Brackley Town 0-0 FC Halifax Town Tues 4 April 2017
Defences on top in tight encounter
A second goal-less draw in four days saw Brackley remain in 8th place in the league table and visitors FC Halifax miss their chance to go second. Both sides drew a blank in a game that produced few chances but was absorbing from beginning to end.
An impressive first half performance by the home team denied the visitors any sight on goal and twice came close to finding the opening goal. Ironically for Saints both chances came to defender Luke Graham, the first after 12 minutes as his header looped up and onto the bar with The Shaymen’s on-loan keeper Sam Johnson beaten. Brackley’s best chance also fell to Graham close to goal after half an hour but Johnson got his body in the way and Glenn Walker’s follow up was also saved.
Some of Brackley’s attacking play was exciting with James Clifton and Walker exploiting the channels and Steve Diggin and Lee Ndlovu seeing plenty of the ball as the front pairing. The half ended with some robust challenges from the visitors as frustration took hold at their inability to gain possession or pose any threat.
Saints began the second period brightly again but a change of formation by Halifax effectively shut down the opportunities for Brackley’s wing backs and closed the game down so that much of the play was concentrated in the middle of the pitch. Halifax also came more into the game as an attacking threat and had two fine chances to take the lead.
Liam King’s cross from the right sought out Richard Peniket whose header was inches wide of Laurie Walker’s right-hand post. With ten minutes remaining Halifax should have broken the dead-lock but Scott Garner shot over from close range.
Both sides defended stubbornly, Brackley denying leading scorer Tom Denton any opportunity throughout the game, and a well marshalled Halifax defence gave little away. Goal-less and frustrating as it was, this was nevertheless a fine contest of high quality between well-matched sides and it leaves both teams with plenty to play for in the remaining five games of the season.
Brackley Town: L.Walker, Clifton, Gudger, Byrne, Graham (Lowe 77), Dean, G.Walker, Armson, Ndlovu (Hempenstall 78), Diggin (Moyo 78), A.Walker. Subs not used: Myles, Gough.
FC Halifax Town: Johnson, Roberts, Wilde, Sinnott, Garner, Hotte, King, Lynch (Moyo 59), Denton, Charles (Hone 46), Peniket. Subs not used: Drench, Logan, Morgan.
Referee: Alan Dale Assistants: Scott Postin and Richie Watkins