Victory in Cornwall
Iron prevail in play-off six pointer
Iron made the long, long journey down to Cornwall to visit Truro City on Saturday and came home with the three points from an entertaining 2-1 victory. Braintree took a seventh minute lead. Ben Wyatt firing home from a tight angle from the left of the home 18-yard box under Truro keeper Tom McHale.
Dan Thompson could have doubled the Iron advantage before the home side levelled moments before the half hour. A header from a Connor Riley-Lowe corner hit the woodwork before Jamie Richards netted the rebound at the far post.
Thompson did get his name on the scoresheet eighteen minutes into the second half. Charging down an attempted home clearance, the ball fell kindly and Dan steered the ball past the exposed McHale.
Both sides had chances in the closing stages, but the well organised Iron defence held firm to secure the three points that moved them back into the promotion play off places.
Braintree: McDonald, Muleba, Garbriel, Hill, Okoye, Wright, Allen (Barrington 88), Crook, Michael-Percil (Grant 65), Thompson (Frimpong 80), Wyatt. Un-used subs: Bettache, Curtis. Att: 521. Referee: Amy Fearn.

Iron grab late winner - again
Four goal Braintree set up six pointer on Saturday
For the second successive game Iron snatched all three points with a winning goal in the 94th minute on Tuesday evening that keeps their play-off hopes alive whilst condemning their visitors to relegation.
In a topsy-turvy game that could have gone either way it was the Iron who twice came from behind in a pulsating second half to claim victory which left manager Brad Quinton claiming: "I'm getting more grey hairs by each game but again what a fantastic performance by the players who simply never give up and battle for each other to that final whistle.
"Yes, we have ground out a result again which was vitally important for our play-off hopes," he continued. "We scored first on 20 minutes with a great header from Mark Okoye but we then gave away two sloppy goals before the interval and I had strong words to say at half time.
"We then get ourselves back in the game with an excellent header from Jon Muleba on 71 minutes but then our keeper Nathan (McDonald) makes a mistake to allow them back in the game," he explained. "But then young Reece Grant comes off the bench and scores two wonderful late headed goals to give us the win we wanted."
He added: "I'm over the moon with the win but I wish my young players would stop messing about at times and stop giving away silly goals."
The key to the Iron's victory were two second substitutions - Roman Michael-Percil coming on at the start of the second half and Grant replacing skipper Billy Crook just past the hour - because it was their pace and attacking threat that caused the visitors' rearguard real problems.
In the first half the visitors after going a goal down had come back into the game with a controversial 26th minute penalty which Gold Omotayo converted to equalise and then on 36 minutes McDonald weakly parried a low shot that allowed Yannis Ambroisini to force the ball over the line.
But Muleba's header gave the Iron fresh impetus in the second half as they peppered the visitors' goal with shots, two coming back of the crossbar while some desperate defending prevented the Iron from taking the lead.
But it all looked to be going wrong for them on 79 minutes when for some inexplicable reason McDonald rushed out of his goal to kick the ball clear only to skew it straight to the feet of Nassim Ghoul who had the simple task of sliding the ball into the net with no Iron defender near him.
Young Grant though came to the rescue to save his blushes on 81 minutes by heading home a right wing cross despite being squeezed in by two defenders and four minutes into the added stoppage time the youngster again managed to out jump the visiting defence to head home the winning goal.
"Both Roman and Reece coming on made a great difference to our attack in the second half because they ran at their defenders and caused all kinds of problems," said Quinton. "They are both young and still learning the game but they both showed how capable they are and they are not put off by taking on big, experienced defenders.
"It also about attitude and commitment and I think I had that from everyone of my players this evening," he added.
Next up for the Iron is an away game at Truro City on Saturday, kick off 3pm and to prepare properly the team are travelling down on Friday and staying overnight before the game.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Gabriel, Hill,Okoye; Wright, Allen, Crook (62 Grant), Wyatt (94 Frimpong); Barrington (45 Michael-Percil), Thompson. Unused subs: Bettache, Curtis. Attendance 389. Referee: Paul Howard.

Iron hit with one point deduction
"a sad outcome from events over which our Club and League have had no control"
Braintree Town Football Club has been charged and found guilty by the National League of fielding a player in two successive National League South matches while under a Football Association suspension.
The Club were first charged by The FA in February. The Club admitted the charge, were found guilty and fined. Subsequently, the Club were charged for the same offence by the National League. Again the Club admitted the charge, the National League had no option but to implement a deduction of the one point we obtained during the two games.
The FA charge against both the Club and player Mark-Anthony Okoye resulted from the FA creating two sets of records for the same player on their Members Services System (MSS) in the name of, initially, Mark Okoye, and then, subsequently, Mark-Anthony Okoye.
This resulted from the incorrect allocation by The FA of the name for the caution of Mark-Anthony Okoye, as just Mark Okoye, incurred by the player on 12 August 2017. Following a caution received by the player on 6 January, our Club Secretary Tom Woodley checked the entry on the FA's MSS thereafter and it did not state that any suspension was imposed.
The first notification of a two match suspension was on 17 February, when the FA informed the Club that the player had played on the both 13 January (away v Chippenham Town, drew 1-1) and 20 January (home v Hemel Hempstead Town, lost 1-2) while under a suspension, although their MSS had not confirmed a suspension throughout January.
Tom Woodley then saw that a two match suspension was confirmed on the FA's MSS from 17 February, but The FA's MSS was then retrospectively updated thereafter to include a two-match suspension from 6 January. The FA then charged the Club and player on 27 February with playing a player while under suspension. The Club reluctantly accepted the FA's charge, but submitted a statement of mitigation - including the above information.
On 15 March the FA advised the Club that they had decided to fine the Club and player. An additional one match was also added by the FA to the previous two match suspension.
The National League then charged the Club with the same offence on 21 March. The Club had no choice but to accept the charge. However, in mitigation, we asked that - as The FA had already charged and punished the Club - no further punishment be added to the fine and extended suspension imposed. Sadly, the National League seem to have had little option than to implement punishment as stated in their standard tariff, which requires the point secured from those two matches, to be deducted.
Chairman Lee Harding was far from happy: "I think this is a sad outcome from events over which our Club and League have had no control. When any player approaches a suspension, their record is always checked with The FA by our Secretary - as was done in this case. The fact that The FA's records were not retrospectively updated until mid-February, to show that a suspension was due in January, gave the Club no chance to action the suspension on the due dates.
"As ever, I believe Tom has acted with complete integrity, as he has done for over 35 years, and we have little option but to accept the punishment issued for what seems to me to be someone else's mistake.
"The loss of the one point is tough to take, especially as the lads have worked so hard to get us back into play-off contention in recent weeks and, in particular, on Saturday!
"Going forward, this can go one of two ways: we can sit and mope about our ill-fortune or dig in and work even harder to get the points we need from our last four games. I know what I'll be doing."

Whitehawk Preview
Tues 17 April 2018 - Braintree T v Whitehawk
Whitehawk are currently 21st in the National League South on 30 points. Their away record this season is: Played 18, Won 3, Lost 13, Drawn 2, Points 11. Goals For 22, Goals Against: 44. Last 4 away results: Lost 4-2 v Chelmsford C, Won 0-3 v St Albans C, Drew 1-1 v Bath C, Drew 1-1 v Hampton & RB. Whitehawk Top Scorers: Gold Omotayo - 9, Ky Marsh-Brown & Elliot Benyon - 8.
Braintree T are currently in 8th in the National League South on 59 pts. Their home record this season is: Played 17, Won 9, Drawn 5, Lost 4, Points 32. Goals For 33, Goals Against 20. Braintree T last four home games: Drew 2-2 v Wealdstone, Won 1-0 v Poole T, Lost 0-2 v Bath C, Lost 1-2 v Hemel Hempstead T. Braintree Top Scorers: Billy Crook - 10 (7p), Luke Allen - 6, Marcel Barrington - 5. Billy Crook has completed his 3 match suspension and is available for selection.
Last meeting: 26 August 2017 Whitehawk 1 Braintree T 1: On a very warm sunny afternoon on the South Downs, Braintree travelled to a pointless Whitehawk and left wondering how they didn't manage to attain all three points. Papa Gueye put the home side ahead in the 14th minute, heading home a free kick from the left. Despite constant Iron possession, it was almost an hour before the equaliser came, Luke Allen curling home direct from a free-kick. Late chances went begging as the Iron pressed for victory.
A look at the Hawks website shows that they have used over 60 players this season in an attempt to stave off relegation. Since our postponed fixture one month ago, Whitehawk have continued their good form in 2018 winning three and drawing one of their last five matches. The only defeat coming down the road at Chelmsford C where Obamwonyi was sent off for the visitors. A defeat on Tuesday evening would see the Hawks relegated.
After a frustrating Saturday afternoon at home to strugglers Concord, the Iron edged nearer the play-offs with a dramatic late winner from Luke Allen. With three of our four rivals also in action on Tuesday, the boys will need to work hard in their quest to break into the end of season play-off lottery.

Late goals secure three points
Luke Allen nets winner in time added on
It took a dramatic winning goal in the 98th minute to give Iron three vital points to boost their play-off chances in a thrilling game that left Iron manager Brad Quinton physically and mentally drained.
"It was certainly a roller-coaster ride that left me so tired and drained but totally elated - I'm so pleased for the boys and also the supporters to see us come back from the dead," he declared. "I've been involved with a few dramatic games in my time but nothing like this one."
He went on: "It was an emotional end to the game and it proved my players never give in and have a tremendous commitment and character.
"To come back from a goal so late on and then score twice is fantastic and keeps our play-off hopes alive," he said. "We had chances before they scored and we almost paid the price for wasting them but I felt we deserved it overall, particularly in the second half when we pinned them in their own half for so long."
He added: "It shows that the players are up for the battle in these last few games to ensure we make the play-offs."
A draw looked on the cards after Dan Thompson equalised for the home side on 87 minutes cancelling out young Adam Topley's fine 25-yard strike on 75 minutes that had given the visitors a surprise lead.
But with the game deep in to stoppage time the home side forced a dramatic winner from close range thanks to a quick reaction from midfielder Luke Allen to drive the ball home through a crowded box and which sent the Iron fans celebrating wildly, while referee Will Finnie finally blew for full time straight from the restart.
The first half had been fairly even with Iron having a couple of chances but both Thompson and Marcel Barrington each went close and, despite a patient build up by the home side, they were repeatedly being let down by that final ball into the visitors' penalty box.
Concord could also have scored and only a fine save by Nathan McDonald 10 minutes before the interval prevented Steve Cawley, who beat the offside trap and was clear on goal, from breaking the deadlock.
The second half, which from the start saw Roman Michael-Percil on for Jon Muleba and a changed formation for Braintree, was dominated by Iron who kept up constant pressure on the visiting rearguard.
With chances going begging it was the visitors who snatched the initiative by taking the lead only for Thompson to slide the ball home for an equaliser, setting up the grand finale that saw Iron's persistence pay and gain that late, late winner.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba (45 Micheal-Percil), Gabriel, Hill, Okoye; Wright, Allen, Frimpong, Wyatt; Barrington, Thompson (77 Grant). Unused subs: Curtis, Bettache, Aldridge. Attendance: 446. Referee: Will Finnie.
Next up for the Iron is a home game against Whitehawk on Tuesday, kick off 7 45pm at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium when manager Quinton will have midfielder Billy Crook back from his three match suspension.


NEW BEER FOR THE IRON
BTFC join forces with Molson Coors
Braintree Town Football Club are pleased to announce a new partnership with the Molson Coors Brewery. A football club with a heritage that starts in 1898 and a brewery who's story starts in 1774! Molson Coors have spent centuries defining brewing greatness. Coming to the Iron Clubhouse on Saturday will be:

Coors Light - thanks to its Rocky Mountain heritage, uncompromising brewing standards and its dedication to ice cold refreshment, Coors Light is one of the fastest growing light beers around the world.
Carling - has been Britain's bestselling lager for more than three decades. It is brewed to have the perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness ensuring it is as brilliantly refreshing from the first sip to the last.
Staropramen - the quality of the beer is appreciated in more than 38 countries all over the world. Staropramen is going confidently towards future, following its own path to make a perfect beer by combining tradition, modern technologies and innovation.
Doom Bar - is inspired by its namesake, the treacherous sandbank at the mouth of the Camel Estuary near Sharps' home at Rock. Accomplished and precise, Doom Bar is the epitomy of consistency, balance and moreish appeal and is now the UK's no.1 selling cask beer.
Worthington's - over 250 years ago, a young man called William Worthington glimpsed the future and it was in Burton, England. But what Worthington was interested in was below the surface, a buried treasure that remains in Burton still - the water. This created the beginnings of a brewing dynasty.
Guinness - our old favourite remains! It takes adventurous spirit and irrepressible ingenuity to do things the Guinness way. From our humble beginnings in 1759 to the present day, Guinness have gone to extraordinary lengths to bring you exceptional beer.
Aspall Cyder - can trace their history back to village of Aspall, Suffolk in the early-18th century. Production was based on apple trees initially introduced for the use of the Chevalliers of Aspall Hall, the owners of the estate, from their native Jersey.

