Glory beckons as Saints get set for their biggest game

Brackley Town manager Kevin WilkinBrackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin
Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin
If they can maintain their unbeaten home record then Brackley Town can take a big step to Wembley.

Saints entertain Wealdstone in the first-leg of their semi-final in the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday, looking to set themselves up for next weekend’s return.

Manager Kevin Wilkin took Wrexham to the final in 2015 only for his side to finish runners-up against North Ferriby United. Three years on and Wilkin has a great opportunity to go back there with his current club.

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Saints comfortably beat Wealdstone in the third round last season at The Vale so they will not fear the second-leg as long as they can gain the advantage on Saturday.

In the other semi-final, Gateshead will meet Bromley.

This is the furthest Saints have gone in non-League football’s biggest competition, having been knocked out in the quarter-finals by eventual winners York City last season.

Wilkin said: “Every player dreams of playing at Wembley and I would love to take this group of players there.”

Saints go into Saturday’s semi-final on the back of two Vanarama National League North wins in the space of four days.

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Saturday’s success at Stockport County was followed by another tight victory at Gainsborough Trinity in midweek.

That made it four wins on the spin for Saints as they closed the gap on the two leaders, Harrogate Town and Salford City, to four points.

Prolific top scorer Aaron Williams bagged his 31st goal in all competitions with a goal in each game and Wilkin’s recruitment of the former Newport County striker has certainly paid dividends.

Looking back on Saturday’s success at Edgeley Park, Wilkin added: “Meeting for the third time in two weeks, it was always going to be a big psychological test for the players and they produced a big win.

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“They showed an excellent attitude and put in a strong performance that deserved the points.

“Stockport had good possession but didn’t ask too much of Danny [Lewis]. We came strong at the end of both halves and didn’t take our chances which could have cost us but in the end Aaron [Williams] got the goal.

“There will not be too many teams beating Stockport home and away. There are tired legs understandably and pitches will continue to be heavy everywhere so recovery is important.”