REPORT: Brackley Town

County surrender a two-goal lead to draw with Brackley Town...

County named an unchanged starting eleven for their FA Cup tie at Brackley Town, with goalkeeper Joe Green and Alex Rodman being called up to the bench for the game at St James Park.

The visiting Exiles looked to imposes themselves early-on in the game and looked comfortable in possession. Defender Matt Partridge looked eager to get forward and it was the centre-back who registered County's first shot on target, with a long-range effort that deviated through the air, but was held comfortably by Sam Hornby.

County managed to grab the break-through just eleven minutes into the tie. Striker Lenell John-Lewis went down under a challenge in the area and dusted himself off to take the resulting penalty. The forward calmly slotted his effort home, waiting for the 'keeper to commit to a dive to the right, before firing his effort straight down the middle of the goal. 

County's lead was doubled when centre-back Scot Bennett adventured from his own-half and avoided pressure on his journey up-field. The defender was thrown to the ground after a challenge on the edge of the hosts area, but recovered to find his feet and finish confidently past Sam Hornby.

Scott Boden replaced goalscorer Lenell John-Lewis during the break, but it was the hosts who started the second half brightly and looked to exploit the Exiles from set-pieces. A Joe Clarke corner was headed into the hands of Joe Day, within ninety seconds of the restart. 

Fifteen minutes into the second period, skipper Mark Byrne played a delightful pass that split the Brackley defence and found the run of Scott Boden, but the striker couldn't find the space to shoot and the hosts were able to clear the threat on goal.

Brackley Town clawed a goal back when an in-swinging corner from the right caused County real problems, and Luke Graham was on hand to fire the ball home, to half the deficit.

Half-time substitute Scott Boden had County's best opportunity to add a third goal with just ten minutes left in the game, when a Scott Barrow corner was headed into the path of the striker, who saw his effort held up on the line by Curtis McDonald.    

Into the final minute of the four minutes of stoppage time, a deep cross into the County area was met by Curtis McDonald and the defender was able to crash his header past Joe Day to earn Brackley Town a replay in South Wales.

Attendance: 1,707 (449 away fans)

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