Braintree Town looking to upset Newport County in the FA Cup
Braintree Town will be looking to make Cup history this afternoon when they entertain Newport County in the FA Cup first round, at Cressing Road.
Never before have Iron reached the second round of the world’s oldest knock-out cup competition, but Braintree boss Alan Devonshire, a former FA Cup winner with West Ham, is hoping to change that today.
“Braintree have reached the first round on three occasions and I’m proud that the last two have been in the last two seasons,” he said.
“Let’s hope we can make some history for the club.
“Newport are a League Two side so they start off favourites, but the FA Cup is a great competition, especially for non-league sides. And I defy anyone to tell me it’s not important to their club.
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“I was lucky to play in an FA Cup final. That’s history now but growing up many people loved the FA Cup and all it brought with it.”
Although in theory an Iron victory today over Newport could be classified as a shock, there will be plenty who think otherwise such has been Braintree’s excellent early season form, they currently sit in sixth place in the Conference.
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“We’re delighted where we are in the table,” Devonshire added.
“Our form has been good and our points tally great.
“But it’s a massive step from Conference to League Two, it’s a big enough jump from Conference South to Conference, so we know we don’t start favourites.”
Average home crowds at Cressing Road are now in excess of 1,000 and that figure is likely to be hit again today with Newport sure to bring a good following of fans along the M4 and M25 into Essex.
County are currently 10th in League Two after gaining promotion from the Conference 18 months ago. They lost last week to Fleetwood Town 4-1 after having Robbie Wilmott sent off for handball. However, Justin Edinburgh’s side had been in good form before that, including two thumping victories over Southend and York City.
Iron will be without left-back Sam Habergham today, otherwise Devonshire has a full squad to choose from.