Billericay Town visit Braintree in the FA Cup|
Local derby for Second Round Qualifying tie
Iron continue their campaign at home to Billericay Town in the Emirates FA Cup this coming Saturday, 18th September with kick-off at 3pm. For match admission prices, click on Tickets above. Season ticket holders are reminded that, as this match is a cup match, their tickets are not valid for this tie - all pay. A digital copy of our matchday programme can be downloaded here: DOWNLOAD
Bath City visit Braintree
Iron welcome Somerset club
Iron continue their Vanarama National League South campaign at home to Bath City this coming Saturday, 11th September with kick-off at 3pm. For match admission prices, click on Tickets above. Those season ticket holders who have not collected the tickets will be able to do so from Gates 5/6 tomorrow. A digital copy of our matchday programme can be downloaded here: DOWNLOAD
Billericay at home in the FA Cup
Iron face Essex neighbours on Saturday, 18th September
Braintree Town have been drawn at home in the Second Round Qualifying of this season's Emirates FA Cup. Opponents a week on Saturday, 18th September, will be our Essex neighbours Billericay Town. Kick-off for this match will be 3pm and season ticket holders are reminded that, as the gate receipts are shared for this match, their season tickets are not valid for this fixture.
Trip to Hungerford postponed
due to a Covid incident
The National League office have confirmed that Saturday's Vanarama South trip to Hungerford has been postponed due to Covid incident at the Berkshire club. News on a new date when we have it.
Unbeaten start extends to four games
but Iron see points slip
Braintree continued their unbeaten start to the season with two draws over the August Bank Holiday weekend. A controversially conceded penalty a minute into the second half of the game against Dorking Wanderers at the Dunmow Group Stadium on Saturday saw the Iron denied a win against high-riding Dorking Wanderers in an entertaining game of football by both sides.
The incident happened when a long right wing cross was floated into the Iron area and full-back Ezra Ikbuasi turned towards his marker only for the ball to fall on the top of his shoulder as he tracked his man but somehow referee Callum Walchester deemed it to be handball, handing a penalty which Wanderers' Taylor Bobby-Joe duly converted.
"I just can't simply understand why referees can give a penalty in such circumstances," said Iron manager Ryan Maxwell. "There was clearly no intent, no advantage to be gained by the defender and purely a passage of play."
He went on: "It's really frustrating because we were well in command of the game, had a few chances to score in either half, saw two of our efforts cleared off the line and in the end we find ourselves sharing the points.
"We know they are a well financed, well organised outfit with experience players but we more than matched them on the day and overall I think any neutral watching the game would say we should have won," he continued. "We started far too slowly, allowed them time and space so it was no surprise when they took the lead on 11 minutes when we caught out at the back."
He went on: "But full marks to our lads because they showed what character we have in the side and they refused to let that early first half goal affect them.
"I think we should have won this game and I'm disappointed but certainly not in our performance," he explained. "We soon managed to get a grip on the game and players showed their desire and commitment to take the game to them and we had chances to have even come in at half time 3-1 up, in my view."
He continued: "I think they got lucky on the day because particularly in the second half we completely controlled the game and caused their backline all kinds of problem and they play loads of long balls up to their wingers but I felt both our full-backs Ikbusai and Jay Porter did exceptionally well in keeping them in check."
After their shaky start the Iron settled more into the game and with Femi Akinwanda, restored to the right wing after his one game suspension, causing their defence all kind of problems all afternoon with his pace.
He duly scored the equaliser for the Iron on 33 minutes when he jinked his way down the right flank, dribbled past two defenders in the area before driving the ball low into the visitors' net.
With confidence continuing to build, Iron kept pressing hard and twice in quick succession the visitors managed to scramble the ball away off the goalline but the inevitable happened on 41 minutes when a crossfield ball in the visitors' area fell to Correy Davidson who controlled it well on the turn and drilled the ball home from 20 yards.
