Wilkin hopes cup will boost Saints

Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin will be hoping his side can use their Emirates FA Cup run as a motivating tool to pick up points in the Vanarama National League North.

David Kolodynski's penalty was saved by Brackley Town keeper Dan Crane
David Kolodynski's penalty was saved by Brackley Town keeper Dan Crane

Saints entertain Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday and Wilkin will be looking for his side to get some points on the board. Saints lie second from bottom but Wilkin is not too concerned yet.

Wilkin said: “We’ve got a home tie in the FA Cup to look forward to but now we’ve got to focus on getting up the league. We need to pick up points but two wins would take us up to mid-table.”

Sam Smith will miss the next few games with a calf injury picked up on Tuesday but Wilkin is hoping Tom Winters and Greg Kaziboni will have recovered in time to face Trinity.

Meanwhile, Wilkin heaped praise on striker Steve Diggin after he scored in both games against Rugby and the returning Richard Batchelor.

He said: “Steve Diggin keeps going and even if he misses an opportunity, like the penalty on Saturday, he will always be looking for the next chance. He went close on Tuesday before getting the goal which closed the tie out for us.

“Richard Batchelor is the type of player we need in our situation, he’s got the heart of a lion.”

Looking back on Tuesday’s replay success, Wilkin added: “Rugby asked questions of us in both ties and if they had scored the penalty it could have been different.

“We produced a much better second half performance in the replay and in the end I thought we were comfortable winners. It was pleasing to keep a clean sheet but we’ve got to stop giving cheap penalties away.”

A get-out-of-jail moment was how Wilkin described Saturday’s tie: “We looked the more likely to break the deadlock. But we kept going, rode our luck and then got an excellent last minute goal.”