Leamington manager Paul Holleran was full of praise for his cup battlers after they came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at Conference Premier side Altrincham on Tuesday evening.
Rob Ogeleby’s 76th-minute strike means the two sides have it all to do again at the New Windmill next Tuesday and Holleran said his side deserve their second bite of the cherry.
“The players were first class,” said Holleran.
“We knew what we had to do to stop in the game but it is one thing talking about it and another executing it.
“Altrincham are a good footballing side but they do allow you to play and a fair result would have been 3-3.
“It was a really good game and to go on a Tuesday night to a full-time side, more than match them and put in good disciplined performance with a sprinkling of quality was pleasing.”
However, Holleran knows Brakes cannot afford to rest on their laurels when it comes to replay, pointing to the fates of fellow Southern Premier League sides Cirencester and Chesham, who both earned creditable away victories at higher-level opposition before suffering home defeats in the replays.
“Altrincham will still expect to turn up at our place and win the game,” he added.
“We won’t be able to drop our levels.
“Teams like Altrincham produce consistent performances week-in, week-out and that’s what we’ve got to strive for.”
Before they can concentrate on the FA Trophy replay, Brakes face a home clash against Biggleswade Town tomorrow - their 33rd fixture of the campaign.
Leamington go into the fixture in fifth place in the Southern Premier League table, but having played up to three games less than some of their play-off rivals and could climb to second with a win.
“Now we turn our attention to Saturday.
“With us not playing, a few results have gone for us and a few haven’t.
“But the key thing is for us to keep winning games.”
Jack Edwards and Jamie Hood are both suspended for tomorrow’s game, but Joe Halsall returns after being cup-tied for the Altrincham trip.