Kevin Wilkin relieved after Brackley win on penalties against Bishop’s Stortford
Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin was relieved after his side needed penalties to edge past Bishop’s Stortford, who twice come from two goals down in an enthralling FA Cup tie.
It had looked like smooth sailing for National League North side Brackley as Lee Ndlovu and Matt Lowe, the latter with a superb half-volley from 20 yards, put them two up inside 21 minutes.
The tie came to life in the second half, as Darren Foxley pulled one back for Stortford.
Although Tre Mitford restored the two goal cushion almost instantly, the Isthmian League side would not go quietly as Tom Richardson pounced after Ali Worby failed to hold Foxley’s free-kick.
Foxley scrambled in from six yards to force extra time, which saw the game halted by a floodlight failure, with Louie Johnson hitting the bar for Stortford at the death.
Johnson’s penalty was saved by Worby, whilst Archie Jones and Correy Davidson both cleared the crossbar as Brackley won the shoot-out 3-2.
“We’ve been on the wrong end of plenty of penalties recently,” said Wilkin.
“We lost in the (National League North) play-offs (in July) on penalties, so to come through it is credit to the resilience of those lads, these games are never easy.
“We were comfortable and should’ve put daylight between us and them, credit to them they’ve had a real go and made life difficult for us, for the neutral it was a rip-roaring cup tie”
An emotional Bishop’s Stortford manager Steve Smith said afterwards: “I’m not going to criticise anyone for missing a penalty, we should be talking about how well we played, a magnificent effort.
“We’re absolutely devastated, there’s a lot of tears in there. Louie’s effort is three inches lower we win the game, penalties is a lottery but that’s football.”