ASSISTANT manager Keith Rowland launched a passionate rallying-cry to Braintree’s residents as the biggest game in Iron’s history gets ever closer.

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Braintree Town entertain League One Tranmere Rovers in ITV’s live game on Sunday, with a place in the Second Round of the FA Cup at stake.

The encounter also represents the latest chapter in Braintree’s glorious recent history and a packed Amlin Stadium should be the least Iron’s part-time players deserve, according to the former West Ham defender.

“It’s great that the game is on ITV and that the players are receiving good exposure in the build-up,” he said.

“But the players have done the football club and town great credit over the last couple of years and it would be a shame if they did not come walking out to something near a full house.

“They have grafted hard and achieved some great results over the last couple of seasons and maybe it is now time for the town to come out and support them.”

Sunday’s opponents’ main aim this season will be a return to the Championship after a 12 -year absence.

But Rowland, who was part of Harry Redknapp’s Bournemouth team that beat then-Division Town team Newcastle in an FA Cup replay, at St James’s Park, in 1992, believes the Cup will not be taken lightly by Ronnie Moore’s side, either.

“The lower-league clubs certainly take the FA Cup seriously and I think this will be one of Tranmere’s biggest games of the season,” said Rowland.

“The TV audience is likely to be as big as that for a Premier League game and they will want to go through.

“People watching will be looking for a lower-league upset, and that represents the romance of the Cup.

“I knew our game would be on TV.

“Chelmsford v Colchester is a good regional tie but ours has a national pull.”

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