We recently sat down with long-standing Brackley Town Club Secretary Pat Ashby, ahead of his side’s Buildbase FA Trophy Final against Bromley.
After a long league campaign and several replay matches in the FA Trophy, Brackley Town make the trip down to Wembley Stadium on Sunday (20 May) for what will be a once in a lifetime day for many players, volunteers and fans involved with the club.
After reaching the FA Trophy Final, Pat couldn’t contain his pride in his team and said: “I’m very proud indeed, especially when you consider the gruelling league campaign we have endured along with the fact it has taken 10 games to reach this final.”
Along the journey to the final, Brackley have faced several higher-ranked opposition, including Sutton United, however Pat told us the toughest test was the two games at Stockport County. During the first fixture away at Stockport, Brackley took the lead in the 69th minute through Lee Ndlovu only to be pegged back to the eventual final score of 1-1 thanks to Jimmy Ball’s goal for Stockport in the 73rd minute.
During the replay, the game almost followed a similar pattern as Brackley took the lead in the 4th minute through Aaron Williams only for Stockport to score an equaliser in the 48th minute through Oswell. However, with home support on their side Brackley found the all-important winner through Shane Byrne which saw them progress to the Semi-Final where they faced Wealdstone. Two victories against Wealdstone allowed them to progress to the Final where they face Bromley.
On the lead up to the match, Pat who took up the secretarial role in 1985 told us “the build up to the match has been the best one I’ve experienced in the club and the match day experience should be fantastic.”
With home support playing such an important role in the semi-final, Pat told us that bookings have been finalised for plans to support an estimated 4,500 fans (25% of Brackley’s population) down to Wembley Stadium. On the arrangements, Pat said: “At the moment we have 18 coaches leaving from the club with others departing from various places within the district.”
Being a Brackley Town supporter since 1976, it came as little surprise to hear Pat is backing Brackley to take home The FA Trophy with “a narrow single goal margin.”
Everyone at the Northamptonshire Football Association wishes Brackley Town the best of luck as they meet National League side Bromley in the final at Wembley on Sunday 20 May.
Tickets are available to purchase at https://ticketingcontent.thefa.com/NLFD%202018 and Brackley Town welcome as much support as possible for the team.
Finally, a massive thank you to Pat Ashby for his time to speak to us and his fantastic dedication to his club and football. Without volunteers like Pat, the game would not be what it is today.