Round-up - Three games this week for injury-hit Brakes - news from Racers and Saints
On Saturday it was Darlington who took away the points from the Your Co-op Community Stadium, against a Brakes side missing several key players to injury.
The visitors scored just before the hour and Paul Holleran’s side couldn’t find an equaliser.
As Brakes, now 16th in National League North, try to finish the season as high in the table as they can, their task is made more difficult by injuries.
Kelsey Mooney has become the latest in a string of Brakes players to suffer an ACL injury over the last few years. It was hoped that Dan Turner might have recovered to fill the void in attack, but he was still not quite ready, so the evergreen Junior English took the striker’s role in the starting eleven. After missing the trip to York, Steph Morley was fit enough to return.
“The goal was one of the few moments of quality in the game I think,’ said Holleran in a club interview afterwards.
“I thought the first half belonged to Darlington - I think the conditions favoured them, probably. We got a grip of the game in the last ten-fifteen minutes of the first half and started to find our way into it; against a good side. Second half we couldn’t have done a lot more. It’s obvious we need to be better in the final third.
“On a day when their bit of quality has hit the net our bit of quality has hit the bar. The players give so much, as a group. We were probably the better side for long periods second half, and deserved something out of the game, but at the moment, similar to at Farsley really, we’re not getting what we deserve.
"The players' levels and character is unquestionable. Hopefully during the run-in we can start turning some of these gritty performances into points.”
Their chances come thick and fast this week, with three games in just six days.
Tomorrow (Saturday) Brakes travel to 12th-placed Spennymoor Town, followed by a trip to Southport, in seventh, on Tuesday evening.
Good Friday (April 15) then brings the exciting prospect of league leaders Brackley Town to Harbury Lane for a 3pm kick-off.
Racing Club Warwick: Racing Club Warwick faced promotion hopefuls Wulfrunians and put a huge dent in their ambitions, running out comfortable 4-0 winners.
With Ricardo Dudley and Romario Martin returning to the bench a strong looking Warwick scored within 30 seconds of the start for the third time this season.
Danny Murphy blocked an attempted clearance and Dylan Parker picked up the ball, rounded Tom Hayward before composing himself to slide home past the retreating defenders. Parker almost made it two with a delightful chip over the keeper after Ellie Ikwa's superb through ball but the ball was cleared off the line. It was all Warwick and Ikwa and Parsons fired just wide before a Chris Mayuba shot was saved by the keeper.
It wasn't long before the second goal though. On 22 minutes Josh Steele sent Mayuba down the line and he fed Parsons who brushed off two challenges before firing into the corner.
Second half and Romario Martin was introduced and the pressure continued and it was Martin who teed up Parker to dink the ball over Hayward to make it three on 53 minutes. Captain Cal Templeton struck the post with a header from a corner and Hayward saved superbly from a fierce Toby Scott shot, but the game was put to bed when Eli Bako headed back the keeper clearance for Hanibal Salami to coolly slot home.
On Saturday the Racers, now 14th of the 19 teams, travel to Haughmond, who are bottom but one in the table.
Warwick have announced that their final two home league games will be free entrance as well as a an early bird season ticket offer. Email [email protected] to request prices and information.
Southam United: Southam United stretched their unbeaten Oxfordshire Senior League Premier Division run to eight matches with a goalless draw at neighbours Cropredy, writes David Hucker.
Whilst a draw kept Southam in the top three, the gap between them and Kennington Athletic, who thrashed bottom club Marston Saints 5-0, widen to four points and, although they have a game in hand, now need Kennington to drop points if they are to overhaul them and finish runners-up to Bicester Hallions.
On Saturday Southam are at home to fourth-placed Launton Sports, who they beat 2-0 in their opening game of the season. Kick off is at 2.30pm and entry to Bobby Hancocks Park is free.