Swifts had just 10 players for their second 9v9 game of the Season - opting to make a couple of changes from their opening league game the previous week. Oliver Hayes continued in goal, this time supported by a defensive pairing of Jack Buck and Beau Lawrence. Swifts went with a midfield 4 in front of them, with Alex Goode, Jacob Kedward, Oliver Edwards and Theo Petrosanu making up that four, from right to left. This allowed Joe Walsh to operate slightly higher in the centre of the park, and look to support Henry Clements as the lone striker. Tom Sayers was available as a substitute, and was rotated into the game in the first half.
The first 15 minutes of the game saw Brackley looking much the better side - they had no real clear-cut chances of note in the early spell, but were dominant in possession, and Swifts seemed to pose no real attacking threat whatsoever. Eventually Oliver Hayes was forced into action, but he was comfortable in collecting shots from distance.
Then came the serious contentious moment of the game. Just under 10 minutes to go in the first half, Swifts win a free-kick, after finding a foothold in the match. Alex Goode stepped up to take, and would have been frustrated with his cross, with it not beating the first man, but it didn't matter in the slightest, as that first defender misjudged his header, directing it into his own net. Swifts were delighted and there celebrations showed just that - only to have the goal snatched away from them for an offside, called by the Brackley Linesman. A decision which baffled everyone involved, not least because there were no Swifts players even close to being involved in the play, but also due to the fact it was diverted into the net for an own goal. An Outrageous call indeed, but Swifts could do nothing about it, and instead had to continue from 0-0.
What stemmed from the decision was an ill-tempered game, with Swifts clearly feeling hard done by after the 'goal', but also with Brackley's intent on frustrating Chippy even more with late challenges and niggles off the ball.
HALF TIME: SWIFTS 0-0 BRACKLEY ATHLETIC JAFFAS
The second half began very end-to-end, with both sides showing intent, and looking to get forward. Brackley hit the post after their pacy number 10 ran onto a through ball from midfield - striking the ball low and hard towards the far post, with it flicking off the base of it and running for a goal kick. Swifts then forced a smart save from the visiting goalkeeper - Oliver Edwards found Joe Walsh to the left of the penalty area, whose first time, looping effort looked like it had beaten the 'keeper, only for it to be tipped wide at full stretch.
Brackley began to turn the screw though - and just before Brackley's number 10 struck the post for the second time with 20 minutes on the clock; he forced Oliver Hayes into an absolutely superb stop, flying across to his right and stretching to get a hand on the ball, and palm it wide of the far post for a corner. However he could do nothing about the eventual Brackley opener - that same man again bursting clear with pace, before crashing the ball into the corner with Oliver Hayes unable to keep it out, despite somehow getting fingertips to the ball.
The game continued in it's stop-start fashion, with foul after foul meaning Swifts struggled to gain any rhythm. Brackley seemed to be doing all they could to slow the game down - but the plan appeared to backfire, when some superb pressing work from Theo Petrosanu saw him drive down the left touchline, and entering a 50/50 - with the loose ball falling to the Brackley goalkeeper in the corner. Theo continued his relentless pressure, and got his reward - the 'keeper's clearance deflected off of him and into the path of Henry Clements, who was quick off the mark to get to the ball, and direct it into the empty net with one touch. Swifts were level, and deservedly so considering all that had happened previous.
But football is cruel. No more than 2 minutes were left on the clock when Brackley snatched the winner. A catalogue of errors from Swifts - they allowed a long goal kick (which the visitors had been doing all game) to bounce over them, and even though they seemed to have recovered after Jacob Kedward did brilliantly to get a block in as the last man, they had 4 or 5 chances to clear their lines. No-one seemed prepared to take control of the situation and clear their lines, and instead, they scuffed the ball into the path of the Brackley forward, who tucked the ball home, sparking huge celebrations from the visiting bench.
Swifts deserved more. They had done enough to earn more. But for one reason or another, they were denied it. Harsh lessons will be learned - and Swifts will grow from the game - hopefully they learn from them in the right ways, and are back stronger at training, and for their next games - curiously, their next two are fixtured for MIDWEEK games, against both Witney Vikings, and Moreton Rangers.