Despite the early penalty setback on the restart, Iron kept pressing forward and on 59 minutes the unmarked Luke Holness should have scored when he was set up on the edge of the penalty only to turn and fire the ball over the bar.
At the other end twice Ikbuasi, clearly Iron's man of the match alongside the impressive midfield display by Arjanit Krasniqi, saved the day with timely tackles when the visitors broke clear.
On 77 minutes a clever left wing move by Davidson saw the ball whipped into the penalty area where Matt Johnson sidefooted it towards the net only for a last ditch clearance off the goal line that denied Iron a goal.
"It was a really well worked move and caught the visitors off guard and it was another goal chance for us that went begging," said Maxwell. "Then Femi had another great chance to score with a header that dropped straight to the keeper.
"Disappointed though I am in not winning and collecting the three points we clearly deserved to but I was so pleased with the overall performance and again it's another step forward in the right direction," he added.
What also understandably annoyed Maxwell and his assistants on the bench was when referee Walchester failed to show a straight red card to Wanderer's skipper Barry Fuller on 83 minutes for a clear and potentially dangerous two-footed tackled on Iron defender Luke Pennell and despite taking some time to decide the punishment he finally issued a caution.
"It was so blatantly a bad tackle and the kind of thing that has to be stamped out so how could the referee not see that as a straight red I cannot understand," he added.
Braintree Town: Edwards; Ikbuasi, Porter, Pennell, Clements; Payne, Johnson, Akwanda, Krasniqi; Holness (90+2 Renee), Davidson (89 Crichlow). Unused subs: Ainsworth, Hope.
48 hours later at Billericay saw another two points lost rather than a point gained for Iron in this local derby at New Lodge. Iron led twice but conceded a second equaliser in the last minute of normal time to end up sharing the spoils before a decent holiday crowd of 827.
It was really inexperience that cost the Iron a victory so late on because having regained the lead again midway through the second half they should have seen the game out comfortably but they allowed their hosts to snatch a last-gasp equaliser.
"I'm obviously disappointed because we should have punished them when we had the chances and really have then won the game but in a local derby you are going to get various twists and turns in the game," said Iron manager Ryan Maxwell. "Goals win matches and we should have scored more, particularly in the first half which I felt we dominated.
"They pulled a goal back on 51 minutes so that naturally gave them fresh impetus in the early part of the second half," he continued. "But I felt we had weathered the early storm, scored a cracking second goal and then had two clear cut chances to have scored again which would have really put us completely in the driving seat."
He went on: "But many of these lads are still learning the game and also some have come up three or four levels below our league and for most it was their first ever taste of a local derby and quite a challenge.
"But I'm pleased with the overall performance and the way we played and some of the moves were exactly what I wanted and showed how we can play and the potential we have at this level," he added. "Conceding such a late goal in the last minute is frustrating and we should have done better but we're still unbeaten and we go again this Saturday away to Hungerford Town.
"We want to naturally win every game of course but it doesn't always happen that way and we have to be realistic but I'm more than happy we gained at least a point on the day although I feel we deserved all three," he continued. "Our good performances so far show that we have a good, close knit group of players who want to play for each other and help the club at the same time."
Making one change from the previous game at home to Dorking Wanderers with Luke Holness dropping to the bench and speedy winger Gianni Crichlow on from the start Iron were certainly the more assertive side in the first half and twice striker Femi Akinwande broke clear only to see his efforts charged down at the last moment.
Iron pressure paid off on 29 minutes when Akinwanda's fine through pass down the ring wing to Crichlow saw the diminutive winger's cross go straight to Arjanit Krasniqi who volleyed home from the edge of the penalty spot to give the Iron a deserved lead.
Immediately after half time the home side raised their game and on 51 minutes scored a rather fortunate equaliser when the ball ricocheted off a defender in the Iron area and it fell kindly to Norman Wabo and the ex-Iron striker sneaked the ball low into the net.
