Allen wins it late to boost Iron’s play-off push
National League South
Braintree Town 2
Concord Rangers 1
It took a dramatic winning goal in the 98th minute to give the Iron three vital points to boost their play-off chances in a thrilling game that left Iron manager Brad Quinton physically and mentally drained.
A draw looked on the cards after Dan Thompson equalised for the home side on 87 minutes, cancelling out young Adam Topley’s fine 25-yard strike on 75 minutes that had given the visitors a surprise lead.
But with the game deep into stoppage time the home side forced a dramatic winner from close range thanks to a quick reaction from midfielder Luke Allen to drive the ball home through a crowded box and which sent the Iron fans celebrating wildly while referee Will Finnie final blew for full-time right from the restart.
“It was certainly a roller-coaster ride that left me so tired and drained but totally elated and so please for the boys and also the supporters to see us come back from the dead,” Quinton declared. “I’ve been involved with a few dramatic games in my time but nothing like this one.”
He went on: “It was an emotional end to the game and it proved my players never give in and have a tremendous commitment and character.
“To come back from a goal so late on and then score twice is fantastic and keeps our play-off hopes well alive,” he said.
“We had chances before they scored and we almost paid the price for wasting them but I felt we deserved it overall, particularly in the second half when we pinned them in their own half for so long.”
He added: “It shows that the players are up for the battle in these last few games to ensure we make the play-offs.”
Rangers’ boss Adam Flanagan was gutted for his players, saying: “I’m upset for the boys as I think we were extremely unlucky not to have taken something away from the game but that’s what seems to happen when you’re down the bottom.
“Some of the boys were clearly tired from the long midweek trip to Truro and it showed and we just don’t have the depth in strength other sides do in this league,” he said.
“But they are honest boys and showed great character and commitment and I think the referee had a good game but where he gained all that stoppage time at the end I just don’t know.”