FREE BEER!
We love our Iron Season Ticket holders! From 12.30 - 1.30pm on Saturday, all adult season ticket holders will be invited to take a FREE pint of their choice - just show your season ticket to bar staff who will cross through box 'Game C' on your ticket.
NOT A SEASON TICKET HOLDER?
No problem, from 12.30 - kick-off all our new beers will be available for JUST £2 a pint, until you drink us dry!
AND WHILE YOU'RE DRINKING ...
Live on the Clubhouse big screen will be BT Sport's coverage of Macclesfield Town v. Leyton Orient, kick-off 12.30pm.

Great beers and great football - all afternoon - enjoy!

Concord Rangers Preview
Sat 14 April 2018 v Braintree T v Concord R
Concord R are currently 18th in the Vanarama National League South on 40 points. Their away record this season is: P 17 W 3 D 5 L 11GF 17 GA 31 Pts 14. Last 4 away results: Lost 2-0 v Truro C, Lost 1-0 v Chelmsford C, Lost 2-0 v Whitehawk, Won 1-2 v Chippenham T. Top scorers this season: Steve Cawley - 15 (3p), Khale De Costa - 7, Ben Greenhalgh - 5 (1p)
Braintree Town are currently in place in 9th the Vanarama National League South on 57 points. Braintree's home record this season is: P 17 W 8 D 5 L 4 GF 31 GA 19 Pts 29. Braintree T last 4 home games: Drew 2-2 v Wealdstone, Won 1-0 v Poole T, Lost 0-2 v Bath C, Lost 1-2 v Hemel Hempstead T. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Billy Crook- 10 (7p), Marcel Barrington & Luke Allen - 6. Suspension news: Billy Crook serves the last of his 3 game ban.
Last meeting: 12 September 2017 Concord R 0 Braintree T 1: On a wet night down by the Thames, Braintree continued their good start to the season with a narrow victory over their Essex rivals. An early 10th minute strike from Phil Roberts, latching on to a deflected Ricky Gabriel cross was enough to earn all three points. With Tyler Campbell terrorising the Beachboys defence with his pace and trickery, the Iron were unable to add to their tally before the break. A scrappy second half in worsening conditions saw little in the way of clear chances for either side. There were 4 former Iron players lining up against Braintree that evening, but only Harry Lee remains at the club. Matt Paine is back at Billericay T, Kyron Farrell at Cray W and Jordan Cox at Basildon U.
A third double of the season last time out against Hungerford T was not enough to elevate Braintree back into the play-off pack. With this being one of four home games left to play out of five remaining fixtures, Brad will be looking for a maximum points haul to extend the season in to May.

Talking to Jacque Edouard
From Mauritius to Cressing Road
DOB: 16/12/88 (29) Born: Enfield
Club Role: Coach
Q. What is your job?
A. Programme Development Officer at WHU
Q. What does that involve?
A. I design syllabuses for 5-15 year olds across 8 Development Centres
Q. Who do you support?
A. Manchester U
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Ryan Giggs
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Jay Z
Q. What is your favourite Film?
A. Snatch
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Q. What is your favourite meal?
A. My Grandma's fried noodles
Q. How did you get into football coaching?
A. I set up a mini 5-a-side league in Mauritius on pitches that were half grass/half coral I got into grass root football, did my badges, went to Watford before ending up at West Ham.
Q. Where would you like to progress to in the game?
A. I'd like to be in management of a top 20 club
Q. How did you meet Brad?
A. I turned up at Enfield pre-season, 2 seasons ago
Q. How does role fit in with your day job?
A. A squeeze, I've been looking after West Ham 16-18 year olds, I deliver same coaching here
Q. What is the most satisfying part of your role?
A. Winning
Q. What is the most frustrating part of your role?
A. Contact time with players on the pitch
Q. Who have you learned the most from in the game?
A. Matthew Joseph at the FA, I met him on a course. He was playing devil's advocate.
Q. If you could work for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Bobby Robson because of his man management and Alex Ferguson because of his mentality and philosophy
Q. Who do you see progressing to a higher level in our squad?
A. Diaz Wright
Q. How difficult is it to coach at this level with the turnover of players?
A. Moderate - gaffer has same approach. He's good at recruiting players who fit our style
Q. Who is the best in training?
A. Mark Okoye
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. We will win the play-offs

Iron grind out win at Hungerford
Dan Thompson makes the difference
It wasn't always pretty and it was a game that, overall, lacked quality and any finesse, but Iron revitalised their promotion play-off hopes with a single goal victory at Hungerford Town's Bulpit Lane on Saturday.
"It's a win and three points and that's all that matters," said Iron manager Brad Quinton. "Even though it was a scrappy game I still think we fully deserved the victory.
"The pitch was not the best and didn't help our style of football but full marks to the players they stuck to their individual jobs and we were successful on the day," said Quinton. "Crucially we are still in play-off contention and we simply keep taking it one game at a time and with rivals dropping points today it's a further incentive for us to finish as strong as we can."
The only goal came in the 55th minute and it was a scrappy one like the game itself and credit was given to Dan Thompson for forcing the ball over the line in a goalmouth melee.
It developed down the left wing where Luke Allen, back from suspension, lofted the over to the far post where Josh Hill headed it down back across the area giving Thompson a chance to stab the ball home.
Home keeper Oliver Davies managed to only parry the ball and Thompson was able to hit the rebound home helped by a defender on the goal line.
Once in front the Iron began to dominate the game and both Roman Michael-Percil and Luke Allen had great chances to increase their side's goal tally, but the bumpy playing surface denied them.
The first half had been more even but few chances at either end although Thompson, Ben Wyatt and Mahrez Bettache all went close while at the other end the Iron had a lucky let off when Louie Soares drove a shot at the foot of an Iron post before the ball was scrambled clear.
However, with Josh Hill outstanding in the Iron defence, they survived the scare and, in the second half, the longer the game went on, the stronger the Iron became and deservedly ran out winners on the day.
"It's good to come away from home and get a crucial win particularly after throwing away the chance to win at St. Albans on Easter Monday where we should have collected all three points," Quinton added.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Hill, Okoyo, Gabriel; Wright, Allen, Wyatt (90 Curtis), Bettache; Thompson (60 Grant), Roman- Percil (80 Frimpong). unused subs: Barrington, Aldridge. Aattendance: 233.
Next up for Iron is this coming Saturday when they at home to Concord Rangers, kick off 3pm.

Hungerford Preview
Sat 7 April 2018 - Hungerford T v Braintree T
Hungerford T are currently 18th in the Vanarama National League South on 40 points. Their home record this season is: P 18 W 6 D 4 L 8 GF 25 GA 24 Pts 22. Last 4 home results: Won 4-0 v Poole T, Lost 1-4 v Welling, Won 3-1 v St Albans C, Drew 1-1 v Chelmsford C. Top scorers this season: Louis Soares - 11 (1p), Nicolas Bignall - 9, Stefan Brown - 8 (1p)
Braintree Town are currently in place in 9th the Vanarama National League South on 54 points. Braintree's away record this season is: P 19 W 6 D 7 L 6 GF 26 GA 28 Pts 25. Braintree T last 4 away games: Lost 2-1 v St Albans C, Won 1-2 v Weston-Super-Mare, Drew 1-1 v Hampton & Richmond B, Lost 2-1 v Bognor Regis T. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Billy Crook - 10 (7p), Marcel Barrington & Luke Allen - 6. Suspension news: Luke Allen is available after his ban. Last meeting: 23 September 2017 Braintree T 5 Hungerford T 0: The Iron's best performance of the season saw them take apart the visitors from Berkshire, but it was thanks to early saves from Nathan McDonald that prevented it from being a different story. Hungerford were in control when Braintree took the lead on 31 minutes, through a storming Roman Michael-Percil shot from outside the box into the top corner. Shortly after that opener Roman had his second beating two men before finding the net. Shortly before half time, Phil Roberts scored with an exquisite lob from Billy Crook's free kick. In the second half Roberts got a second putting away John Muleba's pass before Ben Wyatt completed the scoring with 4 minutes to go, following up on the goalkeeper's parry from Wynter.
Braintree returned pointless from their Easter holiday games, one game not being completed due to heavy rain, whilst losing a one goal lead to St Albans in the other. With six games to go, the Iron only have two away games so will be looking to set up a race to the play-offs starting with this intriguing away trip.

Talking to David Blackmore
Stand up as long as you can!
DOB: 23/3/89 (29) Born: Chelmsford
Football career: Ipswich T (Academy), West Ham U, Charlton A, Crystal P, Woking, Thurrock, Margate, Braintree T
Club role: Goalkeeping Coach
Q. What is your job?
A. I own a IT Recruitment Company and also have a Goalkeeping Coaching Academy Goalkeeping coaching academy
Q. Who do you support?
A. Tottenham H
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Peter Schmeichel
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Phil Collins
Q. What is your favourite TV programme?
A. A League of Their Own
Q. What social media do you use?
A. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Q. Who do you regularly tweet with?
A. Jack Collison, my best mate from my West Ham days
Q. Who coached you at West Ham?
A. Ludo Miklosko
Q. Who did you play with at West Ham?
A. Jack Collinson, James Tomkins, Junior Stanislas, Freddie Sears
Q. Who was the best goalkeeper you were understudy to?
A. Rob Green
Q. How difficult is it to be understudy?
A. Not that difficult if you have a good group around you. You have a “goalkeepers union” and look out for each other, but it can also be frustrating
Q. Who should be England's number one at the World Cup?
A. Jordan Pickford
Q. What makes a good goalkeeper?
A. Presence, agility, concentration
Q. Who has been the best goalkeeper you've seen in the VNLS this season?
A. Nathan McDonald and the lad on loan from Reading, Luke Southwood at Bath C
Q. What is the best save you've seen?
A. David Seaman for Arsenal against Sheffield Uin the 2003 FA Cup Semi Finalwhere he scooped a goal bound effort from behind him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTBkWRs7r-c
Q. What are the strengths of our goalkeeper?
A. Shot stopping, distribution
Q. How did you come to be at Braintree as coach?
A. I was involved with the reserves, knew the guys having been here and played with Nathan
Q. What advice do you give for facing penalties?
A. Guess! Stand up as long as you can and try and visualise the players run as to which side he may go
Q. Who is the biggest moaner at training?
A. Ricky Gabriel
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. Play offs

New date for Oxford City
Abandoned match re-arranged
Our Vanarama National League South match at home to Oxford City, abandoned because of a waterlogged pitch, has been re-arranged for Tuesday 24th April with kick-off at 7.45pm. Spectators with their ticket from the original match will be allowed free access to the match.

