Match Preview - Good Friday 19 April 2019
Maidstone United v Braintree Town
Maidstone United are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League 33 points. Their home record this season is P 21 W 3 D 4 L 14 GF 17 GA 35 Pts 13. Their last 4 home League results this season: Won 2-1 v Barnet, Lost 0-2 v Salford City, Lost 0-2 v Ebbsfleet United, Won 2-0 v Havant & Waterlooville. Form guide, last 6 League matches: LLDLWL. Top scorers this season: Blair Turgott (3 pens) - 13, Jack Powell - 4, Justin Amaluzor & William De Havilland - 3.
Braintree Town are currently 23rd in the Vanarama National League on 34 points. Braintree Town's away record this season: P 21 W 4 D 4 L 13 GF 21 GA 34 Pts 16. Braintree Town last 4 away League results this season: Lost 3-1 v Wrexham, Lost 2-1 v Solihull Moors, Won 0-3 v Sutton United, Lost 3-0 v Dover Athletic. Form guide, last 6 League games: WLLWLW. Braintree T scorers this season: Callum Morton - (3 pens) - 5, Korrey Henry (1 pen) - 4, Luke Allen (1pen), Mo Sagaf & Own Goals - 2.
The meeting at Cressing Road on 22 September 2018 ended in a one-nil victory for the visitors; the goal coming from the penalty spot in added time at the end of the game. Blair Turgott was adjudged to have been fouled and converted the spot kick.
Our last visit to Kent was on 16 August 2016 with the home side claiming a 2-1 victory. The Stones took an early lead through Bobby-Joe Taylor before he added a second on the half hour. With 8 minutes left to play, Jon Ashton was sent off for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. Iron got a late consolation goal in added time through Joe Maybanks.
Former Iron manager Hakan Hayrettin joined his former Luton Town boss, John Still, in January this year, followed by Justin Amaluzor who joins previous Iron loanee, Jack Powell.
The Stones have the lowest goals total in the National League and have failed to score in 18 matches so far this season. Braintree will be looking to maintain their place above their hosts as the seasons end nears.

Segregation for Easter Monday
This match will be a Category B fixture
For our Vanarama National League fixture against Dagenham & Redbridge on Easter Monday, 22nd April, segregation WILL BE in force. This game will NOT be all ticket.
This match will be a Category B fixture. All admission prices can be found by clicking the 'Tickets' link above.
To gain entry to the ground, season ticket holders should use turnstiles 5 and 6. Home supporters should use the four turnstiles to the left of the clubhouse, numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Visiting supporters have been allocated the terraces to the right of the Main Stand and the 100 seats in Main Stand - Block A. Visiting supporters should enter via turnstiles 7 and 8 to the right of the Main Stand.
As a result of the limited parking we have available at the ground, and following the advice received from Essex Police, the Club have decided to charge for entry into the car park - with a flat rate of just £3 for all users. Essex Police have also suggested that the car park be closed prior to kick-off to ensure that there is no congestion between pedestrian spectators and vehicles. As a result, no vehicles will be allowed entry into the car park after 2.30pm.
The Clubhouse at the Cressing Road Stadium will only be open to spectators in the designated home section of the ground. Those travelling to the Cressing Road Stadium for the first time can find more information on how best to travel by clicking on the 'Find Us' link above.
Six designated wheelchair places exist at the front of the Main Stand, with access via gates adjacent to turnstiles 1-4 for home supporters and via gates adjacent to turnstiles 7 and 8 for away supporters. For further information, please contact the Club on 01376 345617 or 01376 330976 or via e-mail to info@braintreetownfc.org.uk.

Leyton Orient away - ticket details
12.30pm kick-off - Match all ticket
We complete our fixtures at championship-chasing Leyton Orient next Saturday, 27th April. Don't forget that the kick-off for this and all other Vanarama National League matches that day is now 12.30pm.

TICKET DETAILS

This match is all ticket and we have been allocated 317 match tickets for sale. Tickets will be on sale on Easter Monday after our match with Dagenham & Redbridge at 5pm in the Clubhouse for BTFC season ticket holders. When season ticket holders have taken their allocation, tickets will then go on general sale. Any remaining tickets will also be on sale from the Clubhouse next Thursday, 25th April from 8-9.30pm. Prices are as follows:

Adults - £18.00
Seniors 65 and over - £16.00
18-24 Years - £10.00
Under 18's - £5.00


Payment can be made via cash or credit/debit card.

Please note some tickets will have a restricted view and will be marked as such. Wheelchair users and their carers are not charged for entry into the Breyer Group Stadium and supporters should email l.martin@leytonorient.net to book.

Title hopefuls Fylde well beaten
Iron end Lancashire club's title hopes
This victory was no fluke win for Iron because all the players worked hard all afternoon and individually stuck to their tasks while combining with some really attractive football not often seen by Braintree fans this season.
The result means Iron dealt a fatal blow to the championship aspirations of the Coasters at Cressing Road on Saturday with one of their better footballing displays so far this season and there was no doubt they deserved their three points that lifts them once again off the bottom of the league.
The only surprise about the result was that the home side didn't score more as they always looked the more likely to score every time they went forward and repeatedly ran the visitors' defence ragged.
Naturally the visitors came back strongly in the second half when they did put the Iron defence under pressure, particularly in the latter stages of the game, but the young players coped well and showed supporters what progress has been made in the side in recent weeks.
A delighted Iron boss Danny Searle said: "It was a great performance by the youngsters and I'm really proud of their efforts over the whole 90 minutes.
"I felt we deserved to be 1-0 in front at half time and could have scored a couple of more times," he continued. "We knew the second half would be more difficult and it was, but the youngsters showed growing maturity and continued to chase and fight for every ball while going forward some our football was the best I've seen since being here."
Iron were by far the better side in the first half with striker Korrey Henry causing problems in the heart of the visitors' defence, ably supported by Mo Sogaf and but for keeper Jay Lynch they would have conceded early on in the half.
It was Sogaf who broke the deadlock on 31 minutes with a superbly taken 25 yard free kick that he curled around the defensive wall putting the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Twice the visitors came close to equalising before the break but home keeper Ben Killip saved well to see his team going in at the interval a goal ahead.
The second half did see the visitors, with three substitutes made during that period, play much better and create three half chances in front of goal but excellent work by the home side's young back line kept them at bay.
The game looked to be tired up in the 76th minute when Henry was hauled down in the area leaving referee Gary Parsons no choice but to award a penalty to Iron.
Up stepped Henry to take the spot kick but it was a poor effort and Lynch was able to push the ball away to his left only for the sharp-eyed Courtney Richards to quickly drive the rebound home and into the net.
The visitors, desperate to at least salvage a point from the game, pushed forward in droves in the final minutes with defender Jordan Tunnicliffe finally getting a touch on the ball from a left wing cross to find the net four minutes from time.
But it proved all in vain and in the fourth minute of added on time a 25 yard powerful free-kick from Danny Rowe was well saved by Killip who managed to keep hold of the ball first time and ensure his young side collected a deserved three points.
Braintree Town: (4-4-2) Killip; Eleftheriou, Matsuzaka, Karic, Borg; Richards, Lyons-Foster, Eyoma (74 Allen), Atkinson; Sogaf, Henry. Subs not used: Eze, Gipson, Cerulli, Smith. Referee: Gary Parsons. Attendance: 331.

Next up for the Iron is the wooden-spoon six pointer away at fellow relegated Maidstone United on Good Friday, kick off 3pm.

Match Preview - Saturday 13 April 2019
Braintree Town v AFC Fylde
AFC Fylde are currently 4th in the Vanarama National League on 75 points. Their away record this season is P 21 W 6 D 11 L 4 GF 25 GA 18 Pts 29. Their last 4 away results this season: Won 0-1 v Gateshead, Drew 0-0 v Aldershot Town, Lost 2-0 v Leyton Orient, Drew 1-1 v Boreham Wood. Form over last 6 League games: WLDDWW. Top scorers this season: Danny Rowe (4 pens) - 27, Andrew Bond - 6, Gime Toure (now Sutton United & Serhat Tasdemir - 4.
Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 31 points. Braintree Town home record this season: P 21 W 4 D 3 L 14 GF 21 GA 43 Pts 15. Braintree T last 4 home results this season: Won 2-0 v Gateshead, Lost 0-4 v Harrogate Town, Lost 1-3 v Chesterfield. Form over last 6 League games: LWLLWL
Braintree Town scorers this season: Callum Morton - 5(3 pens), Korrey Henry (1 pen) - 4, Luke Allen (1 pen) & OG's - 2
The two sides first meeting this season was on 29 September 2018 when the Coasters won 3-0 with goals from Tasdemir, Philliskirk and the National League's leading marksman Danny Rowe.
It's been the only way is up since former Tranmere Rovers long throw expert, Dave Challinor, took over as manager in 2011. This is their second season at this level, having made the play-offs in 2017/18 after finishing seventh; the Lancashire side have all but secured another play-off spot this time around. They also have a date at Wembley on 29th May when they take on Leyton Orient in the Buildbase F A Trophy final.
On their travels this season, they have become something of draw experts with 11 so far, six of them goalless.
With Maidstone winning their midweek game in hand, the Iron have returned to the foot of the National League table. Danny will have the boys prepared to regain the upper hand ahead of next week's head to head.

Talking to Shane Temple
Getting round Kodi Lyons-Foster
DOB: 5/1/03 (16) Born: Cambridge
Previous clubs: Leyton Orient (Trial), Chelmsford City
Position: Striker
Q. Who do you support?
A. Chelsea
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Ronaldo
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Drake
Q. Favourite TV programme?
A. Match of the Day
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Snapchat & Instagram
Q. Which team gave you your first opportunity of club football?
A. Basildon Boys U8/9
Q. Who has given you the best advice along the way?
A. No one has really given me any
Q. Which coach has improved you?
A. Micky Fitch at Braintree
Q. What are your strengths and what do you need to work on?
A. Good at holding the ball up, I need to work on being faster off the ball
Q. What has been your best goal scoring season?
A. When I was 11 I scored about 50 for Chelmsford
Q. You made your debut against Harrogate and became the youngest ever debutant in the VNL; how did that feel?
A. It was an unbelievable feeling, it was good to get the assist for Mo's goal
Q. What do you think you can achieve in the game?
A. Press on to play as high as I can
Q. What would you do if it didn't work out?
A. Work with my dad
Q. What was it like the first time you joined in training here?
A. It was hard, different to what I'd done before, quicker
Q. How different is it to what you've done before?
A. In every way, you have to move the ball quicker
Q. Who is the hardest player to beat in training and why?
A. Kodi Lyons-Foster, I just can't get round him
Q. Who is the best finisher in training?
A. Iffy Allen
Q. Who has the best ball skills?
A. Iffy Allen
Q. Who is the biggest moaner?
A. Courtney Richards

Searle bemoans Iron naivety at Wrexham
Iron second best after the break
Two brief second half moments of naivety and inexperience cost the Iron any chance of returning home with at least a point from the Racecourse Ground on Saturday against play-off hopefuls Wrexham.
Having played well in the first half and equally matching the home side, plus coming back to equalise from conceding an 18th minute goal, the young Iron side were caught out twice on the hour and again seven minutes later from the home side's set pieces.
"We did everything right in the first half and looked to be worth at least a point but in those two moments we were caught out from set pieces and paid the penalty," said Iron boss Danny Searle. "It was down to inexperience and naivety from young players and at this level you simply get punished and punished quickly.
"But it's all a learning curve for the young players and they will benefit from it next season," he said. "There were many positives to take from the game and I was pleased with how kept playing our football and at times causing them problems at the back."
He added: "The boys are getting better and I am disappointed we didn't get something out of the game," he added.
The Iron went behind on 18 minutes when from set piece out on the right wing the unmarked Bobby Grant cut inside to drive the ball past keeper Ben Killip.
The Iron kept up the pressure on the home defence and equalised four minutes before the break when a high ball into the area was headed on first by fit again Rob Atkinson and then by Dan Matsuzaka before it fell to the feet of Korrey Henry who rammed the ball home from close range.
The second half saw the home side gain the upper hand and they regained the lead on the hour from a set piece via a corner where defender Shaun Pearson was allowed to run unchallenged into the Iron box to head the ball home.
The home side effectively wrapped up the game and three points on 67 minutes from another set piece left wing corner Akil Wright was left unmarked to scoop the ball over the line.
To their credit the Iron players kept battling on, never gave up and chased the game for a possible second goal but the more experienced home side were able to see the game out without too much trouble.
Braintree Town: Killip; Eleftheriou, Matsuzaka (45 Borg), Atkinson, Karic; Lyons-Foster, Eyoma, Richards, Allen; Sagaf (74 Cerlli), Korrey. Unused subs: Temple, Smith, Ezekiel.
Attendance: 4,221 (22 Iron supporters).

Next up for the Iron is a home game against AFC Flyde this coming Saturday, 13th April, with kick off at 3pm.

Match Preview - Saturday 6 April 2019
Wrexham v Braintree Town
Wrexham are currently 4th in the Vanarama National League 72 points. Their home record this season is P 20 W 14 D 3 L 3 GF 30 GA 11 Pts 45. Their last 4 home League results this season: Won 1-0 v Maidstone United, Lost 1-3 v Barrow, Won 1-0 v Chesterfield, Won 1-0 v Dagenham & Redbridge. Form guide, last 6 League matches: WLLWLL. Top scorers this season: Stuart Beavon (on loan from Coventry City) - 6, Shaun Pearson, Rekil Pyke, Mike Fondop - 5.
Braintree T are currently 23rd in the Vanarama National League on 31 points. Braintree T away record this season: P 20 W 4 D 4 L 12 GF 20 GA 31 Pts 16. Braintree T last 4 away League results this season: Lost 2-1 v Solihull Moors, Won 0-3 v Sutton United, Lost 3-0 v Dover Athletic, Lost 2-1 v Eastleigh. Form guide, last 6 League games: LLWLLW. Braintree T scorers this season: Callum Morton - (3 pens) - 5, Korrey Henry (1 pen) - 3, Luke Allen (1pen) & Own Goals - 2.
The meeting at Cressing Road on 8 September 2018 ended in a one-nil victory for the visitors; Shaun Pearson heading home a left wing corner on 66 minutes. Our last visit to Wales was on 12 November 2016 where the Iron won by the same score line, the winning goal scored by Michael Cheek midway through the first half. Our overall record at Wrexham is; played 6, won 3, drawn 1 and lost 2, scoring 9 and conceding 13. They appointed former Birmingham City, Charlton Athletic and Hull City midfielder Bryan Hughes as manager in February this year; who had started his playing career with Wrexham. The Dragons are in indifferent form of late and with the Iron's relegation confirmed last Saturday, Danny Searle's young side can play with freedom and cause the promotion chasers a problem or two.

