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Iron hold their nerve to book Essex Senior Cup final appearance
Braintree Town's players held their nerve in a penalty shootout at AFC Hornchurch to book the club's first Essex Senior Cup final appearance in 17 years.
The Iron won the shootout 5-4 after their semi-final against the Urchins ended 1-1 after 90 minutes and they will now face either Colchester United or Concord Rangers in the final.
The game was badly affected by a strong wind as a strong Iron side made only their third appearance of 2014 in all competitions.
Following a goalless first half, it was the hosts who took the lead in the 64th minute when Stefan Payne got on the end of Leigh Bremner's cross and slipped the ball home.
It looked as if that single strike would give Hornchurch the chance to continue defending the cup that they won last year, especially after Braintree were reduced to ten men when skipper Kenny Davis was sent off.
But Braintree had other ideas and they levelled the match in the 84th minute when Dan Holman found the target after coming on as a substitute.
That was how the 90 minutes ended and the tie went straight to penalties without extra-time.
The shootout was tight and stood at 4-4 when Braintree keeper Nick Hamann saved from Phil Starkey and when the Iron's fifth spot-kick was successfully converted, it was Alan Devonshire's men who made the passage into the final.
It will be Braintree's first final appearance since 1997 when they lost to Southend United.
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