FA Cup: Wilkin full of praise after Saints stay alive

Brackley Town's Ellis Myles comes away with the ball against Billericay Town's Kevin Foley at St James Park
Brackley Town's Ellis Myles comes away with the ball against Billericay Town's Kevin Foley at St James Park

Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin praised his side’s battling qualities as they twice came from behind to book a place in Monday’s Emirates FA Cup first round draw.

But Saints left it late and only Shane Byrne’s stoppage-time equaliser kept them in the competition following Saturday’s 3-3 fourth qualifying round draw with Billericay Town. Aaron Williams gave Saints the lead but Alex Gudger was red-carded on the stroke of halftime and straight after the restart Adam Cunnington equalised.

We’d have liked to have won it at the first attempt but we’ve given ourselves a second chance although we know it will be tough to go down there

Saints boss Kevin Wilkin

Substitute Louise Theophanous and Cunnington twice put Billericay in front but goals from Adam Walker and Shane Byrne earned Saints a replay.

Wilkin said: “The red card changed the game, there wasn’t a lot in the challenge but Alex Gudger has given the referee an opportunity to make a decision. The red card was unusual for us because we’ve got a good disciplinary record.

“Two big moments of either side of the break cost us, it was the worst possible start to the second half to concede so early. But we showed a lot of spirit and desire to keep going with ten men in the second half.

“We’d have liked to have won it at the first attempt but we’ve given ourselves a second chance although we know it will be tough to go down there.”