Alan Devonshire calls on Braintree to play without FA Cup fear as Tranmere – and the television – come to town

BRAINTREE Town will tonight hope for second time lucky when League One leaders Tranmere Rovers return to Cressing Road for the revised FA Cup First Round clash.

The original match was due to be televised on ITV1 until heavy rain caused its postponement just an hour before kick-off on November 4.

The cameras will return for the 7.45pm kick-off – the match will now be shown on ITV4 – with Braintree buoyed by Saturday’s 2-1 win over Gateshead, only their second home success of a stuttering season.

Iron boss Alan Devonshire, who set up Trevor Brooking’s FA Cup final winner for West Ham in 1980, hopes the momentum caused by the weekend win can help produce a no-fear performance.

Devonshire said: “We had a good performance against Gateshead and now the pressure is off. We just need to go for it. It will be a fantastic night for the club, the players and the fans and we have nothing to lose.”

While a draw would be both credible and financially beneficial for the Conference side, Braintree chairman Lee Harding insisted he only wants one result with the winners due to host Chesterfield in the second round.

Harding said: “I’d love us to win the game. You look at the draw for the second round – Tranmere will look at League Two opposition and think that is a reasonable tie, and we would like to think Chesterfield is a good game. Then it is a ‘what if’ situation with the big boys entering in the third round.”

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Tranmere, five points clear at the League One summit, will be missing loanees Jake Cassidy and Liam Palmer with full-back Danny Holmes a doubt with an ankle injury. For Braintree, Alan Massey is cup-tied and Ryan Peters (shin) is also out.

Tranmere boss Ronnie Moore said: “I don’t know whether I’m looking forward to it. It’s only on telly because they think there’s going to be an upset. If we approach it like we always do, we should be alright.”

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