Shrewsbury Town 4 Braintree Town 1
In fact all notions of an upset were dashed within the first five minutes as the home side raced into a 2-0 lead – an advantage they further increased just before the break. When a fourth goal went in seven minutes after the break a complete rout looked on the cards – but plucky Braintree stuck to their guns and nobody in the ground begrudged them their late consolation effort.
The visitors were dealt a blow even before the kick-off when striker Carl Griffiths was ruled out of the tie with a foot injury. Griffiths – who clocked up over a million pounds in transfer fees during his six club professional career – scored 30 goals for Shrewsbury during the 1992-93 season, a tally that eventually lead to a £450,00 move to Manchester City.
Without the experienced Griffiths to lead their front line, Braintree's task was made even harder – and victory looked out of the question within minutes of the kick-off. Inside the first minute Shrews' midfielder Ben Smith was sent crashing on the edge of the penalty area with referee Booth pointing immediately to the spot. Colin McMenimen slotted home the ensuing penalty and four minutes later the home side were celebrating again as midfielder Jamie Tolley netted with a low drive from 12 yards.
Despite some spells of possession, Braintree never seriously threatened the Shrewsbury goal and fell further behind on 43 minutes when centre-back Richard Hope nodded home an inswinging Tolley corner.
In the 52nd minute young midfield man David Edwards pounced on some hesitant defending to slot home Shrewsbury's fourth and it needed some last ditch tackles to deny the home side rattling in half-a-dozen.
But 12 minutes from time Braintree had the moment of glory their determined efforts deserved – with Bradley Quinton on hand to score from close range when the Shrewsbury defence failed to clear a free-kick.