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Telford v Kidderminster: Bucks have to use cup win as springboard says Kevin Wilkin

Manager Kevin Wilkin has called on his AFC Telford troops to build on a first victory of his tenure by now earning league points.

Matty Brown was the FA Trophy hero at Kings Langley
Matty Brown was the FA Trophy hero at Kings Langley

The Bucks return to the National League North grind this evening as Kidderminster make the trip up the A442.

The need for points is not lost on anybody connected with Telford, bottom of National North and 12 points adrift of safety, with a mountain to climb to achieve survival after Wilkin, appointed last month, oversaw five defeats from his opening five in charge.

But the boss did record a first win at the helm with a last-gasp success in the FA Trophy against step three Kings Langley on Saturday – something former Brackley boss Wilkin wants to make count at home to their Worcestershire visitors this evening.

“We’ve got another chance and opportunity to do exactly that,” Wilkin said of earning a first league win of boss. “To build on what we did on Saturday, understanding how we need to manage games to achieve wins, Kings Langley won’t have done us any harm.

“We realise tonight will be a really tough game for us, again not having experienced personnel available is not great but that’s where we are, we have to get on with it and do our very best.”

Wilkin continued: “Having that win, coming through the tie, gives everybody a lift, management, players and supporters alike.

“It’s where we want to be, winning week-in, week-out, the next challenge is today.”

Visitors Kidderminster also enjoyed Trophy success on Saturday with an impressive comeback win of their own at National League South outfit St Albans.

Telford are likely to be unable to call on the services of frontman Jason Oswell this evening after he ended Saturday in hospital after change before the hour mark on Saturday owing to a dislocated shoulder. A couple of other members of the Bucks ranks are struggling with an injury and illness and Wilkin is set to discover whether Robbie Evans and Devarn Green can feature following bronchitis and a leg problem, respectively.

Things have been more tricky in the league of late for Russ Penn’s side. Harriers have lost four on the bounce and lost ground in the table, falling to 15th, but still a mammoth 17 points clear of Telford.

One player to profit from Telford availability issues is Malaysian midfielder Kobe Jae Chong.

The 21-year-old was a summer signing following a successful trial and scored his first Telford goal, a fine effort from distance, on Saturday.

He has started just two of 17 league games, with a further five introductions from the bench.

“Kobe has been wanting a chance since we’ve been here, perhaps his moments have been a little bit limited,” Wilkin said. “The strike is a fantastic strike and very much needed at that moment.

“He’s a young man that needs to play more football at this level to understand how to better utilise himself in games.

“He’s got on with the job in there and done alright.”

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