DIAZ Wright concluded a wonderful loan spell with Braintree Town by firing the Iron back up into the top-flight of English non-league football.

The Colchester United midfielder showed his character by stepping forward to score the winning spot-kick in a dramatic penalty shootout that earned the Iron Vanarama National League South play-off success.

After 120 minutes of normal and extra-time ended with Braintree and Hampton and Richmond Borough locked together at 1-1, it took penalties to separate them.

And it was the U’s man who fired home the decisive kick to wrap up a 4-3 victory that secured promotion back to the National League just 12 months after their relegation from the top-flight.

It was the second penalty shootout win Braintree had enjoyed after earlier beating Hemel Hempstead on their way to setting up the final at Hampton and Richmond and Wright was overjoyed to have played his part in the success.

Wright, who has been on loan with the Iron since early March, said: “It was a play-off final and we knew the goal was going up to the next division, but we’d already won a penalty shootout and that gave us confidence.

“For me, to score the last penalty was very special; it’s sent us up and that’s what I wanted from the start of my loan spell with Braintree.

“I had a few offers to go to other clubs before I went to Braintree, but I knew they were going for the play-offs.

“I got a call on the Wednesday, I was training with them the next day and we’ve lost just one game since then.

“It’s been fantastic and now we’re in the National League.”

While the game itself wasn’t a classic over the 120 minutes, no-one at Braintree was complaining about that and Wright was pleased to have a chance to make a difference in the shootout after seeing his penalty saved in the earlier one at Hemel Hempstead.

He added: “We’d had a practice in training with the penalties and the Gaffer asked who wanted one.

“I knew I’d missed one in the shootout at Hemel Hempstead and I knew I wanted to redeem myself so it was nice to get the winner.

“I’m quite a confident player and while the one I missed at Hemel went through my head a bit, I knew I just needed to get a good connection.”

Iron manager Brad Quinton felt the way the U’s man stepped forward in such a dramatic situation was a measure of him as a person and a player.

He said: “It says everything about the lad.

“I believe that lad can play at a very high level because he has everything.

“He has composure and the drive to strive and press forward.

“He has enjoyed his time with us and if I could keep him it would be huge – I’ll try my best!

“To step up and get the winning goal like that is amazing.

“I just fell to my knees when it went in and I’d just like to say a massive thank you to Colchester United for letting us have him and to Diaz for being with us.”