THE BULLS get back on the Buildbase FA Trophy trail on Saturday with a second round tie against holders, Brackley Town, at Edgar Street.
Last weekend’s dramatic draw with League leaders, Chorley, means that we are now six games unbeaten on home soil as Josh Gowling capped another accomplished display with a stoppage time screamer to give us a share of the spoils.
Our Buildbase FA Trophy campaign got underway with a 3-1 home victory over FC United of Manchester in the third round qualifying, where goals from Jordan Cullinane-Liburd, Mike Symons and Tommy O’Sullivan saw us safely through.
It gave us another home tie in the first round as we entertained Vanarama National League South high-flyers, Billericay Town, in the Edgar Street rain where goals from Tom Owen-Evans and George Lloyd saw us overturn a one-goal deficit to go through.
Brackley Town began their defence of the trophy that they won at Wembley Stadium in May with a penalty shoot-out victory over Bromley as they played host to local rivals, Nuneaton Borough, in the third round qualifying where a hat-trick from Lee Ndlovu gave them a commanding 3-0 win.
Next up was a home tie against Bostik League South Central Division leaders, Hayes & Yeading United, where they played out an entertaining 4-2 triumph to set up today’s tie.
Under the guidance of Kevin Wilkin, who has been at the helm since September 2015, they finished third last season only to fall at the Promotion Final hurdle to Harrogate Town, whilst this term they are currently tenth having won three of their 12 League games on the road.
They are on a four-game unbeaten run with last weekend’s 3-1 victory over Ashton United being preceded by another 3-1 success, this time against Nuneaton Borough, and two festive draws with Leamington.
We slipped to a 2-0 defeat at St. James Park in September but with performances improving all of the time, we are hopeful of making further progress in this competition.
“The FA Trophy offers the club a great opportunity to get to Wembley,” said Josh Gowling. “We’ve got a home draw and, to be fair, we fancy our chances against anyone here at the moment.
“If you have the belief, you can do anything in football and things are going well for us at the moment.
“We want to keep building and driving forward and we know that a good run in this competition can go hand-in-hand with an improvement in our League fortunes.
“Brackley Town are the current holders, so it would be a good scalp for us.”
The winners of Saturday’s game will claim £7,000 from The FA’s Prize Fund. Should a replay be required, it will take place at St. James Park on Tuesday, January 15th 2019.
There has been some good news this week with Kyle Finn completing a permanent move to the club from League One, Coventry City, on an 18-month deal as he follows in the footsteps of Tom Owen-Evans who recently committed his future to the club.
Meanwhile emerging goalkeeper, Matt Yates, has had his loan spell from Derby County extended until the end of the season.
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