Braintree Town off to The Hamlet in quarter-final quest
- Credit: Archant
A home tie against National League rivals Macclesfield Town awaits for Braintree Town in the quarter-finals, if they can win their FA Trophy third round replay at Dulwich Hamlet tonight (7.45pm).
The Iron were held to a 0-0 draw by the Ryman Premier visitors at Cressing Road on Saturday, playing second fiddle during the second half as The Hamlet were unlucky not to secure a victory.
Hakan Hayrettin’s men were hanging on at times, with Ashley Carew hitting a post and Iron keeper Sam Besant making a terrific late save to thwart substitute Ibra Sekajja.
Now the two teams must do it all again, at Champion Hill in East Dulwich this evening – Dulwich Hamlet have been based on this site since 1912, although they currently play in a new stadium built in 1992.
Hayrettin was philosophical after Saturday’s draw – he is fully aware that the Essex club’s main priority, during the second half of the season, is retaining their National League status into a seventh season.
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The Iron are two points and three places clear of the relegation zone, although they do have two games in hand over several of their chief rivals.
Hayrettin said: “Dulwich Hamlet are a decent team that play their football from the back, so I really have no complaints about the result.
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“After all, this is a cup tie which is totally different to a league game.
“We had one or two players not on their game on Saturday and it showed. You simply can’t afford to carry anyone but I still think we now have a great bunch of lads with the right attitude and ability to progress.
“Yes, the league is number one priority but this is cup football and we have a great chance to progress in this competition.
“I don’t think not having played a competitive game for two weeks made any difference - we simply have to be more clinical in front of goal come the replay,” added Hayrettin.
The winners of tonight’s replay will entertain Macclesfield on Saturday, February 25.
Quarter-final draw: Braintree or Dulwich Hamlet v Macclesfield, York v Brackley Town, Sutton United or Boreham Wood v Lincoln City, Tranmere Rovers or Chelmsford City v Barrow.