Brackley Town  2-2  Billericay Town  (Brackley win on pens 4-2)  

FA Cup 2Q 3 Oct 2020

Brackley kicked off the new season with an action-packed FA Cup tie at a rainy St James Park behind closed doors and began the campaign with a rousing penalty shoot-out win.

Two late goals from substitute Brad Rolt on his first appearance for Brackley took the game to penalties which saw the home side through as keeper Danny Lewis pulled off two fine saves.

Both sides came close to opening the scoring in the first few minutes as first the home side almost put through their own net and then Wes York was twice off target.  Harry Flowers on his debut was an aerial threat and York again and then Lee Ndlovu could not capitalise on good openings.

Saints came to rue their profligacy as Billericay went ahead at the end of the first half through Jai Reason.  When The Blues doubled their lead on the hour, a well worked goal finished clinically by Jake Robinson, it seemed a long way back for Brackley.  But Holt gave his side a life-line with a sharp finish on 79 minutes and in the 90th minute found the top corner with a composed finish of quality picking out the top corner in style. 

With no extra-time, the game was settled immediately from the penalty spot with penalties from Byrne, Armson, Mitford and Lowe sending Saints through.

“We made life hard for ourselves,” was manager Kevin Wilkin’s verdict.  “Credit to Billericay who took advantage of errors but we had enough chances to have won the game and instead found ourselves two goals behind.  The main thing is to get through to the next round and fortunately we have come back and done that.”

Brackley Town:  Lewis; Myles, Franklin (Rolt 69), Byrne, Flowers, Walker (Armson 33), Lowe, Murombedzi, Ndlovu, York (Mitford 66), Coleman.   Subs unused:  Phillips, Noon,

Billericay Town:  D-C. Henry; McLean, Konchesky, Felix, R.Henry, Chambers, Wanadio, Sutherland, Robinson, Reason, Fenelon.