Braintree Town ease into FA Trophy next round after Cray victory
- Credit: Archant
FA TROPHY: Braintree Town 3 Cray Wanderers 0
Braintree overcame a potential banana skin in the FA Trophy against Cray Wanderers, fourth in the Bostik League’s South Division, writes Jon Weaver.
The Kent visitors included former Irons Mike Power and Barney Williams in their team and caused Braintree some early problems with their high pressing. This caused Nathan McDonald to have to deal hastily with a number of back passes that were pinged to him at speed.
The first half was fairly even. For Braintree Roman Michael-Percil could have scored when he was put through and attempted to round Nick Blue. The visiting keeper was shown too much of the ball and was able to hold under pressure. Cray’s best chance came on the half hour mark when McDonald dived at full-length to hold Aaron Rhule’s low drive.
Iron came out in the second half with energy and moved the ball around purposefully. The breakthrough came in the 63rd minute. Phil Roberts fed Michael-Percil who reached the byline before pulling back across goal for Karl Oliyide to stroke past Blue from seven yards out.
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With Cray’s resolve broken, the rest of the game was mostly one way traffic, although Cray did come close to levelling when McDonald struggled to control Osa Obamwonyi’s mis-hit back pass.
Braintree made the game safe in the 77th minute.
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The three strikers combined effectively as Oliyide fed Roberts out on the right wing. His low cross was swept home by Marcel Barrington to make it 2-0.
Substitute Matt Baxter completed the scoring in the 83rd minute, just two minutes after replacing Michael-Percil.
Barrington found him out on the right and he sped into the right side of the penalty area, shifting the ball onto his right foot before drilling the ball low across Blue and into the far corner of the net.
Overall it was a good day for Braintree.
They collected £5,000 prize money and advanced to the draw for the First Round Proper which will be made at Wembley Stadium at midday tomorrow. The only downside was further bookings for Frimpong and Okoye.
Iron: McDonald, Bettache, Gabriel, Obamwonyi, Okoye, Frimpong (Wyatt), Michael-Percil (Baxter), Crook, Roberts, Oliyide (Wynter), Barrington.