Talking to Alfie Cerulli
about that goal
DOB: 2/2/2001 (18) Born: Harold Wood
Previous Clubs: Tottenham Hotspur (Yth), Colchester United (Yth), Witham Town
Position: Striker
Q. Do you have a job?
A. No, I'm at college studying sports science
Q. Who do you support?
A. Manchester United
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Sergio Aguero
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Drake
Q. Favourite film/TV programme?
A. Inbetweeners
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Twitter & Instagram
Q. At what age did you start playing club football and who with?
A. My first club was Doddinghurst U4's
Q. Have you always been a striker?
A. Yes
Q. What attributes do you have for that role?
A. Good finishing
Q. Who has been the best coach you've worked with and why?
A. Danny Searle
Q. Who has given you the best advice and what was it?
A. A coach at Colchester who taught me about good reaction and mental attitude
Q. How did you find out about your call up to Braintree?
A. Through Danny Searle and the Academy
Q. How did you feel the first time you joined the first team in the dressing room?
A. It was good, we still had a fighting chance when I joined the team
Q. Was it easy for you to join in with the rest of the lads?
A. Yes, they're a good bunch of lads, very welcoming
Q. You made quite an impact with a goal on your debut, what did you make of it?
A. I wanted to try and do what I could for the team and score, I really enjoyed it
Q. You'd missed an earlier chance; did that bother you at all?
A. I probably had too much time to think about having run from my own half, but I didn't dwell on it
Q. With relegation confirmed, what is your mind-set for the remaining games?
A. Keep fighting for every game to finish as high as possible
Q. What do you hope to achieve in the next couple of years?
A. Keep playing at the highest level football, get appearances and score goals
Q. If you could sit down and chat to any footballer, who would it be and why?
A. Johann Cruyff, he made the game the way it is today
Q. Who is the best finisher in training?
A. Me

Iron win but are relegated
Too little too late for Braintree
Iron registered a deserved win at Cressing Road on Saturday which not only lifted them off the bottom of the table but gave them their first double win of what has been a difficult season. Sadly, results elsewhere confirmed Iron's relegation.
With manager Danny Searle already building a new, younger side for next season it was also appropriate that one of his newcomers - 18 year-old local boy Alfie Cerulli - came off the subs' bench 10 minutes from time and in the end could have ended up with a hat-trick.
Within three minutes he raced clear of the visitors' defence forcing a one-on-one with keeper Aynsley Pears only to see his shot kicked clear by the custodian and three minutes later saw another shot cleared off the line.
He finally scored two minutes from time with a quick turn of his defender in the area to rifle home a low shot into the far corner of the net.
"I'm pleased I scored because I had missed two quick chances," he said. "I'm really happy to have scored and I think we deserved to win overall - I want more game time to get me in the team.
"There's great atmosphere in the dressing room and although most of us are young for this level of football we are sticking together and learning as we go," he added.
Searle said: "The lad did well and I'm pleased for him and we had three other youngsters on the bench today and they will all get their chance before the end of the season.
"It was a professional performance from our young players, they retained the ball well, kept pressing all the time and they never gave up," he said. "Yes we had to rely on our keeper Ben Killip to pull off a great save in either half to keep us in the game but we thoroughly deserved the win and three points. Our average age in the side is now 21 and that is the way forward for this club."
He added: "I'm looking to the future for this club and changing the culture that has been around for some time. We know you have to be consistent win games and get the crowds back to watch us."
In an entertaining game with free flowing football from both sides it was the home side who had the upper hand in the first half and but for two good saves from Pears the home side would have been well in the lead at the break.
As it was Iron took the lead on 44 minutes from penalty spot courtesy of Korrey Henry after Dan Matsuzaka had been fouled in the area.
The first 15 minutes of the second hall belonged to the Heed and at times Iron rode their luck but credit to the players they kept playing their football and chased and hassled the opposition which has not always been the case this season.
But the visitors failed to take their chances and when they looked likely to score keeper Killip came to his side's rescue.
As the half continued the home side began to take more control of the game and it was no surprise they wrapped up the points two minutes from time when young Cerulli turned in the area and drove the ball into the net.
The win may be immaterial for their fortunes this season but with another youngster - 17 year-old Keiran Smith - coming on late in the game, Iron gave a debut in this game to transfer deadline day signing Sven Karis, also from Derby County and here for the remainder of the season and he made an impressive debut in the heart of the defence replacing the injured Rob Atkinson.
Braintree Town: Killip; Eleftheriou, Lyons-Foster, Matsuzaka, Karic; Richards, James (46 Borg), Eyoma (90 Smith)' Sogaf; Allen (80 Cerulli), Henry. Unused subs: Eze, Temple. Attendance: 291. Referee: Paul Howard

Next up for the Iron is an away trip to Wrexham this Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Danny adds defender
Slovenian centre half joins for Saturday
Iron manager Danny Searle added a loan signing on transfer deadline day. Joining the club for the remainder of the season is 21 year old Slovenian defender Sven Karic from Derby County. Sven signed from Maribor in January 2017 after impressing on trial, bolstering Derby County's Under-23s defensive options ahead of his first full season at the club. Comfortable at both centre back and left back, Karic played five times for the Rams' Under-23s after signing as they secured their Premier League 2 Division 1 status.

Match Preview - Saturday 30 March 2019
Braintree Town v Gateshead
Gateshead are currently 8th in the Vanarama National League on 62 points. Their away record this season is P 20 W 10 D 2 L 8 GF 27 GA 23 Pts 32. Their last 4 away results this season: Lost 4-2 v Sutton United, Lost 1-0 v Solihull Moors, Won 0-2 v Aldershot Town, Won 0-2 v Dagenham & Redbridge. Form over last 6 League games: WDWWLL. Top scorers this season: Scott Boden (1 pen) (now Chesterfield) - 12, Luke Armstrong (1 pen) (on loan from and now back at Middlesbrough) - 10, Steven Rigg (1 pen) - 9, Greg Olley (1 pen) - 8
Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 28 points. Braintree Town home record this season: P 19 W 3 D 3 L 13 GF 19 GA 39 Pts 9. Braintree T last 4 home results this season: Lost 2-4 v Bromley, Lost 1-3 v Chesterfield, Lost 0-1 v Aldershot Town Won 1-0 v Salford City. Form over last 6 League games: LLLWLL. Braintree Town scorers this season: Callum Morton - 5(3 pens), Luke Allen (1 pen), Korrey Henry & OG's - 2.
The sides met on 15 September 2018 with Braintree recording their first away win of the season; Joe Ellul getting on the end of a long free kick just inside the Gateshead half. All but four of that Braintree squad have now departed. The last meeting at Cressing Road came on 10 September 2016 when the ‘Heed were victorious by four goals to one. They led one-nil at half time courtesy of a Reece Styche goal. The same player gave them a two goal lead on 52 minutes before Michael Cheek pulled one back for the Iron 5 minutes later. Paddy McLaughlin restored a two goal cushion on 70 minutes before Wes York completed the scoring with 8 minutes left to play. Former centre back Ben Clark was appointed full time manager in January this year after former manager, Steve Watson left to take over at York City. Clark played 280 games for the ‘Heed after a career spent in the north east with Sunderland and Hartlepool United. The play-off hopefuls will be another big test for the Danny Searle's young Iron side.

Eighth defeat in last ten for Iron
Iron can have no complaints, they were totally outclassed
Iron can have no complaints about this latest defeat at Cressing Road on Saturday, the eighth in Danny Searle's ten match managerial reign, because they were totally outclassed in the first half, conceding three dreadfully sloppy goals.
The half time scoreline would have read more embarrassing for Iron fans in the 673 crowd but for the heroics of England C keeper Ben Killip.
Iron would certainly have lost by a bigger margin without him and it's easy why a posse of Football League scouts were at this game waiting to snap him up at the end of the season with Iron all but relegated.
In the first half he pulled of four fantastic saves to deny the rampant visitors but could do nothing to stop his side going in at the break three goals to the good.
In the second half he again pulled off more saves and although the Iron side showed some fighting spirit and pulled two goals back but for Killip they would have been on the end of a hiding.
The gulf between the mostly young and inexperienced Iron side and the cohesive and mature visitors was only too clear to see in a first half they completely dominated.
They took the lead on 16 minutes when George Porter's shot took a wicked late defection off the home side's Kodi Lyons-Foster which left Killip stranded.
The visitors added a second on 21 minutes through Luke Coulson and right on the half time whistle Frankie Raymond scored with a stunning drive.
The first half was one of the worse 45 minutes from Iron this season but they did improve a little in the second and on 54 minutes Lyons-Foster headed home from a Luke Allen corner.
But any hopes of a fightback by Iron were quickly dealt with on 66 minutes when again Killip, who had just pull of two more great saves, was left exposed as JJ Hooper tapped the ball home from a right wing cross.
Three minutes into stoppage time Iron grabbed a mere consolation goal when substitute Mo Sogaf cut in from the right wing and fired a great 25 yard shot into the far top corner of the Bromley net.
Iron boss Danny Searle lamented the inexperience of his players in conceding those three early goals adding: "We had a game plan, knew what to expect but you can't give away three sloppy goals at any level and expect to get back in the game.
"The second half we got ourselves back in but then shot ourselves in the foot by conceding yet another poor goal," he added. "That really killed the game for us which is most disappointing."
The problem for Iron in this game as with most of their season is they are easily hustled off the ball too easily by stronger opponents and their neat passing in midfield never produced the threat on the visitors' goal.
Bromley meanwhile use a more direct route to goal with fast running forwards who are eagerly backed up by midfield players and Iron never reached that stage in their build ups.
Lyons-Foster did score a fine header to give home fans hope of a revival but then again another sloppy goal gave the visitors a comfortable three-goal margin.
Iron certainly paid the price for their inferior first half performance and Danny Searle now has to re-energise his young troops in time for their next home game on Saturday against Gateshead, kick off 3pm.
Braintree Town: Killip; Eleftheriou, Lyons-Foster, Atkinson, Borg (46 Matsuzuzaka); Richards (Sogaf 77), James, Eyoma (Temple 92), Iffy Allen; Luke Allen, Henry. Unused subs: Eze, Cerulli. Referee: Declan Bourne. Attendance: 673.

MEET THE MANAGER EVENING
THURSDAY 28TH MARCH 8.30PM
Danny Searle has offered to host a "Meet the Manager' evening after training on Thursday, 28th March, from 8.30pm.
The Club will be offering discounted beer prices for both BTFC season ticket holders and social club members - with Coors and Worthington on sale for just £2.50 a pint.

DANNY ADDS TWO
Two promoted from Youth
Danny Searle has promoted two of Nicky Fitch's successful Youth team players - Shane Temple and Kieran Smith - to the First team squad. Both have been registered and are available for tomorrow's match.

Match Preview - Saturday 23 March 2019
Braintree Town v Bromley
Bromley are currently 13th in the Vanarama National League on 48 points. Their away record this season is P 19 W 4 D 5 L 10 GF 20 GA 32 Pts 28. Their last 4 away results this season: Form over last 6 League games: Lost 3-0 v Dagenham & Redbridge, Lost 1-0 v Harrogate Town, Won 1-2 v Hartlepool United, Drew 1-1 v Barrow. Form over last 6 League games: WWLLLD. Top scorers this season: Jonathan Hooper - 9, Frankie Sutherland - 8 (7pens), Omar Brugiel & George Porter - 6
Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 28 points. Braintree Town home record this season: P 18 W 3 D 3 L 12 GF 17 GA 35 Pts 9. Braintree T last 4 home results this season: Lost 1-3 v Chesterfield, Lost 0-1 v Aldershot Town Won 1-0 v Salford City, Won 4-0 v Barnet. Form over last 6 League games: LLLLWL. Braintree Town scorers this season: Callum Morton - 5(3p), Luke Allen (1 pen), Korrey Henry & OG's - 2
The two sides' first meeting this season was on 30 October 2018 with the Iron claiming a 4-2 victory. Nottingham Forest loanee Virgil Gomis gave the Iron a sixth minute lead when he pounced upon a lofted forward pass and placed it over the advanced home keeper from just outside the penalty area. Bromley equalised on 18 minutes when John Goddard got away down the right flank, his shot was parried but only as far as George Porter at the far post who side footed home from close in. The Iron regained the lead just short of the half hour mark, this time the overlapping run down the right saw a cross to the near post where Reece Grant spun and shot from 6 yards to restore the lead.
Three minutes into the second half and Braintree opened a two goal lead. Lyle Della-Verde collected the ball inside the home side's half, surged forward, shrugged off a challenge and curled a shot in to the top left hand corner of the goal from the edge of the D. Ten minutes later and the deficit was back to one goal when a route one ball was won by Brugiel, his header was returned first time and the striker found the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the box. With six minutes left, the Iron secured all three points with a second goal from Reece Grant. The Iron forward latching on to a Christie Pattison cross to slot home.
The last meeting at Cressing Road was on 22 November 2016, the game ending in a two-two draw. Reece Hall-Johnson gave the Iron a third minute lead which was cancelled out four minutes later by Tobi Sho-Silva. Lee Minshull then put the visitors ahead on fifty one minutes before Michael Cheek scored the equaliser on sixty eight minutes.
As we welcome back last season's skipper Marc Okoye, Danny Searle will be hoping his young side can repeat their earlier season success and notch up the first double of the season.

