Boss Wilkin salutes Brackley's fighting spirit after sensational FA Trophy win
Boss Kevin Wilkin says it was a 'fantastic feeling' to see his Brackley Town side claim a stunning FA Trophy final win at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.
The Saints won 5-4 on penalties after equalising in the final seconds of five minutes of added time.
Brackley had piled on the pressure and opponents Bromley eventually cracked, with Gareth Dean poking the ball home.
The extra-time period was a cagey affair, with Saints stopper Danny Lewis making a fine save to keep the scores level.
And National League Bromley then looked set to win it from the spot as Brackley missed their first penalty.
But striker Omar Bugiel, who had netted his team's goal in normal time, fired over when he had the chance to seal it with the fifth Bromley penalty.
And Brackley made the men in white pay as Bromley missed again and Andy Brown stepped up to score the winning penalty, sparking scenes of wild celebration among the 5,500 Saints supporters who had flocked to Wembley.
"You don't think it's going to happen for you to go so close," said Brackley boss Wilkin.
"We played well, both teams have had chances, but there is so much spirit in our camp and that's the reason we find ourselves here today.
"The players never give up and I'm just so pleased for everyone in the town.
"It's a fantastic feeling."
Wilkin was sacked by Wrexham a day after losing the FA Trophy final to North Ferriby United in 2015.
But he got his redemption on this occasion as Brackley overcame the heartache of losing in this season's National League North play-off final to claim an historic triumph in the capital.
"We lost on penalties and I lost my job at Wrexham the next day, so it was a really tough period of my life," Wilkin said.
"But the lads here today continued to fight and when this kind of thing happens to you, it's important that you enjoy it.
"I've had a lot of support from the board. We had to make a real change at the end of the first season we took over, because we were lucky to stay up.
"This is the product of two seasons of work.
"We were unlucky to lose to York, who won this trophy last season, but we've kept digging deep and come through some tough ties.
"I do feel for Bromley. I'm sure they will bounce back."