The Iron retaliated and twice great runs down the right wing by Ezra Ikebuasi saw his crosses zip across the home area with Correy Davidson only inches away from sliding the ball into the net.
Just past the hour an Iron substitution by manager Maxwell proved shrewd because with his first touch of the ball from a Akinwande pass Luke Holness was left unmarked and slotted the ball into the net to restore the Iron's lead.
On 69 minutes Krasniqi wasted a great chance to have extended the Iron lead and give his side some breathing space but a fine cross by Akinwande to the unmarked midfielder who fired well over the bar when he could have found the net.
At the other end the ever alert Preston Edwards pulled off two fine saves from the home side late on but there was little he could do about their second equaliser right on full time as from a dubious free-kick given by referee Skipper the hosts launched a high ball across into the area where Wabo was again lurking and needed no time to slip the ball into the net.
Any neutrals watching would have probably thought a draw was a fair result but for Maxwell it should have been a win adding: "Everyone knows that when you're winning with only moments to go you should ensure you lock the shop up but on this occasion we didn't yet the players, particularly the less experienced ones will learn from this occasion."
Braintree Town: Edwards; Ikebuasi, Porter, Clements, Pennell; Crichlow, Johnson, Krasniqi, Payne; Davidson (61 Holness - subbed 88 Renee), Akinwanda. UNused subs: Balogun, W Johnson (gk), Hope.
Dorking visit Braintree
Iron welcome Surrey club
Iron continue their Vanarama National League South campaign at home to Dorking Wanderers this coming Saturday, 28th August with kick-off at 3pm. For match admission prices, click on Tickets above. Those season ticket holders who have not collected the tickets will be able to do so from Gates 5/6 tomorrow. A digital copy of our matchday programme can be downloaded here: DOWNLOAD
Holness hat-trick sets up Braintree
Iron move into the top five
It was birthday hat-trick boy Luke Holness who set up Iron for their first league win of the season and the 23 year-old admitted afterwards: "I can't believe it - it's my first ever hat-trick playing in senior football." The Londoner though was full of praise for the help from his team mates in scoring two first half goals in the 10th and 16th minutes followed up by a third on 62 minutes which crucially gave the Iron some breathing space as the home side looked set for a second half revival.
With regular striker Femi Akinwande suspended it gave Holness his first start for the Iron in a competitive game and he never let down manager Ryan Maxwell's trust in that he could find the net. "I'm thrilled to bits to score my first ever hat-trick because I've never played at this level and it's a big challenge for me," he said. "I felt confident on each of the three occasions when the ball came to me and I knew I could score. "What's more important though is the three points from the game which I felt we controlled well and really played some good football and it's also the benefit for all the players from all the hard work we've put into our training sessions," he added. "Hopefully I can now build on this great start and score more for the team."
Manager Maxwell was delighted for the youngster adding: "He took his chances really well and although he's still learning at this level he's already shown what he's capable of at Conference football."
The first goal came when he broke clear and fired in a terrific hard shot that glanced off a defender's boot and dropped high into the net over the head of home keeper Nick Hayes. Six minutes later it was 2-0 when Holness fired high into the net at the near post.
With the Iron well in control throughout it did take an excellent first half save from keeper Preston Edwards to keep the Iron with a clean sheet and then late in the game it was Edwards again who pulled off two fine saves to deny a rejuvenated home side a goal.
Holness completed his deserved hat-trick on 62 minutes when another well worked move down the right saw him glide the ball home from close range.
Maxwell added: "Preston did exceptionally well when called upon and pulled off crucial saves but also his constant talking to team mates at the back was also a big factor. Before the season started I asked him to 'roll back the years' as it were and he has certainly done in such an excellent manner. What also pleased me about the overall performance, apart from keeping that clean sheet away from home, but the passing and interchanging in our play right through the whole afternoon. I was really pleased with the effort and commitment by all the players and even when they pressurised us we had players prepared to chase back and close their players down and get vital tackles in. We know this league is going to be tough but judging from our first two games I am really satisfied with how we've gone about it and the players have the confidence to do what we ask of them in every game. Nobody is getting carried away and there's still a great deal of work to do so complacency doesn't come into our thinking and we have competition for places which is a good thing."
