Spennymoor Town  2-1  Brackley Town  13/4/19 

Taylor-made for Moors 

On the day league leaders Stockport and second-placed Chorley both slipped up, it was the chasing pack behind Brackley that took advantage as third-placed Saints went down to only a second defeat in 17 games at fourth-placed Spennymoor. 

A goal each at the end of an otherwise barren first half sent the sides in level at the break.  Playing down the considerable slope in the second period Saints came out the stronger creating scoring opportunities and all looked set for Kevin Wilkin’s side to go on to seal what would have been an invaluable away win at the start of this crucial Easter period of four games in ten days.  But it was not to be as chances were spurned only for the division’s leading scorer Glen Taylor to find the corner of Danny Lewis’ goal with a quarter of an hour remaining, a clinical finish to seal only a second win in nine games for Moors who moved level on points with the visitors in a tight race at the top that just got even tighter. 

“It is obviously a disappointing result today,” Wilkin said.  “We have been guilty of getting too many good opportunities and not taking our chances.  Crucial moments have come and gone today when for all our effort and endeavour we have to score more than a penalty from good chances.  We have been strong again today and have done enough to merit winning the game let alone drawing it so it is disappointing especially when you see the way other results have gone.” 

Lee Ndlovu created the best opening of the first half, turning inside to make space but finding only keeper Matt Gould’s legs with the shot before Spennymoor went ahead in the 43rd minute, Ryan Hall firing past Danny Lewis from six yards as Brackley failed to clear their lines.  Shep Murombedzi’s speculative shot from distance in added time was not gathered cleanly by Gould and Ndlovu’s persistence brought a rash challenge by Gould to concede a penalty.  Shane Byrne converted the penalty kick to equalise. 

Saints dominated the second period playing down the slope but without finding the decisive break-through.  Ndlovu was through on goal direct from Lewis’ kick but lost his footing, Ellis Myles and Luke Fairlamb had shots blocked when well placed and Matt Lowe’s effort was deflected wide of goal as a determined and hard-working home side thwarted Saints’ attacking ambitions. 

Taylor struck on 76 minutes, burying the ball beyond Lewis from a sharp chance, and Moors’ confidence only grew from there, and successfully kept the visitors out to record a win to keep their promotion hopes on track and send Saints home dwelling on what might have been. 

Brackley Town:   Lewis, Myles (Nti 80), Murombedzi, Hall, Dean, Byrne, Armson, Lowe, Ndlovu, L.Fairlamb (Sterling-James 75), A.Walker.   Subs unused:  Jackson, Jeffers, Prosser. 

Spennymoor Town:   Gould, Williams, Brogan, Hawkins (Anderson 73), Atkinson, Curtis, Hall, Henry, Taylor, Ramshaw, Diamond (Boyes 90+2).     Subs unused:  Elliott, Hibbs, Harrison. 

Referee:  S.Barrott        Assistants:  S.Ross and J.Rhodes

Attendance:   669