Foiled By Old Boy: Brackley Town 2-0 Harriers
Harriers dominated the game at St James Park but were denied by former Harrier Danny Lewis who kept them at bay single handedly.
Jimmy Shan named the same side that had beaten Hereford on Boxing Day and they started the game where they had left off in the derby match. Immediately on hte front foot and dominating possession Harriers had already been denied by Lewis who had kept out an effort by Rhys Williams when they went close to opening the scoring on 18 minutes; Ollie Shenton's shot from distance was parried into the path of Ethan Freemantle but before he could get to it another former Harrier, Kelvin Langmead, hacked it to safety.
Williams was involved again shortly afterwards when he was allowed to advance throught the inside-right channel before unelashing a shot the beat Lewis but cannoned back off the crossbar.
Harriers pressed and pressed for an opener; Shenton had another shot parried by Lewis with Correy Davidson seeing his follow-up shot deflected over the bar for a corner. From another corner Alex Prosser's kick found Freemantle at the near post but his glancing header went narrowly over the bar as the half drew to a close.
All of the missed chances in the first half were to come back to haunt Harriers just six minutes after the break when they failed ot clear a corner from the Brackley right and Thierry Audel was on hand to sweep the ball past Will Mannion to give the home side the lead with their first on-target effort of the game.
Harriers could have drawn level minutes later when substitute Ed Williams got into the penalty area on the right before pulling the ball back for Milan Butterfield whose shot was hit with power but Lewis somehow managed to push it over the bar for a corner. Things got worse for Harriers on the hour mark when Rhys Williams was sent off after a needless reckless challenge on Jimmy Armson.
Brackley were better in the second half than they had been in the first and were able to stop Harriers from playing as they had earlier in the game but Harriers should have dranw level with eight minutes left in the match. Ashley Hemmings sent a free-kick in to the danger area from the right; Ryan Johnson found himself clear in front of goal but his header was straight at Lewis and easy for the keeper to gather.
With Harriers looking for an equaliser they were caught out with five minutes remaining; Brackley attacked on the left, the ball was played across the face of goal and not cleared, Matt Lowe beyond the far post knocked it back into the goalmouth where Lee Ndlovu was able to stab it home at teh second attempt.