Final day glee for Brackley
30 April 2016
St. James Park was the destination for the final match of the 2015-16 season and it brought The Lambs no easy finale to a season that almost saw them reach the play offs.
After the last minute equaliser gave relegation threatened Lowestoft a lifeline seven days previously, Tamworth faced even more relegation threatened Brackley on their own turf in theknowledge that nothing less than a home win and a draw or loss by Lowestoft in their match at Gloucester would see the Northamptonshire club survive in the National League North for another season.
Andy Morrell made no changes to the side that started against The Trawlermen with just one change on the bench as Jorna Moulton came in for Luke Hubbins.
Brackley got the game underway, and went on the attack in front of the ‘Brackley Town’ stand.
Belshaw was called into action a couple of times, with a long range effort from Winter’s almost catching him out after he’d been forced to leave his area to clear the danger.
A Brackley freekick on 10 forced a corner on the left and caused more problems, before Carter was upended by Duggin who earned himself a booking.
Mohamed looked to add his fourth in four on 14 but Hornby did well to get down to his cross-come-shot and push it away from goal.
Taylor’s shot from the edge of the box was denied by a good defensive block on 15 and Newton’s thumping strike was deflected behind for a corner on 19, which came to nothing.
The game continued as a battle of wits in the middle of the park for much of the remainder of the first half with little in the way of goal mouth chances or indeed half chances as neither team could force an opening. Odhiambo was booked for a foul on Dyer on the half way line on 40.
Then on 42, a fantastic save by Belshaw at his far post denied Batchelor on 42, the ball was travelling quickly and low, right by the woodwork.
Two minutes added time were played at the end of the first half and Town won a corner on the right which was cleared before the whistle blew.
The Lambs restarted the match an although there was a good showing of support from Tamworth, the Hawaiian shirt wearing home faithful were by making their presence felt in the small stand behind Belshaw’s goal.
A foul on the right hand corner of Belshaw’s box on 52 set up Morley with a deadball chance and when it wasn’t cleared at the far post Walker drilled home the opening goal of the afternoon from a yard out. (0-1, 52 mins)
A very good save from Hornby denied Dyer on 58 when a full stretch to the keeper's left pushed his curling shot wide of the target and Mohamed was unable to finish at the far post.
Walker forced a corner on the right on the hour and Belshaw punched it clear for Deeney but the Lambs player picked up a card for thumping a freekick at a close by player on the hour and on 65 play stopped when Smith dropped to the floor holding his ankle in a lot of pain.
Davies replaced Smith shortly after and news that Gloucester had equalised at Lowestoft sent the home crowd wild with jubilation.
It didn’t take long for Davies to go in the book following a foul on Odhiambo on 69 although eyes were diverted at other goings on in the ground at the time while the stewards took necessary action.
Carter went in the book on 78 for a foul in front of the home dugout and Morrell came on for the final seven minutes of the season. Belshaw denied Moyo’s low drive on 85 with a double stop at his near post and the keeper raced out to break up a Brackley charge forward a minute or two later only for Diggin to try and lob him from 45 yards but was off target with his effort.
Moulton replaced Taylor on 87 and five minutes added time was shown at the end of the game.
The final 1-1 score from Lowestoft caused celebrations to start early, but the final whistle had to blow to ensure Brackley survived and eventually it did.
Belshaw, Burns, Dyer R (Morrell 83), Deeney, Tomassen, Carter, Mohamed, Smith (Davies 66), Newton, Taylor C (Moulton 87), Strong
Subs: Ezewele, Gill (GK)
Yellow: Deeney 60, Davies 69, Carter 79
Brackley Town Team:
Hornby, Odhiambo (Lowe 88), Morley, Clarke (c.), Graham, Slade, Winters (Tilney 79), Walker, Moyo, Diggin (Ndlovu 88), Batchelor
Subs: Auston, Diaz
Yellow: Duggin 11, Odhiambo 40
Referee: Mr. C. O'Donnell