Long trip to Hartlepool will be a tough one to negotiate

Brackley Town's Matt Lowe skips past Warrington Town's David Raven at St James Park. Photo: Steve Prouse
Brackley Town's Matt Lowe skips past Warrington Town's David Raven at St James Park. Photo: Steve Prouse

It will be a trip to pastures new for Kevin Wilkin and his Brackley Town squad in the Emirates FA Cup.

Saints have been handed a long trip to Hartlepool United in the fourth qualifying round.

Pool are managed by former Middlesborough and Blackburn Rovers midfielder Craig Hignett and currently occupy a mid-table position in the Vanarama National League. Saints have overcome sides from the same level in recent seasons but the tie will still need some negotiating says Wilkin.

He said: “It’s a tough, long trip for us to encounter but we’ve proved we can through theses tests in recent seasons and it’s one to look forward to. It’s a good set-up at Hartlepool, it should be an interesting tie but we can put it on the back-burner for now.”

It’s back to the bread and butter of picking up Vanarama National League North points this weekend and Saints face another long trip, this time to Southport. Saints go into Saturday’s game in fifth place and will be expected to come away with something from a Southport side which is in mid-table.

But Wilkin said: “Southport had a good result in the FA Cup last weekend and it’s never as easy place to go. We’ve got a clear week to prepare and hopefully we may get another couple of players back in time for Saturday.”