Talking to Dan Matsuzaka
From Tokyo to Cressing Road
DOB: 13/8/97 (21) Born: Barnet
Previous clubs: Southend U, Harlow T (L), Kataller Toyama
Position: Centre Back
Q. Do you have another job?
A. I do some coaching and I am doing an Open University course in psychology
Q. Who do you support?
A. Manchester U
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Ronaldo and Van Dijk
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Drake
Q. Favourite film/TV programme?
A. TV - Prison Break, Film - Blood Diamond
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook
Q. At what age did you join Southend, who were you playing for at the time?
A. I was 16 and had just been released by Crystal Palace, had a trial for Southend who then signed me
Q. You also had a couple of appearances for the Japan U19 team, how was that and do you hope to play for Japan in the future?
A. That was good, my aim is to get into the 2020 Olympic team
Q. In August 2018 you went to play in the J3 League in Japan, how did that move come about?
A. I had been released by Southend and having played for Japan wanted to get more experience. I was out there on my own in the country about 3 hours by train from Tokyo, where some of my family live
Q. How different is the football in Japan compared to England?
A. It's totally different. It's very technical, possession based football
Q. You never made appearance for them in your time there, how frustrating was that?
A. I joined with about 13 games left and had an injury - a stomach tear, so I was unable to get into the team
Q. What have you been doing in the period between leaving Japan and joining Braintree?
A. I'd been training with the club for ages, but had to wait for clearance to play
Q. How did your move the Braintree come about?
A. I called my agent after my time in Japan and he told me about Braintree
Q. What have you made of your time here so far?
A. It's a good challenge
Q. What are your strengths?
A. Good on the ball, confident, a leader
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace
Q. Who is the best coach you've worked with?
A. Ben Gardner who was at Palace, he now coaches in India
Q. Who has been the most difficult opponent you've come up against?
A. Andy Carroll when I was at Southend
Q. How have you found the football in this League?
A. It's the most direct football I've experienced in my career
Q. Which player is the hardest to mark in training?
A. Iffy Allen
Q. Which player is the best finisher in training?
A. Cameron James

Odd goal in three defeat at Solihull
Seventh defeat in nine for Danny Searle's side
Iron slipped to their seventh defeat in Danny Searle's fledgling nine game managerial career - going down by the odd goal in three at promotion hopefuls Solihull Moors on Saturday.
A controversial penalty 11 minutes from time awarded to the home side denied the Iron at least a share of the spoils at the Damson Parkway Stadium on Saturday in what was a contest spoilt by the blustery conditions.
Iron were holding on for a draw when in a fifty-fifty ball into the area home substitute Adi Yussuf clashed fairly with Iron keeper Ben Killip which somehow referee Leigh Doughty deemed it a foul.
Up stepped Yussuf to score from the penalty spot to give the home side a win and three points in their promotion bid while leaving the Iron still rooted to the bottom of the table and seemingly destined for relegation.
Iron manager Danny Searle felt that it was not a penalty and added: "It was a fifty-fifty ball and a fair challenge in my view and no way a penalty.
"I'm disappointed that we didn't get something out of the game as we deserved to," he continued. "We played well for long periods, weathered the storm when they pressed hard and I felt we deserved at least a draw."
Iron, without the injured Kodi Lyons-Foster in defence and midfielder Sam Kelly who has left the club, made a bright start and took the lead on 22 minutes when Korrey Henry fought his way through the home defence, rounded keeper Ryan Boot to slip the ball into the net.
The home side responded strongly and Nathan Blissett went close as the Iron defended deeply but on 38 minutes they finally found a way through.
It all stemmed from a deep, right wing free-kick from Darren Carter and running in unmarked at the far post was Liam Daly to head the ball home giving Killip no chance.
The second half saw the home side pressurising the Iron defence, while up at the other end Aaron Eyoma did well to thread the ball through to Cameron James who's shot was wide of the upright.
Iron looked set to secure a point until the controversial penalty was given with minutes to spare and although they were a goal behind at this stage both Henry and Courtney Richards almost grabbed an equaliser but their efforts were charged down by defenders.
Braintree Town: Killip; Eleftheriou, Atkinson, Matsuzaka, Borg (Gabriel 57); Eyoma,Luke Allen (Sagaf 84). James; Iffy Allen (Eze 90), Henry. Unused subs: Gipson, Blackmore. Referee: Leigh Doughty. Attendance: 1,003
Next up for Iron is a home match against Bromley on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Match Preview - Saturday 16 March 2019
Solihull Moors v Braintree Town
Solihull Moors are currently 2nd in the Vanarama National League 70 points. Their home record this season is P 19 W 10 D 6 L 3 GF 31 GA 12 Pts 36. Their last 4 home League results this season: Won 1-0 v Gateshead, Won 5-0 v Maidstone, Drew 2-2 v Barnet, Lost 1-2 v AFC Fylde. Form guide, last 6 League matches: WWDWLW. Top scorers this season: Adi Yussuf (2 pens) - 14, Jermaine Hylton (1pen) - 11, Danny Wright - 10, Nathan Blissett - 8.
Braintree T are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 28 points. Braintree T away record this season: P 18 W 3 D 4 L 11 GF 16 GA 29 Pts 13. Braintree T last 4 away League results this season: Won 0-3 v Sutton United, Lost 3-0 v Dover Atletic, Lost 2-1 v Eastleigh, Lost 2-1 v Hartlepool United. Form guide, last 6 League games: LLLLLW. Braintree T scorers this season: Callum Morton - (3 pens) - 5, Luke Allen (1 pen) & Own Goals - 2.
Our meeting at Cressing Road on 17 November 2018 was a televised affair. Three second half goals in the first 15 minutes of the half from Wright, Yussuf and Stenson saw our visitors record a comfortable 3-0 victory. Our last visit to the West Midlands was on 11 March 2017 where the two sides played out a 3-3 draw. Braintree raced in to a 3-0 lead in the opening 24 minutes with goals from Reece Hall-Johnson and a Michael Cheek brace, one of which was a penalty. Simeon Maye pulled one back for Moors shortly after the penalty. Two goals in the last eleven minutes from Oladapo Afolayan and George Carline rescued a point for the home side.
Moors are a big strong physical side with a very direct style of play which has put them in title chasing contention. They are also very tight defensively at home, so our young Iron side will have to be at the top of their game to pick up points from this game.

Talking to Iffy Allen
The best finisher at the Club?
Born: 15/3/94 (25) Born: Lambeth, London
Previous clubs: Fulham (Yth),Barnet, Kingstonian (L), Redhill (L), Wingate & Finchley (L), Yeovil T, Torquay U, Aldershot T, Wrexham, Bromley, Wealdstone (L), Dulwich H,
Position: Left/Right Winger, No.10
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A, Thierry Henry
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. I like drill music
Q. Favourite film/TV programme?
A. Riverdale
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. I don't use social media
Q. At what age did you start playing for Fulham?
A. I was 14 when I joined Fulham as a winger
Q. You then went to Barnet who were managed by Edgar Davids, tell me about him
A. He was a good manager; you had to call him Mister or Sir
Q. You've had a few clubs since leaving Barnet in 2015, how difficult has it been to try and establish yourself?
A. It was hard, not every manager gives you a chance
Q. How did your move to Braintree come about?
A. My agent contacted the club
Q. What do you hope to achieve on your time here?
A. Avoid relegation, I've not been relegated before
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - skilful and pace. Weakness - tackling
Q. What is the best goal you've scored?
A. One I scored for Aldershot against Gateshead - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUxkE4M_RjU
Q. It must have been pleasing to score on your Braintree debut against your former club?
A. It was brilliant, once I was put through, I knew I would score
Q. What are the best/worst grounds you've played at?
A. Worst - Guiseley. Best - Fratton Park (Portsmouth) and Home Park (Plymouth)
Q. Who has been the best player you've come up against?
A. right back at QPR - I cannot remember his name
Q. How different is it preparing for games when you're at a part-time club?
A. On match day it's no different. In training you have to put more into one session
Q. Who is the best finisher in training?
A. Me
Q. Which player is the hardest to beat in training?
A. Kodi Lyons-Foster

Iron respond positively at Sutton
Braintree score three without reply
Iron made the traffic-laden journey around the M25 to visit promotion play-off hopefuls Sutton United on Tuesday evening and came home with three points from a 3-0 victory.
Their first points in six matches closed the gap at the foot of the table to just a single point between themselves and fellow strugglers Maidstone United.
The victory could have been even more emphatic had Iron converted a first half penalty, but Braintree's Luke Allen saw his low spot kick well saved by Ross Warner on the half hour.
Goal-less at the break, Iron finally broke the deadlock on the hour when Killip's long clearance was nodded on by Aaron Eyoma for the alert Korrey Henry to lift the ball over Warner from just inside the box.
Iron doubled their advantage with 13 minutes remaining when Sam Kelly took advantage of fine approach work from Eyoma to steer his shot past Warner.
The third came in the final minute with Eyoma breaking forward on the counter and with Iron having a three to one advantage steered his effort past the exposed Warner.
Braintree Town: Killip, Eleftheriou, Atkinson, James, Lyons-Foster (Matsuzaka 49), Kelly (Allen 83), Eyoma, Borg, Richards, Allen (Gibson 90), Henry. Subs not used: Rowe and Sagaf. Attendance: 1525. Referee: Gary Parsons.

Next up for Braintree is a trip to championship-hopefuls Solihull Moors this coming Saturday, 16th March, with kick-off at 3pm. Travel details are as follows:
Address: The Automated Technology Group Stadium, Damson Parkway, Solihull, West Midlands B91 2PP
T 0121 705 6770 F 0121 711 4045. E info@solihullmoorsfc.co.uk www.solihullmoorsfc.co.uk
Number of covered seats 776.
Nearest railway station Birmingham International Station OR Solihull Station. Distance from ground: both 3 miles PITCH DIMENSIONS: 114y x 71y. PITCH TYPE: Natural Grass.

Match Preview - Tuesday 12 March 2019
Sutton United v Braintree Town
Sutton United are currently 9th in the Vanarama National League 57 points. Their home record this season is P 18 W 8 D 7 L 3 GF 21 GA 17 Pts 31. Their last 4 home League results this season: Drew 2-2 v Hartlepool United, Drew 0-0 v Barnet, Lost 0-1 v Barrow, Won 1-0 v Ebbsfleet United, Won 2-1 v Harrogate Town. Form guide, last 6 League matches: LDLDLL. Top scorers this season: James Collins (4p) & Craig Eastmond - 6, Harry Beautyman - 4.
Braintree T are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 25 points. Braintree T away record this season: P 18 W 3 D 4 L 11 GF 16 GA 29 Pts 13. Braintree T last 4 away League results this season: Lost 3-0 v Dover Atletic, Lost 2-1 v Eastleigh, Lost 2-1 v Hartlepool United, Drew 0-0 v FC Halifax Town. Form guide, last 6 League games: WLLLLL. Braintree T scorers this season: Callum Morton - (3p) - 5, Luke Allen (1p) & Own Goals - 2.
Our meeting at Cressing Road on 27 November 2018 saw the Iron squander a two goal lead and the visitors claim a draw. The Iron took the lead on 31minutes when Justin Amaluzor broke at pace from his own half down the right wing, he played a one-two with Billy Crook as he advanced in to the area before sending a low cross where it was met by Marcel Barrington at the far post. The home side doubled their lead in the second half on 72 minutes and again, Amaluzor was the provider. He turned his marker on the halfway line, ran clear down the right before cutting in to the area sending a defender the wrong way and this time his cross/shot was slid in at the back post by Billy Crook. Sutton contested the goal claiming Crook was offside, the Sutton manager, Paul Dowsell, was shown a red card for his protest.
Sutton's response to going two down was to send centre back Charlie Clough in to their attack. The tactic paid dividends 3 minutes later as Clough headed home a left wing cross from 6 yards. The equaliser came with 4 minutes left to play. A route one ball was flicked on by Clough and as a Sutton forward looked to latch on to the knockdown, Joe Ellul pushed him in the back and a penalty was awarded which Collins put away.
Our last visit to Gander Green Lane was on 13 September 2016 when the Iron recorded a 2-1 victory. Both Braintree goals were scored by Chez Isaac, Nicky Bailey from the penalty spot was the Sutton scorer.
A chance to renew acquaintances again with ex-Iron players Jamie Butler, Aswad Thomas and former skipper Kenny Davis who didn't play in that earlier fixture.
The form guide doesn't look good for either side as Sutton look to reignite their play-off hopes and Iron start thinking about pre-season.

"Players have let everyone down"-Searle
fifth successive defeat - practically dooms the side to relegation
After this poor home display Iron manager Danny Searle publicly admitted his players owe the fans a massive apology for such a performance which practically dooms his side to relegation.
"The players have let everyone down and some have stood up in the dressing room afterwards and openly admitted it," he said. "You cannot give cheap goals away, which they did today, at any level of the game and we certainly paid the price in this match.
"Players made the wrong decisions and no amount of planning in training sessions can accommodate eradicating them," he said. "We also lacked cohesion and our passing at times was terrible."
The Iron found themselves a goal down in the second minute when Jack Emmett waltzed unmarked through the home defence to score and on 10 minutes Mark Beck repeated the act with the Iron defence nowhere to add a second for the visitors.
The visitors added a third goal on 37 minutes when the unmarked George Thomson strode through to score and before half time the Iron would have been even further behind but for two exceptional save from Iron keeper Ben Killip.
That third goal effectively ended the match as a contest as in he second half the Iron continued to flounder in what was their poorest performance of the season as the visitors dictated the game and were in control.
On 56 minutes Beck duly grabbed his second goal and he twice should have completed his hat-trick and again but for the brave saves by Killip the Iron would have been on the end of hiding.
Iron's performance, their fifth successive defeat, is best summed up by the fact that their only shot on goal came on 81 minutes making it a quiet afternoon for visiting keeper James Belshaw.
The only bright spot for Iron was the 67th minute debut of young reserve forward Jayden Gipson who impressed with manager Searle adding: "I think he did well and is one for the future and I intend to bring in other youngsters if I think they can cope with game at this level - it has to be the way forward."
Braintree Town: Killip; Eleftheriou, Kyons-Foster, Atkinson, Borg (67 Gipson); Kelly (46 Eyoma), James, Sogaf. (46 Richards), Luke Allen; Henry, Iffy Allen. Subs unused Matsuzaka, Rowe. Attendance: 362. Referee: Carl Brook.
Next up for the Iron is an away game against Sutton United on Tuesday, kick off 7.45pm.

Two in - one out
Striker and midfielder join
Iron Manager Danny Searle has signed midfield player Aaron Eyoma on loan from Derby County and forward Alfie Cerulli from the Club's Academy set up. Both will be available for selection tomorrow's match with Harrogate Town.
Danny Searle has also released Lyle Della-Verde. Lyle joined the Club last summer from Dartford and made 30 appearances and scored four goals. We wish Lyle all the best for the future.

