Brackley manager Kevin Wilkin is hoping to use home advantage as his side host Leyton Orient in the quarter finals of the FA Trophy on Saturday. Brackley are looking to retain the Trophy they won back in May and take on the O’s who are 26 places above them. Despite the league gap Wilkin understands playing at home levels the playing field. Speaking to Non-League Paper “it makes it interesting that it’s at ours, we’re going to have to be right at the top of our game”.
- Sit 4th in National League North
- Only lost one of their last 12 matches – W9 D2 L1
The Saints head into the clash with Orient on the back of their eighth win in their last nine games. A 2-0 victory away at Darlington came courtesy of a Will Smith own goal and Daniel Nti’s sixth goal of the season. Back to back league wins has helped moved Brackley back into the playoffs and giving them plenty of confidence heading into the Trophy.
The Saints have been in terrific form in 2019 after a disappointing December and Wilkin feels his side are right back on track. Speaking to Non-League Paper “we had a little bit of flat period before Christmas where we lost three on the bounce and they were tough games for different reasons and it just didn’t quite happen for us. We’ve picked up since Christmas and been on a reasonable run. We’re back in the playoff mix I think but it’s so competitive”.
- Kept 11 clean sheets this season (seven at home)
- Back to back clean sheets
- Kept five in their last seven games – conceding just three goals
- Kept two clean sheets in their last three home games
Brackley won their first FA Trophy beating Bromley on penalties last May after missing out on promotion through the playoffs. Now back in the promotion hunt in the league, Wilkin hopes his side can use the experiences of last season to help them in their push towards the end of the season. Speaking to Non-League Paper “it’s the experiences you face and the majority of this side have been together and experienced it last season. When you’ve had a taste of it and all the trappings, naturally people will talk about it and want it a bit more. That’s great people have got the hunger and desire to go and have another bash at it”.
- Failed to score in only five games this season
- Scored in their last two games and eight of their last nine
- Scored two or more goals in their last seven home games (scoring 20 goals)
- Scored two or more in all four trophy games this season
- Scored in last five home trophy matches
Brackley’s win at Darlington was one of their many rearranged midweek games due to their FA trophy participation this season. Wilkin is keen to stay in the mix in both competition but was keen to highlight that it is another productive season for his side with this being their third consecutive season reaching the FA Trophy quarter finals. Speaking to banburyguardian “it’s a challenge but I wouldn’t have it any other way because it means we’re having another good season. We knew what a good run in the competition brings but the fixtures could have been a bit kinder”.
The Saints beat National League Chesterfield in the third round and will be hoping to replicate that performance at St James Park on Saturday. Wilkin will be hoping Orient have one eye on their league intentions but highlights how tough the test is. Speaking to Non-League Paper “obviously Orient is an incredibly tough game. They’re going fantastically in the league and Justin’s doing a fantastic job there. Their probably like ourselves where they want to be successful in everything they can be. We’re under no illusion as to what it takes but it’s nice to have that opportunity”.
- Home Record this Season – P20 W12 D5 L3 F46 A23
- Joint best home record in National League North
- Won their last five home games – F14 A3
- Unbeaten in their last seven – W6 D1
- Last defeat – 1/12/2019 – Brackley 1-2 Altrincham
Carl Baker is unavailable as he is cup tied for the visit of Orient.
Last Time Out – 19/02/2019 – Darlington 0-2 Brackley Town
Prediction – Brackley 2-1 Leyton Orient