Matt Paine says Braintree Town are daring to dream after his wonder strike
- Credit: Archant
Braintree Town defender Matt Paine admits the club’s part-time players are daring to dream about reaching the Football League after his David Beckham-esque wonder goal winner on Tuesday night.
The Ipswich-based 28-year-old netted with a glorious strike from inside his own half to seal the Iron a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Kidderminster Harriers at Cressing Road and lift them up to fourth place in the National League.
Playfully dubbed ‘a pub team from Essex’ by their own fans, the former Eastern Counties and Ryman League stalwarts have continually defied the odds since promotion to non-league’s top-tier in 2011, regularly beating bigger name clubs to secure finishes of 12th, ninth, sixth and 14th.
A top five finish this time around would secure them a play-off place and a shot at promotion to League Two. And with games in hand on many of those around them a fairytale story could be about to unfold.
“I’ve been getting a lot of attention for my goal which I’m not used to, but I’ll take it!” said Paine. “Their keeper’s raced off his line to head it away, it’s fallen nicely to me and I just shouted at everyone to get out the way. At first I thought it was going over, but thankfully it dropped just under the bar.”
Paine, who works as a care worker at special schools around Suffolk, continued: “Up until now we’ve sort of joked about promotion and whether we’d need to go full-time, but now it seems that bit more realistic. We’ll just keep taking it a game at time, keep believing in ourselves and see where that takes us.”
Paine’s heroics in midweek came just three days after Braintree had been denied victory in hugely controversial fashion at Guiseley. After the ball had been put out of play for an injury, the relegation-battling hosts took a throw-in and Oliver Norburn unsportingly lobbed the keeper to score.
“We felt we’d been robbed, but knew we had to use that frustration as motivation going forwards,” said Paine.
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Danny Cowley’s team now host top-five rivals Eastleigh on Saturday before making the long trip to Torquay next Tuesday night.