Thone In The Side Deflates Brackley
By Mike Skinner
Late Goal Salvages Draw
Wantage started the new season with a new management team, and nearly a whole new team on the pitch with only three players from last season starting the game.
After weathering a storm, both from mother nature and the visitors, another player from last season Nick Thorne, on as a substitute, grabbed a late goal to keep Wantage in the cup and earn a replay on Wednesday.
With the strong blustery wind blowing towards the clubhouse, Wantage played the first half in the same direction but were unable to master the conditions or their opponents to create any chance of note.
A few of the team were making their debuts at the higher level, and it took a while to adjust to the faster pace with a few mistimed tackles resulting in little fluidity to the game.
Brackley were causing problems going forward and nearly took the lead on the half hour when Stott headed goalwards, but McCready made a cracking save to push it away around his left hand post to see the sides change ends level still.
But the visitors went ahead inside the first minute of the second half and Knight broke down the right and crossed for Ball to fire into the roof of the net.
Wantage were in danger of being over-run as Brackley continued to make progress down the flanks, but a combination of poor finishing and some fine keeping by McCready kept the game alive for Wantage.
Just before the hour Wantage introduced Markham and Thorne, two of last season’s championship winning side, and started to look more threatening. But it wasn’t until the final ten minutes or so that they were able to exert any sustained pressure.
And it was starting to look like an early exit for Wantage, until Thorne levelled it in the final minute. A clever free-kick routine set Thorne away on the left of the penalty area, and he jinked his way past one defender before sliding the ball past Crowther and into the far corner of the net and earn a replay.
Wantage Town: Charlie McCready, Ty Lee (Shemar Pettet 83), James Webster, James McCarthy (Ryan Markham 58), Chris Jackson (C), Brad Cox, Joe Hartley, Jozef Fullerton, Tom Stanley (Nick Thorne 58), Jack Buchanan, Jack Dunmall. Subs n/u: Ryan Elliott, Cavan Smith
Brackley Town Saints: Matthew Crowther, Lewis Middleton, Lewis Gabbidon, Dean March, Ollie Goddard (C), Dan Middleton, George Ball, Jordan Godfrey (Ethan Dowse 85), Ryan Knight, James Hammond, Alex Stott (Sam Sherratt 80). Sub n/u: James Thompson
Referee: Matther Fletcher
Assistants: Julian Davis & Curtis Emery