AFC Telford v Brackley: Bucks strong against big-hitters
A positive festive period has left AFC Telford United back in the mix.
Gavin Cowan’s men have responded well to the FA Trophy setback to Leamington and appear to have found a formula that makes them solid and difficult to beat.
The improved Bucks will receive a stern test of their top half to play-off credentials tomorrow with the visit of promotion-chasers Brackley, currently fourth and one point below Chester having lost just once in 10 in all competitions, writes Lewis Cox.
Telford’s defence, which for the last four games has consisted of Arlen Birch, Shane Sutton, Theo Streete and Ross White, is as resolute as it has been all season.
Three clean sheets in four and just one conceded gives Telford a chance in games and they will think the same going into the New Bucks Head clash with the Saints, a fourth game in 10 days.
Full-back Birch believes the game may suit Cowan’s men. He said: “We’ve had good results against the teams up there. My first game was York which we could’ve won.
“We’ve had positive results against the top sides and we want to keep it that way.
“We’ve been trying to put our finger on why we’re able to raise our game against the top sides and show the level we’re capable of.
“It can be frustrating to not do that against teams lower than us.
“A couple of months ago we’d have taken four points against Alfreton but it shows where we’ve come that we’re now frustrated.”
Like the Bucks, Brackley probably wanted more than a point to start 2020.
If festive and New Year celebrations didn’t leave the Saints’ supporters in a spin, then the climax to their 1-1 home draw against relegation-battling Kettering would have.
Talented midfielder James Armson, well-known to Telford boss Cowan, netted an immediate leveller just after half hour with the hosts surprisingly behind.
But things really livened up as Danny Lewis saved a Daniel Nti penalty 10 minutes from time.
Kevin Wilkin’s men then had the chance to win it in added time but Frenchman Thierry Audel missed from the spot and Brackley had to make do with a point.
AFC Telford (4-2-3-1): Yates; Birch, Streete, Sutton (c), White; Walker, Deeney; Barnett, McQuilkin, Daniels; Stenson.