All players invited back plus Bar-B-Q in June
Braintree Town manager Brad Quinton has taken up the option to extend the playing contracts of both Jon Muleba and Christian Frimpong - and has also invited his entire squad back for pre-season training - as he starts work on building a competitive squad for next season, the Club's seventh year in non-League football's top tier since 2011.
Brad said: "The boys were there for me when I needed them last season and they all deserve a chance to play in the level above because each and everyone of them have earned it."
To celebrate the Club's promotion, there will be a Summer Bar-B-Q on Saturday, 23 June when we hope to see the team management and full first team squad back at Cressing Road for a celebration.
While we're all celebrating our promotion, you also be able to watch three of the World Cup matches on the big screens in the clubhouse:
South Korea Republic v Mexico at 4pm and
Germany v Sweden at 7pm.
Most prices frozen at 2016 levels
The Club have agreed their matchday and season tickets pricing for next season. Following the Club's swift return to non-League football's top tier, prices have risen, but most have been frozen at the level when we were last members of the National League two years ago!
As with last season, both adult and concession season tickets allow supporters to sit or stand and receive five games free of charge, while an under 18 season tickets offer an incredible fifteen games free!
A new initiative for the coming campaign is the introduction of a new family ticket for an adult and under 18 combined together. The family ticket offer sees the younger supporter provided with entry for just £21 - less than a pound a game! If you wish to add additional adults or under 18s as part of the family group, speak to Lee Harding.
As usual, 'early bird' discounts are offered for season tickets purchased on or before Saturday 2 June 2018. To get yours, the Club office will be open: Monday-Friday from 10.30am-4pm. The Iron Clubhouse will be open Saturday and Sunday 12-5pm and Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 7pm-11pm. Just bring your form and payment with you! Any queries to 01376 330976/345617.
Supporters can pay for their season tickets by card, cash or cheque and the season ticket application form can be downloaded here: SEASON TICKET APPLICATION FORM.
Iron arrange attractive set of friendlies
Braintree Town have started work on their pre-season campaign as they return for a seventh season in non-League football's top flight after a year away.
Iron will start their pre-season build up with a trip to Newmarket Town and their superb 3G pitch at Cricket Field Road on Saturday, 7th July, with kick-off at 3pm. It will also give us an opportunity to meet up with former Iron favourite Micky Shinn who is now Newmarket Town's Manager.
Negotiations are on-going about a match against a League Two side on Tuesday, 10th July.
Next for Iron will see the visit of Championship side Ipswich Town to Braintree on Saturday, 14th July, with kick-off at 3pm. The Portman Road club have confirmed that they will be bringing the first team squad for the match.
On Tuesday evening, 17th July, Braintree will visit Bostick League side AFC Sudbury, with kick-off at King's Marsh being 7.45pm.
Next up for Iron is a trip to Bostick League side Dereham Town on Saturday 21st July, kick-off at Aldiss Park will be 3pm.
On Tuesday evening, 24th July, we make the short journey to last season's Thurlow-Nunn League champions and near neighbours Coggeshall Town. Iron manager will take the full first team squad to Coggeshall - newly promoted to the Bostick League. Kick-off at West Street will be 7.45pm.
Iron will complete their pre-season schedule with a another local game, at home to Chelmsford City, on Saturday 28th July with kick-off at 3pm. To assist both clubs, it has been agreed to share the gate receipts of this match on a 50:50 cup-tie basis with The Clarets.
Three successive away victories set up top flight return
Iron are back in non League football's top flight just twelve months after relegation after a fabulous team performance led to a nail-biting penalty shootout which they dramatically won 4-3 at The Beveree on Sunday.
After 120 minutes of normal time and extra-time it all came down to a penalty shootout and although Billy Crook missed the first one for the Iron it was excellent spot kicks from Dan Thompson, Marcel Barrington, Josh Hill and finally Diaz Wright that seal victory.
It led to a joyous pitch invasion by the huge group of Iron fans in the 3,127 crowd with champagne flowing as the team received their trophy and left manager Brad Quinton almost speechless.
