Cup excitement grows as television cameras come to town

MCBW Action from Gillingham v Brackley Town in the first round of the FA Cup.
MCBW Action from Gillingham v Brackley Town in the first round of the FA Cup.

Brackley Town will make their TV debut later todaywhen their FA Cup first round replay with Gillingham is shown live on BT Sport at 7.45pm.

The tie, which has been moved to Monday to avoid a clash with England’s friendly against Germany, will be an all-ticket affair and the club are hoping to break St James Park’s record attendance of 2,604, which was set in last season’s play-off final against FC Halifax Town.

It adds yet more history to what has already been a memorable week for the club having played their first game against league opposition in Saturday’s dramatic 1-1 draw.

Saints will receive £33,750 in TV money, adding to the £24,500 already secured for getting to the first round.

Brackley manager Jon Brady said: “We’re obviously really pleased it’s on TV, but we have to do ourselves justice. It’ll be an a amazing occasion for the club.

“To concede so late was disappointing, but we weren’t going to be on TV against Macclesfield, and we’re not going to win the competition, so it’s probably the best thing that’s happened for the club.”

Brackley were moments away from reaching the second round before Bradley Dack fired home in the dying seconds to force a replay.

The winners of the tie will face a trip to Conference Premier side Macclesfield – and Brady is confident his side can repeat the performance and overcome Gillingham in the replay, adding: “Of course we can.

“I believe, I told the players to believe, everyone has to be at full tilt and on top of their game. They need to throw in some poor performances on top of that. They’re a team low on confidence at the moment, they’re in transition with a new manager, but you expect him to bounce back and change things, so I’ll see how good I am and put myself against him again next Monday. Saturday still feels bittersweet but I’m proud of the way we played because we showed bravery on the ball and I was pleased with everyone.

“We have to dust ourselves down and be mentally strong now. We’ll see how mentally strong they are when they come to St James Park on Monday.”

Brady also praised the 231 fans who made the trip to Kent.

He added: “To hear our Brackley Town fans louder than the home support the whole game – they drove us on and we’ll need them at home.”