Dejected Brady proud of FA Cup run

Jon Brady (right) and his assistant, Darren Collins, watch on at Gillingham in the first round
Jon Brady (right) and his assistant, Darren Collins, watch on at Gillingham in the first round
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Brackley Town manager Jon Brady said he was proud of his side’s FA Cup run following their 3-2 second round defeat to Macclesfield Town on Saturday.

It was Saints’ first ever appearance in the second round having stunned League One Gillingham in the last round, and they came so close to causing another upset but Jack Mackreth’s 81st minner winner ended Brackley’s third round dream.

Speaking about his side’s run to the second round, Brady said: “It’s been fantastic. Financially for the club it’s been very rewarding, my players have created history for this club and it’s something they can look back on for the rest of their lives.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done. Over the last six months we’ve had six of the biggest games in the club’s history and it shows that we’re pushing the club to a new level and new heights.

“This is where we want to play, we want to play in these sort of grounds week in week out and take that support away. I think we’ve put Brackley on the map.”

Macclesfield appeared on course for a comfortable victory having led 2-0 midway through the second half, but Steve Diggin and substitute Owen Story pulled Brackley level before Mackreth scored the decisive goal nine minutes from full time.

Brady added: “It was a fantastic effort second half. I think first half we sat too deep and let them dictate the play. We had to change our shape so we went from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2.

“Owen Story and Ben Mills literally changed the game for us – they gave us more impetus and Glenn Walker got on the ball a lot more in the middle of midfield.

“We created chance after chance after chance and in the end, some very sloppy defending from Curtis McDonald and Izak Reid allowed the third goal, but we still fought back and their ‘keeper saves it with the bag of his heel from Steve Diggin in the last minute and on another day that goes in.

“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb with the goals we conceded today, which is quite uncharacteristic from us.”

The Conference Premier side had dominated in the opening hour and deservedly led thanks to goals from Danny Andrews and Scott Boden, but a change of shape and personnel saw Brackley produce a stunning fightback to almost force a replay.

“To be honest, I was going to change the shape to 4-4-2 five minutes before we did,” added Brady. “As soon as we did that we had width, we had pulled them apart, we put crosses in the box and Ben Mills showed some desire up front.

“I’ve been nursing Ben with a hamstring in the last two or three weeks, which has been frustrating for me because today shows what he can do – he was excellent up there. He roughed them up and showed some quality.

“We showed what a good side we are in the second half but it’s just consistency levels that we need to be doing over 90 minutes. To be fair, no team can live with if we play like we can over 90 minutes.”