"I'm over the moon to have won promotion at my first attempt with the club and it's down to the truly magnificent performance of the lads in these three play-off games," he declared. "I never thought in my wildest dreams that we could do it particularly with having to play all our three play-off games away from home.
"We had a game plan the boys stuck to it and all of them worked their socks off each giving well over 100 per cent on the day," he continued. "We want to enjoy the moment together and take it all in - I just can't really believe it's happened and the fans again today have been fantastic with their support as they have all season."
The Iron, keeping the same starting line-up as they have in the two previous play-off matches, saw a tense early start to the game after the kick-off was delayed 10 minutes to allow queuing fans to get in the ground.
Disappointingly too they went behind after only eight minutes when Max Kretzschmar was left unmarked out on the right wing and he strode inside to slid the ball past keeper Nathan McDonald.
Undeterred by this setback Iron gradually came more into the came as the first half progressed with more possession and more chances to score with their best chance coming on 29 minutes when Jon Muleba did well to work his way down the right flank sending in a curling cross that young Reece Grant fired straight at home keeper Seny Dieng.
But Iron's expected equaliser came right on half time in the 45th minute when Thompson showed his strength and prowess brushing off home defenders down the left wing before clipping the ball into the home area where Grant slipped his marker to head home.
A draw was probably a good reflection of the first half play but the second half definitely saw Iron more in the ascendancy and creating more chances going forward and, on 70 minutes, Hill almost scored with a shot on the turn which was closely followed by a Barrington shot that was charged down at the last moment.
On 82 minutes Iron should have taken the lead when keeper Dieng rushed out of his goal as the ball was pushed through by Iron but Grant was quicker to the ball, squaring it to Thompson. With the goal at his mercy and Dieng out of position Thompson slid the ball towards the empty net only for full-back Ben Wynter to hooked it away off the goal line at the last moment.
With the heat taking its toll on all players and both sides becoming edgy in their approach play the game looked to be heading for a draw and a penalty shootout. In extra-time play was a little frenetic at times from both sides as they tried hard to push for a winner but in the end the score remained 1-1.
With the resultant penalty shootout it was Iron who conquered with the impressive young midfielder Wright firing home the Iron's fifth penalty after Brendan Kierman had missed the home side's fourth spot kick, giving the Iron victory 4-3.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Gabriel, Hill, Okoye; Wright, Allen (63 Michael-Percil), Crook, Barrington; Grant (105 Wyatt), Thompson. Unused subs: Aldridge, Frimpong, Bettache. Referee: Tom Reeves. Attendance 3127.
Sunday, May 13, 3pm - Hampton & Richmond Borough v Braintree Town
Hampton & RB finished 4th in the Vanarama National League South on 72 points. Their home record this season is: P 21 W 9 D 11 L 1 GF 30 GA 16 Pts 38. Last 4 home results: Won 3-1 v Truro C (P-O), Drew 1-1 v Truro C., Drew 1-1 v Gloucester C, Drew 1-1 v Welling, Drew 1-1 v Braintree T. Top scorers this season: Max Kretzschmar - 17 (5p), Bradley Hudson-Odoi - 10 (1p), Charlie Wassmer - 8.
Braintree Town finished 6th the Vanarama National League South on 69 points. Braintree's away record this season is: P 21 W 8 D 7 L 6 GF 33 GA 32 Pts 31. Braintree T last 4 away games: Won 0-1 v Dartford (P-O), Drew 0-0 v Hemel Hempstead T (P-O), Won 1-2 v Truro C, Won 0-1v Hungerford T. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Billy Crook - 11 (7p), Luke Allen & Reece Grant - 7, Marcel Barrington - 6.
This seasons meetings: 19 August 2017 Braintree T 2 (Roberts, Crook (pen)) Hampton & RB 1 & 24 March 2018 Hampton & RB 1 Braintree T 1 (Barrington).
