Braintree Town recover to beat Bromley and set up Eastbourne Borough clash in FA Cup
- Credit: Archant
Braintree Town came from two goals down to secure their first win under new manager Hakan Hayrettin, in this pulsating FA Cup tie, to set up a First Round Proper home tie with Eastbourne Borough.
They had been pulled to pieces in the first half and Blair Turgott gave the visitors and injury-time lead.
The former Colchester United loanee added a second on 51 minutes and the hosts looked doomed to defeat.
However, four minutes later, the irrepressible Michael Cheek gave Town a lifeline with a superbly-taken solo goal, beating the offside trap and latching on to a Sam Matthews through ball before finishing.
They then scored three more goals to run out convincing winners.
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All this came despite Iron keeper Will Puddy picking up an injury in the 23rd minute, after a collision.
With no substitute keeper on the bench he was forced to stay on and hobble around his penalty box, unable to kick the ball.
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With defender George Elokobi forced to take the goal kicks and the rest of his defence having to help their stricken team-mate out, Iron showed fantastic character and belief in taking the game to Bromley.
A delighted Hayrettin said: “I’m really pleased with the boys’ second half display having given them yet another half time rollicking for the first 45 minutes.
“We couldn’t sub our keeper and I told them to start pressurising the other side more, push forward more and force them into mistakes at the back which they did.
“Once we pulled a goal back I knew we could go on and win the game because the determination and greater commitment from then on was there from every player.”
He added: “We are moving forward step by step and building this team, although there’s a long way to go, we’re now on the right lines.”
One of the big turning points came when Hayrettin brought on academy winger Joe Maybanks for Sam Corne just past the hour.
The youngster immediately showed what he is capable of, setting up Cheek at the far post to equalise with 20 minutes to go.
Two minutes later, he provided Chez Isaac with his chance to send a dipping shot high into the far corner of the net with keeper Alan Julian beaten.
Hayrettin said: “He’s had to wait for his chance since I came but I thought he could help change the game today and he’s taken his chance.
“This lad has great potential and I believe the club has a great talent in him.
We will continue to nurse him along, develop him and help him make the progress I think he is capable of.”
The 19-year-old himself was pleased with his contribution to the cup win adding: “It’s really frustrating waiting on the bench as a substitute so I was more than happy to get a chance to show what I can do.
“I know I can force myself into the starting line-up in the future.”
The icing on the cake for Iron fans came right on full-time when midfielder Harry Lee fired in a hard, low free-kick from the right wing which beat all defenders and keeper Julian en route to the bottom far corner of the net.
“It was a fine comeback and we deserved the win but looking at it in a wider context it’s all part of trying to build a team ethic with players doing as they are told, and to show character and commitment in terms of the way we want to move forward,” added Hayrettin.
PHOTOS BY ALAN STUCKEY