JUBILANT Braintree Town boss Angelo Harrop praised his Braintree Town players after they clinched a magnificent promotion to the Vanarama National League, writes DAVID WARD.

The Iron beat Worthing 4-3 after extra-time in their play-off final to return to the top flight after a pulsating and roller-coaster of a ride, at Woodside.

Having already won their two semi-final play-off games the hard way in extra-time, it was a case of "same again please" for the 500-odd Iron fans in the capacity 2,700 and it took a brilliant diving low header from substitute Reggie Lambe in the 108th minute to seal their return to the top league after five years.

Harrop said: "For me this is the biggest moment of my footballing career gaining promotion for such a great club with everyone connected both on and off the field working so hard as they have done all season and I'm so grateful.


"To achieve this with three extra-time wins in our promotion finals is incredible and again it shows the strength of characters we have in the squad and how they work constantly for one another and never give up even when we go behind, as we did in the second half in this game.

"To win away from home too as we did against Chelmsford City and here at Worthing is a magnificent achievement by everyone involved because it's not easy coming to a place like this and face a well drilled, well organised home side.

"I'm over the moon that we won and it's not really sunk in yet but we'll enjoy the moment and then get down to serious work preparing for the big step up.

"I have to also say a big thank you to our fans who were fantastic today again as they have been all season, travelling long distances and then giving the vocal support they do - they are truly our 12th man."


Harrop admits he was a relieved man seeing Lambe's goal go in from an excellent right wing cross from Charlie Wakefield.

"It's typical of all my players in that they never give up and they will fight to the bitter end," said Harrop.

"But what a fantastic game of football it was particularly for any neutrals watching and even when we went behind early in the second half I knew we would never give up.

"We knew too we had to be constantly on the front foot and it would be a really hard game coming here because they are a very good side.


"Losing here in last year's semi-final was hard to take but I think it showed in this game we are now a stronger, better built squad with good players in every department."

Harrop said although it was a genuine team effort he particularly praise keeper Jack Sims for pulling off great saves when the home side pushed hard.

He added: "He's been outstanding for us this season and I'm not surprised he has been voted man of the match by our fans."