Dean Wells aiming for FA Cup first with Braintree Town at Newport County

Dean Wells

Dean Wells - Credit: Archant

Classy centre-back Dean Wells admits Braintree Town owe manager Alan Devonshire a performance as they look to create history in the FA Cup tonight.

Iron are targeting a place in the Second Round of the competition for the very first time, and a game at Skrill Premier rivals Kidderminster, but will have to overcome League Two newcomers Newport County in a replay in South Wales, first.

Wells was the Town Man of the Match as the north Essex side held Justin Edinburgh’s side to a 1-1 draw at The Amlin Stadium 10 days ago, but was also part of a team that under-performed in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Alfreton.

A second round spot would also be a first for the 28-year-old who has played under FA Cup winner Devonshire for several years, but progress will only be on the cards if Iron can put in an improved performance, according to the defender.

“Even if we lose a match, the opposition usually know that they have been in a game,” said Wells.

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“That didn’t happen on Saturday and I can’t put my finger on why, but things did not click and we seemed to admit defeat early on.

“We need to get our season going again and the manager will be looking for a response.

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“The manager gives us all the plaudits when we win but somehow shoulders the blame and deflects criticism from us when we lose. As players, you sometimes have to take a bit of responsibility and look yourselves.

“I have been with “Dev” for a long time. He took me to Hampton & Richmond from Brentford and he has been good to me, even when I was younger and used to sulk at times. He just let me get on with it.”

Iron, who have been drawn at home to another league rival, Welling, in the First Round of the FA Trophy on November 30, lost at home to Luton prior to the Alfreton defeat and are now down in 10th place in the league, having been in the play-off positions at one stage of the season.

“We lost 2-1 when a draw was probably a fair result,” said the former Hampton & Richmond player.

“After the game you could see how far we had come, as a part-time team, by the manner of their celebrations.

“That’s the sort of performance level we are looking for.

“Newport went up through the play-offs last season but they are not going to take us lightly.

“At our place the game was quite even but we will probably head to their ground as underdogs which could help us.”

Victory would book Iron’s place at Kidderminster on December 7 but the Brentford fan will have his eye on another of tonight’s replays, Carlisle’s home tie with Boreham Wood.

“I used to go and watch Brentford, I am a big fan, and they will play the winners,” said Wells, who was on YTS forms at Griffin Park as a youngster, before linking up with Devonshire at Hampton & Richmond.

“Some players talk about how it would be nice to play against their old club or team they support.

“I wouldn’t want to do that that.”

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