Altrincham  1-2  Brackley Town  16/4/19 

Last gasp drama so sweet 

Brackley came from behind to win a vital top of the table tussle through an added time own goal to remain in third place in National League North with Altrincham missing the chance to leap-frog Saints. 

“I am absolutely delighted with the win,” Kevin Wilkin said.  “We have two evenly matched sides, both extremely capable on their day.  I felt we were unfortunate to fall behind in the first half and then had that bit of good fortune right at the end.  But we stayed strong together, showed courage and created a terrific moment to score an excellent equaliser.  It was a good game for the neutrals to watch.  It was a great night and the win keeps it interesting going into the Easter weekend.” 

The game’s extraordinary twist came in the 94th minute to settle what had been a close contest between two excellent footballing sides.  Pressured by substitute Luke Fairlamb, Altrincham keeper Tony Thompson missed his clearance and was unable to scramble back to keep the ball from dribbling over the goal-line in the most dramatic of climaxes to leave the home crowd stunned and Brackley supporters celebrating. 

The home team took a 38th minute lead through Max Harrop’s deflected free-kick and started the second half well.  But Saints fought back, levelling through a beautifully worked goal with 20 minutes remaining.  An exchange of passes between Luke Fairlamb and Shep Murombedzi opened up the defence and Lee Ndlovu expertly turned the low cross into the goal. 

Omari Sterling-James went close firing just wide as Brackley finished strongly but nobody could have expected the last gasp drama, a denouement that secured a play-off place for Kevin Wilkin’s team.  The results of the remaining three games will determine final positions and the line-up for the play-off finals in May.  

Brackley Town:   Lewis, Murombedzi, G.Walker, Byrne, Hall, Dean, Lowe, Armson, Ndlovu, Baker (Sterling-James 81), A.Walker (Fairlamb 64).   Subs unused:  Jackson, Myles, Nti. 

Altrincham:   Thompson, Densmore, Hampson (Richman 83), Jones (Harrison 20), Hannigan, Moult, Johnston, Williams, Hulme, Harrop (Hancock 76), Ceesay.    Subs unused: Poole, Chadwick. 

Referee:  Michael Barlow           Assistants:  Michael Herzog and Daniel Bruce

Attendance:   787