Braintree Town

Cressing Road Founded 1898 The Iron

Twenty three years ago Braintree Town moved up the Southern League and to cut travelling costs they moved to the Isthmian leagues five years later. What happened next was steady progress, even though they effectively choose to move down two steps. By 2001 the Iron climbed through three divisions to the Isthmian Premier which they won in 2006. In the next two campaigns the Essex club reached the playoffs missing out on both occasions. The wait was well worth it when Braintree Town took the Conference South title three years ago. Ever since becoming champion the Iron have more than held their own in Conference Premier. As underdogs in the first season they stayed up with ease and each term since has seen improvement.

BTFCLast Season

Conference Premier: 6th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

FA Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Runners Up

Top Scorer: Dan Holman

Average Attendance: 994

Officially the best part time in the country, dicing with the playoffs and a personal best finish, Braintree Town had a terrific third campaign in the Conference Premier. A horrendous fixture backlog added to the challenge of one of the lowest budgets, The Iron almost reached the playoffs. Denied on the final day, they couldn’t overturn a three point deficit over FC Halifax Town. Strangely for what the club have to work with, coming so close brought about mixed emotions of pride and disappointment. The thing is, it wasn’t as if the Essex club sneaked into sixth, they kept up with the top five all campaign. At one stage the club dropped to seventeenth only because they played only three games in January and February.  A fixture backlog is often used as an excuse but not this time. The challenge of nineteen games in the final two months spurred the players on in an attempt of a top five finish. Maybe not this time but a fantastic effort nonetheless.

The Manager – Alan Devonshire

A former England international as a player, Devonshire won eight caps for his country making his name at West Ham United. The midfielder played over 350 games for the Hammers reaching Wembley in 1980. Up against Arsenal in the top flight, West Ham United caused an upset winning the cup from outside the top flight. Devonshire’s cross set up Trevor Brooking’s famous header to earn a memorable climb up the Wembley steps. The 58 year old knows a thing or two about being an underdog and he has proved this at Cressing Road. When he took over in May 2011, Braintree Town had just clinched the Conference South league title gaining promotion to the Conference Premier for the first time in their history. Devonshire was appointed after impressing at Hampton and Richmond who he took from the Isthmian Division One to the Conference Premier. Whilst operating as a part time club, Braintree Town have improved on each of their last five campaigns, three of which in the top flight of non league under Devonshire.

The Summer

Dan Walker returns to Cressing Road from Hereford United. The 24 year old made four loan appearances for the Iron in February 2013. Another former loanee comes back to the club, Charlie Strutton scored six in seven appearances for Braintree Town last term.

Dean Wells moves to League Two side Stevenage for £25000 with the fee rising dependent on appearances and other add ons. Devonshire has been working with the defender for nine years with the Iron as well as Hampton and Richmond. Top scorer Dan Holman is now a free agent after turning down a new contract. Holman has found the net on a regular basis since moving to Cressing Road.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Braintree Town 1 Dartford 0 – Conference Premier – 18 April 2014

Mid way through the first half Kenny Davis effort from just outside the box won the game for Braintree Town. Alan Julian made a string of fine saves in the Dartford goal. Lee Noble missed two chances at 0-0 but the Iron managed to complete a double over Dartford.

Dartford 0 Braintree Town 2 – Conference Premier – 24 August 2013

It took an improved Braintree Town performance after the break to overcome the Darts. The home side edged the first forty five minutes without breaking through. Alan Massey headed a Kenny Davis free kick into the net to give Braintree Town the lead. Former Ebbsfleet United striker Liam Enveer-Marum wrapped it all up with a last minute strike.

Next Meetings

Friday 26 December 2014 at Princes Park

Thursday 1 January 2015 at Cressing Road

League Performance Last Ten Years

braintree ten yrsBest Performances

6th Conference Premier (2013/14) F.A Cup 1st Round (2005/06, 2012/13 & 2013/14) F.A Trophy 5th Round (2001/02)

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