Maxwell had two new signings on the substitutes' bench in Jamal Balogun, a young defender released by Watford, and striker Richard Afrane-Kesey, another youngster released by Charlton Athletic and who came on in the 79 minutes to replace the tiring Holness.
"He did well in the few minutes he was able to play and both will have other chances to show what they can do," said Maxwell. "In this game I was particularly pleased with the way our back four worked as a unit and snuffed out repeated home attacks while the midfield players played some tremendous passing football and movement and that's what we want to continue in our next games."
Braintree Town's next game is on Saturday next when they entertain Dorking Wanderers at the Dunmow Group Stadium, kick off 3pm.
Braintree Town: Edwards; Ikbuasi, Porter, Clements, Pennell; Payne, Krasniqi (86 Renee), Johnson, Davidson; Holness (79 Afrane-Kesey), Crichlow (69 Ainsworth). Unused subs: Balogun, Hope." Gate: 502.
Iron share points in opener
Sending off the turning point
Braintree Town battled hard throughout their opening day Vanarama League South game and were good value for their point from a 1-1 draw - but it left manager Ryan Maxwell frustrated that his side had not won all three points in what was an entertaining encounter at the Dunmow Group Stadium.
"I'm obviously pleased with a point in the end but in reality we were the better side throughout, created more chances but were in my view let down by some poor decisions," he declared. "You cannot account for that in a game and in the end it had a great bearing on the result."
Maxwell was furious for a second yellow card and sending off of Femi Akinwande on 65 minutes adding: "He was blatantly fouled by their defender as even the neutrals watching could see and it was the same in the first half when again he was clearly fouled by a defender."
He went on: "The players had really worked hard throughout the game and then to end sharing the points was a clear injustice."
Alfie Payne had given the Iron the lead on 50 minutes with a low drive inside the area after a well worked corner but the sending off changed the game and, despite some heroic defending in the last 20 minutes of the game, Dan Matsuzaka snatched an equaliser with five minutes to go with a header on the edge of the penalty box.
"It was a blow because we defended so well being one man down and full credit to all the players - they never gave up and stuck to their defensive duties and even then we had a couple of chances to have added to our score," Maxwell continued. "Our goal came from a set play we had been using in training and to be honest we should have scored with a similar move in the first half.
"I always felt we were comfortable against a well drilled side that was pushing for promotion last season and the signs for us are really encouraging," he declared. "The players carried our distinct instructions from the kick off and we had a clear, defined game plan that worked and a win was certainly on the cards until certain crucial decisions were made which I find amazing."
He went on "There's intense passion amongst the players and they know they have to die in every game to keep the short because we have other players waiting for their chance.
"One thing is certain is that Braintree Town will not be the whipping boys in this division this season," he said. "I know it was a bitter sweet end to the game only getting a point but they all did so well being a man short for most of the second half," he said. "We know we still have a lot to work on and it will again be hard working training sessions this week in readiness for our next game at Hemel Hempstead on Saturday."
The game was extended by eight minutes of stoppage time during which Iron keeper Preston Edwards pulled off two fine, instinct saves to stop the visitors from poaching a winning goal.
Maxwell finished by saying: "Everyone played their part and now we'll get ourselves ready for the next game and go away from home aiming to secure our first win of the season."
Braintree Town: Preston; Ikbusai, Porter, Clements, Pennel; Hope (70 Renee), Johnson, Payne (86 Holness), Krasniqi; Davidson, Akinwande. Unused subs: Ainsworth, Okonkwo, Crichlow. Attendance: 412
Oxford City Saturday
Off we go again!
