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Brackley Win Shoot-Out In Trophy Thriller

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Vanarama National League North side Brackley Town, whose league season came to a disappointing finale when they lost 3-0 at Harrogate Town in the Promotion Final a week ago, claimed the Buildbase FA Trophy in a thrilling final at Wembley.

The Northamptonshire side overcame Bromley from the National League on penalties after a terrific effort from both sides over 120 minutes in searing heat under the arch.

The first half was largely Bromley`s, although Matt Lowe had an effort blocked for Brackley and James Armson volleyed over the bar.

Omar Bugiel had the Raven`s first chance but fired wide. However, in the 20th minute it was the former Forest Green Rovers striker who broke the deadlock.

Some neat work from Adam Mekki saw him slip the ball through to Bugiel, whose cool, left-footed finish flew past Brackley `keeper Danny Lewis into the far corner of the net to send over 16,000 Bromley fans into raptures.

Lowe headed straight at Bromley `keeper David Gregory in response and after the first water break, George Porter forced a fine save from Lewis.

The first half drew to a close with Brackley doing well after a slow start.

The second period saw Frankie Raymond try his luck from 30 yards and James Armson had an effort go wide at the other end.

Bromley are beginning to boss possession and frustrate Kevin Wilkin`s side.

The appearance of Josh Rees off the bench has given Bromley more assurance on the ball and Brandon Hanlan is also causing problems with his pace after coming on.

On 70 minutes though, Brackley have their best chance so far when good work down the left by Glenn Walker saw Armson have a shot from 12 yards which flew over the bar when he should at least have tested Gregory.

Gregory was called upon to make a couple of relatively comfortable saves and catches and with the 90 minutes almost up, Hanlan had a great chance at the other end, but shot straight at Lewis.

Bromley were 26 seconds from winning the FA Trophy when Brackley’s outstanding skipper Gaz Dean was in the right place at the right time in normal time as a shot from Shane Byrne hit the post and bounced in off him and Bromley`s vastly experienced former Wolves defender Roger Johnson.

So, in searing heat, there was to be another 30 minutes, and with both sides visibly tiring and play becoming lethargic, the extra-time period petered out, although Brackley could have won it near the end, but sub Steve Diggin and Adam Walker failed to get a decisive touch to the ball almost on the goalline.

The game went to penalties and, as it went to sudden death, Bromley skipper Jack Holland clipped his shot wide, allowing Andy Brown to net the decisive spot-kick and win the Trophy for Brackley.


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