No segregation on Saturday
This match will be a Category C fixture
For our Vanarama National League fixture against Harrogate Town on Saturday, 9th March, segregation will NOT be in force. This game will NOT be all ticket.
To balance recent Category A matches, this match will be a Category C fixture, with Adult admission reduced to just £15.00. All admission prices for this match can be found by clicking the 'Tickets' link above.
To gain entry to the ground, season ticket holders should use gates 5 and 6. All other supporters should use the four turnstiles to the left of the clubhouse, numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4.
The Club are mindful of the limited parking we have available at the ground. Following the advice received from Essex Police, the Club have decided to charge for entry into the car park - with a flat rate of just £3 for all users. Essex Police have also suggested that the car park be closed prior to kick-off to ensure that there is no congestion between pedestrian spectators and vehicles. As a result, no vehicles will be allowed entry into the car park after 2.30pm.
The Clubhouse at the Cressing Road Stadium will be open to all spectators in the ground. Those travelling to the Cressing Road Stadium for the first time can find more information on how best to travel by clicking on the 'Find Us' link above.
For further information, please contact the Club on 01376 345617 or 01376 330976 or via e-mail to braintreeTFC@aol.com.

Match Preview - Sat 9 March 2019
Braintree Town v Harrogate Town
Harrogate Town are currently 6th in the Vanarama National League on 60 points. Their away record this season is P 17 W 8 D 4 L 5 GF 28 GA 22 Pts 28. Their last 4 away results this season: Won 0-1 v Chesterfield, Won 2-3 v Dover A, Lost 2-1 v Sutton U, Drew 1-1 v FC Halifax T. Form over last 6 League games: WWLWDW. Top scorers this season: Jonathan Muldoon - 12, Callum Howe - 8, Mark Beck & George Thomson - 6
Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 25 points. Braintree Town home record this season: P 18 W 3 D 3 L 12 GF 17 GA 35 Pts 9. Braintree T last 4 home results this season: Lost 1-3 v Chesterfield, Lost 0-1 v Aldershot Town Won 1-0 v Salford City, Won 4-0 v Barnet. Form over last 6 League games: LWLLLL. Braintree Town scorers this season: Callum Morton - 5(3p), Lyle Della-Verde - 4.
The sides first ever League meeting saw the Iron travel to the CNG Stadium on 24 November 2018 where the home side won 3-1. Justin Amaluzor gave the Iron a 26th minute lead when he cut in from the right wing, into the penalty area and from a narrow angle, curled a left foot shot into the opposite corner of the goal. Parity was restored for the home side with one minute of the first half to play. Jonathan Muldoon was played in behind the Iron back line and slotted home past the advancing George Legg. Harrogate then went in front on 64 minutes, it was route one with the goalkeeper's long kick flicked on and George Thomson placed his shot into the corner of the net. Their third came from another long ball and a subtle one-two saw Michael Woods volley home the third in the final minute. Harrogate went full time in the 2017/18 season and has been rewarded with progress which now finds them amongst this season's play-off contenders.

Talking to Korrey Henry
From Braintree to the Premier League?
DOB: 28/11/99 (19) Born: Lewisham
Previous Clubs: West Ham U (U18), Yeovil T, Poole (L)
Position: Striker
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Cristiano Ronaldo
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. J Cole
Q. Favourite film/TV programme?
A. The Punisher (Netflix)
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Twitter
Q. Growing up, were you always a striker?
A. No, I'm naturally centre midfield, but I like to score goals
Q. Who were you playing for when West Ham spotted you and what age were you?
A. I was playing for a Sunday League club, one of the older lads went to join West Ham and my manager said they should have a look at me, I was 11 at the time
Q. Who had had the biggest influence on your career to date?
A. My dad. He played centre back for Leatherhead
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. The Emirates
Q. Who is the best player you've played with and against?
A. Played with - Grady Diangana at West Ham, against - Jadon Sancho - now at Borussia Dortmund
Q. What are your strengths?
A. My goal scoring ability, using my body, running at players
Q. You had limited game time for Yeovil, how difficult was it to leave?
A. I was promised certain things in my contract which did not happen, so I asked to leave
Q. How did your move to Braintree come about?
A. Danny had asked about me earlier in the season, but they Yeovil wouldn't release me. After they agreed to terminate my contract, I just wanted to play games so got in touch with Danny who'd been my coach at West Ham
Q. How have you settled in at Braintree?
A. Good, I'm a London lad and all the lads are from similar backgrounds
Q. Is it difficult coming in to a side fighting relegation?
A. To be fair, no. I thrive on pressure. I want to do well no matter where we are in the League
Q. Where would you like to be in 3 years' time?
A. Playing in the Premier League
Q. How does your game differ from/compliment Callum?
A. He's more of an aerial threat than me, we've both got good pace and can rely on esch other to hold the ball up
Q. Which Braintree player is difficult to play against in training?
A. Rob Atkinson, he reads the game well, you have to mix your game up, you can't make a bad touch against him
Q. Which Braintree player has the best dance moves?
A. Mo Sagaf

Morton injury compounds defeat
Iron running out of games
Despite a spirited second half display that saw them pull a goal back, Iron conceded a poor late third goal to allow the Spireites to return home with all three points at Cressing Road on Tuesday evening.
It meant the third consecutive defeat for, Iron in what were must-win games and leaves them poised for relegation after just one season in the top flight of non-league football with manager Danny Searle putting it down to naivety of the players more than anything else.
"It's the manner in which we conceded all three goals with individuals not having the positional discipline needed at this level and failing to track back opposition players when they on the attack," he said. "It's all about decision making by players and again in this match it cost us dearly.
"We knew it would difficult up against strong, experienced Football League players but to their credit the boys showed great effort and attitude and they are obviously devastated at the result," he continued. "You get punished quickly at this level and it our naivety that really cost us from getting anything out of the game."
Playing with three at the back and deliberately crowding out the middle by having five players there it did stifle the visitors for long periods, particularly in the second half when the Iron clearly had the upper hand with loads of possession but unfortunately they had no finishing with Searle adding: "We had no clinical finishing and so didn't hurt when we had the chances."
In the first few minutes Callum Morton forced a good save from Spireites keeper Shwan Jalal and on 13 minutes Iffy Allen was unlucky when his first time volley hit the visitors' crossbar but the ball was swiftly punted down the other end where the unmarked Scott Boden drilled the ball home past keeper Ben Killip on 14 minutes.
Seven minutes later more naive defending from the Iron saw them concede a second goal when Charlie Carter was allowed time and space to curl a shot across the goal past Killip and into the Iron net.
The second half though was a different story with Iron in the ascendancy and beginning to cause the visitors' rearguard some anxious moments. On 64 minutes they pulled a goal back when Luke Allen scored from the penalty spot after substitute Korrey Henry had been fouled in the area.
With renewed vigour, Iron kept up the pressure and fit again Rob Atkinson fired a shot just wide of an upright and then Iffy Allen and Mo Sogaf both when tantalising close to getting and equaliser.
Seven minutes from time though all their work was wasted when again defending cost them a third goal after the ball had been punted long and deep into the Iron area where poor marking allowed Boden to slip through unmarked to head the ball into the net.
It was a bitter blow for the Iron players having played so well and dominated for long periods in the second half to concede in such a way and gift all three points to the visitors.
To add to Iron's woes the impressive young Morton was stretchered off on 59 minutes with a serious leg injuries and looks set to be out for a while leaving the Iron with a shortage of a pacy, attacking player like the WBA loanee has proved to be whilst at Cressing Road.
Braintree Town: Killip; Matsuzaka, Atkinson, Lyons-Foster; Eleftheriou,James, Sogaf (89 Della-Verde), Luke Allen, Borg; Iffy Allen (81 Rowe), Morton (59 Henry). Unused subs: Richards, Osborne. Attendance: 484. Referee: Lloyd Wood.
Next up for the Iron is a home match against promotion chasing Harrogate Town on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

No segregation tonight
This match will be a Category A fixture
For our Vanarama National League fixture against Chesterfield on Tuesday, 5th March, segregation will NOT be in force. This game will NOT be all ticket.
To cover the additional costs of the game this match will be a Category A fixture. All admission prices for this match can be found by clicking the 'Tickets' link above.
To gain entry to the ground, season ticket holders should use gates 5 and 6. All other supporters should use the four turnstiles to the left of the clubhouse, numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4.
The Club are mindful of the limited parking we have available at the ground. Following the advice received from Essex Police, the Club have decided to charge for entry into the car park - with a flat rate of just £3 for all users. Essex Police have also suggested that the car park be closed prior to kick-off to ensure that there is no congestion between pedestrian spectators and vehicles. As a result, no vehicles will be allowed entry into the car park after 7.30pm.
The Clubhouse at the Cressing Road Stadium will be open to all spectators in the ground. Those travelling to the Cressing Road Stadium for the first time can find more information on how best to travel by clicking on the 'Find Us' link above.
For further information, please contact the Club on 01376 345617 or 01376 330976 or via e-mail to braintreeTFC@aol.com.

Match Preview - Tues 5 March 2019
Braintree Town v Chesterfield
Chesterfield are currently 19th in the Vanarama National League on 39 points. Their away record this season is P 17 W 4 D 7 L 6 GF 19 GA 20 Pts 19. Their last 4 away results this season: Lost 1-0 v Wrexham, Won 0-2 v Barnet, Won 0-1 v AFC Fylde, Won 0-2 v Aldershot Town. Top scorers this season: Marc-Antoine Fortune - 6(1p), Tom Denton - 5, Andrew Kiwomya, William Evans & Zavon Hines (1p) - 4.
Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 25 points. Braintree Town home record this season: P 17 W 3 D 3 L 11 GF 16 GA 32 Pts 9. Braintree T last 4 home results this season: Lost 0-1 v Aldershot Town Won 1-0 v Salford City, Won 4-0 v Barnet, Lost 0-4 v Ebbsfleet United. Braintree Town scorers this season: Callum Morton - 5(3p), Lyle Della-Verde - 4. The sides first ever League meeting saw the Iron travel to the Proact Stadium on 11 August 2018 where the home side won by a single goal to nil, courtesy of a Curtis Weston strike. The last time the two sides met at Cressing Road was on 9 November 2014, when the then League One outfit ran out six nil winners in an F.A. Cup tie. Two goals from Eoin Doyle and goals from Jay O'Shea, Sam Clucas, Gary Roberts and a Remy Clerima own goal saw them comfortably progress to the second round.
Having been relegated last season from EFL2, the Spireites were one of the favourites to bounce back at the first time of asking. Martin Allen had taken over as manager shortly after failing to keep Barnet in League Two. Chesterfield won their opening three fixtures, but a run of one win in 22 matches saw him sacked as they dropped into the relegation places. In January 2019, the Spireites appointed John Sheridan as manager for a second time. The former Republic of Ireland, Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder had won the EFL2 title in his first spell back in 2012 as well as winning the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in 2011. Sheridan has subsequently reversed the clubs fortunes with four wins in their last seven VNL Premier games. Braintree meanwhile will be hoping to put an end to a run of three successive defeats.

Iron hopes slipping away
Sending off and missed penalty cost Iron
Despite being forced to play with just ten men for 86 minutes of this vital relegation battle at the Crabble Stadium on Saturday, Iron had a great chance to draw level when a goal down after being awarded a penalty for handball five minutes into the second half.
What happened then was a bizarre confrontation when two players grappled with the ball between them to vie for who was to take the spot kick, when the manager's designated penalty taker was young Callum Morton!
The result was that Korrey Henry took a poor spot kick giving home keeper Lee Worgan an easy save down to his left and the chance gone for the Iron to be on level terms.
Had the Iron equalised, despite being a man short, they were at the time causing problems for the home defence and could well have gone to at least return home with a point.
Needless to say manager Danny Searle said afterwards that he was furious with the penalty fiasco and there were no excuse for the players because Morton was always the designated penalty taker.
"There were some heated words in the dressing room afterwards and I made it known where I stood and that Callum should have taken it and I will further sort the situation out before our next game on Tuesday," he explained. "Had we got back into the game on level terms we could certainly taken something from the match."
On the equally bizarre fourth minute sending off of Ricky Gabriel, who clashed with home striker Alfie Pavey on the edge of the area as they waited for a home side free-kick, he said: "We need to look at the match video of the incident because clearly the referee said he didn't see anything and only when surrounded by the Dover players did he then go over to his assistant who clearly also couldn't see what happened from his own position.
"The referee suddenly produced a red card for Ricky," he said. "Obviously that immediately changed everything,
put all our pre-match planning out of the window and puts us with a mountain to climb for practically the whole game."
One man down the home side took the lead through Pavey on 19 minutes but the Iron continued to look threatening once they forced the ball into the opposition area and twice Morton and the Cameron James forced great saves from Worgan while at the other end Iron skipper Ben Killip three times in the second half pulled off great saves.
The home side's pressure though paid off in 58 minutes when a mistake by Iron's debutant central defender, ex-Aldershot's Karleigh Osborne, who allowed ex-Iron midfielder Jai Reason to head home a simple through ball.
To their credit Iron never gave up and James hit the home woodwork with Worgan beaten and twice Morton was hauled down in the area but the referee denied Iron penalties.
The home side wrapped up the game and the points on 74 minutes when another ex-Iron player Mitch Brundle raced through the Iron defence unmarked to side foot a right wing cross into the net giving Killip no chance.
Braintree Town: Killip; Eleftheriou (72 Matsuzuka), Borg, Osborne, Gabriel, Lyons-Foster; I Allen, James, Sogaf (80 L Allen); Henry, Morton. Unused subs: Blackmore, Richards. Gate: 1053.
Next up for the home is a home game against Chesterfield on Tuesday, kick off 7.45pm.