Iron start their Vanarama National League South campaign at home to Oxford City this coming Saturday, 14th August with kick-off at 3pm. For match admission prices, click on Tickets above. Those season ticket holders who have not collected the tickets will be able to do so from Gates 5/6 tomorrow. A digital copy of our matchday programme can be downloaded here: DOWNLOAD
Last friendly match postponed
Match against Peterborough Sports off
Sadly, due to circumstances beyond our control, tomorrow's (Saturday's) friendly match at home to Peterborough Sports has been cancelled. Our next match will therefore be at home to Oxford City on Saturday, 14th August with kick-off at 3pm.
Welcome to new sponsor
Dunmow Group join the Iron family
Braintree Town Football Club are delighted to welcome the Dunmow Group as their new home shirt and stadium sponsors for the forthcoming two seasons, through to the summer of 2023.
Chairman Lee Harding said: "This is a real shot in the arm for the Club and will do wonders in supporting our aspirations to get the club back to the top level of the non-league game. Every penny invested by the Dunmow Group will be given to manager Ryan Maxwell to help him strengthen our already impressive looking first team squad.
Like everyone else we've had a tough past couple of seasons - the pandemic has hit us hard - but things are looking up!"
Dunmow Group CEO Sam Malins, said: "Braintree Town Football Club have a proud history and professionalism, on and off the pitch, their values align with ours at the Dunmow Group. We are delighted to support the Braintree community by being part of the club's journey for this and future seasons."
For over 30 years, Dunmow Group has and continues to be the leading waste management business in Essex. Dunmow are known for its skip hire, waste collection services, aggregate supply, scrap metal recycling and liquid waste removal.
With recycling centres based in Chelmsford, Colchester and Clacton, no job is too big or too small for the team to handle at the family-owned business. All services are provided to domestic and commercial customers, always offering a fast, efficient and customer-focused service.
For all enquiries please email email@example.com, or call 01245 466646 or book online at www.dunmowgroup.com!
Pictured: Mr Sam Malins, CEO of the Dunmow Group, with Iron Manager Ryan Maxwell.
Changes to Pre-season fixtures
trip to Sudbury cancelled - new match at home to Ipswich
The pre-season fixture scheduled for this evening at AFC Sudbury has been cancelled by the Suffolk club. We have agreed to entertain an Ipswich Town U23s side on Tuesday, 27 July. We will now look to re-schedule our trip to Maldon & Tiptree. All home pre-season matches will be just £5 entry. The following pre-season fixtures have been agreed:
Saturday 10th July 2021 3pm
Bishop's Stortford HOME
Saturday 17th July 2021 3pm
Dagenham & Redbridge HOME
Tuesday 20th July 2021 7.45pm
Saturday 24th July 2021 3pm
QPR XI HOME
Tuesday 27th July 2021 7.45pm
IPSWICH TOWN XI HOME
Saturday 31st July 2021 2pm
Grays Athletic AWAY (at Aveley FC)
Saturday 7th August 2021 3pm
Peterborough Sports HOME
Saturday 14th August 2021 3pm
1st Vanarama South match - TBC
Season tickets for season 2021/2022
Last season's tickets held over
The Club have agreed that supporters who purchased season tickets for last season's null & void 2020/2021 campaign will be held over to the forthcoming season. Those supporters that wish to take advantage of this arrangements are asked to indicate on the revised season ticket application form for next (2021/2022) season.
2021/2022 kit released
Iron kit gets a refresh
The Club have released details of their playing kit for the forthcoming season. Iron will be playing at home in orange & white striped shirts, royal blue socks and orange socks. The Club's second kit will be green shirts, white shorts and green socks. A third kit will also be available which will be white shirts, either royal blue or white shorts and either royal blue or white socks.
to be announced next week
Braintree Town's Vanarama National League fixtures will be released on Wednesday 7th July.
BILLERICAY TOWN (HOME)
(FACup 2nd Round Qual.)
Saturday 25th September 2021 3pm
Eastbourne Borough (Away)
Saturday 9th October 2021 3pm
ST ALBANS CITY (HOME)
HOW WE STAND