Saints relieved with passage in FA Trophy after being taken to penalties by 10-man Braintree

St Albans City needed penalties to advance in the FA Trophy against Braintree Town.

St Albans City needed penalties to advance in the FA Trophy against Braintree Town. - Credit: JIM STANDEN

St Albans City are through to the last 32 of the FA Trophy but they needed a penalty shoot-out to see off dogged 10-man Braintree Town.

The Irons were reduced a man after a horrendous tackle by Marcus Johnston-Schuster left Huw Dawson with a gash on his shin and needing a trip to hospital.

That was on 15 minutes but despite camping in the visitors half for the remainder of the game, City were unable to break down a resolute defence.

They had a chance to win it earlier in the shoot-out too after Michael Johnson had saved Harry Hope's effort but Joy Mukena hit their fifth penalty off the bar to take it to sudden death.

And after one successful conversion each, Gio Crichlow suffered the same fate as Mukena leaving Alex Lankshear the man to convert the winning kick.

Alex Lankshear scores the winning penalty for St Albans City against Braintree Town in the FA Trophy.

Alex Lankshear scores the winning penalty for St Albans City against Braintree Town in the FA Trophy. - Credit: JIM STANDEN

"I’m not going to lie, I was really scared taking the penalty," said the smiling 17-year-old, "but someone had to do it and I was happy it went in, just, but it went in. 

"I was just happy we won. 

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"When we first played them [in October], it was one of my most physical games but you can’t go into these games scared. 

"I didn’t think too much about it and you can’t pull out of a tackle, if you do, you’ll get hurt. 

"At this level, if a player sees you scared, they’ll pick on you more so you have to play with 100 per cent confidence."

For manager Ian Allinson, winning was the only thing he was worried about, regardless of how it came.

He said: "I’m obviously relieved and just happy to be in the next round. 

"The sending off changed they game and they defended for their lives and you have to say they defended very well. 

"They got 10 men behind the ball and very rarely got out of their own half but we weren’t good enough. 

"We were slow in the way we moved the ball, some of the transitions were too slow and when we got in good areas, we weren’t good enough. 

"We do fancy ourselves though when we go to penalties. 

"You have to take the rough with the smooth and a lot of games over the last few weeks and full credit to our lads, we stuck at it."

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