Match Preview - Sat 2 March 2019
Dover A v Braintree Town
Dover A are currently 20th in the Vanarama National League 36 points. Their home record this season is P 17 W 5 D 3 L 9 GF 21 GA 28 Pts 18. Their last 4 home League results this season: Lost 2-3 v Harrogate T, Lost 1-2 v Gateshead, Drew 1-1 v Bromley, Drew 0-0 v Leyton Orient. Top scorers this season: Inih Effiong - 9, Kevin Lokko - 6, Jamie Allen (1p), Mitch Brundle (1p) - 5.
Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 25 points. Braintree Town away record this season: P 17 W 3 D 4 L 10 GF 16 GA 26 Pts 13. Braintree Town last 4 away League results this season: Lost 2-1 v Eastleigh, Lost 2-1 v Hartlepool U, Drew 0-0 v FC Halifax T, Won 0-1 v Maidenhead U. Braintree Town scorers this season: Callum Morton - (3p) - 5, Lyle Della-Verde - 4. Our meeting at Cressing Road on 27 October 2018 saw us record our first home win of the season. The Iron led one-nil at half time, Justin Amaluzor heading home a Della-Verde corner. In the second half, Dover equalised through Kevin Lokko, who headed home from a short corner. The Iron regained the lead when Della-Verde was brought down in the box by goalkeeper Mitchell Walker; Reece Grant scored from the resulting spot kick.
The last meeting at the Crabble was on 22 October 2016 where Ricky Miller scored four times for the hosts in a 6-1 victory. The Iron goal came from loanee Sam Matthews.
After a poor start to the season; Dover re-appointed Andy Hessenthaler as manager in October 2018. Hessenthaler had previously been in charge of the Whites between 2007-2010. They haven't won at home since their Boxing Day fixture with Maidstone United. Their only other victories since then came in the reverse fixture with Maidstone, a win at Havant & Waterlooville and a win at Salford City.
With Dover currently sitting just outside the relegation places, this is a crucial fixture for both sides.

Talking to Danny Rowe
Anyone can beat anyone
DOB: 30/12/96 (22) Born: Peterborough
Previous clubs: Leicester C (U18/23), Q.P.R (U23), Braintree Town, Boston U
Position: No. 10
Q. Who do you support?
A. Chelsea
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Shaun Wright-Phillips
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Cadet
Q. Favourite film/TV programme?
A. My Wife and Kids
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat
Q. Growing up, were you always a striker?
A, No, I used to play right wing
Q. Who had had the biggest influence on your career to date?
A. Claudio Ranieri
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. St James Park, Newcastle
Q. What is the worst ground you've played at?
A. Dagenham & Redbridge
Q. Who is the best player you've played with and against?
A. With Riyad Mahrez, against Ravel Morrison
Q. What are your strengths?
A. Creativity
Q. What would do if you weren't a footballer?
A. I don't know, I joined Leicester as a 12 year old
Q. Why do you think so many young players at Premier League clubs end up in non-league football?
A. Lack of opportunity; also clubs want ready-made players
Q. You were here earlier in the season, what were the reasons behind you're leaving and coming back again?
A. I left due to lack of game time, I knew Hakan and Danny so came back, I left prematurely
Q. There's been a lot of changes since you left, how has the style of play changed?
A. It's far better, more confidence in the squad. We play a higher tempo game
Q. What is the most challenging thing about playing in this League?
A. The unpredictability of teams, anyone can beat anyone
Q. Who is the most skilful player at the club?
A. Lyle Della-Verde
Q. Who is the worst finisher in training?
A. Courtney Richards
Q. Who is the best finisher in training?
A. Ricky Gabriel
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. Fifth from bottom

Basement battle goes to Shots
Searle frustrated by disappointing game
Iron lost this vital basement battle at Cressing Road on Saturday and it was all down to single 64 minute goal scored ironically by former Iron striker Reece Grant who moved to the Shots only last month in search of full-time football.
In what was a scrappy game between two struggling sides with goal chances few and far between it Grant who cut in from the right wing and drove a low, hard shot into the bottom far corner of the Iron out of the reach of keeper Ben Killip.
Iron came back strongly late on with the visitors down to ten men in the final five minutes when the experienced Scott Rendell was sent off after what appeared to be a verbal altercation with one of the assistant referees.
But hard though they tried Iron just couldn't conjure up a late equaliser after what was a disappointing game for the home fans in view of their recent vast improvement in form and results.
Iron manager Danny Searle pulled no punches at the final whistle over his players' poor performance adding: "It's the worst performance I've seen since I took over and I have to be honest and say that we never really looked like getting anything from the game.
"We were no where near the recent, good performance from all the players who didn't take on their own responsibilities, failed to step up to the plate on the day for whatever reason," he continued. "Their whole mentality was wrong from the start and we didn't seem to put in the right effort or have the desire which I cannot understand and we now have a lot of work to do before we go to Dover next week."
Searle admitted he was surprised referee failed to give two second penalties when young Callum Morton was blatantly hauled down in the visitors' area but he added: "That's no way for losing the way we did - I'm just so frustrated we failed to play the way have been recently."
With central defender Rob Atkinson missing with concussion from the game at Eastleigh there was a first team debut for young Dan Matsusaka and he played well in the back line of defence.
It was certainly an off day for the players and with a possible win against a side who had not won themselves for 18 games it was a missed opportunity for Iron to pick up points and move off the bottom of the table.
After an early let off when Grant skipped through to fire his shot wide Iron came more into the game up to half time with both Morton and Korrey Henry going close while at the other end Killip did well to clear a fierce drive from Gallagher.
The second half was more even until the Shots scored their goal after which Iron players seem to lose their concentration allowing the visitors to take control of the game.
They did press hard late on but with too many players not on song on the day the chances of a late revival and gaining possibly at least a point disappeared.
Braintree Town: Killip; Eleftheriou, Matsucaka, Lyons-Foster, Gabriel; James, Kelly (Iffy Allen 83), Henry (Rowe 65), Luke Allen; Morton, Della-Verde. Unused subs: Sogaf, Borg, Richards. Attendance: 829. Referee: Will Finnie
Next up for Iron is an away league match at Dover Athletic on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Segregation for Saturday
This match will be a Category A fixture
For our Vanarama National League fixture against Aldershot Town on Saturday, 23rd February, segregation WILL BE in force. This game will NOT be all ticket.
To cover the additional costs of the game this match will be a Category A fixture. All admission prices for this match can be found by clicking the 'Tickets' link above.
To gain entry to the ground, season ticket holders should use gates 5 and 6. Home supporters should use the four turnstiles to the left of the clubhouse, numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Visiting supporters have been allocated the terraces to the right of the Main Stand and the 100 seats in Main Stand Block A. Visiting supporters should enter via gates 7 and 8 to the right of the Main Stand.
The Club are mindful of the limited parking we have available at the ground. Following the advice received from Essex Police, the Club have decided to charge for entry into the car park - with a flat rate of just £3 for all users. Essex Police have also suggested that the car park be closed prior to kick-off to ensure that there is no congestion between pedestrian spectators and vehicles. As a result, no vehicles will be allowed entry into the car park after 2.30pm.
The Clubhouse at the Cressing Road Stadium will only be open to spectators in the designated home section of the ground. Those spectators wishing to use the visitors section of the ground may wish to visit The Orange Tree Public House 300 yards from the ground in Cressing Road. Those travelling to the Cressing Road Stadium for the first time can find more information on how best to travel by clicking on the 'Find Us' link above.
For further information, please contact the Club on 01376 345617 or 01376 330976 or via e-mail to braintreeTFC@aol.com.

Match Preview - Sat 23 February 2019
Braintree Town v Aldershot T
Aldershot T are currently 22nd in the Vanarama National League on 29 points. Their away record this season is P 16 W 1 D 4 L 11 GF 11 GA 31 Pts 7. Their last 4 away results this season: Drew 0-0 v FC Halifax T, Drew 1-1v Dagenham & R, Lost 2-1 v Sutton U, Lost 4-3 v Maidenhead U. Top scorers this season: Adam McDonnell & Scott Rendell - 6, Reece Grant - 3
Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 25 points. Braintree Town home record this season: P 16 W 3 D 3 L 10 GF 16 GA 31 Pts 9. Braintree Town last 4 home results this season: Won 1-0 v Salford C, Won 4-0 v Barnet, Lost 0-4 v Ebbsfleet U, Drew 1-1 v Boreham Wood. Braintree Town scorers this season: Callum Morton - 5(3p), Lyle Della-Verde - 4
The two sides met at the Recreation Ground back in November, with McDonnell scoring the only goal of the game, giving the home side three points.
The last meeting here was on 20 August 2016; Jake Goodman opened the scoring in the first half, heading home a corner. Sim Akinola wrapped up the points with a shot from the edge of the penalty box after being put through by Michael Cheek.
Saturday will see the return of Reece Grant who joined the Shots shortly after our visit there in November. Also in their squad are two former loanees, Bernard Mensah who is on loan from Bristol Rovers and George Elokobi who joined the club this month after being released by Leyton Orient. Dan Holman started the season with the Shots before moving on to Kettering Town and young Reading keeper George Legg was on loan there in September.
Aldershot are the joint lowest scorers in the League with 26 goals. Braintree meanwhile are going for a hat-trick of home wins after two impressive performances against Barnet and Salford City.

Talking to Andrew Eleftheriou
FIFA 19 ratings? - Ridiculous! They've got my height and weight wrong
DOB: 8/11/97 (21) Born: Islington
Previous clubs: Watford (on loan from), Sandefjord (L)
Position: Right Back/Wing Back
Q. Who do you support?
A. Barcelona
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Danny Alves
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Lil T Jay
Q. Favourite film/TV programme?
A. Game of Thrones
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Instagram
Q. You made your Premier League debut as a sub, coming on against Man City in 2016/17, had you been on the bench before how were you feeling before and during the game?
A. I'd been on the bench for 14 successive games, so it had become part of my routine to be ready, but it was an amazing experience
Q. Who did you have to mark, did you get their shirt?
A. Leroy Sane - I got Vincent Kompany's shirt
Q. You'd been at Watford since you were 6 years old, who have you seen move on and play in the EFL in that time?
A. Barndon Mason (Coventry C), Randell Williams (Exeter C), Dion Perera (Atlanta)
Q. You also had a short loan spell in Norway, what was that like?
A. Enjoyable, they ply technical football, it was a friendly club and everyone spoke English
Q. Who's been the best coach you've worked with?
A. Dave Reddington (Crystal P) and Dave Hughes (Villa & Wales)
Q. Who is the best player you've played with?
A. Troy Deeney
Q. What are your aspirations for the next 3 years?
A. To move up the Leagues, solidify my game
Q. What are your strengths?
A. Speed, strength
Q. How have you found it so far in the VNL Premier?
A. I'm enjoying it, we've had some good performances, but need to get a good run of form and put some wins together. It's more realistic and physical at this level
Q. How often would you train at Watford and how does it differ?
A. We only get one day off a week. Completely different with time to work on different things. Danny has us training to set us up for the game ahead
Q. What do you reckon to your FIFA 19 ratings?
A. Ridiculous! They've got my height and weight wrong
Q. Who in the squad is the hardest to get the ball off?
A. Justin, Lyle & Iffy
Q. Which player is the quickest?
A. Me
Q. Which player has the worst haircut?
A. Rob Atkinson
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. Above the relegation zone

Early mistakes prove decisive
Iron fail to break down ten men
Four minutes of poor defending early in the first half cost Iron the chance of returning home with the point which overall they deserved on the day against their promotion chasing hosts at the Silverlake Stadium on Saturday.
It was all down to two identical set pieces created from left wing corners by ex-Colchester United's Mark Yeates who whipped both crosses into the area on 13 and 17 minutes where Paul McCallum pulled away from his marker to twice head the ball into the top corner of the net.
It was poor defending which the Iron defence should have dealt with and it left manager Danny Searle annoyed with his defenders for not stopping at least the second goal and he added: "I know what McCallum is capable of and had warned the players to be aware of their set pieces from corners.
"To concede two easy and soft goals in that manner so early on did cost us dearly although we fought back well and should have been level at the interval," he continued. "We missed a penalty and then another goal chance when Sam Kelly was through and one on one with their keeper but he failed to hit the target.
"I felt we deserved at least a point from the game because in the second half we pressurised them so much but just couldn't find that crucial equaliser," he said. "It means this coming Saturday's home game against fellow strugglers Aldershot is a must win game, it's really a six-pointer."
After conceding those two early goals, Iron came back strongly and on 25 minutes should have scored from the penalty spot after Korrey Henry had been fouled but young striker Callum Morton saw his spot kick spectacularly saved by home keeper Luke Southwood.
On 36 minutes Kelly skipped clear of all defenders but with Southwood advancing on him he scuffed his shot just wide of a post when he really should have done better.
Iron did pull a goal back on 42 minutes when a Ricky Gabriel left wing corner to the far edge of the home area was brilliantly volleyed low into the net by Cameron James and then a minute later Morton was clean through and looked certain to score but, again, Southwood pulled off a fine save to deny the Iron striker.
The second half saw Iron continue to push hard for that leveller again only for Southwood to deny them and their cause was helped on 62 minutes when home substitute Cavaghn Miley was shown a second yellow card and sent off for fouling Henry.
The Iron tried hard to make their one-man advantage count and put tremendous pressure on the home rearguard. It took an 80th minute goal line clearance by Andrew Boyce to deny the Iron's Rob Atkinson with his fierce header and three minutes late substitute Oscar Borg raced to the edge of the home area only to see his fierce shot go narrowly over the bar.
Korrey then saw his shot hit the home bar and go over and the dying moments Morton look to have been hauled down in the area for a penalty but appeals were waved away by referee Sam Allison before both Kelly and Borg saw their goalbound shots charged down by defenders who were only too grateful to kick the ball out for throw-ins.
Despite all their pressure Iron failed to find that equaliser against 10 men and pick up what would have been at least a deserved point but all was lost on the day.
Braintree Town: Killip; Eleftheriou, Lyons-Foster, Atkinson, Gabriel (89 Della-Verde); Richards (79 Borg), Kelly, James, Iffy Allen (79 Luke Allen); Henry,Morton. Unused subs: Sogaf, Matsuzaka. Attendance: 2000

Match Preview - Sat 16 February 2018
Eastleigh v Braintree Town
Eastleigh are currently 9th in the Vanarama National League 52 points. Their home record this season is P 15 W 6 D 5 L 4 GF 18 GA 17 Pts 23. Their last 4 home League results this season: Won 3-2 v Sutton U, Won 2-1 v Havant & W, Won 2-1 v Harrogate T, Drew 2-2 v Dover A. Top scorers this season: Paul McCallum (1p) - 16, Ben Williamson - 6, Johua Hare - 5
Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 25 points. Braintree Town away record this season: P 16 W 3 D 4 L 9 GF 15 GA 24 Pts 13. Braintree Town last 4 away League results this season: Lost 2-1 v Hartlepool U, Drew 0-0 v FC Halifax T, Won 0-1 v Maidenhead U, Lost 4-2 v Ebbsfleet U. Braintree Town scorers this season: Callum Morton - (2p) - 5, Lyle Della-Verde - 4, Amaluzor - 3.
Braintree's last visit to Eastleigh was on 14 February 2017 when goals in either half from Michael Cheek brought the three points back home to Essex. Earlier this season on 6 October 2018, Eastleigh won 2-1 at Cressing Road. In the first half; top scorer McCallum put them ahead, before Chris Zebroski doubled their lead on 37 minutes. Mo Bettamer reduced the deficit with 18 minutes to play heading home a Luke Allen cross. That game was the last game in which Andy Hessenthaler was to be in charge as he left the Spitfires to take over the reins at Dover Athletic. He was replaced as first team manager by former player and assistant manager, Ben Strevens. After a poor start to the season, Eastleigh now find themselves in play-off contention, having won five of their last six matches. Danny Searle picked up his first victory as manager with an impressive performance last time out at home to Salford City. Iron have taken ten points from their last six league matches and are starting to display the sort of form that will be necessary to realise their goal of staying in the top flight of non-league football.

