rate and true goal potential.
The game’s decisive moment came in the early moments of the second half as Ryan Rowe cleared a City corner to find Kazaboni whose speed and control on the ball took him past two defenders and whose awareness produced a perfect cross to pick out Ebby Nelson-Addy whose header found the net in a moment of exhilaration for Saints fans.
In a frustrating first half Saints had three times found only the woodwork and somehow contrived to go into the break score-less. Further chances went close as Kazaboni fired just over from 20 yards, David Moyo was thwarted by keeper Jasbir Singh and Dwayne Samuels’ long range effort had Singh back-peddling and requiring his finger tips to save the goal.
The Tigers’ rare first half chances fell to former-Saint Charlie Griffin on 15 minutes who turned well and shot to Billy Turley’s left bringing a fine save at the foot of the post before Mike Green’s 40th minute cross flashed across the face of Turley’s goal without finding a touch, City’s best chance of finding an equaliser came on 69 minutes as Griffin was again the danger-man firing just wide.
With a strengthening gale at their backs the Tigers strained every sinew to draw level but Saints dug deep to defend the lead and earn three precious points.
Reflecting on the importance of the win Brady said: “We had to win today. We showed character, resilience and spirit.
“It is a really very satisfying result against what is a strong Gloucester City side now they have their players back. In difficult conditions with a near gale blowing we had our backs to the wall at times but we were strong. I feel immensely proud of that performance.”