Braintree Town lose FA Cup First Round Replay at Newport

Braintree Town Manager Alan Devonshire

Braintree Town Manager Alan Devonshire - Credit: Archant

Braintree Town failed in their attempt to reach the second round of the FA Cup, for the first time in their history, although they gave League Two hosts Newport a stern test in last night’s first round replay.

FA Cup First Round Replay

Newport County 1

Braintree Town 0

Braintree Town failed in their attempt to reach the second round of the FA Cup, for the first time in their history, although they gave League Two hosts Newport a stern test in last night’s first round replay.


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A free-kick by Robbie Willmott, in the 45th minute, proved the difference between the two sides in South Wales, after the first game had ended in a 1-1 draw.

This was always going to be a big ask for Iron, against a Newport side who boasted the joint best home record in League Two – six wins from eight games.

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But it was a frustrating way to bow out, because Willmott’s free-kick was a sucker punch. The set piece could certainly have been avoided.

It was Ryan Peters who eventually committed the foul, on the left edge of the penalty area, although both Peters and Chez Isaac had been in a position to clear their lines.

Willmott slammed home the free-kick into the top corner of the net to seal Newport’s progress through to round two, where they will play at Kidderminster.

There was good news before kick-off for Iron, with the experienced trio of Kenny Davis, Sean Marks and Sam Habergham all passing late fitness tests.

Newport started the brighter team, but it was Iron who threatened first on nine minutes when a snap-shot by Dan Holmes warmed the hands of Lenny Pidgeley. The home keeper scooped up at the second attempt.

Otherwise, the Exiles dictated early on. A poor clearance by Chez Isaac rolled into the path of Adam Chapman, but his 20-yarder was deflected over the bar.

Some trickery from Luke Daley, down the right flank, created a half-chance for the visitors on 22 minutes. Holman was able to trap the low cross, on the edge of the six-yard box, but he was squeezed out by centre-half Adedeji Oshilaja before he could shoot.

Iron began to get a firmer grip on the game, as the first half wore on, and Matt Paine came close to breaking the deadlock in the 40th minute from a corner.

The U’s centre-half escaped his marker to meet Daley’s corner with a downward header which Pidgeley was relieved to gather.

However, Newport grabbed the lead on the stroke of half-time, thanks to Willmott’s deadly free-kick following a foul by Peters.

It was a sucker punch, coming just after Iron had been enjoying their best period of the match.

Iron so nearly poached an equaliser inside the first minute of the second half. Daley did well to cut back a cross from the right, but Marks could not connect with a header from point blank range.

Holman squandered Iron’s best chance of the game just after the hour mark. Marks flicked on a long ball and Holman turned to hook a 10-yard shot over the bar.

Hamman kept his side in the game with an excellent save on 67 minutes. Chapman’s stinging drive was heading for the net until the German diverted the ball away from his goal.

Eight minutes later and it was Newport keeper Pidgeley’s turn to impress, as he beat away substitute Liam Enver-Marum’s ferocious free-kick with strong hands.

Teams

NEWPORT COUNTY: Pidgeley, Worley, Oshilaja, Yakubu, Jackson, Chapman, Naylor (sub Flynn, 85), Willmott, Jolley (sub Minshull, 69), Crow, Washington.

BRAINTREE TOWN: Hamman, Peters, Wells, Paine, Habergham, Daley (sub Enver-Marum, 67), Isaac, Davis, Mulley (sub Cox, 87), Marks, Holman (sub Quinton, 83).Unused subs: McDonald, Sparkes, Griffiths, Carney. Attendance: 1,406

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