Play-off hopes take a hit
Iron see early lead slip away
Iron's chances of making the end of season play-offs are slow ebbing away after this defeat at Clarence Park on Easter Monday in a game with three points dropped against one of their main promotion rivals.
Iron dominated the first half, missed several goal scoring chances and only defender John Hill's curling shot into the top far corner of the net after only 90 seconds gave them a slender one goal lead at the interval.
As so often this season the Iron were to pay for these wasted chances in the second half when the home side rallied, Iron players began to sit deeper inviting them forward while the closing down and chasing back from Iron players in the first half was sadly missing.
They paid the price on 59 minutes when the home side equalised with clearly a move worked out before on the training pitch.
A low, right wing corner from David Noble to the edge of the Iron area saw Paul Merson run in unchallenged to fired the ball into the net past keeper Nathan McDonald.
With renewed confidence the home push forward and with the previously solid Iron back line looking uncomfortable and static they had a lucky escape on 69 minutes when James Sendles-White saw his low shot come off the post with the defence all at sea.
The inevitable home side winner came though on 85 minutes with another well worked piece that again saw Merson race into the Iron box again unmarked to slide the ball home from close range past McDonald.
Long before the home side scored their winner the Iron needed some fresh legs on in the second half as some players began to look jaded but the two substitutions were made too late to have any positive effects on their chances of snatching at least an equaliser.
In fairness Iron had their chances early on in the first half they dominated and twice Roman Michael-Percil and then both Dan Thompson and Ben Wyatt all saw their opportunities to add to their side's solitary goal go begging.
Even after going a goal down Iron again had two decent chances to take the lead again but home keeper Dean Snedker pulled off fine saves from Diaz Wright and Marcel Barrington.
In the dying moment Iron pushed hard for an equaliser but they never really threatened the home defence and with three more points lost and a genuine play-off place now looking remote.
Manager Brad Quinton said: "Yes, I am disappointed because we did so well in the first half, got an important early goal, created chances and really controlled the game.
"I had warned the players about the home side's set pieces but it failed to register and we were caught cold twice with the two they created," he said. "The second half we lost our momentum, stopped tracking back and defensive wise we were not as solid as in the first half."
Quinton, with a threadbare squad because of suspensions and having to name to young reserve players on the bench, went on: "We will still keep working hard and keep our commitment and determination going to try and make the play-offs. It's still possible but we need to now gain maximum points in our remaining games and hope others drop points on the way."
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Gabriel, Hill, Okoye; Wyatt, Michael-Percil, (Bettache 77), Frimpong (Grant 87), Diaz; Thompson, Barrington. Unusedd subs: Curtis, Stanisall, Cleal. Attendance: 812. Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis
Next up for the Iron is an away match at Hungerford Town on Saturday.

St. Albans Preview
Mon 2 April 2018 - St Albans v Braintree T
St Albans C are currently 4thin the Vanarama National League South on 59 points. Their home record this season is: P 18 W 10 D 4 L 4 GF 37 GA 21 Pts 34. Last 4 home results: Won 2-1 v Poole T, Lost 0-1 v Truro C, Won 2-0 v Chippenham T, Won 4-0 v Dartford.
Top scorers this season: Sam Merson - 19, Rhys Murrell-Williamson - 15, Zane Banton -12
Braintree Town are currently in place in 8th the Vanarama National League South on 54 points. Braintree's away record this season is: P 18 W 6 D 7 L 5 GF 26 GA 27 Pts 25. Braintree T last 4 away games: Won 1-2 v Weston-Super-Mare, Drew 1-1 v Hampton & Richmond B, Lost 2-1 v Bognor Regis T, Drew 0-0 v Havant & Waterlooville. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Billy Crook - 10 (7p), Marcel Barrington & Luke Allen - 6.
Last meeting: 31 August 2017 Braintree T 1 St Albans C 0: In the seventh and final game of a hectic opening month of fixtures, Braintree faced a Saints team that had won all six of their opening matches. The home team put in a top notch performance as they took the game to the previously unbeaten opposition. Despite creating chances in the opening half, the best of which saw Tyler Campbell go on a solo dribble from the halfway line before hitting a shot that came back off the bar. The winning goal came just past the hour when skipper Mark Okoye headed home from a Ben Wyatt corner. More chances followed for the Iron but were either off target and thwarted by the Saints ‘keeper. Former Iron man Dernell Wynter joined the Saints earlier in the season and has so far made 3 appearances and scored 3 goals. The club also announced this week plans for a new 6000 capacity stadium. Leading goalscorer Sam Merson is the son of former Arsenal and Villa legend Paul Merson. Despite best efforts to get the pitch fit for Friday, the weather persisted and play was abandoned after half an hours play. The lads will also have benefitted from an extra 24 hours rest with Saints playing on Saturday. I expect a good Bank Holiday gathering to see another close encounter between two play-off hopefuls.

Oxford City Match
Ticket and new game arrangements
Our Good Friday match at home to Oxford City was abandoned in the 31st minute by referee Ian Fissenden due to a waterlogged pitch. Tickets purchased for the game will be valid for the match when it is re-arranged in due course.
If you are unable to attend the fixture on the re-arranged date then ticket holders will be entitled to a full refund. To claim a ticket refund, ticket holders should return their ticket and name by (we recommend) RECORDED DELIVERY POST, together with a stamped addressed envelope to:
Ticket Office,
Braintree Town FC,
IronmongeryDirect Stadium,
Off Clockhouse Way,
Braintree, Essex CM7 3DE
The Club will then issue a full repayment by cheque.

Oxford City Preview
Fri 30 March 2018 - Braintree T v Oxford C
Oxford C are currently 16th in the Vanarama National League South on 41 points. Their away record this season is: P 17 W 6 D 2 L 9 GF 23 GA 32 Pts 20. Last 4 away results: Won 1-3 v Welling, Won 2-3 v Truro C, Lost 2-1 v Concord R, Lost 4-1 v East Thurrock U. Top scorers this season: Matt Patterson - 19(5p), Rob Sinclair - 6, Sam Nombe & Reece Fleet - 5
Braintree Town are currently in place in 8th the Vanarama National League South on 54 points. Braintree's home record this season is: P 17 W 8 D 5 L 4 GF 31 GA 19 Pts 29. Braintree T last 4 home games: Drew 2-2 v Wealdstone, Won 1-0 v Poole T, Lost 0-2 v Bath C, Lost 1-2 v Hemel Hempstead T. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Billy Crook- 10 (7p), Marcel Barrington & Luke Allen - 6. Suspension news: Luke Allen and Billy Crook are still available with their bans starting on 31 March.
Last meeting: 2 September 2017 Oxford C 1 Braintree T 2 - City made a bright start on their artificial pitch and could have scored twice before leading marksman Patterson rounded McDonald and stroked home a low shot after just 7 minutes. McDonald made another good save with is foot to keep the score at one-nil. Shortly before half time, the Iron were level after Roberts was brought down in the box and Crook tucked the penalty away to the keeper's right. Both sides created chances to go ahead, but on 75 minutes it was Phil Roberts who received a good pass from Luke Allen, cut inside his marker and placed a low shot just inside the near post. Oxford City enjoyed a good FA Cup run this season, dispatching our near neighbours Colchester U in the 1st Round, before succumbing in 3-2 in extra time at Notts County in Round 2. Their squad includes Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, the younger brother of Liverpool's Alex. The Iron will be buoyed by their comeback win at Weston on Tuesday and look to force their way back in to the play-off places against an inconsistent opponent, who have won their last two trips on the road.

Resilient Iron get their reward
Brad subs set up win
Iron manager Brad Quinton pulled off a master stroke double second half substitution to ensure his side came back from being behind to win with two late goals at Woodspring Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Luke Allen came on in the 62nd minute and Ben Wyatt ten minutes later and these two pair of fresh legs gave the Iron new impetus and it paid off with Allen firing home from the edge of the area on 82 minutes and Wyatt seeing his shot four minutes later ricochet off a defender and sail into the top corner of the home net.
"I am absolutely delighted at the character and attitude of all the players in sticking to their jobs even when we went behind and then to come back and win," said Quinton. "We had to dig in deep but we kept playing our forward attacking game while defending well and I think the substitutions worked well as some players were getting tired.
"I am pleased with the result and I think overall we fully deserved all three points," he said. "It's a long journey for us all in midweek but I think the spirit in the team showed through."
The Iron could have been ahead right on half time when a finely worked moved down the right saw Roman Michael-Percil through in the area with just keeper Luke Purnell to beat but he blasted the ball over the bar.
Six minutes into the second half and the same player had an even better chance to score when a poor Purnell clearance saw the ball fall to his feet but again he fired over from close range with the goal at his mercy.
The Iron almost paid for these misses as on 63 minutes home striker Gethyn Hill was given too much room cutting in from a right wing throw-in near the corner flag and he fired home a low shot past Iron keeper Nathan McDonald.
The first half had been fairly even with both Marcel Barrington and Dan Thompson going lose while at the other a fine save with his legs by McDonald and a goal line clearance by Ricky Gabriel. The Iron almost scored a deserved third goal on 89 minutes but Barrington's fierce 20 yard drive was saved by Purnell while the Iron, now totally in control, played the added five minutes of stoppage time without any undue worries.
"They are a good side but I was disappointed when we lost 1-0 at home earlier when we should have won so this latest victory is all the more sweet," added Quinton.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Gabriel, Hill (72 Wyatt), Frimpong; Daiz (62 Allen), Crook, Okoye, Michael-Percil; Thompson (51 Grant), Barrington. unused subs: Bettache, Baxter. Referee: Alex Blake. Attendance: 424.

9-man Iron good value for point
Beavers level after Barrington puts Braintree ahead
Braintree Town made the relatively short journey around the M25 to visit title-chasing Hampton & Richmond Borough and came home with a share of the spoils following a 1-1 draw.
Iron had the better of the opening half hour, with both Dan Thompson and Ben Wyatt testing the Hampton keeper. The home custodian then had to be at his best to palm away a blistering effort from Marcel Barrington, but were reduced to ten men after 29 minutes when Billy Crook was dismissed for a high challenge on home left back Josh Casey.
But Iron kept on coming and, just before the break, a low cross from Barrington found Thompson unmarked at the far post, but the Iron forward could not stretch far enough to steer the ball into an unguarded goal.
Brad Quinton reorganised at the interval and switched to an attacking 4-3-2 formation and were good value for their opener with thirteen minutes remaining.
Luke Allen broke from deep. He released Thompson on the left who looked up before sweeping the ball across the Hampton penalty area for the unmarked Barrington, who took a touch before steering the ball past the home keeper but inside the far left upright.
Iron were pegged back four minutes later when a cross from the left was sliced by Jon Muleba. Nathan McDonald reacted to deny a possible own-goal, but the ball fell kindly to Hampton substitute Ben Wynter who crashed the ball into the roof of the net.
In time added on Luke Allen was dismissed for a second caution, but Iron were good value for their point.
Braintree Town: McDonald, Muleba, Gabriel, Hill, Frimpong, Wright, Allen, Crook, Barrington (Bettache 88), Thompson (Grant 78), Wyatt. Subs not used: Baxter, Michael-Percil, Curtis. Referee: Jack Packman. Crowd: 874.
Next up for Iron is a trip to visit Weston-super-Mare this coming Tuesday evening, 27th March, with kick-off at 7.45pm.

Hampton Preview
Sat 24 March 2018 - Hampton & Richmond B v Braintree T
Hampton & RB are currently 3rd in the Vanarama National League South on 62 points. Their home record this season is: P 17 W 9 D 7 L 1 GF 26 GA 12 Pts 34. Last 4 home results: Won 3-1 v Hungerford T, Won 3-1 v Weston-Super-Mare, Won 1-0 v Bognor Regis T, Drew 1-1 v Whitehawk. Top scorers this season: Max Kretzschmar - 17 (5p), Bradley Hudson-Osei - 8(1p), Charlie Wassmer - 6
Braintree Town are currently in place in 9th the Vanarama National League South on 50 points. Braintree's away record this season is: P 16 W 5 D 6 L 5 GF 26 GA 27 Pts 21. Braintree T last 4 away games: Lost 2-1 v Bognor Regis T, Drew 0-0 v Havant & Waterlooville, Lost 3-0 v Welling, Drew 1-1 v Chippenham T. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Billy Crook- 10 (7p), Marcel Barrington & Luke Allen - 5. Suspension news: Mark Okoye misses out completing his ban.
Last meeting: 19 August 2017 Braintree T 2 Hampton & RB 1: In an evenly contested first half, Luke Allen scored just before the half time whistle putting away a low cross from 12 yards. The second half was eight minutes old when Allen was brought down as he burst on to a through ball inside the area, Billy Crook sending the keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot. On 65 minutes Jack Cook was sent off for the visitors for hauling downDernell Wynter just outside the penalty box, which would have left the Iron man with a one on one with the keeper. Despite Braintree creating more chances to score, it was the visitors who scored in injury time when Wassmer scored with a looping header. Former Iron player James Mulley joined H&RB in February and they list Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler as coach. Hampton have been on an impressive run since losing three games in the opening month of the season. Their only defeat since then was on 3 February at Bath City where they went down two-nil. They are also the League draw specialists with 14 so far this season. With only one defeat on their own patch, it will be a tough ask for Brad and the boys to return to Essex with all three points.

