BRAINTREE TOWN progressed to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup following a penalty shoot-out win over Hashtag United, writes JON WEAVER.

The Iron first competed in the FA Cup in 1925, when they were known as Crittall Athletic.

They started the 2020-21 season by travelling to Basildon to take on Hashtag United, in their debut season of playing in the oldest cup competition in the world.

Hashtag are a social media sensation, with 215,000 Twitter followers and their own YouTube channel and with cup fever gripping the club had 40,000 people watching a live internet stream of the game.

With Iron taking on a team from three steps lower, but already on their eighth game of the season, the match represented a considerable banana skin.

Baffling Covid-19 restrictions prevented Braintree fans from attending the game, although 300 Hashtag fans could.

Braintree enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half but could not find the net.

The pace of Yamfam, Payne and Gordon was causing Hashtag all sorts of trouble.

They should have taken the lead in the 17th minute when Alfie Payne broke through down the right hand side.

Rather than shoot as soon as he had clear sight of the goal, he cut inside in search of the perfect finish but fired wide of the upright.

After 35 minutes Hashtag had an incredible let off.

Yamfam sped through the middle and blasted a shot straight at Page.

The rebound fell to Payne, who steadied himself before seeing his low drive cleared off the line.

This time the ball fell to Rohdell Gordon. He cut inside and struck a goalbound shot from six yards, it was blocked by two defenders and the goalkeeper, and the chance was lost.

Iron were a shadow of themselves in the second half, barely getting as far as Hashtag's penalty area.

The hosts grew in confidence and the longer the game went on an upset became increasingly likely.

With seven minutes left, they struck the inside of the post.

It looked like Braintree had held on for penalties but cruelly Aromolaran fired Hashtag ahead in the 91st minute.

As their players and crowd celebrated in front of the cameras it looked like they had pulled off the shock of the round.

Braintree, however, were not finished. Straight from the restart they pressed forward and Olu Olu fired an unstoppable low drive into the corner of the net.

The final whistle blew and the tie moved on to penalties.

Hashtag had won on penalties in each of their last two cup ties but they were up against a club with one of England's best penalty records.

Iron went first with Gordon scoring. Yamfam got their second, with Hashtag scoring with their first two kicks.

Then Seye Okunlola's shot was saved by Page and Hashtag netted again to lead 3-2.

Johnville Renee stepped up for the 4th kick knowing that failure would have put Iron in a very difficult position.

He scored to level at 3-3 and then debutant Iron keeper Adam Przybek, a Welsh under- 21 international on loan from Ipswich, dived to his left to save Smith's penalty.

Romario Dunne scored the fourth penalty, with Hashtag matching the achievement to take the contest to sudden death.

Fielding, Olu and O'Keefe all converted their kicks to put Iron 7-6 ahead.

Anderson then put his final kick wide, to deafening silence.

Braintree had survived their tough season opener and move on to the third qualifying round.

Braintree have now taken part in 17 penalty shoot-outs in England since 1977 and won 14 of them.