Worcester City 0-3 Brackley Town
FA Cup Third Qualifying Round
Rob George reports from the Victoria Ground
WORCESTER City’s Road to Wembley came to a dead end after a hugely lacklustre display which saw on loan goalkeeper Ryan Boot and many of his team-mates endure a nightmare afternoon.
Errors from Boot, whose loan from Port Vale is due to expire this week, handed the visitors their first two goals though Brackley bossed the game from start to finish and deserve their place in Monday’s fourth qualifying round draw.
City boss Carl Heeley made two changes from last week’s 3-2 home defeat to Nuneaton with Junior English and Jordan Murphy coming in for Ebby Nelson-Addy and Colby Bishop.
The home side were forced into an early change when midfielder Cieron Keane was forced off with a nasty head injury in the 11th minute.
A quiet start to the game saw few chances with Chekaine Steele’s cross being easily dealt with by Brackley keeper Laurie Walker while namesake Glenn Walker shot narrowly wide for the visitors.
This cup clash was brought to life on 25 minutes when Boot came to claim a cross from the right and got both hands to it before colliding with Graham Hutchinson.
Boot spilled the ball on landing leaving Steve Diggin with the simple task of rolling the ball into the empty net.
City looked deflated by conceding and Brackley established a foothold in the game they never surrendered.
Glenn Walker saw his shot tipped over the bar by Boot before a moment of controversy when a cross from City skipper Danny Jackman saw Hutchinson bundled over in the box.
Referee Savvas Yiani turned down appeals for a penalty and despite late pressure from a series of corners, City went into the break deservedly behind.
Walker again proved to be a menace early in the second half and his run down the left saw him flash a cross across the box to send out yet another warning to the City defence.
It was a warning they failed to heed and the tie was effectively over on 51 minutes when a corner from the left from Jimmy Armson saw Boot again rise to claim the ball but spill it leaving David Pitt with the simplest tap in to make it 2-0.
Brackley had the game in the palm of their hands after the second goal and in truth Worcester offered next to nothing in terms of a comeback.
Heeley attempted to freshen things up from the bench but he could have introduced Lazurus and not seen a comeback, such was the woeful nature of City’s forward play.
Further chances came and went for Brackley before the visitors completed the rout in injury time when right back Ellis Myles was handed the freedom of the Victoria Ground to move forward and send in a low cross from the right for sub Jack Bowen to tap it home to make it 3-0.
A frustrated crowd certainly made their feelings known at the end of a game where City failed to register a shot on target.
There won’t be any trips to the Ricoh Arena or Bramall Lane this year nor a money-spinning cup run but City got what they deserved, nothing.
‘One Night in Heaven’ blared out somewhat ironically at the end of the game, anymore performances like this and City will be on the ‘Road to Hell’