Braintree Town out to spoil Luton Town promotion party

Keith Rowland

Keith Rowland - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Assistant manager Keith Rowland has warned his Braintree Town players and the match officials not to get wrapped up in the occasion on Saturday as Iron aim to spoil Luton Town’s promotion party.

Braintree travel to Kenilworth Road knowing a win for the former Football League side and 1988 League Cup winners would seal their return to League Two, following a five-year absence.

However, a victory for the Essex club could catapult Alan Devonshire’s team back into the Skrill Premier play-off places with just four games remaining.

Around 9,000 fans are set to pack inside Luton’s small stadium today for the BT-televised game which is due to start at 12.52pm, and Rowland said: “It’s important we don’t get lost in terms of what Luton are doing, and I’d say the same to the officials.

“We are hoping the officials will be strong and experienced as it is still a very important game for us, especially given (third-place)Grimsby Town’s defeat at Dartford on Thursday. We are hanging in there.

“You can’t write us off, we are going there with belief, and there are not many games this season where we have not had that.”

Iron, without suspended duo Sean Marks and Kenny Davis, have lost their last two league games, both at home, following four points from three games in a week at Southport, Gateshead and Halifax.

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“After putting in so much effort at Halifax on the Thursday (0-0), I felt that it got to us against Salisbury on Saturday, while the dry pitch at our place didn’t help,” said Rowland.

“I wouldn’t blame tiredness on Tuesday though (defeat at home to Macclesfield) and I think nerves got the better of one or two players.”

Elsewhere, hosts Bury Town can climb up to three places in the Ryman Premier with a win over second-bottom Cray Wanderers.

The Blues host Cray who have conceded a staggering 125 goals in the league.

Elsewhere, seventh-placed Lowestoft Town can boost their Ryman League Premier play-off chances today with a win at fifth-placed Kingstonian.

In Ryman League Division One North, AFC Sudbury host Aveley, Heybridge Swifts in fourth travel to Romford, second-top Witham host Brentwood and Maldon & Tiptree travel to Chatham.

In Skrill South, Chelmsford City host Eastleigh.