KYRAN Clements says it is great to make FA Cup progress after striking late to help Braintree Town see off stubborn Canvey Island 3-1 after extra-time, writes DAVID WARD.

Clements' dramatic equaliser in the eighth and final added minute of normal time kept Iron in the second qualifying round replay by the skin of their teeth, after Iron had trailed to Evans Kouassi's 45th-minute goal.

Substitute Clements rose to head home at The Rare Breed Meat Company Stadium, sending the game into extra-time where two exceptionally well-taken goals by Aaron Blair booked the hosts a home tie with old cup rivals Brackley Town, on Saturday week.

Clements: "I just knew that if I could get high enough and a good header in towards the opposite side it would go into the net and thankfully it all worked out well.


"I think we deserved to win overall and we had several good chances early on to have broken the deadlock and I felt if we had scored one goal then we would have gone on to win by more goals in normal time.

"But it's great to be in the next round but we know it will be a tough game against Brackley."

For Braintree manager Angelo Harrop, it was a real rollercoaster evening and he felt relief that they finally clinched victory so late on.

He said: "I think we changed our formation five times during the game to try and unlock the visitors and then again using our substitutes sensibly it all paid off and the players never gave up while the support from the Iron fans was again tremendous.


"We know that in comparison we are relatively a small sized squad of players and it's always difficult to combat our style of play again such strong and big opposition.

"But credit to every player they put a shift in and in the end we won and I think we deserved to.

"I know we need to strengthen our side, particularly in attack and we've still plenty of work to do and the players must now rest up because we have two really big league games coming up against Aveley this Saturday and then the visit of current league leaders Bath City before the end of the month."


Missing from Braintree's line-up in both these cup games was young striker Will Davies, who has been the subject of a transfer approach by Barnet.

Davies is under contract with the Iron and an undisclosed transfer fee has to be agreed between the two clubs, with discussions still ongoing.

Braintree were indebted to an outstanding performance by keeper Jack Sims, who twice in the first half and three times late on in the game pulled off excellent saves to keep his side in the competition.

There was little he could do when Kouassi jinked his way through the Iron defence before firing in a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner, right on half-time.

Braintree overall certainly had the better of the second half chances in what was an entertaining cup-tie.

But it was Clements, who has made a habit of coming up with crucial goals for his side, who really helped the Iron 'get out of jail' with that late, late equaliser, before Blair struck twice.

Blair said: "I'm so pleased to have scored them and I know we missed chances early on and it was difficult playing against such a big, strong defence but we kept going and in the end it all paid off."