FA Cup first round proper

Braintree Town’s loan players showed the benefits of taking chances in front of goal as the Iron made club history by booking their place in the second round of the FA Cup.

On bonfire night, there were FA Cup fireworks from Braintree as they fired seven goals – including a hat-trick for George Elokobi - past Eastbourne Borough.

Loanees – Monty Patterson and Elokobi – rattled in goals in the opening 21 minutes of their FA Cup first round tie against Eastbourne Borough.

They paved the way for the Iron to secure a 7-0 win after the break as they made it into the second round for the first time ever.

It had been an encouraging first five minutes for Vanarama National League South side Eastbourne, but that was as good as it got for the south coast club.

The Iron scored their opener in the sixth minute and the early goals made things comfortable for the hosts as they took opportunities in a way they haven’t at times this year in the Vanarama National League.

Making sure they found the target paid dividends and it ended up as a comfortable win for the Iron.

There were two changes for Braintree from the side that started the 1-0 defeat by Solihull Moors in the Vanarama National League seven days before.

Chez Isaac dropped out through suspension and Ian Gayle moved to the bench while there were respective places for Harry Lee and new signing Sean Clohessy.

It was an instant introduction for former Colchester United and Southend United defender Clohessy after he had joined the Iron the day before and he was given an early test by Eastbourne.

The visitors looked to make a quick start in the opening minutes, but their enthusiasm was tempered as Braintree hit them with a goal in the sixth minute.

It was Braintree's first real foray forward and was set up by some very calm play by Lee Barnard.

He opened the play on the right of the penalty area and clipped a neat ball in to the far post where Michael Cheek headed for goal.

Borough keeper Lewis Carey did well to keep out the first effort but Monty Patterson was on hand to pick up the loose ball and fire it into the back of the net.

It was precisely what the hosts wanted and things got even better five minutes later when they added a second goal.

A decent chance was opened as they broke forward and Cheek headed down to Patterson, who was pushed a bit wide before seeing his shot deflected for a corner.

From the resulting corner, Patterson's kick into the middle was headed home at the far post by George Elokobi to double the lead.

And a third goal well and truly put the Iron on top.

In the 21st minute, Akinola was brought down about 20 yards out as he charged at the Eastbourne goal and from the free-kick the ball found its way into the goal.

There was a bit of confusion over who should get the exact credit, with Oli Mulddon taking the low kick that skidded past a defender, who may have got a touch on it, and Elokobi chased the ball into the net.

The immediate credit went to Muldoon, but Elokobi claimed it as part of his treble.

It didn't really matter to the home fans who had scored it, though - the result was the same as their team held a 3-0 advantage.

The ball then ended in the net again, but Patterson’s effort was ruled out for offside this time.

It mattered little to Braintree by that stage, though, as they looked composed and comfortable in possession and saw out the rest of the half with few dramas at either end of the pitch.

With everything to do at the start of the second half, Eastbourne looked to get on the front foot and most of the attacking play was directed towards the home goal in the opening stages.

Braintree did a good job of containing them, though, and hit the visitors with a sucker punch in the 69th minute Simeon Akinola's pace allowed him to latch on to a long ball forward and after his lofted shot over Borough keeper Carey came off the post the loose ball was tucked into the net by Lee Barnard.

The goal killed off any hopes Eastbourne may have been harbouring of a comeback and Braintree added a fifth in the 75th minute when Barnard was on target again.

The former Southampton man drilled home from the penalty spot after Akinola had been felled in the box to stretch the lead to five goals and it was soon six.

As the clock ticked down, a corner from substitute Reece Hall-Johnson was glanced in off the head of Elokobi in a replica of the team’s second of the day as the Colchester United man claimed his hat-trick.

And in the dying moments, there was a much-deserved goal for captain-of-the-day Akinola as he somehow engineered space in a crowd of players and curled a shot in past Carey to wrap up a memorable day for everyone at the club.

Braintree Town: Sam Beasant, Jerome Okimo, Sean Clohessy, Jake Goodman, George Elokobi, Harry Lee, Lee Barnard, Monty Patterson (Sam Matthews 62), Oli Muldoon (Reece Hall-Johnson 81), Sim Akinola, Michael Cheek (Jack Midson 73).

Unused subs: Barney Williams, Ian Gayle, Jon Ashton, Sam Corne.

Referee: Stephen Ross.