Brackley Town midfielder James Armson praised a “brilliant” team performance, despite his hat-trick heroics, after their giant killing of League One Gillingham in the FA Cup.
A second half Scott Wagstaff equaliser dragged the tie into extra time, but goals form Shane Byrne and a third of the night from Armson saw history repeat itself and took the National League North side through to the second round of the FA Cup for only the second time in their history.
Former Solihull Moors man Armson was effective throughout the game and was rewarded for his persistence with his 10th, 11th and 12th goal of the season so far.
In spite of this, Armson insisted the win was a result of a great team performance.
“I’ll take a lot of the plaudits for scoring a hat trick but the lads last night were brilliant” admitted Armson.
“Not just the lads who played but everyone – they give us the drive.
“We have a togetherness within the squad and I think it shows within our play.”
The first tie ended in a humbling 2-2 draw, which saw the Saints acquire a two goal lead before a Gillingham fight back took the game to a replay at St James’ Park.
The home teams reward for victory is a trip to Bloomfield Road to face a Blackpool side only a point from the League Two play off places.
The Saints hold an impressive away record this season, yet to taste defeat in 12 outings.
And although Armson understands the sense of occasion a third round tie holds, he still harbours ambitions of progression in the competition.
“Its going to be a great day out and I think everyone will be looking forward to it” said Armson.
“For the fans, its something for them to look forward to.
“For the players as well, we’re going to try and enjoy the occasion.
“But not only that, we’ll go and we’ll have a chance to progress and thats what we want to do in every game we go into.”
Before any attempt to advance through to the glamour of the third round however, Brackley must first prepare for a league game at home to Harrogate Town.
The Saints are less then a win away from the top five and with a favourable game in hand over most rivals.
A win against Harrogate would go some way in proving Brackley as genuine promotion contenders and Armson insists the team are not blinded by cup glory.
“Our attention is on Harrogate now” Armson maintained.
“The league is our bread and butter and as much as a cliche as that sounds thats what we want to progress in.
“To do that we need to continue with the same hard work that we’ve shown so far this season.
“We had a great night last night but in terms of what we actually want to achieve and the goals we’ve set, we’ve achieved nothing yet this season.”
That being said, you wouldn’t forgive the hat-trick hero for looking forward slightly to the illustrious third round.
“I think to go and play at Old Trafford and play on the same pitch as the same players I look up to, people like Ryan Giggs and David Beckham – that would be really special.”
Interview: James Bell (@jamescb90)