Matt is hoping not to feel the Paine of an FA Trophy defeat as Braintree Town host AFC Sudbury

Braintree Town's Matt Paine

Braintree Town's Matt Paine

Braintree Town utility player Matt Paine is determined for the Iron not to fall to an upset against AFC Sudbury today.

The pair meet in the First Round Proper of the FA Trophy at Cressing Road this afternoon, with Sudbury, of the Ryman North, smelling a giantkilling at the hands of their opponents, three leagues above them, but just 15 miles down the road.

“It’s a local derby and the clubs haven’t played each other for a while so it does add an extra edge to the game,” said Paine, who has been in and out of the Iron team this season.

“They’ll be looking for a scalp and we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“We’re playing in three leagues above them and people are expecting us to win, but as you see all the time in Cup games, upsets do happen.


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“We don’t want to be writing those headlines, ideally we want to be writing headlines reading that ‘we progressed comfortably’, but the most important thing, however we do it, is that we get through.”

Being a local derby, Paine is hoping to play in front of a healthy-sized crowd roaring both their teams on.

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“I’ve play football matches with just my mum and dad watching, to hundreds of people watching, to thousands of people watching,” he added.

“I was lucky enough to play in front of 10,000 fans at Luton last season, and I’m not saying that will be the crowd on Saturday, but it’s always better when you play in front of crowds who build up lots of atmosphere.

“Hopefully our fans can get behind us, and help us get the result we want.

“I’d expect Sudbury to bring a couple of coachloads down too, and rivalries and banter between the fans will make the game better, it promises to be a great occasion.”

A bit like Braintree, who sit just two places above the Conference Premier relegation zone, Paine, equally as comfortable at centre-half as central midfield, has endured a stop-start campaign so far.

Cruciate knee damage kept him out for three months, before he returned in the FA Cup tie against October.

“I came back from the injury pretty quickly, and I’ve had no hold-ups with it, hopefully I can crack on now and hope the boys push on up the league.”

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