Posted: 14.10.20 at 08:39 by Richard Buckby
Maldon & Tiptree come out on top in the battle of the "Trees" in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round after win over Braintree Town.
In a game played behind closed doors, due to Braintree's elite status, the rain did not stop in what turned out to be another memorable FA Cup night for Maldon manager, Wayne Brown and his team.
After dominating for large parts of the match, the Jammers scored the only goal of the contest in the 75th minute, thanks to winger, Andre Hasanally - his first goal for Maldon.
Following last season heroics in the Emirates FA Cup, it is fair to say the Jammers were at it again as their love affair with the most famous competition in the world continued.
The upset was the best of the 3rd Qualifying Round, with Brown's men the only team in the competition to beat a side two divisions higher than them.
After last seasons heroics in the FA Cup, Brown's men had another cup-upset in their sights, away from home against Braintree Town of the Conference South on a wet Tuesday night, in a game played behind closed doors. Following Saturday's win over Felixstowe & Walton, Maldon made several changes with Scott Kemp returning from suspension, Bradley McClenaghan and Billy Cracknell were also restored to the starting line-up.
Being the home side and a team from a higher division, Braintree started on the front foot, controlling possession whilst the Jammers found it difficult to find their feet in the opening stages. Despite their possession, the home side were unable to break down a once again, solid Maldon defence. As the underdogs began to grow in to the game, attacking moves started to follow with Scott Kemp and Alfie Mason both involved, but Kemp's cross only just evaded Adam Vyse in the penalty area.
Twenty minutes in and Ben McNamara was forced in to his first save of the contest and what save it was. A free kick from Braintree's Rondell Gordon, looked destined for the top corner but McNamara was on hand to pull off a remarkable diving save to his right hand side. As the game began to flow from end to end, Maldon had their first shot on target with 30 minutes on the clock, as McClenaghan tested the impressive, Adam Pizzybek in Braintree's goal - the shot was saved, in the end by Pizzybek.
As the Jammers began to dominate against their superior opponents, the chances began to follow with Billy Cracknell, Hamza Kaid, Scott Kemp and Adam Vyse all having chances to open the scoring, the best of which falling to Vyse but his effort from around 8 yards sailed over the cross bar. On the stroke of half-time, Kemp had another chance but like Vyse, his effort went over the cross bar. Somehow, Maldon were level at the break...
Half-time: Braintree Town 0-0 Maldon & Tiptree
Wayne Brown's side started the second half, much like how they finished the first - on the front foot and looking to create plenty of goal scoring opportunities. Sure enough, the first chance of the second half did fall to Jammers, following great work from winger, Andre Hasanally, Kemp was gifted with a great opportunity but he dragged his effort wide of the goal. Make-shift full-back, Alfie Mason then had a chance of his own to test the hands of Pizzybek, however like many of his team mates in the first half, he blasted his effort over the cross bar.
Despite their spells of possession, Braintree struggled to create any real chances of note, but Niran Butler did need to be alert, midway through the second half as a dangerous cross from the right looked destined for the foot of Louis Yamfam, but Butler was on hand to clear the danger in what was an impressive defensive clearance. Looking to strike the first goal of the evening, Maldon made their first change with Thomas Stagg replace Vyse, upfront.
With 15 minutes left to go, the Jammers finally were finally rewarded for their impressive display and the Braintree defence was breached. A driving run from Scott Kemp down the left, was followed by a brilliant pass in to the feet of Kaid, Kaid's effort was blocked by Pizzybek in goal, however the rebound fell kindly to Andre Hasanally (pictured) who blasted the ball in to the back of the net for his Maldon & Tiptree goal - what a time to score it. With the home defense appearing to be at sixes and sevens, Maldon created a host of chances to extend their lead in quick succession. Mason stung Pizzybek's hands from distance, before Pizzybek was on hand again to make a breathe-taking double save, denying Kaid and McClenaghan to keep his side in the game.
As Braintree looked destined to be heading out of the FA Cup, they created their best chances of the evening in the last moments. A swift counter attack after a sloppy Maldon pass, gifted Yamfam with another chance, however he was not able to get the better of McNamara in the Maldon goal. With virtually move of the match, Braintree were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Maldon box. Liam Smyth stepped up to take the free-kick, only to see his smart effort cannon off the cross bar to the delight of the visiting defence.
And that was that. The Jammers have pulled off another cup-upset, led by the ever-impressive, Wayne Brown, this time conquering a side two divisions above them to book their place in the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup for a second successive season.
Full-time: Braintree Town 0-1 Maldon & Tiptree