Article by Johnnie Lowery
On a sodden pitch in Northamptonshire United exited the FA Trophy at the hands of Brackley Town, the promotion chasers defensively solid and taking their chances when they came.
It was U’s who started the better side playing downhill, Louis John volleying wide with the best chance of the early stages with Tommy Wright also having an opening but seeing his shot blocked. On several occasions moves broke down with the ball holding up in a large puddle around the centre circle, with conditions also appearing to make the game dangerous with Simon Walton slipping into a strong challenge which could have just as easily seen a red card as a yellow. When the first goal of the game did arrive it was in predictably scrappy fashion, a corner falling to Lee Ndlovu who scrambled home with Owen Evans unable to get across under pressure from an attacker. The big moment came just before the end of the half, a seemingly innocuous challenge being given as a Brackley penalty which was then tucked home by Aaron Williams.
12 minutes into the second half the game was as good as over as U’s got caught on the counter and the ball was slipped through to James Armson. The flag stayed down and the Brackley man kept his cool to fire into the corner past Evans in the Sutton goal. United didn’t give up though and put the pressure on the home side. Substitute Adam Coombes saw an effort deflected just wide of the goal whilst Tom Bolarinwa was desperately unlucky to see a low shot kept out brilliantly by the home side’s keeper. Bolarinwa had another effort just wide of the post with Adam Coombes again coming close, this time with a close range header. Eventually a goal did come, Tommy Wright latching onto a long Kenny Davis pass to round the keeper and finish but it was too little too late as U’s went out of the Trophy at the last 16 stage for the third season in a row