Talking to Dan Thompson
Promotion and consistency
DOB: 25/11/93 (24) Born: Wandsworth, London
Previous Clubs: Hampton & Richmond B, Portsmouth, Havant & Waterlooville (L), Dorchester T (L), Bognor Regis T (L & Perm), Hayes & Yeading U, Farnborough, Redhill, Walton & Hersham, Bedford Sports, Chipstead, Burgess Hill Town, Tonbridge Angels
Position: Striker
Q. What is your job?
A. P E Teacher
Q. Who do you support?
A. Liverpool
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Fernando Torres
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. August
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Twitter
Q. How come you have had so many clubs?
A. Not worked out at some of the clubs, I was second choice and moved to get regular football
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - Target man, holding up play, bringing people in to play, heading. Weakness - Being consistent
Q. Who has given you the best guidance so far in your career?
A. Jamie Howell who was Bognor Regis manager
Q. Portsmouth released you in 2013, what were your thoughts at the time?
A. My agent said there had been offers for me, but they all fell through, I just wanted to get back in to first team football
Q. Which other forwards did Pompey have at the time?
A. Dave Kitson, Kanu and Benjani
Q. Who has been the best coach you've worked with?
A. Guy Whittingham at Portsmouth
Q. How did you end up coming to Braintree?
A. I spoke to Matt, he put me in touch with the gaffer who invited me along to training
Q. What do you hope to achieve at Braintree?
A. Promotion, consistency in my performances, goals, fitness
Q. You scored on your debut, have you got a goal target in mind?
A. I'd be happy with 6 or 7
Q. What boots do you wear?
A. Nike Hyper Venom
Q. Have the lads played any pranks on you, if so what were they?
A. No, they're a good set of lads
Q. Who has been the toughest opponent you've come up against?
A. Hermann Hreidarsson and Ben Haim at Portsmouth
Q. Which player is the most vocal in the dressing room?
A. Mark Okoye & Billy Crook
Q. Who is the best finisher in training?
A. Me and Marcel
Q. Where do you think Braintree will finish this season?
A. Comfortably in the play-offs.

New date for Whitehawk
Match switched to mid-April
Our Vanarama National League South fixture at home to Whitehawk, originally scheduled for last Saturday but postponed because of the unsafe pitch, will now be played on Tuesday 17th April, with kick-off at 7.45pm.

Today's match - postponed
Pitch deemed to be unsafe
Following a pitch inspection at 10am this morning, the IronmongeryDirect pitch was declared to be unsafe and today's match has been postponed. More news on a new date for the game as soon as we have it.

Whitehawk Preview
Sat 17 March 2018 - Braintree T v Whitehawk
Whitehawk are currently 22nd in the National League South on 20 points. Their away record this season is: Played 16, Won 2, Lost 12, Drawn 2, Points 8. Goals For 17, Goals Against: 40. Last 4 away results: Drew 1-1 v Bath C, Drew 1-1 v Hampton & RB, Lost 3-1 v Dartford, Won 0-1 v Oxford C. Whitehawk Top Scorers: Ky Marsh-Brown - 8, Gold Omotayo - 7, Elliot Benyon - 6.
Braintree T are currently in 7th in the National League South on 50 pts. Their home record this season is: Played 17, Won 8, Drawn 5, Lost 4, Points 29. Goals For 31, Goals Against 19. Braintree T last four home games: Drew 2-2 v Wealdstone, Won 1-0 v Poole T, Lost 0-2 v Bath C, Lost 1-2 v Hemel Hempstead T. Braintree Top Scorers: Billy Crook - 10 (7p), Marcel Barrington & Luke Allen - 5. Mark Okoye has one match of his three match suspension remaining.
Last meeting: 26 August 2017 Whitehawk 1 Braintree T 1: On a very warm sunny afternoon on the South Downs, Braintree travelled to a pointless Whitehawk and left wondering how they didn't manage to attain all three points. Papa Gueye put the home side ahead in the 14th minute, heading home a free kick from the left. Despite constant Iron possession, it was almost an hour before the equaliser came, Luke Allen curling home direct from a free-kick. Late chances went begging as the Iron pressed for victory.
A look at the Hawks website shows that they have used a staggering 63 players this season in an attempt to stave off relegation. Former Iron defender Osa Obamwonyi joining the cause in December 2017.
In their 10 games since the start of 2018, they have lost only two, last time out against Chippenham T and the other defeat was at Dartford. They still face a massive challenge to get clear of the drop zone, but are a different outfit to the one that played back in August.
Braintree meanwhile will be encouraged by their fine first half showing last week at home to Wealdstone and prepare for what could be another stern test.

Talking to Jack Curtis
Good, friendly, welcoming and ambitious!
DOB: 11/9/1995 (22) Born: Brentwood
Previous clubs: Tottenham H (Yth), Maldon T, Colchester U, Needham Market (Loan), Harlow T, Coggleshall T (dual reg)
Position: Midfield
Q. Do you have another job?
A. No
Q. Who do you support?
A. Tottenham H
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Lionel Messi
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Drake
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Instagram, Facebook & Twitter
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strength - Creativity. Weakness - Defending
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. Selhurst Park, whilst at Colchester
Q. What has been the most disappointing part of your career so far?
A. Being released by Spurs after 6 years there
Q. How did you come to be here at Braintree?
A. Via a friend of Brad, called me up for training
Q. What are your impression of the club and players so far?
A. Good, friendly, welcoming and ambitious
Q. Have they played any pranks on you?
A. No
Q. What do you hope to achieve personally whilst you're here?
A. Get into the team, get the team winning and in to the play-offs
Q. Who has been the best coach you've worked with?
A. Ricardo Monets at Tottenham, great skills coach
Q. At what level do you think you can play?
A. I'd like to get back in to the Football League
Q. What's the best advice you've been given within the game?
A. Take every opportunity you get - from my Dad
Q. What parts of the game don't you enjoy?
A. Losing
Q. What boots do you wear?
A. Nike
Q. Who is the most skilful player at the club?
A. Roman Michael-Percil
Q. Who has the best and worst fashion taste?
A. Best - Me. Worst - Ben Wyatt & Christian Frimpong
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Mauricio Pochettino, love the way he plays football
Q. Where do you think Braintree will finish this season?
A. Play-offs.

Iron let lead slip
Braintree & Stones serve up a cracker
Honours ended even in this all action, cup-tie style game at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on Saturday in what was the proverbial game of two halves - the hosts dominating the first and taking a two goal interval lead with the visitors fighting back with two early second half goals and fully deserving their point.
It left home boss Brad Quinton fuming with his players for not showing more discipline and concentration from the second half kick off adding: "Some players mentally were still in the dressing room so we didn't get out of the starting blocks and I'm extremely annoyed at this having dominated the first half. It's all about game management by the players out on the pitch when you're in such a commanding position.
"By the interval we should have had the game wrapped up in the first half with the chances and control we had," he declared. "Even when we allowed them to equalise we still had chances towards the end to have won it but some players blew it and I can't accept that - the goals conceded were also down to poor communications between the players."
He went on: "I am determined to succeed at this football club and whilst we have built the basis of a good side to succeed any player that doesn't go along with my belief and tactics will soon have to find another club."
A bright spot for Quinton was the impressive debut of Colchester United loanee 20 year-old midfielder Diaz Wright who had an outstanding game.
"To come into a senior side like this on a heavy, difficult pitch and make such a strong contribution was excellent and he had fantastic energy, determination and passing skills, always looking to go forward and create openings," he added.
In reality the Iron should have been at least four goals up by the interval but only excellent saves by visiting keeper Jonathan North to deny Dan Thompson, Ricky Gabriel (twice) and John Muleba keep the scores blank until the 42nd minute when a fine home passing move saw Luke Allen slide the ball into the net.
Two minutes into stoppage time North blotted his copy book by bringing down Thompson leaving Billy Crook to step up and score from the penalty spot.
The opening minutes of the second half saw the visitors completely transformed and on 59 minutes Matthew Whichelow turned on the edge of the Iron area and sent a curling shot into the top corner of the home net giving keeper Nathan McDonald no chance.
The visitors kept up their pressure and on 65 minutes McDonald rushed out to try and deny David Pratt but brought him down to concede a penalty which Daniel Green duly converted.
Despite the difficult playing surfaces both sides when at each other as if it was a cup tie and both teams had chances to have snatched a winner with several chances going astray at either end but overall a draw was a fair result.
Braintree Town: 4-5-1: McDonald; Muleba, Gabriel, Frimpong, Hill; Wright, Allen (83 Baxter), Crook, Bettache (64 Barrington); Thompson (83 Grant). Unused subs: Michael-Percil, Curtis. Attendance: 510. Referee: Jacob Miles
Next up for the Iron is another home game this coming Saturday against Whitehawk, kick off 3pm.

Brad adds midfielder
Diaz Wright joins from our neighbours
Braintree Town have signed 20-year old midfielder Diaz Wright from League Two neighbours Colchester United on a short-term loan. Wright has progressed through Colchester Academy since joining the club at under-13 level, before making his debut in August 2016. He signed a one-year professional development contract with Colchester in June 2016. He was named on the first-team bench for the first time on 30 August 2016 for Colchester's EFL Trophy trip to Crawley Town, making his debut in the game as a second-half substitute. He signed a new one-year contract with Colchester United last summer before enjoying a brief loan spell at Isthmian League Needham Market last October 2017.

Wealdstone Preview
Sat 10 March 2018 - Braintree T v Wealdstone
Wealdstone are currently 12th in the National League South on 44 points. Their away record this season is: Played 14, Won 3, Lost 4, Drawn 7, Points 16. Goals For: 21, Goals Against: 23. Last 4 away results: Won 1-3 v Truro C, Won 0-3 v Bognor Regis T, Drew 1-1 v Hampton & RB, Lost 3-1 v Concord R. Scorers this season: Dan Green - 12 (3p), Dan Fitchett - 7, Matt Whichelow - 6
Braintree T are currently in 7th in the National League South on 49pts. Braintree T last four home games: Won 1-0 v Poole T, Lost 0-2 v Bath C, Lost 1-2 v Hemel Hempstead T, Won 4-0 v East Thurrock U. Braintree Scorers: Crook - 9 (6p), Barrington - 5, Allen & Michael-Percil - 4. With our last game postponed, Mark Okoye will miss out to complete his 2 match suspension. Ipswich loanee Conor McKendry has returned to Portman Road whilst Pat Webber's loan has been extended to 7 April. Last meeting: 2 December 2017 Wealdstone 3 Braintree T 1
A game of costly errors saw the Iron leave empty handed after controlling much of the first half. It was another early goal on eight minutes that gave the hosts the lead. A corner was headed away and picked up 30 yards out and smashed back towards goal through a ruck of bodies and deflected past McDonald. Crook and Oliyide both had good chances to equalise before a long high clearance was miss-judged by Obamwonyi, the ball glancing off his head leaving a clear run at goal for Fitchett to slot home past an advanced McDonald from 18 yards.
The second half was only a minute old when Wealdstone took a commanding lead following a break down their left, a cross was put in and McDonald's weak punch was returned with interest from the edge of the box by Green. A headed goal from a corner on 65 minutes attributed to Ellul turned out to be a consolation despite loads of Braintree possession.
The Stone's have lost their top scorer in recent weeks with Abobakar Eisa signing for Shrewsbury Town. They have signed Bradley Bubb from Ebbsfleet to replace him and he scored a hat-trick away at Billericay to take the Stones into the Buildbase FA Trophy semi-finals.

