Chesterfield  0-2  Brackley Town

FA Trophy Rd3  2/2/19  

Brackley knocked out National League teams three times in last season’s Wembley-winning FA Trophy run and Kevin Wilkin’s side was at it again defeating Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium with an impressive performance to advance to the last eight for the third successive season. 

“We’ve come and down a great job,” Wilkin said.  “The result is the most important thing of course but the fitness levels and technical quality were good and the way we went about our work was pleasing.  It was a thoroughly deserved win.” 

Brackley enjoyed the better of the game from the start and should have been ahead at the break.  The reason they were not was Chesterfield keeper Shwan Jalal who saved well from Jimmy Armson and then, in a double let-off for The Spireites on the half hour, first Jalal saved from Lee Ndlovu before Shane Byrne’s follow up effort was cleared off the line when it seemed Saints must score. 

Danny Lewis was only once called into action saving sharply at his near post from Kyel Reid. 

Brackley’s buccaneering performance continued in the second half and they got the break-through after just six minutes, Ndlovu firing into the roof of the net from close range as Chesterfield failed to clear Byrne’s corner. 

Armson played in Ndlovu but the striker was thwarted by Jalal one-on-one as the visitors pushed for a second goal.  Lewis beat away Will Evans’ header in a rare moment of danger for the away defence before Armson doubled the lead on 76 minutes, neatly firing across the goal and in off the post after Adam Walker’s precise pass. 

The arrival of Tom Denton from the bench raised the spectre of an aerial threat but that did not materialise as Saints defended stoutly.  Lewis was called into action late on to save from substitute Louis Dodds and Evans’ long range effort was just over but the result was not in doubt as Brackley finished strongly to savour a convincing all-round performance and comprehensive win. 

“We stayed organised and resilient at the back and broke with pace and purpose.  I am delighted for Lee who had an outstanding game up front.  He was the fulcrum for our best play.  We had some big players missing today so it is especially pleasing to see that togetherness and desire to win.  It’s good to get through but the league is the most important thing.  This is a nice distraction but we need to stamp ourselves on those play-off places if we can.  To come to a fantastic stadium like this and a big club like Chesterfield and to play in the manner we have today speaks volumes for the players and the attitude they show week in week out and will need to do if we are to be successful in the league.” 

Brackley Town:   Lewis, Myles, G.Walker, Byrne, Jackson, Dean, Lowe (Nti 90), Armson, Ndlovu (Jeffers 90+2), Sterling-James (Fairlamb 58), A.Walker.   Subs unused:  Noon. 

Chesterfield:  Jalal, Binnom-Williams (Dodds 66), Evans, Weston, Beestin (Shaw 56), Rowley, Hollis, Smith, Reid (Denton 56), Yarney, Kiwomya.   Subs unused:  Wakefield, Anyon.Referee:   Will Finnie          Assistants:  Andrew Dallison and Scott Tallis

Attendance:   2054