Talking to Robert Atkinson
looking to be at Braintree legend
DOB: 13/7/98 (20) Born: Chesterfield
Previous clubs: Cannes (Academy), Met Police, Basingstoke T, Fulham (U23 - on loan from)
Position: Left back/centre back/centre midfield
Q. Who do you support?
A. Fulham
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Lionel Messi
Q. Who is your favourite TV show?
A. Breaking Bad
Q. What is your favourite holiday destination?
A. South of France
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Only Facebook
Q. Growing up, were you always a defender?
A. No, I was a striker, scored loads, then centre mid, then centre back
Q. How did you get your move from Basingstoke to Fulham?
A. By playing well for Basingstoke, we won Hampshire Cup and I was player of the season
Q. What were your thoughts on the loan move to Braintree?
A. I was desperate to play men's football again. I didn't want to be playing academy football at 21
Q. What are your strengths?
A. Tackling, aerial ability, reading the game, dribbling, strength
Q. Who has been the best manager you've worked with?
A. Terry Brown at Basingstoke, he believed in me and gave me the opportunity to play men's football. He took a risk with me.
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. Villa Park
Q. How have you found the transition from U21 football to VNL Premier?
A. Seamless, having played adult football already
Q. What are your aspirations for the next few years?
A. To become a Braintree legend
Q. Who have been the best players you've played with?
A. The lads from Fulham - Steven Humphries, Matt O@Riley, George Williams, Steven Sessegnon, Aron Davies, Scott Armsworth
Q. Who do you turn to for footballing advice/what's the best bit of advice you've been given?
A. My old man (he played for Dulwich H) - never give up
Q. Who is the toughest opponent you've had to mark here in training?
A. Justin Amaluzor, because of his pace and trrickery
Q. How do you pass your time on long away trips?
A. Sleep, or watch films on my phone
Q. Which player has the worst dress sense?
A. Ben Killip
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. 20th

Stoppage time winner sinks Salford
Morton grabs the winner
Callum Morton scored a crucial stoppage time goal to defeat the much fancied Salford City at Cressing Road on Saturday.
It was his predatory persistence that earned him his goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time which gave Iron a much needed win and three valuable points in their bid to escape the relegation zone in a what was a close fought encounter at Cressing Road.
Just when it looked like the game ending in a stalemate, a twice-taken left wing free-kick from newcomer Sam Kelly, signed hours earlier from Hamilton Academicals, floated into the area and, with the visitors defence all at sea, Morton was quick to latch on to the loose ball and drive it into the roof of the net.
It was no more than Iron deserved after a workmanlike performance under new manager Danny Searle and it was the way they tried to play football throughout the game with some of the best attacking build-ups seen at Cressing Road this season.
Scorer Morton was delighted to snatch a late winner adding: "I had been trying all game to score and even though the chance was late, as soon as it was in the box I knew it was mine.
"I think we deserved the win plus it was also great to now have someone up front with me to help hold the ball and I think we worked together well," he continued. "I was constantly being fouled throughout the game and the referee didn't help to protect me but you have to not moan about it but carry on and get on with the game and work even harder.
Manager Danny Searle praised his players for their response after losing at Hartlepool in what was his first game in charge adding: "I'm thrilled at not just the win but the whole team's performance.
"I think the players showed the kind of resilience we wanted from start to finish and there's clearly a great belief in the dressing room," he said.
"I've brought two players in - Kelly and ex-Yeovil striker Korrey Henry - because I know that will give us more quality both on and off the ball. We defended magnificently when we had to and in midfield we worked hard to control the game while up front Callum and Korrey gave us more strength," he continued.
"The players clearly believe in what I am trying to achieve in the dressing room and out on the field and now we have to maintain that new found belief and consistency."
City manager Graham Alexander was less complimentary about some of his players who he said failed to show up on the day and wasted all the good work and build up to the game during the week adding: "I'm bitterly disappointed and we know football can be so cruel, conceding as we did in the fourth minute of injury time."
He went on: "What is also worrying that this is the third game running we have failed to score from open play and it just won't do - players know that they have to be up for it when you comes to clubs like Braintree who are down the bottom and struggling.
"You have to respect them of course but our players are good enough to have put in a far better performance than they did and that's what's most disappointing," he continued. "We have to get the situation sorted and we will before our next game."
Early first half chances fell to the Iron with Morton and Kelly both going close but up at the other it took a goal line clearance from Rob Atkinson to keep the scores level at the break and then, moments later, keeper Ben Killip pulled off a fine save to deny Carl Piergianni.
Early in the second half the visitors did clip the home crossbar but it was the home side who came close to scoring on 70 minutes when Henry found himself in the area unmarked but his first time shot was somehow pushed away by the foot of keeper Chris Neal.
The end to end action continued and the Iron almost broke the deadlock on 81 minutes when Cameron James unleashed a first-time shot that forced Neal into a flying save tipping the ball round for a corner.
But it all came good in added time when Morton grabbed a winning goal much to the delight of the home fans in the 765 crowd.
Braintree Town (4-4-2): Killip; Eleftheriou, Atkinson, Lyons-Foster, Gabriel; Henry (73 Iffy Allen), James, Kelly, Richards; Morton, Amaluzar. Subs unused Luke Allen, Sogaf, Matsucaka, Borg. Attendance: 765 (83 visitors) Referee: Paul Howard.
Next up for the Iron is another league match away to Eastleigh on Saturday next, kick off 3pm.

Searle adds Sam Kelly
25-year old moves south
Braintree Town Manager Danny Searle has added winger and/or attacking midfielder Sam Kelly to his squad from Scottish Premiership side Hamilton Academicals this morning. Sam signed for the Club on Thursday and his international clearance was granted this (Saturday) morning. The 25 year old was attached to Cambridge United, Norwich City and Everton, before he found regular first team League football with Port Vale during both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 campaigns. He then joined Grimsby Town in May 2017 and stayed with the club last season, before switching to Scottish Premiership side Hamilton Academicals last June.
Leaving the Club are Marcel Barrington, who has joined Hampton & Richmond, and Jon Muleba, who has been released. We wish both players the best for the future.

Match Preview - Sat 9 February 2019
Braintree Town v Salford C
Salford C are currently 2nd in the Vanarama National League on 57 points. Their away record this season is P 17 W 6 D 6 L 5 GF 24 GA 18 Pts 24. Their last 4 away results this season: Drew 0-0 v FC Halifax T, Won 0-3 v L Orient, Lost 3-2 v Barrow, Lost 5-1 v Wrexham. Top scorers this season: Adam Rooney - 19, Rory Gaffney - 12, Carl Piergianni - 6.
Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 22 points. Braintree Town home record this season: P 15 W 2 D 3 L 10 GF 15 GA 31 Pts 9. Braintree Town last 4 home results this season: Won 4-0 v Barnet, Lost 0-4 v Ebbsfleet U, Drew 1-1 v Boreham Wood, Lost 0-2 v Barrow. Braintree Town scorers this season: Della-Verde, Morton (3p) - 4, Amaluzor - 3
City have added 2 midfielders to their squad this month - former Manchester U youngster Devonte Redmond and former Swindon T player Amine Linganzi. They also announced a new shareholder in January 2019 with former England captain David Beckham taking a 10% stake in the club, joining his class of '92 team mates, Gary & Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.
The two sides first met on 13 October 2018 with Hakan in charge for his first game as caretaker manager. The Iron produced a performance that belied their league position. They fell behind in the first minute to a Rory Gaffney goal, before Mo Bettamer equalised on the stroke of half time. On 74 minutes, Bettamer struck again only for Gaffney to double his tally for the day in the 90th minute.
It will be a testing home debut for new Iron manager Danny Searle against the League's top scorers. Danny has signed one of his former West Ham Academy boys - Korrey Henry, whose last club was Yeovil Town. A performance like the one back in October could well cause a further dent to Salford's automatic promotion hopes.

Talking to Oscar Borg
playing against Messi, Aguero & Di Maria
DOB: 5/9/97 (21) Born: London
Previous clubs: West Ham U (Academy/Youth) Aston Villa (Youth)
Position: Full back/Midfield
Q. Do you have another job?
A. No, I still train full time
Q. Who do you support?
A. Chelsea, my uncle Colin Pates used to play for them
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Zinedane Zidane & Gareth Bale
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. I like to listen to everything, all kinds of genres
Q. What is your favourite film?
A. Shawshank Redemption, White Chicks, Step Brothers
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - Athleticism, getting up and down, my versatility, getting in crosses and helping out defensively, I like to play wing back. Weakness - I need to improve my heading as it's more physical in this League
Q. At West Ham you were dubbed the new "Gareth Bale"; who gave you that title and what did it mean to you?
A. A few team mates called me that. There'd been an article in the Daily Mail https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2701830/West-Hams-young-wing-wizard-Oscar-Borg-trial-Manchester-United-start-Red-Devils-Under-18-side.html I felt privileged to be likened to him, but I want to make a name for myself.
Q. You were released by Villa this season after joining them in 2016, whose decision was it to release you and what options became available to you?
A. There were a few academy players released by the academy manger, they were looking for older, more experienced defenders. Eddie Howe invited me to Bournemouth, but then signed Diego Rico.
Q. You had a few injuries at Villa, what were they?
A. That was a few years ago, I did both my hamstrings
Q. How did you end up at Braintree?
A. I knew Danny Searle from my time at West Ham. I'd congratulated him on getting the job at Braintree; he asked me what I was doing and invited me down
Q. How have you found the football at this level so far?
A. I've been pleasantly surprised. U23's football is more technical. In training the boys play good football
Q. Is it difficult to adapt to this level of football?
A. Growing up I trained and played with older players, so I'm used to the physical side, so have adapted quite well
Q. Where do you envisage yourself playing in 3 years' time?
A. Playing at the highest level that I possibly can
Q. Who has been the best coach you worked for?
A. I've learned a lot from all my coaches including Steve Cox & Teddy Sheringham at West Ham and Mark Delaney at Villa
Q. Chance to name drop, who have you played alongside?
A. When I was at West Ham we had the Argentinian national side over, so I played against Messi, Aguero and Di Maria. I've played with Declan Rice and Reece Oxford at West Ham and Callum O'Hare at Villa
Q. How do you pass your time on away trips?
A. Everyone is so sociable, so we chat and have a bit of banter. If it's a long trip, I try and get some sleep in
Q. Who is the team wind up merchant?
A. Luke Allen is a bit of a joker
Q. Which player would be a good contestant on I'm a celebrity…?
A. Luke Allen, just for the way he acts
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. Outside the relegation zone


Searle adds Yeovil forward
Former Hammer switches to Cressing Road
Braintree Town Manager Danny Searle has strengthened his squad with the arrival of forward Korrey Henry from League Two side Yeovil Town. The nineteen year old started his career at West Ham United before signing a years' contract with the Somerset club last July - making his Football League debut for Yeovil as a substitute in their 2-2 draw against Mansfield Town in August. He made four further appearances before joining Braintree Town on Saturday.


National League Sponsor Rebrand
Motorama National League from next season
The National League is pleased to announce a rebranding of its title sponsorship from the Vanarama National League to the Motorama National League from next season.
In doing so, the new agreement adds a further three seasons to a sponsorship arrangement with the Autorama Group which has enjoyed great success for both parties over the past five seasons.
Motorama - sister brand of Vanarama - is a personal car leasing broker and the latest arm of the Autorama Group.
The involvement of Motorama with The National League will see the introduction of a brand new affiliation scheme, which will provide supporters with an opportunity to earn money for their Club with every vehicle leased.
Michael Tattersall, Chief Executive Officer of The National League, said: "Following five seasons as the Vanarama National League, we are delighted to be signing up for a further three seasons as the Motorama National League.
"Our relationship with the Autorama Group goes from strength to strength, and is a classic case of football sponsorship delivering value and helping to create a leading consumer brand."
Title sponsorship of The National League propelled Vanarama into the homes of millions of people around the UK, driving huge engagement with the brand and the wider football community.
The Motorama National League will receive incredible exposure with BT Sport regularly broadcasting live matches and highlights from the competition.
CEO of Autorama Group, Andy Alderson added: "We're delighted to be continuing our relationship with The National League.
"It will allow Motorama to enjoy the prestige of being title sponsor of one of the UK's most popular football leagues and get its message that people CAN lease the cars they want - rather than settle for something they can find on a used dealer's forecourt - to an engaged audience of enthusiastic fans."

