Part-timers Braintree Town can secure a National League play-off place tomorrow
PUBLISHED: 16:04 29 April 2016 | UPDATED: 11:03 03 May 2016
Part-timers Braintree Town could secure a place in the National League play-offs if they can manage a draw or better against Altrincham tomorrow.
While Leicester City have undoubtedly been the football story of the season, surging to the verge of the Premier League title having escaped relegation last season, Braintree’s achievement is just as remarkable.
Playing in a division packed with former Football League clubs, with significantly bigger budgets and full-time players, Danny Cowley’s side have punched well above their weight and head into the final day of the season in the final play-off place.
Cowley himself teaches full-time, while members of the squad includes a taxi driver, a personal trainer and a support worker.
If they get the point they need tomorrow they then face a two-legged play-off semi-final in a bid to reach a Wembley final, which could ultimately earn them a place in the Football League.
Braintree Town’s Cressing Road ground seats just over 4,000 fans, which will host the BT Sport cameras tomorrow with the game televised live from 5.30pm.
Here’s how The Iron can secure what, at the start of the season, was an unlikely spot in the play-offs.
What Braintree need to secure a play-off spot
- If Braintree draw or win against Altrincham, they are in the play-offs
- They can also make the play-offs if both Tranmere and Eastleigh fail to win their games
- If Braintree lose, they can still make the play-offs if Tranmere lose and Eastleigh win, but fail to overturn a three-goal deficit in the goal difference column
Who would they face in the play-offs?
- Depending on Grimsby and Dover’s results, Braintree could finish as high as third
- If they finish fifth, they will face second-placed Forest Green, as second play fifth and third play fourth
When are the play-offs?
- The semi final first legs are played on either Wednesday and Thursday night, with fifth at home to second and fourth at third
- The second legs are on either Saturday or Sunday
- The final, at Wembley, is on Sunday, May 15
Cowley is confident he and his players’ preparation will be enough to see them through
He said: “For us it’s been an incredible journey but if you work as hard as you possibly can from Monday to Friday then you wake up on a Saturday knowing you have done all that you can. That takes the pressure off a little.
“We’ve done it all, left no stone unturned and we’ll go into Saturday’s game as positively as we can with all our energy in the right place.