Brackley Town v Gillingham – FA Cup 1st Round replay

brackleyNearly three years ago to the day, it was tonight’s number seven Glenn Walker who scored a winner for Brackley Town in an FA Cup First Round replay. On that occasion it meant Brackley reached the Second Round proper for the very first time, tonight they have reached that round once again. Unfortunately for Gillingham Football Club, they have been the beaten team on both occasions.

Three years ago the game had just the one goal that settled it, that certainly wasn’t the case this evening. Although the celebrations were pretty similar at the final whistle with Brackley fans, players and staff all celebrating on the pitch together.

With four goals between them just ten days ago, you sort of knew there would be goals again tonight in front of the BT Sport TV cameras. It certainly didn’t disappoint in an absolutely cracking game of FA Cup football with Brackley winning by four goals to three.

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Hat-trick hero James Armson

Glenn Walker had a good game tonight but the star man was the hat-trick hero James Armson. He scored two first half goals that the National League North side fully deserved as they started much the better team. League One Gillingham were always in the game though and still kept creating chances as the home side continued to play their attacking football. Gills legend Andy Hessenthaler’s son Jake got his first goal for the club when he knocked in a rebound that home keeper Walker should have done better with.

Wagstaff made it 2-2 mid-way through the second half as Brackley tired and Gillingham stepped up the pressure to try to get back into the tie. Both teams were still creating chances though and that didn’t stop when it went into extra-time. With both teams tiring it was all about who was going to take the chance when it comes, as it turns out it was the non-league side.

brackley1An own goal from Nelson and then after some awful defending by the away team, Armson got another chance and just like his previous ones he took it. Curling the ball into the top corner to give his team a 4-2 lead. That should have been that but still chances kept coming and when Gillingham got their third with seven minutes of extra-time left. You wondered if the game wasn’t quite over as yet?

It was though and although there was a couple of scares, Brackley held on and overall fully deserved their victory. Superb game of end to end football and they’ll now be looking forward to an away trip to Blackpool in the next round at the start of December.