Both meetings this season featured sending offs. In our home fixture it was Borough's Joe Cook who was dismissed after denying Wynter a goal scoring opportunity. When the Iron went to the Beveree Stadium in March, it was the Iron's turn to finish the game 2 players short. Billy Crook was the first to leave the playing field for a raised foot challenge in the 31st minute. Despite being a man down, Braintree took the lead with 12 minutes remaining. Luke Allen led a Braintree counter attack running from outside his own area well into the home team's half, before releasing the ball down the left to Thompson, who put in a low cross that was met on the run by Barrington. Borough equalised 3 minutes later following an attack down their left flank. Two Braintree players were unable to prevent a low cross reaching the 6 yard box where the ball somehow evaded McDonald and was stabbed home from close range by Wynter. The Iron were reduced to 9 men in added time when Luke Allen picked up his second yellow of the afternoon.
Unlike our previous two play-off matches, we now face a team we have beaten this season. Our hosts were the lowest scoring team in the top 7 with 58 goals. Defensively, their record of defeats was only matched by champions Havant with six losses. They drew more games than any other VNLS team (18) and were second, again behind Havant, in goals conceded (37).
In the play-offs, they faced Truro C for the second week running, eventually overcoming them in extra time. A penalty from top-scorer Kretzschmar was enough to beat our neighbours Chelmsford C who had themselves been reduced to 10 men after Barnum-Bobb had handled on the goal line in the semi-final play-off.
Hopefully we'll see a game where all 22 players remain on the pitch and the in form Iron give a good account of themselves as they battle to return the Club to the National League after one season's absence.
Sunday, May 13, 3pm - Hampton & Richmond Borough v Braintree Town
Promotion Final Tickets currently only available on line at: www.buytickets.at/hrbfc.
For those fans unable to use this facility, we can order on line at the Club on your behalf if you call in and see us with your payment card and provide name and date of birth of all people you want to purchase tickets for.
The Club office and Club shop will be open all this week from:
Wednesday 9th - 10.30 am - 4.30 pm
Thursday 10th - 10.30 am - 8.30pm (Club house open 7.30 till late )
Friday 11th - 10.30am - 4.30 pm
Saturday 12th - 10.30 am - 4.30 pm
Also the club shop will be open the same times, with an end of season sale and many items at half price - so pop along and grab an orange bargain!
Sunday, May 13, 3pm - Hampton & Richmond Borough v Braintree Town
The following arrangements have been implemented for next Sunday's match.
It has been decided that the match will be ALL TICKET and tickets can only be ordered online via the following link: www.buytickets.at/hrbfc. Tickets should be printed out and presented at the turnstiles on the day.
Admission will be: £12 adult, £7 concessions, £3 u16s & u5 free. Please note: There will be a £1.25 booking fee for tickets purchased online.
Disabled access can be obtained by contacting the club in advance, on email@example.com. Carers will be admitted free where required.
Overflow parking will be available on a first-come-first-served basis, so come early to avoid disappointment. Stewards will direct drivers to the location.
We understand that some rail disruption is likely next Sunday due to engineering work and Iron supporters may wish to contact the Independent Supporters Club on 07950 614908 for news on coaches which, we understand, will depart for Hampton at 11am on Sunday.
Hampton away on Sunday
Braintree Town reached the Vanarama South Promotion Final with a single-goal victory at Dartford on Saturday. Having drawn at home and away in the league against the Kent club it was always going to be a tight game.
While Iron had much of the possession during a nervy first forty-five minutes, the home side had arguably the better chances. Nathan McDonald had to be at his best to deny Ronnie Vint who saw his shot superbly saved by Braintree's number one after twenty minutes.
Moments later a teasing cross from Diaz Wright on the left just evaded the unmarked Billy Crook at the far post.
On the half hour Crook tried his luck, but failed to hit the target, while Alfie Pavey really should have done better with his header at the back post just before the break.
Six minutes after the re-start Reece Grant unlocked the Dartford defence to break through one on one with home keeper Berti Sckotterl, but Grant was denied by a well timed tackle outside the box.
Substitute Roman Michael-Percil replaced Grant on the hour and could have opened the scoring on 70 minutes when he broke through the Dartford defence, only to see his snap shot well blocked by Sckotterl.
But a minute later the goal finally came. Jon Muleba broke forward on the right before cutting inside. He fed the ball into the Dartford penalty area where a number of players tried to shoot or block before the ball fell to Crook who beat Sckotterl from close range.
