Brad All Over! It's A Perfect Ending For Iron Hero Quinton

When the penalty torture was finally over and both sides were eventually put out of their misery, Bradley Quinton sat in a heap with his head on the turf.

Tears? They started the split second Diaz Wright found the top corner to sink the winning spot kick which sent Braintree Town back into the Vanarama National League at the first attempt after relegation pain a year ago.

The team who finished in the final place in the new-look play-off system were in seventh heaven.

For Quinton, it was all too much. The year he’s had turned him into an emotional wreck long before the torment from twelve yards, enough on its own to question why he chose management in the first place.

If penalty kicks to decide a whole season for the club closest to him was hard enough for the Iron boss, just think what it was like for his dad.

Les, 84, collapsed pitchside during Braintree’s semi-final victory over Dartford. It took the quick thinking of Princes Park’s “incredible” medical staff to keep him with us.

All this just a couple of months after Quinton’s son Bobby, 7, was forced to undergo surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital to correct a heart condition which had left the entire family paralysed by fear.

Les was there on Sunday, watching and cheering. Trying to keep his emotions in check. Quinton’s two sons had a banning order placed on them. Braintree perform so much better when they’re at home with mum you see, hopefully they can break that curse next season.

“I’ve had easier years, I tell you that!” said Quinton, whose side clawed their way back into the game having fallen behind to Max Kretzschmar’s eighth minute opener.

“Dad made it to the game and he’s getting there. He was under doctors’ orders to stay at home for seven days. He managed to convince them to reduce it from seven to six so he could be here - he was never going to miss this!

“He goes home and away and loves his football, and when I say he loves his football he really does! If there’s no game on the TV he’ll get out his computer and stream some random Dutch League game. I don’t know how how mum puts up with it!

“After all that’s happened to me personally maybe I was being looking after. I’m not sure about stuff being written in the stars but it’s very, very special.”

Even more so as this is Quinton’s club. He returned to Cressing Road last summer from Enfield, back ‘home’ to a place where he made more than 500 appearances as a player. He also won promotion from this league in 2011.

“Braintree Town means so much to me,” he said. “I am so happy I have been able to deliver what I wanted to for the fans and everyone here.

“The players have been fantastic and they deserve it so much. I said before that I wouldn’t swap a single one of them for any player in this league and they showed why.

“We have won three games away from home in the play-offs to go up. All the odds were against us the whole way through but we showed incredible character.”

PHOTOS BY IAN MORSMAN

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