Brackley Town bid to hit back after FA Trophy exit

Kevin Wilkin's team are looking to stay right in the hunt at the top end of the Vanarama National League North

Action from Brackley Town's FA Trophy defeat to Boston United last weekend. Picture by Glenn Alcock
Action from Brackley Town's FA Trophy defeat to Boston United last weekend. Picture by Glenn Alcock

Brackley Town will be bidding to maintain their superb form in the Vanarama National League North when they head to Bradford (Park Avenue) this weekend.

And the Saints will be hoping to bounce back after they exited in the Buildbase FA Trophy last Saturday as former Brackley man Shane Byrne bagged the winner for Boston United as they triumphed 2-1 in the second round tie at St James Park.

Kevin Wilkin’s team head into their next league fixture sitting second in the table, just two points behind leaders AFC Fylde with a game in hand and with just one defeat to their name in 14 games.

And that is a situation the manager believes most people would have taken at this stage.

“The aim, of course, is to keep the league form going,” Wilkin said.

“If you had said that we would be getting to December and we’d only been beaten once in the league, people would have been very pleased with that situation.

“We don’t want it to end there. We want to continue the standards we have been showing throughout the season.

“The challenge for us is to respond to the disappointment of last Saturday.

“It will be tough on a 3G pitch, which is something a bit different we have to face.

“But the lads are disciplined, I know they will work hard and we will go there with confidence even though we have lost the last game.”

Wilkin felt his team were “a bit unfortunate” to lose out to league rivals Boston in knockout action last weekend.

Goals from Danny Elliott and Byrne put the Pilgrims 2-0 up at half-time before Lee Ndlovu pulled one back early in the second half.

James Armson struck the crossbar late on but Brackley were unable to find a leveller.

“It was frustrating and it was difficult conditions for both sides,” Wilkin added.

“I thought the manner in which we tried to play the game by getting it down and passing it was pretty good.

“Unfortunately, we came out of it on the wrong side on Saturday. It wasn’t for the want of trying. I thought we were just a bit unfortunate.

“We hit the crossbar late on and their goalkeeper has made at least one fantastic save.

“Over the whole game I thought we controlled the ball better than they did but they have done the most important thing and that’s stick the ball in the back of the net twice.

“You can have all the possession you like but if you don’t turn it into something positive then it’s not ideal.”