Brackley Town set for a showdown with Kidderminster
Brackley Town are gearing up for one of their biggest games of the season so far as the race for the Vanarama National League North title heats up.
The Saints maintained their challenge with a 2-1 victory over AFC Telford United at St James Park last weekend, thanks to goals from Jaanai Gordon and Matt Lowe.
The win kept the Saints within three points of leaders Gateshead with a game in hand.
It seems a two-horse race between Brackley and Gateshead is now developing and Kevin Wilkin’s team can firm up that situation when they take on third-placed Kidderminster Harriers at St James Park tomorrow (Saturday).
Harriers’ challenge has stuttered of late and, after drawing 0-0 at Spennymoor Town on Tuesday night, they are now 10 points adrift of Brackley.
A Saints win this weekend would all-but make it a head-to-head battle between them and Gateshead for the sole automatic promotion place.
But Wilkin, as ever, is staying cool and collected about the situation.
“If you look at it from their point of view, they’ll be thinking if they can get the three points then they will be right in the mix,” the Brackley boss said.
“It’s a massive game for both clubs and it depends which camp you’re in and how you choose to look at it.
“But certainly, if we can get a result on Saturday it puts a bit of daylight between us and them, for sure.
“The amount of work and effort that has gone in to keep us in the mix at this stage is a credit to everyone at the club.
“It’s not a cup competition, you have to be relentless week after week picking up points and that’s how we have been so far.
“You look at our list of games we have still got to play and it’s very tough.
“The likes of Gateshead, Kidderminster and AFC Fylde will be looking at it and thinking the same but I don’t think any of us are under any illusions of how tough it’s going to be to win it this year.”
Wilkin admitted last weekend’s victory over Telford wasn’t a vintage display from his team as those goals from Gordon and Lowe inside the first 18 minutes proved decisive.
“It was far from a convincing display but when you look at the number of changes we had to make from the Tuesday night (the 5-0 win at Guiseley), we were still able to come through it and pick up the three points which is the most important thing,” the Saints manager added.
“I don’t think we were where we’d like to be possession wise but we did enough to win the game.”