Iron denied at Hartlepool
First half advantage slips away
Iron came close to taking something from their trip to Victoria Park on Saturday and making it a positive start to new boss Danny Searle, but a lack of concentration in a seven minute spell just after half time in the end cost them.
Having played the better football, Iron were well worth their half time lead thanks to a 40th minute strike by Justin Amaluzar and but for the woodwork and some desperate last ditch defending by the home side they could have scored more.
Both Luke Allen and Rob Atkinson all went so close to scoring in the first period as did Amaluzar who saw his early shot cannon of the foot of a post as the pace and movement of the visitors caused all sorts of problems for the home defence.
Iron skipper keeper Ben Killip pulled off a smart save from Luke Molyneux half way through the first half but it was mainly Iron that kept up their pressing game and they could have come in at the interval at least two or three goals to the good.
The second half saw the home side change their tactics, adding another player into midfield to stifle the rampant Iron pushing forward, and it worked while some poor Iron work down the home side's left wing on 52 minutes allowed a cross to come in from there giving Nicke Kabamba the chance to nip in between two Iron defenders to head the ball home.
With their tails now up the home side, backed by a vocal crowd of 2,769, pushed forward again and seven minutes later confusion in the Iron area again from another left wing cross saw home substitute Luke James scamper into the area and he appeared to fall over himself but referee Rebecca Welch adjudged it a foul, leaving Josh Hawkes to score from the penalty spot.
Iron eventually regained some of their first half composure and they did create a few chances with Callum Morton and Cameron James both going close.
Ten minutes from the end Morton looked to have weaved his way through the home defence before going down claiming a penalty when the youngster, perhaps with a little more experience, could have taken another step forward and been in a good shooting position and possibly have scored.
The penalty appeal though was waved away by the referee and although the Iron caused panic in the home defence with pressure in the dying moments the home side managed to somehow hold on when Iron could have at least shared the points for all their hard work and endeavour over the 90 minutes.
Braintree Town: Killip; Eleftheriou, Atkinson, Lyons-Foster, Gabriel; Luke Allen, Rowe (Barrington 74), James, Richards (Della-Verde 61); Morton, Amaluzar. Subs unused: Sagaf, Iffy Allen, Matzusaka. Attendance: 2,769 (25 Braintree supporters). Referee: Rebecca Welch.

Match Preview - Sat 26 January 2018
Hartlepool U v Braintree Town
Hartlepool U are currently 15th in the Vanarama National League 36 points. Their home record this season is P 15 W 4 D 5 L 6 GF 18 GA 20 Pts 17. Their last 4 home League results this season: Lost 1-2 v Maidstone U, Won 2-1 v Gateshead, Drew 1-1 v Havant & W, Lost 1-2 v Dagenham & R. Top scorers this season: Liam Noble - 12 (5p), Niko Muir-Merchant & Nicke Kabamba (on loan from H&W) - 5, Nicky Featherstone - 3.
Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 22 points. Braintree Town away record this season: P 15 W 3 D 4 L 8 GF 14 GA 22 Pts 13. Braintree Town last 4 away League results this season: Drew 0-0 v FC Halifax T, Won 0-1 v Maidenhead U, Lost 4-2 v Ebbsfleet U, Lost 2-1 v Havant & W. Braintree Town scorers this season: Della-Verde & Morton (2p) - 4, Amaluzor - 2.
The two clubs come together in the week in which both clubs see a change of manager. Pools have moved former manager Richard Money in to the role of overseeing football matters strategically. He is replaced as manager by coach Craig Hignett who had a spell as caretaker manager earlier in the season. Hignett's playing career started at Crewe Alexandra in 1988 before he made the move to Middlesbrough where he made 155 appearances, scoring 33 goals as an attacking midfield player. His other clubs include Aberdeen, Barnsley, Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City. He was assistant to former Nottingham Forest defender Colin Cooper in 2013 at Pools, before moving to Middlesbrough a year later in March 2014. He left his post at Boro in December 2014. He took over the top job at Pools when Ronnie Moore departed in February 2016 and lasted until January 2017 before being sacked. He returned the following year as Director of Football before he was appointed as caretaker manager in November 2018 prior to Money's appointment.
Braintree meanwhile have seen the departure of Hakan Hayrettin who has once again paired up with John Still to take the reins at Maidstone U. Danny Searle now steps into the breech.
The two teams met for their first ever League meeting at Cressing Road on 14 August 2018. It's fair to say that Pool's would have been disappointed to be only one goal to the good at half time courtesy of a Muir-Merchant strike. Their attempts to increase their lead were constantly thwarted by Ben Killip who also saved a penalty in the opening 45 minutes. Braintree attained their first home point of the season when Mo Bettamer scored in the 95th minute.
Pool's form of late has been indifferent with more defeats than victories. Braintree had a much needed morale boosting 4-0 victory over Barnet last time out and a third clean sheet in four games. How will the players of both clubs respond to their respective new charges?

Talking to Courtney Richards
focus on the things we do well and try and do them better
DOB: 22/11/93 (25) Born: St Catherines, Jamaica
Previous Clubs: Coventry C (Academy), Brighton & HA (U21), Whitehawk (L), Torquay U, Macclesfield T, Solihull M (L), Nuneaton B
Position: Midfield
Q. Who do you support?
A. Manchester U
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Christiano Ronaldo because of his work ethic
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. J. Cole
Q. What is your favourite TV programme?
A. Breaking Bad
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for my mum
Q. Who were you playing for before you went to Coventry C?
A. I wasn't playing for anyone, I was at college in Stratford and the coach there was a scout for Coventry C
Q. Were you always a midfielder?
A. No, I was on a scholarship and a striker at Coventry C, scored goals, but when I went to Brighton, they had too many strikers, so I played midfield there
Q. Who did you play alongside in your time at Brighton?
A. Lua Lua, Agustein and Rodriguez
Q. Who has had the biggest impact on your career so far?
A. Luke Williams at Brighton and Lee Carsley at Coventry C
Q. Who has been the most motivational manager you have played for?
A. Luke Williams at U21 level, Kevin Nicholson at Torquay U - he could identify players who could do a good job at interacting with players
Q. How did your move to Braintree come about?
A. Hakan contacted Nuneaton because he needed an experienced midfielder?
Q. Have you played against Braintree before, or any of the squad?
A. Yes played against Braintree for Torquay, including the season they did the double over us. Dan Sparkes scored a hat-trick in the game at Plainmoor
Q. What have you made of the club so far?
A. Good club, strong passionate fans
Q. There has been a lot of comings and goings this season, how does that affect the squad?
A. Not much really, it's about retaining information and going out and doing what we are told
Q. We've struggled to win games, how do you deal with this?
A. We try and take the positives out of games, focus on the things we do well and try and do them better
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. The Amex, Brighton
Q. Who is the best passer in the team?
A. Ben Killip, he has good distribution
Q. Who is the best tackler?
A. Me
Q. Who is the quietest?
A. Callum Morton
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. Above the bottom four!

Hakan Hayrettin steps down
Danny Searle takes over
Hakan Hayrettin has stepped down from his role as First Team Manager at Braintree Town with immediate effect to join (we have been told) new manager John Still as his number two at Maidstone United. The Board will discuss the matter tomorrow night. In the interim, we have asked Assistant Manager Danny Searle to take on the First Team Manager role and he has kindly agreed to help us.
Chairman Lee Harding thanked Hakan for his second spell at the Club: "When Hakan offered to help in October, we'd won only once in fifteen matches and then, with the same players, immediately picked up seven points from the next three games.
Sadly, with some players not secured on contract, it was then easy for other clubs to tempt some away, and results then suffered. Recently we've seen the benefits of the re-building work that both Hakan and Danny have been putting in place and results over the past month or so have started to improve. We wish Hakan all the best for the future.
Looking forward, we have sixteen cup finals and forty-eight points up for grabs. Personally, I believe we still have something to play for this season and so ask you all to get behind Danny and the lads - starting at Hartlepool on Saturday. Come on you Iron!"


Iron impress in four-goal win
Ten men Barnet swept aside
It was the best birthday present any promising young striker would crave for hitting his first ever senior football hat-trick and helping his side to a crucial but fully deserved win at Cressing Road on Saturday and when in reality they should have won by a bigger margin.
Nineteen year-old birthday boy Callum Morton not only took his three goal superbly but also his all round running off the ball and pace caused problems all afternoon for the visiting Barnet defence.
Morton, on loan from WBA, said: "It all went so great today on my birthday and I can't really believe it scoring my first ever hat-trick at senior level and I felt I should have scored a couple more.
"I've already got the match ball in my bag to take home and I shall cherish it and remember the game for a long time," he added. "I'm really enjoying my football here and the new lads who have just come in have made all the difference," he added. "I'm now here to the end of the season and our aim is to keep in this division."
Iron manager Hakan Hayrettin, delighted with his side's win, was also full of praise for the youngster adding: "He's work really hard up front for us since arriving and got his just reward today but I was also pleased with the whole team's performance. They were excellent playing the attacking football I always want and every player fought for every ball and never gave up.
"We now need to keep up this consistency and I believe we can now start picking up points to get us away from the foot of the table," he added.
Bees' boss Darren Currie was scathing of all his players adding: "We were crap, simple as that - a total embarrassment to me and the club and I am totally shocked at the way we failed to show any fight, any determination and any hint of playing the type of football we have been showing."
Barnet's cause was not helped by the third minute sending off of their goalkeeper Mark Cousins for hauling down Morton after the youngster had chased him down, harried him into losing the ball and escaped to slide the ball towards an empty goal. Despite the ball ending in the Barnet goal, the match referee disallowed the goal, awarded a penalty and Morton showed tremendous composure to get to his feet and convert the resultant spot kick.
"It was a disgraceful piece of football by our player but it wasn't the reason we lost this game because that was down to all the players out there - they were pathetic and the home side should have scored double their goals as we were so bad in the second half they had the freedom of the park with four clear cut goal chances," Currie added.
This morale booster for Iron was fully deserved as time and time again they split the Bees' defence wide open with the best attacking display of football seen at Cressing Road for a long time.
On 33 minutes they duly added a second from a superb through ball by Courtney Richards into the path of Morton who took two touches to drill a great shot into the net off the underside of the bar.
The Iron had other first half chances with Danny Rowe, Justin Amaluzar and Luke Allen all missing the target by inches and on 19 minutes Cameron James saw his header come back of the crossbar and that rebound also clipped the woodwork again before being hoofed clear.
Other Iron chances went begging with Amaluzar desperately unlucky not score right on half time when his thunderous first-time shot was acrobatically saved by Barnet substitute keeper Rihards Matrevics.
The second half was a repeat of the first with Iron totally dominant and they added a third on 59 minutes when a high ball into the Bees' area was brilliantly controlled on by Morton on his chest only to be unceremoniously bundled over by Craig Robson, leaving the confident youngster to drill home the spot kick to complete his hat-trick.
Iron kept up the constant attacking pressure and added a fourth on 83 minutes when substitute debutant Iffy Allen picked up a nicely weighted through ball from Morton and easily slotted it home past the exposed Matrevics.
Just as pleasing as the goals for Iron was the clean sheet. With newcomers Andrew Eleftheriou and Rob Atkinson coming into the Iron defence, they have made all the difference alongside Kodi Lyons-Foster, who had another outstanding game, and Ricky Gabriel with the the backline looking as strong as it has all season.
The win still keeps the Iron at the foot of the table but Hayrettin added: "We must keep playing as we have in recent league games, keeping clean sheets. If we do, we give ourselves a chance."
Braintree Town: (4-4-2); Killip; Eleftherious, Atkinson, Lyons-Foster, Gabriel; Luke Allen, James, Rowe (75 Iffy Allen), Richards (84 Sogaf); Morton, Amaluzar. Subs unused: Curran, Della-Verde, Borg. Attendance: 700. Referee: Carl Brook. Next up is a trip up the A1 to visit Hartlepool United this coming Saturday, 26th January, with kick-off at 3pm.

Hak strengthens Iron squad
Two added plus loan extension
Iron Manager Hakan Hayrettin continues to improve his squad with two additions today. Joining the Club are a 21-year old defender and a 24 winger/striker.
Centre-half Daniel Lewis Matsuzaka joins the Club from J3 League side Kataller Toyama FC. The 21-year old defender has been training with Iron for a few days prior to signing for the Club today after receiving his International Clearance from The FA.
Also joining the Club is Ifeanyi "Iffy" Allen from National League South side Dulwich Hamlet. 24-year old Allen began his career at Fulham and Reading, before joining Barnet in 2011 where he signed a contract in 2013. Following his release from Barnet signed for League Two side Yeovil Town in 2015, moving on to Torquay United in February 2016. The following season saw him sign for both Aldershot and Wrexham before spending last season with Bromley and then joined Dulwich Hamlet last September.
The loan of midfielder Cameran James from Colchester United has also been extended into February.

Match Preview - Sat January 19 2019
Braintree Town v Barnet
Barnet are currently 15th in the Vanarama National League on 35 points. Their away record this season is P 12 W 6 D 1 L 5 GF 11 GA 10 Pts 21. Their last 4 away results this season: Won 0-1 v Dagenham & R, Lost 1-0 v Boreham Wood, Lost 1-0 v Ebbsfleet U, Won 1-3 v Hartlepool U. Top scorers this season: Wes Fonguck & Shaquile Coulthirst (2p) - 7, Manny Duku - 4. Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 19 points. Braintree Town home record this season: P 14 W 1 D 3 L 10 GF 11 GA 31 Pts 6. Braintree Town last 4 home results this season: Lost 0-4 v Ebbsfleet U, Drew 1-1 v Boreham Wood, Lost 0-2 v Barrow, Drew 2-2 v Sutton U. Braintree Town scorers this season that remain with the Club are: Della-Verde - 4, Amaluzor - 2
This will be the third meeting between the two clubs this season with the Iron already having travelled twice to the Hive. The League game back in August saw the Iron earn a creditable 1-1 draw; the meeting in the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup saw the Bees triumph 4-2 after the Iron had pulled it back to 2-2, having been two down at the break.
Since that October cup meeting, the Bees have progressed in to the 4th Round proper disposing of EFL2 Bristol Rovers, Stockport County and Championship side Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, courtesy of a Coulthirst penalty. The reward for their endeavours is a home tie against the other Bees - Brentford.
The Bees have also progressed in the FA Trophy beating Bath City and Dorchester Town. They have been drawn away to Carshalton Athletic in the Third Round, a draw that would've seen them meet up with the Iron had we progressed to the same stage. All these cup games mean that Barnet are now playing catch up with the rest in the VNL, with 3 or 4 games in hand, which could propel them in to play-off contention. Since our last meeting, manager John Still has retired from his post and has been replaced by former Bees legend and Still's assistant, Darren Currie, who is currently unbeaten in all competitions.
They also added our former player Mo Bettamer to their squad in addition to former Iron men Dan Sparkes and Simeon Akinola; the latter now getting playing time after a long injury lay-off.
The Iron meanwhile have had time off and Hakan has been looking at more players to boost the relegation battle. Already added are defenders Rob Atkinson, Andrew Elefthiriou and Ross Marshall and re-joining the club is striker Danny Rowe.
With a decent following from Barnet, the Iron faithful need to get behind the boys in their quest for a vital three points.

