Braintree travel to Hemel Hempstead in play-off clash

Braintree Town manager Brad Quinton. Photo: STEVE WALLER

Braintree Town manager Brad Quinton. Photo: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Braintree Town travel to Hemel Hempstead this evening, gunning for play-off glory.

The Iron and The Tudors go head to head in one of two National South eliminators, with the winner of this tie travelling to Dartford on Sunday in the semi-final.

The other tie tonight is between Hampton & Richmond Borough and Truro City – with the winners travelling to Chelmsford City, also on Sunday.

For Bradley Quinton’s Braintree it is a real success bearing in mind the situation he and the club found themselves in at the start of the campaign.

Iron had just been relegated from the National League after a difficult season.

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Quinton, who is a former playing legend at Cressing Road, having played more than 500 times for the club, took over after leaving Enfield last summer.

“It’s a fantastic season for us bearing in mind when I arrived last summer we had no players and no team,” he said.

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“But, despite one or two setbacks en-route, all the players have worked hard and we’ve achieved our goal of getting into the play-offs - which we are all eagerly looking forward to.

“Initially it was all about consolidation.

“We laid the foundations to making sure the first-team squad were ‘all singing off the same hymn sheet’ from the outset and knew what are aim was to progress this club forward again.”

Quinton has certainly done that, and now they are three games away from getting back into the National League – at the first attempt.

Not that any of the sides left in the play-offs will be easy to beat.

Indeed, Hemel have already doubled Braintree in the league.

Meanwhile Jody Brown’s Heybridge Swifts travel to Haringey Borough in the Bostik North play-off semi-final tonight.

The Swifts have done superbly well after a long season, that included a fine FA Cup run, to get to this stage.

“They know us and we know them,” Brown said.

“We’ve played each other three times, once in the FA Cup and all the games have been closely contested. It will come down to the team who prepares best and deals with the emotions and what’s at stake. I’d say Haringey are as good as any in the league.”

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