Danny Cowley on Braintree Town’s FA Cup draw with Oxford United

Braintree Town v Oxford United - FA Cup action. Oxford keeper Benji Buchel get the ball but fumbles

Braintree Town v Oxford United - FA Cup action. Oxford keeper Benji Buchel get the ball but fumbles it. - Credit: Archant

Braintree Town boss Danny Cowley paid tribute to his side and Oxford United after the two teams fought out a 1-1 draw in the First Round of the FA Cup, in north Essex, on Sunday.

Ryan Taylor gave the U’s an early lead and the League Two visitors could have put the game beyond doubt had their goalscorer not fired over with the goal gaping, moments later.

Goalkeeper Will Norris, also played his part, denying Patrick Hoban on more than one occasion and watching a late Liam Sercombe effort crash off the post to safety.

Iron skipper Kenny Davis grabbed a 63rd-minute equaliser, side-footing home from 20 yards, after Chez Isaac’s lay-off, before Oxford skipper Johnny Mullins was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Braintree’s Taylor Miles almost won it with the last kick of the game, but his long-range effort was well saved by Oxford stopper Benji Buchel and the sides will now meet again on Tuesday week at The Kassam Stadium.

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Cowley said: “I am pleased for the boys, they were tested to their absolute maximum by a marvellous team, they (Oxford) are certainly the best team I have ever played or managed against as they asked so many questions, (they were) always probing.

“They tested us right to our mettle today, we won’t be tested like that in the league all season and the players and myself have learned an awful lot physically, mentally, technically and tactically. It was a fantastic game to be involved in.”

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Braintree will get another chance to cause a Cup upset, hopefully following in the footsteps of Salford City and Chesham, who have defeated Football League clubs Notts County and Bristol Rovers respectively this weekend.

“We lost a bit of belief after they scored the goal and we had to make it an FA Cup tie,” he added.

“We watched the games on Friday and Saturday and the teams that have done well have made their games FA Cup ties.

“Only this tie competition can create what it has today and could give us a chance to win it right at the end.”

Iron now go to Woking on Tuesday night in the National League, before a long trip to Halifax on Saturday.

“We will be playing in less than 48 hours and out of the rest of the non-league teams, I don’t think anyone else is going again on Tuesday. The Conference has changed certain games, the Ryman League certainly has and I am confused why we have not been able to.

“It’s going to be exceptionally tough to go and play again on Tuesday, against a very good Woking team, it will be incredibly difficult to put a team out, let alone be competitive.

“But it is what it is and we won’t be making excuses.”

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