Tranmere Rovers have been in fantastic shape and have won their last six games since Mike Jackson left on Halloween. Janitor boss Ian Dawes was responsible for five of these six games, recording a 5-0 three-of-a-kind over Grimsby Town and an action-packed 4-3 win over Port Vale.
Since then, former Bolton Wanderers and Rochdale manager Keith Hill has taken control of the helm and scored three points in his first game against Carlisle United.
Meanwhile, Brackley Town with the away team was 56 places below Tranmere in the football pyramid and had only won one game in the league all season.
The Saints had fought their way to the second round after narrowly defeating Bishop Stortford on penalties.
Rovers Gaffer Hill was no stranger to the FA Cup after leading an underdog team from Rochdale to a round five replay at Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur.
However, it would be Brackley who had the first chance of the game as there was some space in Lee Ndlovu for six minutes but his shot was deflected for a corner by Peter Clarke.
Tranmere didn’t look like they were two leagues above Brackley early on, but an intimidating run by Liam Feeney ended with a cross against James Vaughan, but the veteran striker’s attempted overhead kick resulted in a foul.
Tre Mitford teased the Tranmere Defense as he wrestled Manny Monthe and Jay Spearing before unleashing a powerful punch too high to test Scott Davies.
Rovers had their first shot of the game when Kieron Morris spotted Calum MacDonald on the edge of the box, but his hit was denatured by the awkward angle.
A counterattack led by Ndlovu ended at the feet of Shepherd Murombedzi, who clung to the end of a poor Clarke clearance, but Davies’ curling effort didn’t interfere with Davies.
Dan Lewis was first tested when Feeney hit a cross, but his volley lacked the venom to worry the goalkeeper.
Shortly before half-time, Corey Blackett-Taylor wanted to do something for the home team and attacked Ethan Coleman, but the former Reading youngster was able to take the attack well.
Brackley defended fearlessly when Reiss McNally fearlessly blocked an Otis Khan hit and attacked Shane Byrne Blackett-Taylor in an inch-perfect duel.
After an extra minute of stoppage time, referee Tom Nield ended the opening half with Brackley, who is not in the league.
Tranmere had the first chance of the second half when Morris found Blackett-Taylor on the wing, but Coleman blocked his dangerous low cross.
Town wasn’t shy when Matt Lowe kicked in a right-wing free kick and Coleman lost his marker, but his header lacked the accuracy to blush the net and instead darted aimlessly.
Vaughan picked up the ball from 25 yards, but his bet sailed past again.
59 minutes later, Hill made the first change of the game when Khan was sent off for Paul Lewis.
Earlier Everton goal Vaughan missed another opportunity when he hit a cross on the penalty spot but his header went wide.
Brackley’s biggest chance so far came when a cross hit Gareth Dean’s head, but his attempt was intercepted by Ndlovu, who held the ball up brilliantly before throwing it to Murombedzi. The Zimbabwean ruthlessly smashed the ball towards goal but lacked accuracy.
It was Tranmere, however, who found the breakthrough in style when Vaughan found the ball on the edge of the box and placed it on a plate back with Morris, who switched the game to Blackett-Taylor on the edge. The ex-Aston Villa graduate cleverly duped the ball leaving Woolery with space on the edge of the box and with a touch of class, the 25-year-old made an unstoppable attempt at the far post to give the home team the lead.
Kevin Wilkin was hoping for a similar effect from Wes York, whom he hired for Mitford.
In the last fifteen and one more change for Brackley when Connor Franklin was traded with Ashley Chambers.
There was almost an instant effect when Woolery found space on the right and sent a low cross to an unmarked Vaughan in the box, but he fluttered on his chance and missed the ball completely.
Woolery looked menacing again on that wing when Lewis cast a cheeky look at Woolery’s path that Ronaldo had hacked into his man, but his strike was blocked.
In the final minutes of the game, Brackley was attempting a late equalizer when York shot a shot into the 6-yard box, but Clarke valiantly put his body on the line to get the ball to safety.
But Tranmere would hold out as the second division side avoided a surprise against Brackley at Prenton Park and secured their spot in the third round of the FA Cup.
Full credit to the higher-level Tranmere Rovers who put in a thoroughly professional effort to beat their non-league opponents for the day in Brackley Town.
Keith Hill will be thrilled, a seventh win in a row and a third goal in a row. Rovers looked really promising, but the main praise tonight was the quality of the replacements Hill had on the bench. The addition of Woolery on the pitch, who won the winner when his team fought for breakthrough, was a breath of fresh air. He looks energetic and full of ideas on the wing, switching with Morris or Blackett-Taylor which side he would control on, and that eventually led to the winner – Woolery’s serenity to switch sides and take advantage of it.
Most of the praise is piled on Brackley, a team who come to their stadium two divisions under Tranmere and play the game to the end and consistently keep the home team busy – they should be very proud. Tranmere put out a very strong line-up, despite Brackley’s not having a great season so far, but the Saints were out of phases and were unlucky enough to fail to score that night.
It’s amazing that Brackley has only won once in the league all season but if they can bring such a performance to the National League North against Leamington next Tuesday they can be sure to return to Northamptonshire.
Corey Blackett-Taylor looked hungry and lively the entire game, always finding space on the wing or in front, and using the space between the lines on defense. In addition to Vaughan, who missed numerous opportunities and did not participate in the races tonight, he consistently created opportunities and used his rapid pace to arouse anticipation.
Tranmere Rovers F. . C.. . , Brackley Town F.. . C.. . , FA Cup, National League, Kaiyne Woolery, EFL League Two, Kevin Wilkin
World News – GB – Tranmere Rovers 1-0 Brackley Town: Tranmere scores seventh consecutive victory over the Saints
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– Tranmere 1-0 Brackley Town – Match Report
– Tranmere Rovers 1-0 Brackley Town: Tranmere scores seventh consecutive win over the Saints
– Battling Brackley bows out of the FA Cup as Woolery Stunner wins it for Tranmere
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