Big spenders are next up as Saints get set for cup tie

Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin
Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin

Brackley Town are once again one game away from a possible mouth-watering tie in the Emirates FA Cup.

But Saints must get past big-spending Billericay Town in Saturday’s fourth qualifying tie to book their place in the draw alongside the Football League clubs.

Billericay have got a big budget and have been able to sign some big players who could still be playing at a higher level

Saints boss Kevin Wilkin

In the Isthmian League premier division club’s ranks are former England full-back Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant but the former Arsenal winger may miss the tie with a hamstring injury, something which is still troubling Saints’ talisman James Armson.

Manager Kevin Wilkin knows his side face a tough test at St James Park but feels they have enough to get through.

He said: “Billericay have got a big budget and have been able to sign some big players who could still be playing at a higher level. But we just need to apply ourselves and we should be okay.

“Saturday’s game may come one week too soon for Jimmy Armson but I’m not ruling him out just yet. The players who have come have done well but Jimmy’s been a big miss for us. It’s something that happens to all teams so we just have to get on with it.”

Saints go into the tie on the back of Saturday’s Vanarama National League North 2-1 defeat at York City.

Jon Parkin’s goal had been the difference between the sides when they met in last season’s Buildbase FA Trophy quarter-final and so it proved again in the first ever league encounter.

Wilkin added: “We’ve had three difficult away games at Harrogate Town, Salford City and York City and we’ve only taken one point from them. Playing York with a new manager [Martin Gray] in place probably came at the wrong time for us.

“The results aren’t mirroring our performances at the moment.”