Barwell suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Brackley Town on Saturday afternoon, despite holding their own for 45 minutes against higher opposition.
The game started on a relatively even note, with both sides knocking the ball about, looking to get control of the game. The first chance came on 11 minutes, with Brackley defender Alex Gudger only able to place his header on to the base of Max Smith-Varnam’s post.
Barwell had the better of the chances in the first half, with Ryan Robbins forcing a good save out of the visiting goalkeeper, and Zeph Thomas smashing his strike against the crossbar.
However, the deadlock couldn’t be broken and the teams went in level.
Brackley started the second half brightly, and punished their hosts with two goals in fifteen minutes from their frontman Steve Diggin. This spell gave the visitors a firm grip on the game.
In the 60th minute, a spectacular overhead kick from Brackley’s Andy Brown looked to have sealed the game for the visitors, who were comfortably into their stride as the second half progressed.
With ten minutes to go, Barwell substitute Ryan Baldwin scored his second goal in two games, reducing the deficit on the day to two goals. It proved to be a consolation goal for the home side, as Courtney Meade couldn’t finish his opportunity in the 87th minute, which would have set up an intense end to the game.
After the game on Saturday, Barwell assistant manager Guy Handland gave his thoughts.
“I thought, first half, we held our own. Brackley are a good side. We had a lot of lads on trial today, which totally changed the game. As soon as they scored the first goal, they kept the ball well. We brought a load of lads on to give them minutes and it became a game of two halves.”
Speaking about the midweek trips to Kettering Town and Leicester Road coming up this week, Hadland said: “Tough game on Tuesday. Kettering are a good outfit. We’re going to have some lads back who we’ve missed recently due to holidays. There will be three back on Tuesday and we may be be near full strength on Thursday. We’re looking forward to those games. Again, they’re testing.”