Talking to Henry Ochieng
taking Kenya forward!
DOB: 11/11/98 (20) Redbridge, Ilford
Previous Clubs: West Ham U (Yth) & Leyton Orient
Position: Midfield
Q. Do you have another job?
A. No
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Ngolo Kante (Chelsea)
Q. What is your favourite film?
A. Interstellar
Q. Which social media did you use?
A. Twitter
Q. Who discovered you for West Ham?
A. I was at Buckhurst Hill from Jan and played striker, scoring 28 goals in 3 months when a West Ham scout asked me to go there
Q. Who did you play with in West Ham's Youth team?
A. Declan Rice and Grady Diangana
Q. Who has had the biggest influence on your career so far?
A. Richard Thomas youth development manager. He integrated me into Leyton Orient first team
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strength - passing range. Weakness - aerial duals
Q. You've played for Kenya U23's in Africa U23 Cup of Nations, what are your chances of qualifying?
A. We'll go far. I'm also in the full squad for next year
Q. Who else is in that squad?
A. Victor Wanyama (Spurs)
Q. How did you end up at Braintree?
A. I was released from Orient, went to a few U23's, but they weren't for me, Errol got me back to play in VNL Premier
Q. What have you made of your time here so far?
A. Great lads, great atmosphere, good family club
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. Elland Road, Leeds
Q. Which player has been your hardest opponent?
A. Marcus Edwards at Spurs
Q. How different is football in the VNL compared to U23 football?
A. U23 is all played on the floor, I've had to adapt
Q. Who is the most skilful player in the squad?
Q. How do you pass your time on long away trips?
A. Watching Netflix
Q. Which player has the best singing voice?
A. Marcel Barrington
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. We'll get out of relegation

New date for Chesterfield visit
Trophy progress for visitors sees date delayed
Following Chesterfield's victory in the FA Trophy on Saturday, their visit to the Cressing Road Stadium for a Vanarama National League match, scheduled for Saturday 2nd February, has been postponed. The match has now been re-arranged for Tuesday, 5th March, with kick-off at 7.45pm.
Next up for Braintree is the visit of Barnet this coming Saturday, 19th January, with kick-off at 3pm.

Iron 'giant-killed' in FA Trophy
FA Trophy 1st Round - Salisbury C v Braintree Town
Iron were the victims of a FA Trophy 'giant-killing', bowing out of the competition at the First Round stage in the twice-rearranged tie at Salisbury on Tuesday evening.
With just twelve players for manager Hakan Hayrettin to choose from following recent squad re-organisations, departures and absenteeism, the home side took a 25th minute lead through Darren Mullings's deflected effort. However, Iron responded positively with Luke Allen cracking a sweet drive off the post from 25 yard on the half-hour.
Salisbury started the second half the better of the two sides and scored what proved to be the winner when the ball was crossed into the Iron 18-yard box for Mullings to sweep the ball into the bottom right corner for his second on 68 minutes.
Iron took the game to the home side late on with both Justin Amaluzar and Callum Morton creating chances but couldn't net a second leveller.
Braintree: Killip, Borg, Lyons-Foster, Gabriel, Curran, Allen, Richard (Barrington 60), Ochieng, Sogaf, Morton and Amaluzar. Un-used subs: Wray, Lamb, Iyayi and Bailey.
No game for Iron this Saturday, with our next fixture on Saturday 19th January, when Braintree entertain Barnet.

Match Preview - Tues 8 January 2018
FA Trophy 1st Round - Salisbury C v Braintree Town
Salisbury F.C are currently 3rd in the Evostik League South on 45 points. Their home record this season is P 12 W 9 D 2 L 1 GF 29 GA 15 Pts 29. Their last 4 home League results this season: Won 1-0 v Frome T, Won 2-1 v Beaconsfield T, Won 4-3 v Wimbourne T, Drew 1-1 v Met Police. Top scorers this season: Tom Whelan & Luke Hopper - 12, Zack Katwica, Lewis Benson & Dan Fitchett - 8.
Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 19 points. Braintree Town away record this season: P 15 W 3 D 4 L 8 GF 14 GA 22 Pts 13. Braintree Town last 4 away League results this season: Drew 0-0 v FC Halifax T, Won 0-1 v Maidenhead U, Lost 4-2 v Ebbsfleet U, Lost 2-1 v Havant & W. Braintree Town scorers this season: Della-Verde - 4, Amaluzor - 2.
Since the postponement of the original meeting and subsequent scheduled replay, Salisbury F.C have won three and drawn two of their last five games. They have only been beaten five times all season and their only home League defeat came in their first home fixture back in August. Braintree meanwhile have had mixed fortunes over the same period with five points from five games. There has been progress for Hakan who will be pleased to have kept a clean sheet at Halifax last Saturday. Replay next Saturday 12th - if needed!

Iron re-focus on the Trophy
Third attempt to visit Wiltshire
Following Iron's draw at FC Halifax Town on Saturday, Iron have a fortnight away from Vanarama National League action and can now re-focus on the FA Trophy for a third attempt at a trip to Wiltshire on Tuesday, 8th January, to play their twice postponed First Round tie.
If there is a definite result over 90 minutes on Tuesday evening, the winners will play a Second Round tie at Carshalton Athletic on Saturday.
If Tuesday's match ends as a draw at 90 minutes, the replay (weather permitting) will be on Saturday, 12th January at Cressing Road, with the replay winners then set to visit Carshalton a week on Tuesday, 15th January.

Iron battle for a point in Yorkshire
New look side secure second successive away clean-sheet
Braintree made the long journey up the A1 to visit Yorkshire side FC Halifax Town and came home with a point from a goal-less draw.
Iron were arguably the better of the two sides during a cagey first forty-five minutes with Justin Amaluzar's effort coming closest to breaking the early deadlock, while a miss-placed clearance from Halifax's Joe Skarz could have ended in his own net!
After the interval the home side took the initiative but the new look Iron defence held firm. Braintree weathered that early second half pressure and forced their way into the game and it was to Amaluzar again who nearly opened the scoring when his effort from the edge of the 18-yard box skimmed the far upright.
But defences proved to be on top and Iron had to settle for a point.
Braintree: Killip, Eleftheriou, Allen (Della-Verde 80), Atkinson, Gabriel, Lyons-Foster, Barrington (Rowe 73), James, Richards, Morton, Amaluzor. Un-used subs: Blackmore, Curran, Borg.

Four join Iron squad
Three defenders and a striker
Hakan Hayrettin has added four players to his squad. Joining the Club are:
20 year old defender Robert Atkinson from Fulham - a left-footed central defender with good technique and size, he likes to play with the ball at his feet and has settled in well at the heart of the Fulham Under-23s'. Previous non-League experience with Basingstoke Town.
21-year old defender Andrew Eleftheriou from Watford on a long-term loan for the remainder of the season; and
19-year old defender Ross Marshall from Ipswich Town on work experience.
Also rejoining the Club from Boston United is 22-year old forward Danny Rowe.

Match Preview - Sat 5 January 2019
F.C. Halifax T v Braintree Town
F.C. Halifax T U are currently 17th in the Vanarama National League on 32 points. Their home record this season is P 13 W 5 D 5 L 3 GF 14 GA 9 Pts 20. Their last 4 home results this season: Drew 1-1 v Harrogate T, Lost 0-1 v Sutton U, Drew 1-1 v Boreham Wood, Won 1-0 v Dover A. Top scorers this season: Dayle Southwell - 7 (2p), Nathan Clarke & Matty Kosylo - 5, Jordan Preston - 4. Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 18 points.
Braintree Town away record this season: P 13 W 2 D 3 L 8 GF 13 GA 22 Pts 9. Braintree Town last 4 away results this season: Won 0-1 v Maidenhead U, Lost 4-2 v Ebbsfleet U, Lost 2-1 v Havant & W, Lost 3-1 v Harrogate T. Braintree Town scorers this season: Della-Verde - 4, Amaluzor - 2.
F.C. Halifax T made a good start to the season with 5 wins out of their opening 7 fixtures in August. They opened their campaign against the Iron with a comfortable two-nil victory playing a very direct style of football. During this spell they had a brief stay at the top of the VNL Premier table. Since those heady days they have only mustered two victories which have seen them slip down to seventeenth.
They are joint fifth lowest scorers (26 goals) in the League and second in the number of draws they have achieved - eleven. They made it to the second round of the F.A. Cup, overcoming Warrington and Morecombe, before being eliminated at home to AFC Wimbledon.
It was a poor start for 2019 for the Iron with a 4-0 defeat to in-form Ebbsfleet United. With goals at a premium for both sides a single goal may be enough to take all three points. Something the Iron did last time out on the road at Maidenhead!

Talking to Marcel Barrington
all about beating the odds of gaining promotion
DOB: 28/8/95 (23) Born: London
Previous clubs (L=Loan): Stoke C, Harrow B (L), Leicester C, Nuneaton T (L), Bishops S (L), Walton Casuals, Tooting & Mitcham (x2), Margate, Grays A (L), Hendon
Position: Striker
Q. What is your job?
A. Sports Coach
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal & Juventus
Q. Who is your favourite current Arsenal player?
A. Torreira
Q. What are you listening to in the car at the moment?
A. One Acen
Q. What was the last film you saw?
A. Creed 2
Q. You've played in a few different forward positions, which do you prefer?
A. I don't mind as long as I'm contributing to the team
Q. Were there any other offers for you in the summer or were you always going to sign again for Braintree?
A. I had offers from other clubs in the VNL, but I wanted to stay here to build on the success of last season
Q. What do you remember of last season's play-off final?
A. It was kind of a blur, but I remember Dan Thompson beating 4 men to cross for Reece's goal
Q. What are your personal highlights of last season?
A. Beating the odds of gaining promotion, despite finishing 6th
Q. You were injured in pre-season what was the injury?
A. It wasn't an injury; it was surgery on my knee
Q. You were out for quite a while, how did you cope with that?
A. It wasn't too bad, I knew it would be a long recovery, I just kept positive
Q. You mentioned last time that you played alongside Ben Chilwell, are you pleased to see him play for England, have you spoken to him about it?
A. Yes very pleased for him. I wished him well, he's a good player and I told him to keep doing what he's done
Q. What is the best worst ground you've played at?
A. Havant, maybe down the bad weather on the day
Q. Which players from last season would you like to have seen stay?
A. Marc Okoye, he was a big influence and Reece, but good luck to him going full-time
Q. You represented Guyana playing against French Guyana in November; there are quite a few VNL players in that squad, who are your best players?
A. Neil Danns (Bury), Sam Cox (Hampton & RB), Emery Welshman (F C Cincinnati)
Q. What differences have you noticed under Danny Searle's coaching?
A. A lot more shot sessions. There's more purpose and you know what's required of you.
Q. Which of the new players has impressed you and why?
A. Mo Sagaf - he's tidy and competent, Justin Amaluzor - he's very direct and a threat
Q. Who is in charge of the dressing room music?
A. It's shared, usually whoever gets in first
Q. Who has the best and worst dance moves?
A. Best - Mo Sagaf, worst - Christian Frimpong
Q. Where will Braintree finish?
A. NOT IN RELEGATION PLACES!


Promotion Final Early Bird Ticket Offer
Saturday 11th May 2019 at Wembley Stadium
The Vanarama National League has released details of the opportunity for ALL football fans to purchase Early Bird tickets for their Promotion Final on Saturday 11th May 2019 at Wembley Stadium connected by EE.
Tickets are now on sale and will remain available as outlined below direct from Wembley Stadium Ticketing Portal. This offer is only available on-line.
There is also an option for 'Print at Home' (PAH)
EARLY BIRD offer - up to and including 28th February 2019:
Adults: £20
Seniors (Over 60): £10
Under 16: FREE **
(** 1 free U16 ticket can be ordered for each ticket sold at Adult or Senior price).
Additional tickets for Under 16 over the above allowance can be purchased at £5 each.
Early Bird sales are made even more attractive as no booking fee is charged.
Please be advised no ticket is refundable once purchased through the Early Bird option.
Disabled seated allocation is available directly through Wembley Stadium and details are also available on-line.
WEMBLEY TICKET PORTAL: https://ticketingcontent.thefa.com//Vanarama%202019
Notes:
General Admission Ticket prices for the Promotion Final will be announced in April.
Early Bird tickets will NOT be forwarded to purchasers until the two competing finalist clubs are confirmed. This will allow for ticket allocation to be made in blocks for any group of supporters of a neutral club wishing to be in the same area. Initial purchase therefore will be placed into holding blocks for the time being.
In order for this to be offered, each purchaser will be required to nominate which National League member club they align themselves to or they may indicate a 'No Preference' neutral option.
Supporters of the two clubs who do reach the Promotion Final and who purchase Early Bird tickets will be allocated their tickets for the correct area of the stadium when allotted to each finalist club.

Iron beaten on New Year's Day
Contentious penalty ends game as a contest
Braintree Town started 2019 with a disappointing four-goal home defeat by Ebbsfleet United on New Year's Day.
From the previous Saturday's winning team at Maidenhead, Joe Ellul left the Club to take up a year-long full time contract in New Zealand and his place in the side was taken by Ejiro Okosieme. Courtney Richards took over as captain.
Iron conceded after just three minutes when Cody McDonald headed home from a corner.
A second came mid-way through the first half, with another corner being headed past Killip by former Iron striker Michael Cheek.
After the break Iron took the game to the Kent side, with both Oscar Borg and Callum Morton having chances.
But the game as a contest effectively ended on the hour when a challenge by Ricky Gabriel two yards outside the box was judged to be inside the area by referee Josh Smith. Cheek converted from the spot for 3-0.
Ebbsfleet added a fourth with 11 minutes remaining when Corey Whitely beat Killip from a tight angle.
Braintree Town: Killip, Muleba, Okosieme, Gabriel, Lyons-Foster (Curran 79), Borg (Barrington 55), James, Richards, Della-Verde (Clayton-Phillips 66), Morton, Amaluzor. Un-used subs: Allen and Sagaf. Referee: Josh Smith. Gate: 752.



FORTHCOMING GAMES
Good Friday 19 April, 3pm
Maidstone United (Away)
Easter Monday 22 April, 3pm
DAGENHAM & RED. (HOME)
Saturday 27 April, 12.30pm
Leyton Orient (Away)

HOW WE STAND