BRAINTREE Town will be hoping that it is third time lucky when they head to Salisbury tonight in the first round of the FA Trophy.

The Iron were twice frustrated by a waterlogged pitch at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium before Christmas as the tie was postponed on two occasions at the Southern League premier division south club.

The call-offs proved tough for Braintree's players and staff as they had travelled all the way to Wiltshire in the first instance and had then got as far as Fleet Services on the M3 when the second postponement was confirmed.

So they will be hoping to get it played tonight, with the prospect of a trip to Bostik League premier division side Carshalton Athletic awaiting the victors on Saturday.

If it ends in a draw tonight, though, the replay will take place at Braintree on Saturday at Cressing Road and the second round tie will be pushed back to next Tuesday (January 15).

The home side will come into the tie in good form tonight, having not lost in their last eight outings through December and early January, while the Iron will make the trip after encouraging away performances in their last two away games.

They followed a win at Maidenhead the previous week with a 0-0 draw at Halifax in the Vanarama National League on Saturday and know they will have to use their experience at the higher level to progress in the FA Trophy.

Manager Hakan Hayrettin has added four new players to his squad in the last week, with defensive duo Robert Atkinson and Andrew Eleftheriou, who are on loan from Premiership clubs Fulham and Watford respectively, both impressing at Halifax.

And assistant boss Danny Searle has said that the opening of the January transfer window has allowed the Iron's management team to utilise their contacts within clubs at the top level of the English game.

Searle told BBC Essex: “The gaffer and myself have good contacts in the professional game and now the January window is open, we can be talking to the Premier League clubs and making sure we are getting these players.

“Not just kids but young players with real potential and attributes that will suit our level of football."