Catching up with the Captain
Stay positive, keep supporting, the season is not over yet
With 10 games to go we took the opportunity to catch up with Mark Okoye.
Q. It's been a difficult few months with only one win in our last 11 League games. How is the mood in the camp?
A. Everybody knows the effect of not winning, not getting points on the board; we need a greater work ethic.
Q. How has losing two of our top goal scorers (Roberts & Oliyide) affected the team?
A. It's been a blow, they are two good players. They've contributed a lot, so they will be missed. Earlier in the season the goals were shared amongst the team, so we have the ability to score and need to contribute elsewhere.
Q. How do you feel about players who have left?
A. I respect other players and their decisions. For the team it's another thing to overcome, to step up and take more responsibility.
Q. You've had a few centre back partners this season, how does this affect the team?
A. Not much affect really. They're all good players; I've learned different things from playing with different people. It helps to bring different sides to my game.
Q. What does Josh Hill bring to the team?
A. Communication, this is something we've needed. He reads the game very well.
Q. You've also had two suspensions, what has your discipline history been in the past (any sending's off)?
A. Last season was the first season I'd really picked up bookings, but not before - I put it down to passion. I've only ever had one straight red in my career.
Q. How do the different winter conditions affect the team's style of play?
A. Conditions always have an effect on how we play; we like to play short, sharp passing football. Sometimes the ball gets held up so we have to learn to adapt.
Q. Brad has tried a few different formations, sometimes using 3 centre backs; do you have any preference, what are the plusses and minuses of that system?
A. I like 3-5-2 as I can get on the ball more. We play 4 or 3 depending on who we are playing. Sometimes we may match their formation, others we play a formation that plays to our strengths.
Q. Do you think teams coming to Cressing Road have adapted the way they play against us; playing a high line, how has that made it more difficult?
A. At times we haven't worked hard enough. If we play like we did at the start of the season, our opponents wouldn't be that confident of playing that high.
Q. We have conceded the first goal on our travels quite a lot, why is this?
A. No answer really; a slow start, not switched on? We've conceded to many goals from mistakes.
Q. Does our passing style of play sometimes contribute to the defensive errors made?
A. It's the same system that got us to the top of the League. We need to pass and move sharper get into the right positions. Everyone needs to work hard to make sure our shape is right. Young players need maturity, sometimes they can be a bit naēve.
Q. How has Brad and his team reacted to our recent form, have you spoken out?
A. We're working hard. Training has been buzzing. No one is shying away from their responsibility. We're all being pro-active. I try to say my piece, but not too much; we're 16 captains and all responsible. Arguments are okay if we want to win and are positive.
Q. What is the realistic hope for the rest of the season?
A. I don't look at the table. The League is so tight; if top is achievable then we have to aim for it. We want to finish as high as we can, so still promotion for me. Players/management/Board - we're all fighting to achieve it.
Q. Any message for the fans?
A. Stay positive, keep supporting, the season is not over yet!

New date for Weston trip
Iron to visit Tuesday before Easter
Braintree Town's Vanarama National League (South) trip - scheduled for last Saturday, 3rd March, but postponed because of the weather - has been re-scheduled. The game will now take place on Tuesday, 27th March, with kick-off at 7.45pm.

Trip to Weston postponed
New date to be agreed
Braintree Town's Vanarama National League (South) trip, scheduled for this Saturday, 3rd March, has been postponed. With the Weston pitch currently frozen and more bad weather forecast, it was agreed that the match should be re-arranged for a later date. More news on a new date when we have it.

Win drought comes to an end
New man secures three points for Iron
Iron ended their win-less run by overcoming a hard working visiting Poole Town side much to the relief of home manager Brad Quinton who praised his players for their resilience and strength of character.
"It's good to get back to winning ways and keep a clean sheet while it was a much all round improved performance," he declared. "It was the response I wanted after two really hard training sessions this week.
"They are a good side, in a false position in the league and had chances in the first half but I felt we were much stronger and dominant in the second half and deserved our win," he added. "You always need that second goal to give you a bit of breathing space and I felt we could have had in that second half when obviously the cold conditions and sticky pitch made for tired legs but we kept our discipline and commitment."
Quinton made five changes from the previous week with Christian Frimpong, Mahrez Bettache and Roman Michael-Percil coming in plus the return from suspension of defender Ricky Gabriel while new striker signing Dan Thompson also made the starting line up.
The all important goal came in 31 minutes on his Iron debut for ex-Tonbridge Angels' striker Thompson who was left unmarked at the far post to easily head home from a left wing cross by Ben Wyatt.
The Iron though rode their luck at times in the first half as new Poole striker, the vastly experienced James Constable, forced a great save by home keeper Nathan McDonald to push the ball over the bar on seven minutes and on 18 minutes Marvin Brooks' shot was save by McDonald with his legs before Steve Devin saw his right wing cross come shot come back off the woodwork.
The visitors also had two shots cleared off the line in the busy first period while up at the other end Thompson headed over when well place and Christian Frimpong's header grazed the visiting bar.
The second half was evenly matched with play becoming scrappy and legs tired as the home side began to dominate more as the half progressed looking for that all important second goal which failed to come but in the end ran out comfortable winners after all the first half drama.
"It wasn't pretty at times but you have to work extra and grind out a result and that's what we did," added Quinton.
Braintree Town: (4-4-2): McDonald; Bettache, Gabriel, Hill, Frimpong; Muleba, Allen, Crook (82 McKendry), Wyatt; Thompson (79 Grant), Michael-Percil(69 Barrington). Unused subs: Curtis, Nesbitt. Attendance: 368. Referee: Will Finnie (Luton).
Next up for the Iron is an way trip to Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Poole Preview
Sat 24 February 2018 - Braintree T v Poole T
Poole T are currently 20th in the Vanarama National League South on 28 points. Their away record this season is: P 14 W 5 D 4 L 5 GF 20 GA 21 Pts 19. Last 4 away results: Drew 2-2 v Gloucester C, Won 0-1 v Hemel Hempstead T, Lost 3-1 v Truro C, Drew 1-1 v Bognor Regis T. Top scorers this season: Warren Bentley - 17, Jez Bedford & Steve Devlin - 5, Richard Gillespie - 4.
Braintree Town are currently in place in 8th the Vanarama National League South on 46 points. Braintree's home record this season is: P 15 W 7 D 4 L 4 GF 28 GA 17 Pts 25. Braintree T last 4 home games: Lost 0-2 v Bath C, Lost 1-2 v Hemel Hempstead T, Won 4-0 v East Thurrock U, Drew 2-2 v Chelmsford C. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Billy Crook- 9 (6p), Marcel Barrington - 5, Luke Allen & Roman Michael-Percil - 4. Suspension news: Mark Okoye starts a 2 match ban following his second suspension of the season. Ricky Gabriel has completed his ban and is available for selection.
Last meeting: 11 November 2017 Poole T 0 Braintree T 3 - Three second half goals following the 49th minute sending off of Town's Spetch gave the Iron the three points and a return to the top of the Vanarama National League South. Wynter opened the scoring after Roberts long range shot was parried and Oliyide's follow up was also saved. Mahrez Bettache then opened his account for the season, running at his full back, into the area and shooting across the ‘keeper. Billy Crook completed the scoring with a simple side foot home from close range.
How times have changed since our last meeting. In the current form table for the last 10 games played, Braintree are third from bottom, whilst our opponents are fourth from bottom. In that same period the Dolphins have chalked up three victories compared to our one. With only one point on the board in February, a much needed 3 points are required to get us back on track.

Talking to Josh Hill
All about getting the ball off Bill
DOB: 1/8/1991 (26) Born: Cardiff
Previous Clubs: Worksop & Ilkeston, Dartford, Boreham Wood, Havant & W (Loan), St Albans C, Chelmsford C, Wealdstone
Position: Centre Back
Q. What is your job?
A. Working for Marie Curie in digital marketing
Q. Who do you support?
A. Cardiff C
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Zinedine Zidane
Q. What is your favourite food?
A. Roast dinner
Q. What has been your best holiday?
A. Last year travelling around California
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Instagram & Twitter
Q. You've played for a few of our rivals, where did you enjoy playing the most?
A. Boreham Wood - we won the play-offs in my time there
Q. How did you come to sign for Braintree?
A. Wealdstone released me in December 2017; I got a call from Brad in January
Q. Have you played with any of the current squad before?
A. Yes, I played with Reece Grant at Wealdstone; I'd also played with Phil Roberts
Q. What are your first impressions of the club/staff/fans?
A. Seems like a good club, nice ground, solid away support
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strength - composure. Weakness - pace
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. City Ground (Nottingham F) when I was at Uni
Q. What are your footballing aspirations?
A. To play as high as I can, for as long as I can
Q. Who is the best player you have played with?
A. Glenn Little at Wealdstone
Q. Which team mate is the hardest to mark in training?
A. Billy Crook - you can't get the ball off him
Q. Which player has made you laugh?
A. Luke Allen - he's a joker
Q. Which player takes the longest time in the shower?
A. Mark Okoye
Q. If you could partner any centre back, who would it be and why?
A. Gerard Pique - he plays for Barcelona & Spain and is married to Shakira, he has the life I want
Q. Name 4 teams you expect to be in the play-offs come April
A. Braintree, Chelmsford C, Havant & Waterlooville, St Albans C

Bognor hold on to deny Iron
First half goals leave too much to do
The wait for an Iron win goes on after this latest setback at Nyewood Lane on Saturday where they conceded two sloppy first half goals from which they never recovered despite an improved second half showing.
It means Iron have now gone six games without a win seriously denting their hopes for the play-offs and again it was basic errors that saw them concede goals, the first after four minutes and the second five minutes before the interval.
It left manager Brad Quinton again frustrated and disappointed with his side adding: "We had a game plan that was working but you cannot accept individual errors that caused us to concede two sloppy goals.
"I had a big go at the players at half time and to their credit they responded in the right way and I felt we pressurised their defence for long periods but just couldn't find that edge to get an equaliser which I think we deserved," he explained. "When we were one goal down had young Reece Grant scored when through on goal we would have been level and I think the confidence of a goal then would have pushed us on.
"But then we give away another poor goal right on half time and being two goals down it's an uphill struggle particularly against a home side down in the relegation zone fighting for their lives," he continued. "We have to learn from it and the only bright spot is that other teams around us in play-off contention are also dropping points."
The Iron started with Marcel Barrington leading the attack following the departure the previous evening of Phil Roberts and their was a first start for Ipswich Town loanee Connor McKenny.
The home side had the better start though taking the lead on four minutes when the Iron lost the ball in midfield and then the defence failed to clear leaving the unmarked Richard Gilot to simply bundle the ball over the line.
Although the Iron had lengthy spells of possession they faltered in front of goal although Billy Crook (20 minutes) and McKenny (21) had chances only to be denied by home keeper Dan Lincoln.
Much against the run of play the home side added a second on 40 minutes when poor Iron defending saw Ollie Pearce lob the ball over the advancing Iron keeper Nathan McDonald.
The second half saw a vast improvement from Iron with some at times desperate home defending and Crook gave visiting fans hope when he curled in a fine shot from the right wing that gave Lincoln no chance on 64 minutes.
Iron pushed hard for the equaliser but again some wayward passing and the lack of cutting edge in attack proved their downfall, although substitute Roman Michael-Percil's appearance on the hour did help to create fresh problems for the home rearguard.
But it was another defeat for the Iron with Quinton adding: "We need to start winning again and I am confident we will."
Next up for the Iron is a home game against Poole Town on Saturday.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Webber, Hill, Okoye; McKendry (Curtis 87), Crook, Allen (Baxter 79), Wyatt; Barrington, Grant (Michael-Percil 61). Unused subs: Bettache, Frimpong. Referee: David Spain (Sussex).

Bognor Preview
Sat 17 February 2018
Bognor Regis T are currently 21st in the Vanarama National League South on 21 points. Their away record this season is: P 14 W 2 D 4 L 8 GF 17 GA 26 Pts 10. Last 4 home results: Lost 0-2 v Truro C, Lost 0-3 v Wealdstone, Lost 0-3 v Havant & W, Drew 1-1 v Poole T (they also had 2 home games postponed during this time). Top scorers this season: Jimmy Muitt - 9, Ollie Pearce - 8, Ibra Sekajja - 6
Braintree Town are currently in 8th place in the Vanarama National League South on 46 points. Braintree's away record this season is: P 15 W 5 D 6 L 4 GF 25 GA 25 Pts 21. Braintree T last 4 away games: Drew 0-0 v Havant & W, Lost 3-0 v Welling, Drew 1-1 v Chippenham T, Drew 2-2 v Chelmsford C. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Phil Roberts - 17, Billy Crook- 8 (6p), Marcel Barrington - 5. Suspension news: Ricky Gabriel serves the last of his three match suspension.
Last meeting: 4 November 2017 Braintree T 3 Bognor Regis T 0 - The Iron got off to a lightning start when Wynter smashed home a goal on the turn after only 21 seconds. Eight minutes into the second half, Oliyide doubled the hosts lead finishing off Bihmoutine's low cross from close range. Barrington completed the scoring in the final minute with a belter of a shot. Bognor have only won once since our last meeting. The Iron meanwhile, have won only three League games in the same period and have also failed to score in their last three games. A big game for Iron as we look to halt the slide down the table?

