Wilkin knows his side face a tough test to progress

Brackley Town's James Armson is set to return in the Emirates FA Cup tie
Brackley Town's James Armson is set to return in the Emirates FA Cup tie

Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin knows his side face a tough test if they are to make more progress in the Emirates FA Cup.

Saints entertain Braintree Town in Saturday’s third qualifying round tie and Wilkin is expecting it to be a close encounter. Saints lost ground on the top clubs in Vanarama National League North at the weekend while Braintree are second in Vanarama National League South following Saturday’s 5-0 demolition of Hungerford Town.

It’s going to be a close encounter but we know what we’re capable of

Saints boss Kevin Wilkin

Wilkin said: “I saw them win the replay at Royston in the previous round and they look a good side. They’re a strong, physical side and it’s going to be a tough game but at least we’re at home and that could give us the edge.

“It’s going to be a close encounter but we know what we’re capable of.”

Saints should be boosted by the return of talisman James Armson who has been sidelined with a hamstring strain throughout most of September.

Wilkin added: “Jimmy [Armson] could have played last weekend but we didn’t want to risk him. He will have two training sessions this week and, providing he comes through those okay, he will play on Saturday.”

Saints go into the tie on the back of a disappointing 2-2 draw with ten-man Curzon Ashton and Wilkin said: “It was two points dropped without a doubt and we have to learn from the error which gifted them the equaliser. We were worthy of all three points and they only had a couple of efforts on goal but we could have done with a third goal to give ourselves a cushion.

“We let people down on Saturday but we haven’t done that many time since I’ve been here. That game has gone and we’ll try to put it right against Braintree.”

Saints have enjoyed much success in the competition in recent years.

They reached the second round proper again last season before going out at Blackpool.