Saints eye a repeat as they draw Gillingham in FA Cup

Glenn Walker scored the winner when these clubs met in 2013
Glenn Walker scored the winner when these clubs met in 2013

Brackley Town will be hoping lightning does indeed strike twice after they were drawn away to Sky Bet League One side Gillingham in the first round proper of the FA Cup.

The National League North outfit took on the Kent side at the same stage of the competition in 2013, and after claiming a draw at the Priestfield Stadium, Saints proceeded to stun them 1-0 in the televised replay at St James Park thanks to a goal from Glenn Walker.

Brackley booked their place in the first round proper with a 5-0 win at Beaconsfield on Saturday.

Steve Diggin’s fifth minute header put Brackley ahead and at times it seemed The Rams might be over-run as Saints created chances at will, Diggin scuffing his shot on the half hour then bringing a fine save from keeper Sam Bunting with his downward header.

Saints were almost left ruing their failure to close the game out in the first half when Beaconsfield missed a clear chance to equalise at the start of the second period, Oli McCoy shooting wide, and then Ryan Hill bringing a flying save from Laurie Walker with his shot from 25 yards.

The crucial second finally arrived on 79 minutes when David Pitt was brought down earning a penalty which Armson converted. The spirited Beaconsfield resistance was broken and late goals by David Pitt, Claudio Dias and Lee Ndlovu gave the final result a twist that the home side’s performance did not deserve.

“I am disappointed we did not kill the game off,” said manager Kevin Wilkin afterwards. “We missed chances and you could begin to think it’s not going to be your day.

“The win was not as comfortable as the scoreline suggests and the game was still open in that second-half. They had a good tempo and asked questions of us.

“Our three subs came on, they all scored and they did well as did the boys at the back once again.”

And Saints were rewarded for their effortswhen pitted against Gillingham in Monday’s first round draw that was made live on BBC2, with Paul Ince drawing the home teams and David James the away.

Wilkin added: “I am delighted to be in the next round and looking at it we have a good record in the cup with three wins, three clean sheets and scoring lots of goals.

“The league is our bread and butter but the cup brings some added prestige and media attention to the club and the players. It might just bring the club to the attention of a wider audience and of course it brings in revenue.”

FA Cup fever must be put on hold for now, however, with Brackley returning to league action this weekend as they host Curzon Ashton.