Wright could have added a second with his effort from all of 25 yards with ten minutes to go, but it was well gathered by Sckotterl.
The home side thought they had a good claim for a penalty four minutes from time after a cross into the box struck Luke Allen, but appeals were waived away by the referee.
In the four minutes of time added on Dartford's Ryan Hayes tried his luck at the back post, but his effort sailed high and wide into the crowd.
At the final whistle celebrations followed and Iron now travel to fourth-placed Hampton & Richmond Borough for the Promotion Final next Sunday, 13th May, with kick-off at 3pm.
Braintree: McDonald, Muleba, Gabriel, Hill, Okoye, Wright, Allen (Frimpong 90+3), Crook, Grant (Michael-Percil 60), Thompson, Barrington (Wyatt 83). Un-used subs: Aldridge, Bettache. Attendance 1704.
Dartford v Braintree T - Vanarama National League Play-Off Semi-Final
Dartford finished 2nd in the Vanarama National League South on 86 points. Their home record this season is: P 21 W 15 D 3 L 3 GF 51 GA 20 Pts 48. Last 4 home results: Won 2-0 v Bath C, Won 3-1 v Weston-Super-Mare, Won 1-0 v Hampton & RB, Won 3-2 v Hemel Hempstead T. Top scorers this season: Alfie Pavey - 22, Elliot Bradbrook - 16(4p), Andy Pugh - 13.
Braintree Town finished 6th the Vanarama National League South on 69 points. Braintree's away record this season is: P 21 W 8 D 7 L 6 GF 33 GA 32 Pts 31. Braintree T last 4 away games: Drew 0-0 v Hemel Hempstead T, Won 1-2 v Truro C, Won 0-1v Hungerford T, Lost 2-1 v St Albans C. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Billy Crook- 10 (7p), Luke Allen & Reece Grant - 7, Marcel Barrington - 6.
This seasons meetings: 8 August 2017 Braintree T 2 (Oliyide, Crook (p)) Dartford 2 & 23 December 2017 Dartford 1 Braintree T 1 (Barrington)
Both meetings this season have been tightly contested affairs. Hosting Dartford in our first home game of the campaign, the Iron took a two-nil lead before the Darts rallied to share the points. In the return fixture just before Christmas, it was the home side that took the lead on 17 minutes, Pugh cut in from the left wing, evading several attempted tackles, before driving home low from a tight angle. McDonald was to deny the hosts from extending their lead with two good saves, one at point blank range with his feet. The equaliser came just before half time, Oliyide played in Gabriel down the left side of the penalty box, the full back drove on to the by-line and cut back a low cross which was met with a powerful low shot from Barrington at the far post. Despite the Iron controlling most of the second period, it ended all square.
Dartford were pipped for the title on goal difference by Havant & Waterlooville, this despite racking up nine successive victories on their run-in. Darts were the League's top scorers finding the back of the net on 81 occasions.
The Iron progressed to the semi-finals of the play-offs after an energy sapping 120 minutes football on a soft pitch; followed by a nerve jangling penalty shoot-out. Much elation (and relief) followed and now we go to what will arguably be our hardest test so far. Good luck to Brad and all his staff and players in keeping the dream alive.
McDonald saves Shulton penalty in shoot out
Braintree Town are through to the semi-finals of this season's Vanarama National League South promotion play-offs after a dramatic finale to last night's goal-less draw at Hemel Hempstead.
There was little to separate the two sides in an engaging end-to-end tie that lasted more than two hours.
The winner was ultimately decided by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark and, after Marcel Barrington and Luke Allen had converted their two kicks, it was former Iron player Scott Shulton that gave Iron fans in the 1165 crowd hope when his spot-kick was superbly saved by keeper Nathan McDonald.
Although our third kick was also unsuccessful, Hemel then missed their last two kicks which, combined with a successful third for Iron saw Iron through.
The game itself swung from end to end. McDonald used his legs well to deny Moyo after ten minutes, before Thompson's long-range effort zipped just wide of the target eight minutes later. Just after the half hour Sanchez-Watt opened up the Iron defence, but saw his effort found the side-netting.
