Devonshire wants no repeat of FA Cup defending

BRAINTREE manager Alan Devonshire has warned they cannot afford to repeat last week’s defensive errors which almost derailed their FA Cup adventure against Wrexham today.

Sean Marks’ early brace proved enough as Braintree made the FA Cup First Round proper for only the second time in their 114-year history with an unconvincing 3-2 victory over a spirited 10-man Lowestoft Town.

But centre-backs Matt Paine and Adam Bailey-Dennis failed to deal with an innocuous long free-kick, allowing Lowestoft’s Michael Frew to finish past the exposed Danny Naisbitt.

It revived the Ryman Premier visitors and set-up a grandstand finale in which parity was almost restored.

But Devonshire has warned they will be punished much more ruthlessly against second-placed Wrexham at Cressing Road today.

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“We went two up after 20 minutes last week but then relaxed too much,” said Devonshire, whose side are 17th and just two points above the relegation zone.

“We had some chances to make it 4-1, but then the two centre-halves got in a right muddle and gave away a sloppy goal to make it 3-2.

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“We can’t afford to repeat those defensive mistakes against Wrexham.

“They are second in the league and will prove to be one of our toughest tests of the season – no doubt about it. It will be a very tough game.

“But I think last week was just a bad day at the office and hopefully was just a one-off. At the end of the day we got away with it.

“But I’m not worried about it. I have put that behind me now and forgotten about it. Every game is different and we will strive not to do the same [today].

“We have had a couple of good results lately. Confidence is always running through the squad and hopefully we can build on from our good form.”

Braintree could earn around �100,000 from their FA Cup First Round home clash against League One side Tranmere next Sunday after ITV chose to televise the tie.

But Devonshire insists refusing to focus solely on Wrexham would be a mistake.

“It’s great for the club but we are just concentrating on Wrexham. We can look forward to it afterwards,” Devonshire added.

“It’s important not to lose focus on the league and take our eye off the ball because that is our bread and butter.

“Staying in the league is our number one priority and anything else that comes after that is a bonus.”

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