Gloucester City 2-1 Brackley Town

Joe Parker’s stoppage time heroics secured Gloucester City a priceless victory against strugglers Brackley Town to leapfrog the club out of the relegation zone.

Brackley had taken an early lead after Tigers captain Jack Harris slotted into his own net, but spent the second half a man down with Tom Sharp dismissed with a straight red card.

In monsoon conditions, Tim Harris’ side equalised through the head of Chris Knowles, netting his first goal for the club.

He could’ve added a second minutes later, but Dwayne Samuels, and the mud, somehow stopped the midfielder on the line.

The continuous bombardment finally paid off with Jamie Lucas peeling off his defender to slot past Dan Farrell, the ball stuck in the mud a metre out, but Parker was there to prod home finally.

Rain of biblical proportions battered Whaddon Road as Ebby Nelson-Abby tested Jasbir Singh early with a wicked shot clawed away.

A scrappy opening saw a scrappy goal as skipper Harris accidentally hooked the ball into his own net after former City loanee Connor Waldon played into the near post.

Brackley’s debutant goalkeeper Farrell was troubled by a looping cross by George Miller as the wind started picking up.

Farrell was called into action once more, Matt Williams stabbing at the goal in the area causing him to push away theatrically.

With the momentum thoroughly in City’s direction, Tom Sharp brought down Charlie Griffin and was dismissed for a straight red as he was last man, leaving Brackley with a disadvantage for the second half.

So begun the Tigers onslaught; George Miller and Griffin both firing warning shots.

The equaliser came through the head of Knowles, who somehow found himself in the perfect place to nestle Billy Jones’ cross in the far corner amongst a melee of players.

Nathan Modest shot wide, before Knowles came inches from a second; Samuels blocking on the line and hacking away in the marshy goalmouth.

The skill of Modest left three players in his wake as Ryan Austin blocked en route to goal, with Knowles blasting a bicycle kick over from the resulting corner.

Farrell parried the ball dangerously under pressure, with City’s attacking trio hounding Brackley at every opportunity.

With minutes remaining, Parker produced a sensational save from the keeper, before a back pass let Jones cannon an effort off a defender from eight yards with Knowles’ rebound somehow scrambled clear.

Deep into injury time loanee Lucas found himself space to shoot past the outcoming Farrell, the ball stuck firm in the mud a metre out with Parker there to finally add Gloucester’s second.

A goal that lifts Tim Harris’ side out of the Vanarama Conference North relegation zone and caused en masse celebration.

Gloucester City: J. Singh, M. Green, B. Jones, J. Harris, M. Williams, G. Miller, L. Hall (T. Webb 46), C. Knowles, C. Griffin, J. Parker, N. Modest (J. Lucas 78)

Subs not used: M. Richards, S. Avery, M. Groves

Goals: Knowles 54, Parker 90+2

Brackley Town: D. Farrell, D. Samuels, C. Curruthers, Eddie Odihambo, T. Sharp, R. Austin, E. Nelson Abby, S. Whittle, R. Rowe, C. Waldon (G. Kaziboni 76), D. Moyo (S. Pierpoint 44)

Subs not used: M. Built, Eric Odihambo, J. Curtis

Goals: Harris OG 10

Attendance: 326

Man of the Match: Chris Knowles