Name: Braintree Town FC (formerly Manor Works, Crittall Athletic, Braintree & Crittall Athletic and Braintree FC)

Founded: 1898

Stadium: Cressing Road

Capacity: 4,202 (553 seated)

Last season: 22nd in National League (relegated)

Gloucester City fans will have 21 new grounds to visit when they start their first season at National League South level on Saturday 5 August, among them is a trip to Essex to face Braintree Town.

The Iron are also newcomers to the division, having been relegated from the National League at the end of last season, which will see them return to the National League South for the first time since 2011.

Braintree’s relegation was a huge disappointment for the fans of the Essex-based club, who had finished third in the National League the season prior, losing out in the semi-final of the playoffs to now League 2 side Grimsby Town.

Formed in 1898 as Manor Works, the works team of the Crittall Window Company. The club took over the fixtures of recently defunct Braintree F.C. in the North Essex League, and took on most of their former players.

They left the league in 1900, but returned the following year. They won the title in 1905/06, 1910/11 and 1911/12, also winning the Mid-Essex League in 1909/10 and 1910/11. In 1911, they also joined Division 2A of the Essex & Suffolk Border League, remaining in the league until 1928.

The club became Crittall Athletic in 1921 in order to be more identifiable with their parent company. After winning Division Two (Western) consecutively between 1922 and 1924, the club were promoted to the Senior Division of the Border League in 1925, joining the Spartan League in 1928 and became founding members of the Eastern Counties League in 1935.

In 1954 the club turned professional, but financial problems forced them to revert to amateur status at the end of the 1954/55 season. Their name was changed once again in 1968 to Braintree & Crittall Athletic, before all links with Crittall were severed in 1981, with the club being renamed Braintree FC.

In 2005/06 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 4-1 to Shrewsbury Town. In the same season they won the Premier Division to earn promotion to the Conference South.

In their first season in the Conference South, they reached the playoff final, losing 1-0 to Salisbury City. They reached the playoffs again the next season, but they lost in the semi-final to Eastbourne Borough.

In 2010/11 they finished as Conference South champions, earning promotion to the highest level of non-league football. The next four seasons also saw the club reach the FA Cup first round.

The Tigers will meet Braintree Town for the first time in league football when the two sides face off in the 2017/18 National League South season. The only meeting between the clubs came in the FA Trophy in 2007/08, where Braintree came out as 2-0 victors.

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