FA Trophy: Wilkin praises Saints’ character at Wealdstone

Brackley Town's Shane Byrne celebrates after giving his side the lead at Wealdstone. Photo: Mike Capps
Brackley Town's Shane Byrne celebrates after giving his side the lead at Wealdstone. Photo: Mike Capps

Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin praised his side’s character after they booked a trip to Wembley for the final of the Buildbase FA Trophy.

Second half goals from Shane Byrne and top scorer Aaron Williams, with his 32nd of the campaign, saw Saints beat Wealdstone in Saturday’s semi-final second-leg 2-0 to go through 3-0 on aggregate.

It was all about grinding out the result last week and I think over the two legs Wealdstone can’t have too many complaints

Saints manager Kevin Wilkin

Saints will face Bromley in the final in May and Wilkin was delighted with his side’s performance at Grosvenor Vale.

Wilkin said: “You have to be able to stand up to it in these big games and the character has shown through. We prepared well during the week and I sensed in the dressing room before the game that the players were in the right frame of mind.

“We’ve come together at the right time and we believe in the way we do things. We’re a very fit side for this level of football, we work incredibly hard to make sure we can deal with these types of situations.

“We looked the stronger side overall, even in the first half we were the ones with more possession and we passed the ball better. It was a fairer test today because last week the elements made it difficult for us to play our normal football.

“It was all about grinding out the result last week and I think over the two legs Wealdstone can’t have too many complaints.

“You’re always wary of not getting a goal when you’re on top and in the second half they were kicking to the end where all their fans were. That’s when the players have to show their character, we spoke about that during the week and what we were likely to face in the return.

“Apart from not scoring in the first half, when you take everything into consideration I couldn’t have asked for a better 90 minutes. We’ve dealt with everything they’ve thrown at us, we had players who were prepared to stand up and do the job, as they did at Stockport County.”