Forum packs the Clubhouse
Short and long term discussed
It was standing room only for the large number of Braintree Town supporters who attended Thursday evening's Fans Forum in the Clubhouse at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium.
The meeting, which lasted for almost three hours, included an update on the progress made over recent weeks and plans for the rest of the season; a questions and answers section with First Team Manager Brad Quinton and Coach Barry Bolton; and finished with a lengthy debate about the Club's current progress and hopes for relocation.
Chairman Lee Harding opened proceedings with a brief update and paid tribute to the support of the parent club from the Supporters Club, FSA and numerous individuals. A frank exchange of views was encouraged and an up to date assessment of the Board's plans for the remainder of the season were outlined.
Brad and Barry then updated the meeting on the latest player movements with four new faces replacing two departees and both remain focused on securing the points necessary from the remaining league twelve matches to secure a promotion play-off place.
After a refreshment break, the Board continued by outlining its hopes for relocation and updated supporters on recent progress, reiterating its desire for relocation and the reasons why. The meeting continued with a progress report on the Board's actions since the summer of 2016 and gave a detailed assessment of the progress made with securing development partners over recent months.
Supporters were advised of the Board's latest costings for a new stadium, together with plans to relocate as many fixtures and fittings as possible (such as the demountable terracing, stands, floodlighting system, turnstiles, etc.). Details were given of primary items of expenditure and the options were explained for the Club after any sale of the existing stadium, with both a short-term lease back of the existing stadium or a ground-share locally being actively investigated.
The Board completed its presentation by inviting comment from supporters on their preferences for the new stadium and the announcement of a new Relocation sub-committee of the Board, which would invite representations from supporters.
While welcoming the update, supporters were sensibly cautious about the relocation process and a series of questions and answers followed providing further detail.
Chairman Lee Harding was delighted by the progress of the Forum: "Nights such as these are often cross-roads in a clubs' development and we are no different. When the Board and supporters met a fortnight ago I was away, but I felt we all benefitted from this latest meeting with many searching questions asked. Differing views were expressed, that's healthy, but I'm confident all want success for our Club.
"The vast majority of the Board remain committed to pushing the Club on in an effort to secure a return to non-League football's top flight, while putting in place a new home that will allow the Club to progress and provide additional income streams for us to compete at a higher level.
"The Board have been careful with the development of our existing ground and much has been put in place that can be taken with us - this will allow us to provide an affordable new stadium that will meet our requirements for the long-term.
"We will take on board the comments and reservations about a ground move and now seek the further advice and guidance of our local authority to agree upon a mutually acceptable arrangement that will allow our Council to benefit from the Football Club's relocation and secure the Football Club's long term future, at no cost to the Council.
"Getting the supporters involved in our Relocation committee is also vital because they are our customers and will be using our stadium facilities long-term. There are, of course, planning requirements and FA Ground grading criteria, but our fans must have a say."


Fans Forum on Thursday
Board and Team Management invite you all for an update
A reminder that the Club will be hosting a Fans Forum this coming Thursday, 15th February in the Clubhouse at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium, starting at 7.45pm.
All Club Directors will be invited to attend as will First Team Manager Brad Quinton and his coaching staff.
The purpose of the forum will be to update all supporters on the Board's plans for the remainder of the current season and on the latest developments with possible Club relocation - prior to seeking the approval of a company Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders.
Chairman Lee Harding would like to see as many fans as possible attend: "Come along, hear our plans and ask any questions - we'll be as honest and open as we can. While the plans for the remainder of the season are, of course, important, the issue of possible relocation is fundamental to our Club's long-term future - our very existence.
"For every Wycombe Wanderers FC and Burton Albion FC - that have benefitted from the sale of their old stadiums to provide new state of the art facilities that have acted as a springboard for future success - there are the disaster stories of Enfield FC and countless other clubs that have lost their homes. We have a once in a generation opportunity, we have to get it right and I welcome thorough scrutiny of our plans!"

If you cannot make the meeting on Thursday evening but have a question or point you would like to make for the Board or the meeting, you can either e-mail the Club direct at: info@braintreetownfc.org.uk or Supporters Club members can e-mail Chairman Andrew Freemantle at: andrewk.freemantle@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk. Have your say!

Iron second-best to visitors Bath
Suspensions and illness dictate re-organised formation and side
Braintree Town slipped out of the end of season promotion play-off places after a lacklustre display against a hard-working Bath City side at the IronmongeryDirect side on Saturday.
With injuries and suspensions forcing manager Brad Quinton to re-shuffle both his side and formation, Josh Hill and Patrick Webber made their home debuts as part of a three-man Braintree defence with skipper Mark Okoye. Roman Michael-Percil came into the starting eleven to replace the ill Billy Crook.
Iron fell behind on 24 minutes. Anthony Straker let fly from the edge of the home penalty area. Nathan McDonald could only parry the drive to the alert Nat Jarvis who tucked the ball home from close-range.
Worse was to follow on 34 minutes. With the new-look Iron defence struggling to clear their lines, the ball fell kindly to Bath's Jack Compton wide on the right who delivered a fine inch-perfect drive past McDonald into the far top left hand corner.
Iron were better after the break but struggled to put the visitors under consistent pressure.
The defeat leaves Iron eighth on goal-difference and with a week to prepare for next Saturday's trip to Bognor Regis Town, while the Sussex side entertain Welling on Tuesday evening.

Bath City Preview
Sat 10 February 2018 - kick-off 3pm
Bath C are currently 9th in the Vanarama National League South on 42 points. Their away record this season is: P 14 W 6 D 3 L 5 GF 22 GA 22 Pts 21. Last 4 away results: Lost 4-2 v Weston Super Mare, Drew 1-1 v Oxford C, Drew 1-1 v Chelmsford C, Won 0-3 v Chippenham T. Top scorers this season: Jack Compton - 9, Nat Jarvis - & Tom Smith - 6, Andy Watkins - 5.
Braintree Town are currently in place in 7th the Vanarama National League South on 46 points. Braintree's home record this season is: P 14 W 7 D 4 L 3 GF 28 GA 15 Pts 25. Braintree T last 4 home games: Lost 1-2 v Hemel Hempstead T, Won 4-0 v East Thurrock U, Drew 2-2 v Chelmsford C, Won 3-2 v Eastbourne B. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Phil Roberts - 17, Billy Crook- 8 (6p), Marcel Barrington - 5. Suspension news: Mark Okoye is one yellow card away from his second suspension of the season. Ricky Gabriel misses out his second of a three match suspension.
Last meeting: 21 October 2017 Bath C 1 Braintree T 1 - When Braintree visited Twerton Park back in October, they were top of the League. However it was the hosts who took the lead with 10 minutes left to play, with a deflected George Rigg shot. Oliyide equalised five minutes later before goal scorer Rigg was shown a second yellow card in the final minute. Bath have this week signed former Newport County midfielder Sean Rigg.
Last time out the Iron were involved in their first goalless draw of the season in the League. Home fans will be able to get a first look at Brad's new signings, two of whom, Hill & Webber started at Havant. With Bath also in the play-off shake up - another close encounter looks to be on the cards.
Don't forget the special offers for this match in association with our friends at The Braintree & Witham Times! - see below.

Talking to Andy Porter
Keep up the good support, we're keen to get in to the play-offs!
DOB: 24/6/1980 (37) Born: Middlesex
Clubs played for: Harlow T, St Margaretsbury, Braintree T
Previous clubs coached: Enfield T
Club role: Assistant Manager
Q. What is your job?
A. Sales Executive
Q. Who do you support?
A. Tottenham H
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Paul Gascoigne
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Oasis
Q. What is your favourite Film?
A. Shawshank Redemption
Q. What tasks do you undertake as Assistant Manager?
A. Getting the guys prepared for games Tuesdays & Saturdays, coaching and training. Travel arrangements for away games, coach times and lists. I'm a link between players and Brad - if players are dropped or not playing, I pick them up, tell them we pick the team to play against different opposition styles of play, or pitches.
Q. Where do you pick up your ideas from, who have you learned the most from about coaching?
A. Mainly from ex-managers like George Borg and Gary Bellamy
Q. Do you have any ambition to be a manger yourself?
A. Not really
Q. When did you first team up with Brad, how did it come about?
A. I was doing my coaching badges and I'd a few sessions with Brad who was at Enfield. We hit it off from there about 3/4 years ago
Q. What are your best memories as your time as a player at Braintree?
A. Being Ryman League Premier champions in 2006; playing in the play-off final in 2007. The boys I played with, the good environment
Q. What was the best goal you scored in your time here?
A. We beat Billericay 5-0, I scored two; one was a volley from outside the box
Q. Who was the best manager you played for?
A. George Borg
Q. What's it been like for you coming back to this club?
A. Really good, lots of familiar faces, nice atmosphere, everyone helps out
Q. What are the strengths of the current squad?
A. It's a very young squad, they gelled well in a short time. A good 4 or 5 of them can push on to play at a higher level
Q. How many hours a week do the players train?
A. 4 or 5 hours a week
Q. You're working with a smaller squad than at the start of the season; can we maintain our promotion push?
A. Yes we can do, there's been ups and downs, last week losing Joe and Karl. We turned it around with a good performance at Havant, brought in 4 new players. A few more experienced players may see us challenging for the title
Q. What do you feel would be an acceptable finish for the team this season?
A. Play-offs
Q. What is the funniest thing that has happened in training?
A. Christian Frimpong's attempted overhead kick in training tonight and newcomer Pat getting nutmegged within 2 minutes of training
Q. Do you have any message for the fans?
A. Keep up the good support, we're keen to get in to the play-offs
Q. What is the best Braintree XI you've played with?
Danny Gay, Billy Burgess, Mark James, Russ Edwards, Paul Lorraine, Brad Quinton, Me, Louis Riddle, Robbie Martin, Alex Revell, James Baker. Sub Oli Adedeji.

BIG GAME & BIG DISCOUNTS
in association with the Braintree & Witham Times
This Saturday, when Iron host fellow play-off hopefuls Bath City, you can cut-out or print off the vouchers in this week's Braintree & Witham Times newspaper to receive the following BIG discounts and incentives for Saturday's big match:
- 50% discount of any products in the club shop (including this season's replica shirt (normally £40) for just £20 and youngsters shirt at just £15! Scarves and hat for just £4.
- Every paying Adult arriving between 1-2pm can enjoy a pint of IPA, Carlsberg or Fosters in the Iron Clubhouse for just £2.50 or a FREE hot drink courtesy of 'wedoanycatering'
- All paying customers will be able to use a voucher for a Burger or Hotdog at just £2, plus a portion of chips for just £1.00!
We're also introducing family tickets with this voucher for this match. The family deals are:
- entry for an adult and two under 18s for just £20 (saving £4.00) - plus the food and drink discounts!
- entry for two adult and two under 18s for just £30 (saving £8.00) - plus the food and drink discounts!
COME ON YOU IRON!

Iron battle for a draw at Havant
Braintree saved by McDonald at the death
Braintree made the journey down the A3 to visit a sodden Havant & Waterlooville and came home with a point from a goal-less draw.
New signings Josh Hill and Patrick Webber went straight into the new-look Iron side, while Conor McKendry was on the bench. Mark-Anthony Okoye was back from last week's injury.
Braintree had the best of the first half with Okoye just missing the target from a Billy Crook cross early on, while Marcel Barrington and Phil Roberts also had chances as the half wore on.
Best move on the half on 31 minutes saw Jon Muleba release Crook who set up Roberts, but he couldn't beat the keeper.
After the break the Portsmouth side came more into the game as the playing surface deteriorated. Nathan McDonald denied a Wes Fodgen effort six minutes after the re-start. Barrington could have broken the deadline moments later when he broke through the home defence but was denied by home keeper Ryan Young.
The last few minutes saw Havant in control. On 79 minutes Matt Tubbs rattled the cross bar from inside the penalty area and Iron were lucky to escape a muddy scramble moments later. In time added on, McDonald had to be at his best to deny Tubbs at his near post.
Team: McDonald, Muleba, Wyatt, Hill, Okoye, Webber, Allen, Crook (Frimpong 90), Roberts, Grant (Baxter 86), Barrington (McKendry 68). Un-used subs: Knight-Percil and Bettache. Attendance: 654
Next up for Iron is a return to the IronmongeryDirect Stadium this coming Saturday, 10th February, when Bath City visit for another Vanarama National League match, kick-off 3pm.

