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FA Trophy: Wealdstone primed for crucial semi-final second leg at home to Brackley Town

PUBLISHED: 16:00 23 March 2018

Wealdstone manager Bobby Wilkinson (pic: Steve Foster/Wealdstone FC)

Wealdstone manager Bobby Wilkinson (pic: Steve Foster/Wealdstone FC)

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Stones have one-goal deficit to make up in second leg, but still have good chance of reaching May’s final

Wealdstone are just 90 minutes away from a possible trip to Wembley Stadium in May, but know they will have to come from behind to beat Brackley Town in their FA Trophy semi-final.

Stones return to their Grosvenor Vale home for the second leg of the tie on Saturday having lost the first game 1-0 in Northamptonshire last weekend.

In what was a tight game, Saints took the advantage in the semi-final with an 85th-minute goal from Alex Gudger.

It leaves Bobby Wilkinson’s men with work to do in the second leg if they are to reach the Trophy final for the first time since winning the competition in 1985.

However, Wealdstone start the second leg still in with a good chance of progressing, which their boss says was the aim in the first leg. “The biggest key with two-legged affairs is that you have to still be in the tie heading into the second leg,” Wilkinson told the club website.

“We didn’t look at the second tie until after the first game. We had to go to Brackley and ensure we had to something to play for at our ground.

“Our crowd will be huge and our fans, we’re going to need them even more next week.

“I’m disappointed to lose the first leg 1-0 because it had 0-0 written all over it, but I’m not worried about it.

“I look forward to the challenge in the second game and now we have to score at least two goals.”

Wilkinson would no doubt have been disappointed to lose the first leg at Brackley, even with his team still well in the tie.

But the Wealdstone boss says he was proud of his team’s efforts against the Saints despite the result.

“I’m proud of the boys; I wanted to go to Brackley and have a go and we certainly did that,” he added.

“It was very cagey, but look at what is at stake – a trip to Wembley.

“Where I was worried for the only time in the whole game was where they got their first, as if they got their second, that would have been a tough ask in the second leg.”

Losing by just the one goal in the first leg means that Wealdstone do not have as tough a task in the second leg to reach the final had they conceded a second against Brackley.

And with both teams having played each other once already, they will have learned a lot about their respective strengths and weaknesses ahead of the all-important second leg at Grosvenor Vale on Saturday.

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