After the break Iron upped their game and both Reece Grant and Barrington testing the home defence. But Hemel were also dangerous on the break with McDonald reacting quickly to deny Moyo's shot.
Wright broke through the home defence mid-way through the second half and was crudely brought down by Parkes who was fortunate to escape with just a caution.
Late on saw both sides push forward with a dipping effort from Josh Hill just looping over the crossbar, but neither side could break the deadlock - so the game entered extra-time.
Moyo saw his header come close five minutes into the extra thirty for the home side, before Marcel set up Allen who's shot needed a superb save from home keeper Walker to prevent the first goal.
Iron looked to have a valid penalty appeal four minutes into the second fifteen of extra time when he was pulled down from behind, but the match referee has having none of it.
As penalties loomed, Thompson and Rick Gabriel combined to score but the effort was ruled out for offside.
Braintree: McDonald, Muleba, Gabriel, Hill, Okoye, Wright, Allen, Crook (Wyatt 70), Grant, Thompson (Michael-Percil 80), Barrington. Un-used suns: Aldridge, Bettache, Frimpong. Referee: Will Finney. Attendance: 1165.
Next up for Iron is a Vanarama National League South promotion play-off semi-final away at Dartford this coming Sunday, 6th May, with kick-off at 3pm. Admission prices for this match are as follows: Adults £14, Concessions £7, Youth £5, Junior £2, Under 5s Free.
Victory over Gloucester makes it 16 points from 18
In-form Iron are into the play-offs thanks to a scintillating second half performance in which they dominated scoring three goals and could easily have scored more as in the end they overwhelmed their visitors.
A delighted Quinton, back at the Club as manager where he played over 500 first team games, praised his players for listening to his half time talk and why they changed their formation to help secure the win.
"I knew we had done well in that first period but we need to stretch the game more, use the width of the pitch and be more positive in our play, particularly in the opposition's half," he said. "Once we scored I knew then that, with confidence and keeping the pressure on, we could go on to score more. I'm also pleased we kept another clean sheet.
"It's a fantastic season for us bearing in mind when I arrived last summer we had no players and no team," he explained. "But, despite one or two setbacks en route, all the players have worked hard and we've achieved our goal of getting into the play-offs - which we are all eagerly looking forward to."
Iron broke the deadlock on 50 minutes when a left wing cross from Ricky Gabriel was headed back across the area by Dan Thompson for the predatory Reece Grant who was quickest to the ball to head home.
The all important second goal came on 75 minutes from a right wing corner. Pulled back to where defender Josh Hill, five yards outside the area, turned and hit the ball cleanly with pace into the corner of the net with an unstoppable drive. A late candidate for 'goal of the season'.
The home side kept pressing and several chances went begging but a minute into stoppage time it was the youngster Grant who followed up pressure on the Gloucester keeper to steer his low shot past keeper Andy Hannah into the bottom left corner.
First half chances had been few and between with Iron unlucky not to take a 31st minute lead when Grant broke clear only to see his low shot come back off the post whilst, a minute later up at the other end, the visitors' Joe Parker thought he had scored netting with a shot on the run, but was denied by the assistant's offside flag.
The three points left Braintree Town in a final sixth position and sets up a play-off qualifier at Hemel Hempstead Town on Wednesday, 2nd May, with kick-off at 7.45pm. Iron will go into the game confident having taken sixteen points from their last possible eighteen.
Braintree Town: (4-4-2) McDonald; Muleba (86 Frimpong), Gabriel, Hill, Okoye; Wright, Crook, Allen (70 Bettache), Wyatt (84 Michael Percil); Thompson, Grant. Unused subs: Barrington, Aldridge. Attendance: 616. Referee: Jack Packham.
Saturday 7 July 2018
Newmarket Town (Away)
Tuesday 10 July 2018
TO BE CONFIRMED (HOME)
Saturday 14 July 2018
IPSWICH TOWN (HOME)
Tuesday 17 July 2018
AFC Sudbury (Away)
Saturday 21 July 2018
Dereham Town (Away)
Tuesday 24 July 2018
Coggeshall Town (Away)
Saturday 28 July 2018
CHELMSFORD CITY (HOME)
HOW WE FINISHED