Four in, two out for Brad
Iron boss makes changes to his squad
Braintree Town have added four players to their first team squad prior to the trip down to Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday. Two players have been released.
Iron boss Brad Quinton has signed 26-year old centre-half Josh Hill, who has been training with the Club since leaving National South rivals Wealdstone at Christmas. Josh has previously played for Borehamwood, Dartford and Havant & Waterlooville.
Brad has also signed 22-year old midfielder Jack Curtis from Coggeshall Town on duel registration terms.
Brad has also brought two players to the Club on loan from Sky Bet Championship side Ipswich Town. Joining the squad are 18-year old defender Patrick Webber and 19 year old forward Conor McKendry.
Webber joined Ipswich from Worthing on a trial in February 2016, before he rejoined Town five months later, signing a two-year scholarship. He made his full senior debut in the 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace in the EFL Cup second round in August 2017.
McKendry began his career in his native Ireland with Larne, St Oliver Plunkett, and Glenavon. In 2015, he signed a two-year scholarship with Ipswich. McKendry then signed his first professional contract in June 2017 to stay at Town for the current season. Conor has represented Northern Ireland at U16 and U17 levels.
The Club have released defender Joe Ellul and striker Karl Oliyide. We thank them both and wish them well for the future.

Havant Preview
Sat 3 February 2018 - Havant & Waterlooville v Braintree T
Havant & Waterlooville are currently 4th in the Vanarama National League South on 46 points. Their home record this season is: P 12 W 4 D 5 L 3 GF 22 GA 15 Pts 17. Last 4 home results: Won 3-2 v Oxford C, Drew 0-0 v Bognor Regis T, Won 4-0 v Chippenham T, Drew 1-1 v Chelmsford C. Top scorers this season: Jason Prior - 18 (5p), Matt Tubbs - 10 (1p).
Braintree Town are currently in place in 5th the Vanarama National League South on 45 points. Braintree's away record this season is: P 14 W 5 D 5 L 4 GF 25 GA 25 Pts 20. Braintree T last 4 away games: Lost 3-0 v Welling, Drew 1-1 v Chippenham T, Drew 2-2 v Chelmsford C, Drew 1-1 v Dartford. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Phil Roberts - 17, Karl Oliyide - 8, Billy Crook- 8 (6p)
Ricky Gabriel starts a 3 match suspension following his red card at Welling. Joe Ellul has left the club. New signings imminent.
Last meeting: 28 October 2017 Braintree T 1 Havant & Waterlooville 3: The Hawks inflicted the first home defeat on the Iron with 3 penalties all converted by Jason Prior. The first half ended goalless, but the second half was only 3 minutes old when the visitors were awarded their first penalty of the afternoon, Prior slotting home to McDonald's right. Five minutes later and another penalty for another alleged trip, Prior choosing again to place his shot to the 'keeper's right. A good passing move saw Oliyide cross for Barrington to slot home from close range to reduce the deficit, before confusion between Obamwonyi and McDonald allowed a Hawks striker to nip in and fall at the feet of McDonald, allowing Prior to complete his hat-trick of penalties, slotting the ball down the middle of the goal.
H&W have had 2 of their last 3 home games postponed. The Iron have fallen off the pace a little recently, with only one win in their last seven games. Meanwhile the Hawks narrow one-nil defeat to League leaders Dartford on January 13th was their first reverse in 14 games. The form book suggests that this should be a home win and Braintree's second loss double of the season. Here's hoping that this time the Hawks pay the penalty.

Talking to Matt Baxter
I was going to waste time, but I heard Brad shout
DOB: 19/3/98 (19) Born: Harlow
Previous clubs: Tottenham H, Grays A (L),Bishops Stortford (L)
Position: Midfield
Q. Do you have a job?
A. Yes - Football Coach
Q. Who do you support?
A. Tottenham H
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Gareth Bale
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Drake
Q. What do you enjoy away from the game?
A. I play golf twice a week, my handicap is 16
Q. How long have you been at the club?
A. Three years
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - Passing, scoring. Weaknesses - left foot, sometimes get caught out of position
Q. Back in August you said you weren't ready for the 1st team, how do you feel now?
A. I feel I'm ready now; I've been training with the first team all season
Q. You scored your first senior goal against Cray, what was going through your mind when you picked up the ball?
A. I was going to waste time, but I heard Brad shout "Take him on" so I did and hit a shot hard and low into the far corner
Q. You've had a few loan spells, where was the most enjoyable and why?
A. At Grays A, I enjoyed it because they let me play freely and do what I was best at
Q. Who have been the best manager and coach you've worked with?
A. Brad & Ports, they've taught me so much and nurtured me, brought me on a lot
Q. How do you see yourself progressing in the next 3 years?
A. Hopefully playing in the Football League
Q. Who do you think will be making the first from the reserve side in the next year or so?
A. Not sure of their names, but they are a good side and doing well in their League
Q. Which player is the most difficult to beat in training?
A. Mark Okoye, his legs are so long
Q. What has been the most disappointing part of your career so far?
A. Being released by Spurs at 16
Q. What do you enjoy about being at Braintree?
A. All the boys are good, we're a close bunch and get on well together
Q. How do you pass your time on away trips?
A. Watching Netflix, usually sit on my own or sometimes with Joe
Q. Who is the best finisher at the club?
A. Reece Grant
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Pocchetino because of the way his team plays. They're good to watch and I'd love to e a part of it
Q. Where will Braintree finish?
A. Definitely play-offs

Iron 12th Man backed by the fans
A truly heart-warming experience - a big 'Thank you' to the fans!
Last week the BTFC train was threatened with a derailment. There was a hiccup in the cashflow as an expected payment had not materialised.
This was followed by a meeting called by Brad Quinton and his staff to meet with Directors and fans to discuss how we can keep the 12th man initiative on track and sustain the Iron push for a promotion play-off place back to the National League!
Rumours were being started, so a refreshingly honest open meeting took place with approx. 70-80 fans meeting the Club officials last Thursday.
Subsequently, both the Independent Supporters Club and the Friends and Supporters Association showed their support and immediately came up with the funds they could afford and this was backed with exceptionally generous donations from several individual supporters.
"A truly heart-warming experience," said Braintree Town Director Jerry Carter. "One fan donated a full month's wages, while others donated three and four figure sums! Even those on the supporters coach had a whip-round and produced more.
"It shows the love and devotion of the fans of this Football Club. As a Board we have a duty to recognise and honour this and make sure we do all we can to ensure the Club continues to operate at the highest sustainable level.
"The short term blip has now been resolved and the players have now received their wages in full. Plus, with the commitment of some board members, there is now funding in place to sustain the current wage bill to the end of the season.
"We now need to keep this push for promotion and back Brad and the lads by bringing more fans through the turnstiles, supporting events in the club house, attracting advertisers and sponsors from the Braintree business community. Can you help?"


Fans Forum planned for 15th February
Board and Team Management invite you all for an update
The Club will be hosting a Fans Forum on Thursday, 15th February in the Clubhouse at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium, starting at 7.45pm.
All Club Directors will be invited to attend as will First Team Manager Brad Quinton and his coaching staff.
The purpose of the forum will be to update all supporters on the Board's plans for the remainder of the current season and on the latest developments with possible Club relocation - prior to seeking the approval of a company Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders.
Chairman Lee Harding would like to see as many fans as possible attend: "Come along, hear our plans and ask any questions - we'll be as honest and open as we can. While the plans for the remainder of the season are, of course, important, the issue of possible relocation is fundamental to our Club's long-term future - our very existence.
"For every Wycombe Wanderers FC and Burton Albion FC - that have benefitted from the sale of their old stadiums to provide new state of the art facilities that have acted as a springboard for future success - there are the disaster stories of Enfield FC and countless other clubs that have lost their homes. We have a once in a generation opportunity, we have to get it right and I welcome thorough scrutiny of our plans!"


Day to forget South of the River
Dismissal for retaliation costs Iron
Iron travelled to a wet Park View Road on Saturday, hoping to get their season back on track and improve on their recent record of three wins in twelve games. Manager Brad Quinton made several changes to the starting line up. Okoye, Wyatt & Grant made way for Bettache, Michael-Percil and Allen.
Kicking up the slope it was the home side who settled quicker and peppered McDonald's goal area with wayward shots. Welling's Bradley Goldberg was proving to be a handful for Iron's over worked defence with both Frimpong and Ellul having to take evasive action to contain his threat.
In the 26th minute a spat of handbags between Ricky Gabriel and Callum Driver in front of the Welling dugout led to a melee and ultimately a red card for the Iron man and a yellow for Driver. Within minutes of the restart Roman Michael-Percil, who had barely been involved up to that point, was withdrawn for Ben Wyatt who slotted in well at left back. Muleba did well to block a goal bound shot from Parkinson in the 43rd minute.
Iron reached the break on level terms but hadn't managed a shot on target. Frimpong and Roberts had both been booked.
The second half began with Welling still in charge. Wyatt blocked Monokana's effort and Frimpong also frustrated the home attack. Iron were dropping deep and making little impression on the home rearguard.
In the 61st minute Ellul fouled Healey outside the penalty area and was booked. McDonald's goal seemed huge and inviting and Driver thought so too as he stepped up and smashed the free kick into the top right hand corner.
Three minutes later Braintree almost equalised. Wyatt won the ball superbly out wide and fed Roberts who registered Iron's first meaningful shot with a low drive that Miles gathered at his near post.
The game was effectively over for Braintree in the 67th minute. McDonald's punch from a corner fell to Acheampong who blasted the ball into the net. Welling added a third through substitute Jebb with 13 minutes remaining. His speculative effort from out by the touchline swept in at the far post.
A disappointing end to a bad week for Braintree who have a difficult trip to Havant & Waterlooville up next.
Team: McDonald, Bettache (Grant), Gabriel, Ellul, Frimpong, Muleba, Allen, Crook, Roberts, Michael-Percil (Wyatt), Barrington (Baxter). Attendance: 528.
JON WEAVER

Club to co-operate with FA
Support for Match Referee's decision
Braintree Town Football Club have been made aware of an allegation made by former player Scott Shulton following the conclusion of Saturday's Vanarama National League South match at home to Hemel Hempstead Town.
The allegation was made to the Match Referee Wayne Cartmel after the game concluded and will be forwarded to the Football Association for their attention.
Club Secretary Tom Woodley spoke with the Match Referee after the game and was advised of the player's allegation and that it would be included in his report on the match to the Football Association. The Match Referee added that neither he nor his assistants had heard the alleged remark.
Chairman Lee Harding said: "I was disappointed to hear about the allegation made by Scott. He is well thought of at our Club, having been one of our championship-winning players from the 2010/11 season and he also made thirteen appearances for us this season before signing for Hemel Hempstead Town in the Autumn.
I am proud that we at Braintree Town have a multi cultural squad with a diverse cross-section of society representing our Club. In my sixteen years at the Club I have only ever seen or heard of one similar situation and that was when one of our players was subjected to racist comments and the matter was reported to, and promptly dealt with by, The Football Association.
I fully support the decision of the Match Referee to report the matter to the game's governing body and we will co-operate fully with any enquiries from the Football Association.
Braintree Town Football Club has never, does not, nor will it ever condone or accept any form of personal abuse or hate crime motivated by hostility or a demonstration of hostility towards any individual's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity."


