Lee Ndlovu completed a hat-trick as the holders beat Nuneaton Borough 3-0 in Saturday’s third qualifying round tie at St James Park.
It took the holders well into the second half to break the deadlock against their Vanarama National League North counterparts who proved stubborn opponents. In the end, Saints came out on top for the fourth time against Borough this season.
Borough held Saints to a replay in this season’s Emirates FA Cup and, for long periods in Saturday’s tie, they looked capable of repeating that. But Ndlovu’s second half hat-trick finally ended their resistance and, to cap a bad for the visitors, they had Ryan Jennings sent off late on for a challenge on substitute Shepherd Murombedzi.
Wilkin said: “We took the game to them and didn’t show any complacency despite their problems. They made life difficult for us in the first half by getting a lot players behind the ball and we lacked that but of quality in the final third.
“It was important we managed the game well and, overall, I think we did that. The first half was a bit disappointing, we had a lot of the ball but didn’t show enough craft.
“I’ve been on the wrong end of being in that situation in the FA Cup defeat here earlier this season, so it was important we didn’t allow that to happen again.