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Brackley Maintain Title Challenge

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Brackley Town maintained their interest in the Vanarama National League North title race with a comfortable 3-0 win at St James`s Park against virtually-doomed North Ferriby United on Tuesday night.

However, it was mainly thanks to respective managers Kevin Wilkin and Chris Bolder that the game went ahead after the referee had initially called it off due to a waterlogged pitch.

There was some standing water on what is widely recognised as being one of the best pitches in the division, but, following consultation with the FA, the officials agreed to play.

And to the players` credit, they took things steadily and the worst areas of the pitch slowly began to clear and the game was played to a conclusion.

Bolder perhaps questioned his decision when Brackley took only 3 minutes to take the lead through Aaron Williams.

And then on 22 minutes, Alex Gudger doubled the Saints` advantage.

Ferriby held firm then until 20 minutes from time when Jimmy Armson added a killer third goal.

It`s worrying times for Tamworth, who have gone from being play-off contenders to having to look over their shoulders at the opposite end of the table following a 3-0 defeat at The Lamb against a now fifth-placed Blyth Spartans – Tamworth`s sixth game without a win.

Spartans travelled south in confident mood, having beaten title-challengers Brackley 3-0 last weekend, and in front of 501, Robbie Dale proved to be the north-east side`s hero once again.

He netted a hat-trick, opening the scoring in the 20th minute with a header.

However, the home side could feel a little aggrieved as both Callum Powell and Aman Verma were denied by the crossbar in the opening 45 minutes.

But Dale added his and Blyth`s second on the hour-mark with a nicely-struck free-kick.

Unbelievably, the bar prevented sub Zack Kotwica from reducing the deficit and visiting keeper Peter Jameson was called upon to make a couple of decent saves.

However, Dale completed his hat-trick 3 minutes into stoppage time with a goal on the counter attack.

Tuesday`s other game had a good deal of significance at the bottom end of the table as second-bottom AFC Telford United took on a Curzon Ashton side who started the evening just a point above the Bucks and outside the drop zone only on goal difference.

But it ended with the Nash being four points clear of their hosts and seventeenth place, albeit having played two more games than Telford.

The lowest crowd of the season to date at the New Bucks Head, 747, saw recent signing Ben McKenna give the visitors the lead in the 18th minute with what proved to be the only goal of the opening half.

But just past the hour-mark, Jake Dunwoody doubled Curzon`s lead with a terrific strike and 8 minutes later, Niall Cummins made the points safe with the visitors` third.

Just to make it an even more miserable night for home fans, Amari Morgan-Smith hit the bar from a penalty in stoppage time.

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