Braintree Town warmed up for their big night in the FA Cup with a stylish Blue Square Bet Premier victory against Gateshead.

With a televised FA Cup first round clash with League One leaders Tranmere Rovers coming up on Tuesday, the Iron were keen to get a 3-0 defeat by Lincoln in their previous game out of their systems.

And goals at the start of each half by Sean Marks and Dean Wells saw them do that as three points lifted Braintree back out of the Blue Square Bet Premier drop zone.

Manager Alan Devonshire said: “For the first half an hour I thought it was the best we have played.

“We were pressing up the pitch as we knew they would try and play it out.

“We tried to make them kick it long so we could get it and have a go at them, but we dropped for the last 20 minutes of the first half and that was when they came into it and nicked the goal.

“Second half, we just said to them to squeeze up the pitch and they did what we asked.

“I’m delighted for them because heads were down after (the Lincoln game on) Tuesday and this will have given them a nice little boost for the Tranmere game.”

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