Two-goal salvo helps Tigers match promotion favourites
Gloucester City 2
Brackley Town 2
A LATE equaliser for high-flying Brackley Town denied Gloucester City what would have been a superb victory.
The Tigers more than matched the promotion favourites during a pulsating game and took the lead after two goals in four minutes from Darren Edwards and Scott Wilson cancelled out Steve Diggin's opener.
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With 86 minutes on the clock, a storming shot from substitute Charlie Griffin somehow found its way through a packed penalty area to gain the Northamptonshire side a point.
It could have been more but a stupendous save from goalkeeper Mike Green saved the Tigers a point in the dying seconds.
It was also City stalwart Tom Hamblin's final game for the club before his move to London, after 211 appearances in the yellow and black shirt.
The Tigers started out of the blocks the quickest with Will Morford shooting wide after persistent work from full-back Mike Green down the right-hand side.
With the league leaders gaining more possession of the ball, Izak Reid tried his luck from 20 yards out but saw his shot deflected just wide.
Morford again was causing havoc in the Brackley box and was unlucky to see his looping back post header clip over the bar.
The best chance of the first half fell to City skipper Tom Webb who shot just past the far post after a three-on-three breakaway gave the club's all-time appearance holder the opportunity.
The second-half began awfully for the Tigers with Diggin turning on a sixpence on the edge of the penalty area to unleash a bullet shot into the top corner to place the Saints ahead.
The goal forced a new impetus with Webb and Tyler Weir both testing Billy Turley with decent efforts on goal.
But manager Dave Mehew's substitutions changed the complexion of the game midway through the second half.
First, after a dinked-in free kick from Lewis Hogg found Webb at the back post, the captain manoeuvred the ball into substitute Edwards who headed home from close range for the equaliser.
Four minutes later, another sub, Sam Rawlings pumped the ball into the penalty area and somehow found the lethal Wilson who nonchalantly poked past Turley to place the Tigers ahead.
Weir, who continued to bomb down the left-hand side, had a wild shot from afar as City continued to press.
But the Saints showed why they're so hotly tipped for promotion with a battling comeback and equalised with four minutes remaining with Griffin turning and managing to blast his shot through a crowd of players.
Then, with seconds remaining City keeper Mike Green produced a save of the highest quality.
Gloucester City: M Green, M Green (Rawlings 70), T Weir, T Hamblin, J Harris, T Webb, L Hogg, D Mullings, W Morford, S Wilson, M Groves (Edwards 66). Unused: N Mustoe.
Brackley Town: B Turley, N Cartwright (Nisevic 78), C McDonald, E Odhiambo, T Sharpe, R Austin, I Reid (Story 78), B Solkhon, G Mulligan (Griffin 78), S Diggin, G Walker. Unused: S Towers, N Jarvis.