Brackley Town remain deep in relegation trouble after they were sunk by Omar Bogle’s solitary goal in Saturday’s Vanarama Conference North clash with Solihull Moors.
Manager Jon Brady recalled veteran keeper Billy Turley in place of Dean Snedker to give Saints some much-needed experience in defence for the key fixture at St James Park.
Brady demanded a big response from his players and he got one but it wasn’t enough as they came up short again in the final third.
Saints were quicker than the visitors in all areas early on, closing down their opponents, winning first and second ball, and most challenges.
Owen Story got plenty of the ball on the right flank, Ryan Rowe headed wide at the far post and then flicked the ball on for David Moyo to test Tony Breeden. Story’s cross just evaded Rowe at the far post as Saints sought the early breakthrough while Moors always looked a threat on the counter-attack and Stefan Moore fired wide after a neat build-up.
But Saints received a big setback when they lost the experienced Frank Sinclair late in the first half with a hamstring injury. Both sides went close before the break, Story had a close range shot charged down and Darryl Knights curled a shot just wide of the far post.
But it was Moors who broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime when Ryan Beswick’s inswinging free-kick was glanced home by Bogle – once chance for the Moors’ striker – one goal.
After the restart, Story blazed over from a free-kick, substitute Greg Kaziboni did likewise following a quick break and Moyo had a header deflected over from Story’s corner.
Brady threw on another striker, Will Green, to try and get back on level terms but, having got their noses in front, Moors were a different proposition in the second half. Skipper Liam Daly commanded the back four and Moors closed down the space which Saints had enjoyed in the first period.
At the other end, Moors twice went close when Turley saved from Junior English and substitute Tom Sharpe blocked the rebound from Bogle.
But Sharpe got a straight red card in the 75th minute for pulling down Moore on the edge of the box. It was harsh on Sharpe and Saints should have been punished from the ensuing free-kick which fell to Reece Fleet in the six-yard box but he blazed over.
Moore had an effort deflected for a corner and Bogle saw his overhead kick saved by Turley as the chances began to fall for the visitors in the latter stages.
Saints went close late on when Rowe’s goal-bound header was deflected for a corner and Green just failed to get on the end of Kaziboni’s cross. Knights missed a good chance in stoppage-time to make it safe before Story fired over after a rare mis-punch from Breeden who didn’t have a shot to save in the second half.