Captain Kenny Davis says Braintree Town deserve all the praise they get after setting up National League play-off clash with Grimsby Town

Braintree Town Football v Altrincham in Vanarama National league 3-0

Braintree Town Football v Altrincham in Vanarama National league 3-0

Skipper Kenny Davis believes his Braintree Town side deserve all the praise they get, after finishing third in the National League to secure a place in the play-offs.

A 3-0 win over Altrincham on Saturday set up a two-legged clash with Grimsby this week, as the part-timers defied the odds to finish in the top three.

Davis was pleased with the way his side closed things out, on a final day where they needed just a point, and believes his side deserve plenty of credit, even if there are those who don’t think much of the strength of the league.

“I think we were well in control and after we got the first goal we were always comfortable,” he said.

“They (Altrincham) tried to play but, to be honest, I think we were more sharp and the second and third goals killed the game off for us.

“We were well worth the win in any circumstances.

“To finish third is unbelievable.

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“You hear people saying ‘it’s a poor league’ or things like that but you don’t hear that about the Premier League. It’s a fairytale.

“I disagree with what people have said so why not give the praise to us.”

Grimsby were playing in the Championship a little over a decade ago and, while Davis admits the gulf in footballing histories should make the Cleethorpes side favourites, the skipper says his side will go into the game full of confidence having taken four points off them already this season.

“In the two games this season we’ve drawn at home and beaten them away so the pressure’s on them,” he said.

“They’re the bigger club, in respect, so let’s put the pressure on them.

“Grimsby against Braintree should only have one outcome really, they’re a massive club, but we don’t see it like that.

“No matter who we play we prepare right, nothing more and nothing less, and we go out there confident.

“We’re looking forward to it and we want to enjoy it as much as we possibly can.”

The first leg of the semi-final will be played at Blundell Park on Thursday evening, with the return fixture at Braintree’s Cressing Road ground on Sunday afternoon.

Forest Green, who finished second in the table, take on Dover in the other semi-final on Wednesday and Saturday.