Iron caught at the death
Brad rues early chances
Iron fell to a sucker punch three minutes into added on time at the end of this feisty affair at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on Saturday when the visitors grabbed a win and all three points through substitute Ebby Nelson-Abby.
It came after the home side bombarded the visitors' goal in the final 10 minutes only for the visitors to breakaway when Iron gave away an unnecessary free-kick out on the left wing resulting in the ball floating over to the far post where Ebby Nelson-Abby was left unmarked to stab the ball home for the winner.
It left Iron boss Brad Quinton frustrated and unhappy with his players adding: "They were naēve in giving the free-kick away in the first place and then not defending properly.
"They are a young side still learning but they should have done better and earlier having gone a goal up we had enough chances to have scored more goals and wrapped the game up," he added. "It's a setback but we'll go everything in training this next week and have a sort out but we must cut out individual mistakes.
"I felt we were the better side and created chances, always looked good going forward and solid at the back in what were really difficult playing conditions," he continued. "There's a long way to go and we will work hard to get back to regular winning ways."
Hemel manager Dean Brennan was delighted to have won saying: "It doesn't matter when the winning goal comes they all count and I felt particularly in the second half we had more control of the game and were the better side.
"I was down to the bare bones with only really 14 fit players but I'm proud of them because they stuck to the game plan and never gave up," he continued. "After last week's disappointment losing the way we did against Hungerford it was a great response from the lads to put in a shift today in difficult conditions against one of the best sides in the league."
Because of heavy morning rain referee Wayne Cartmel only gave the go-ahead just an hour before kick off after home volunteers had managed to clear the pitch off surface water.
The home side start the brighter and deservedly took the lead on 18 minutes when young Reece Grant slipped the ball down the right for Phil Roberts to chase on to and he chipped keeper Laurie Walker to score.
On the half hour Marcel Barrington should have added a second but keeper Walker did well to smoother his effort and on 33 minutes the keeper again denied Barrington tipping his fierce shot over for a corner.
The visitors retaliated and on 40 minutes were level when a long cross in from the right wing was headed downward by James Kaloczi and diving home keeper Nanthan McDonald could not hold on to the ball and Spencer McCall was on hand to tap it into the net.
The second half was a scrappy affair and on 50 minutes the home side's Ricky Gabriel was blatantly brought down in the area by ex-Iron midfielder Scott Shulton but home fans were amazed referee Wayne Cartmel waved play on.
With both sides tiring in the heavy conditions and tempers fraying with the game interrupted by full substitutions from both teams it looked like a draw was on the cards until the last-gasp effort from Nelson-Abby sealed the points for a delighted visiting team.
The Iron were left to rue the early missed chances and with manager Quinton acknowledging his young side still have a way to go in being consistent but insists they will be up there around the top of the league come the end of the season.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Gabriel, Ellul, Okoye; Frimpong (Bettache 66) Wyatt, Crook (Allen 5), Barrington; Grant (Oliyide 75). Subs not used: Baxter, Michael-Percil. Attendance: 432. Referee: Wayne Cartmel.
Next up for the Iron is away to Welling Utd on Saturday next, kick off 3pm.

Hemel Preview
Sat 20 January 2018 - Braintree T v Hemel Hempstead T
Hemel Hempstead T are currently 7th in the Vanarama National League South on 41 points. Their away record this season is: P 13 W 5 D 5 L 3 GF 19 GA 13 Pts 20. Last 4 away League results: Drew 0-0 v Hampton & R, Drew 2-2 v St Albans C, Won 0-5 v Whiehawk, Drew 0-0 v Bath C. Top scorers this season (League only): Jordan Parkes (3p) - 7, Charlie Sheringham - 6, Rowan Liburd - 4.
Braintree Town are currently in place in 4th the Vanarama National League South on 45 points. Braintree's home record this season is: P 13 W 7 D 4 L 2 GF 27 GA 13 Pts 25. Braintree T last 4 home games: Won 4-0 v E Thurrock U, Drew 2-2 v Chelmsford C, Won 3-2 v Eastbourne B, Lost 0-1 v Weston-Super-Mare. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Phil Roberts - 16, Karl Oliyide - 8, Billy Crook (6p) - 8.
Last meeting: 9 September 2017 Hemel Hempstead T 4 Braintree T 3 - An all thrills and spills game saw the visitors squander a 2-1 half time lead during a mad 7 minute spell just on the hour. Hemel had taken the lead through Sheringham half way through the first half, only to see their lead overturned by an own goal from former Iron Taylor Miles diverting a Crook cross past his own 'keeper and a Scott Shulton angled drive to give the Iron a well-deserved lead at half-time. Despite remaining in control in the second half, it all went pear shaped when a long goal kick caught out McDonald in no-man's land and Liburd ran the ball home into an empty net. Hemel then took the lead 4 minutes later when defender Kaloczi headed home from a free kick followed 3 minutes later by a shot from outside the box from skipper Jordan Parkes to put the hosts in command. Roberts pulled one back with 15 minutes left to play, but the Iron were unable to grab a dramatic equaliser.
Since that game, Taylor Miles has moved to Concord Rangers, whist the Iron's Scott Shulton and Tyler Campbell have signed for the Tudors giving them a formidable squad that contains a lot of ex-Football League experience. A surprise home defeat to Hungerford last Saturday was Hemel's first reverse since November. Like the Iron they have had their fair share of draws in recent matches, so another close encounter looks to be on the cards.

Talking to Reece Grant
Thierry Henry and Waltham Abbey
DOB: 26/1/1995 Born: Greenwich
Previous clubs (L=Loan): Northwood (L), Wealdstone, AFC Hayes (L), Hillingdon Borough (L), Uxbridge, Heybridge Swifts
Position: Striker
Q. What is your job?
A. I work in online shopping
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Thierry Henry
Q. Who is your favourite singer/band?
A. Meek Mill
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Instagram & Twitter
Q. What is your favourite food/meal?
A. Pepper steak & white rice
Q. How did you come to sign for Braintree?
A. Errol had been watching me and put in a 7 dayer for me
Q. You were playing for Kingstonian in Nov/Dec scoring 4 goals in 9 games; how was your time there and what was behind your decision to return to Braintree?
A. It was alright, it was good to get games, fitness and goals. Now I want to get in the team and prove myself
Q. What do you offer to the team that's different to the other strikers?
A. I've got an abundance of work rate
Q. You started in both Chelmsford games, how did you rate them and your/team performance?
A. They were great games, high level, fast football. Thought I had good games in both matches, but should also should have scored in both
Q. Who has been the best coach you have worked with and why?
A. Brad - he's developing parts of my game that I need to work on in training
Q. Who has given you the best footballing advice and what was it?
A. Anton Ferdinand - Do the hard yards when no one is watching
Q. Where would you like to be playing in 3 years' time?
A. Playing full time in the National or Football League
Q. Which player gives you the toughest time in training?
A. Mark Okoye, he's so tall and hard to get the ball off & Chris Frimpong he's strong and bony!
Q. What is the best/worst ground you've played at?
A. Best - Fleetwood T playing for Wolves Youth in a cup comp. Worst - Waltham Abbey
Q. What's the funniest thing you've seen or heard at the club this season?
A. Seeing a video of Chris Frimpong being big Shaq
Q. Which player gets the most stick from the rest of the team?
A. Chris Frimpong
Q. Have you been fined, if so, what for?
A. No, they keep trying to fine me for not showering after training
Q. If you could play alongside any strike who would it be and why?
A. Benzema - he'd assist me a lot
Q. Where will Braintree finish?
A. Top

Iron held at Chippenham
Braintree frustrated in Wiltshire
Despite a second half of bombarding the home goal with so many shots and having around 80 per cent control of the whole game the Iron left Hardenhuish Park frustrated with just a point on Saturday, leaving manager Brad Quinton a disappointed man.
"We played all the football, controlled practically all of the game and created so many chances throughout the afternoon it was both frustrating and disappointing," he declared. "They packed their defence and were intent on doing everything possible to stop us from playing.
"It meant that we were at times over eager in our final approach work and you could see some of the lads getting frustrated themselves the longer the game went on because they didn't get the breakthrough we deserved," he continued. "We have to accept that more teams will play that way against us and we have to learn and work harder to overcome such situations.
"If just one of our chances had gone in I'm sure the floodgates would have opened and we would have won comfortably," he continued. "But it's a point away from home and the young side continues to develop and we're still up there amongst the top teams so I am pleased."
The Iron had a disastrous start conceding a goal after just 50 seconds when in their first attack the home side snatched the lead through a speculative first time shot from Jake Jackson on the edge of the area that flew into the top corner of the net.
Undeterred by this shock setback the Iron were soon on the front foot and equalised on nine minute thanks to a fine through ball from Joe Ellul that saw home keeper Jared Thompson fail to gather properly and young Reece Grant quickly snapped up the loose ball and rounded the keeper and two defenders to tap the ball into the net.
From then onwards the game was almost one-way traffic with Iron causing all kinds of problems for the home defence in the first half and Grant almost added a second while Marcel Barrington, Luke Allen and Phil Roberts all saw goal bound shots scrambled clear before Billy Crook nearly scored Iron's second goal with a careful lob shot that just reached the top of the home net.
The second half saw the Iron continue to dominate and control the game with players peppering the home goal with Roberts, Allen, Grant and substitute Karl Oliyide all having shots charged down at the last moment.
In a rare breakaway Iron keeper Nathan McDonald was called upon to make just one save from striker Matt Smith, his only real save of the afternoon, but the Iron quickly resumed their attack.
Allen narrowly missed a post from a free-kick and then twice Ricky Gabriel saw two crosses-cum-shots pushed away from underneath the bar by Thompson.
In the dying moments Grant and Roberts almost found the net for a winning goal but were denied by some last-gasp defending and Ellul saw his header brushed the top of the home bar from a corner.
It ended a frustrating afternoon for the Iron who were by far the better side but just failed to find the net for that elusive winning goal.
The one real bright spot for Quinton was again the performance of young Grant who scored again and the manager added: "He has come back from being out on loan and has really improved his overall game, he works hard and is scoring goals and establishing himself in the side which is credit to his attitude and commitment."
Next up for the Iron is at home next Saturday when Hemel Hempstead, arrive for a league game, kick off 3pm.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Gabriel, Ellul, Okoye; Barrington, Allen, Crook, Michael-Percil (Oliyide 73); Grant, Roberts. Unused subs: Wyatt, Baxter, Bettache, Frimpong. Attendance: 470. Referee: Marc Whaley.

Chippenham Preview
13 January 2018 - Chippenham T v Braintree T
Chippenham T are currently 18th in the Vanarama National League South on 26 points. Their home record this season is: P 12 W 5 D 4 L 3 GF 21 GA 17 Pts 19. Last 4 home League results: Lost 0-3 v Bath C, Won 2-1 v Whitehawk, Drew 3-3 v St Albans C, Won 3-2 v Chelmsford C. Top scorers this season: David Pratt - 9, William Richards - 7, Andy Sandell (1p), Scott Twine & Matt Smith - 4.
Braintree Town are currently in place in 3rd the Vanarama National League South on 44 points. Braintree's away record this season is: P 12 W 5 D 4 L 3 GF 24 GA 21 Pts 19. Braintree T last 4 away games: Drew 2-2 v Chelmsford C, Drew 1-1 v Dartford, Lost 3-1 v Wealdstone, Won 0-3 v Poole T. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Phil Roberts - 16, Karl Oliyide - 8, Billy Crook (6p) - 8. Last meeting: 12 August 2017 Braintree T 2 Chippenham T 0
The Iron grabbed all three points against the NLS newcomers taking a 2-0 half-time lead with goals from Oliyide and Roberts. Christian Frimpong was shown a second yellow card early in the second-half for pulling back an opponent and was sent off. The Iron stood strong and were well organised to see out a comfortable victory. Chippenham's match report of this game opens with the comment that we were a "slick passing but very physical Braintree Town side".
The Blues have struggled for any consistency lately in the League, picking up one win at home to Whitehawk in their last eight games. After a shaky start against East Thurrock last Saturday, the Iron returned to winning ways with a four - nil win, cutting back Dartford's lead to two points. With players back from injury and performances improving the chance beckons to put more pressure on our Kent rivals.

Talking with Marcel Barrington
From the San Siro to the World Cup
DOB: 28/8/95 (22) 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 has been/is your favourite player?
A. Harry Kane
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. The Bee Gees
Q. What is your favourite film/TV programme?
A. The KIngdom
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strength - strength, weakness - heading
Q. Who has been the best coach you've worked with?
A. Steve Beaglehole at Leicester C
Q. Who did you play with from your Stoke & Leicester days?
A. Ben Chilwell
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. San Siro in a pre-season tournament with Stoke C
Q. Which manager released you at Leicester, what reasons were you given?
A. Nigel Pearson had been sacked; the U19 coach took over and released all of us.
Q. You've represented Guyana at international level playing in a World Cup qualifier in 2015, what are your international ambitions?
A. They have a friendly in March, if I can keep playing well and working hard, I could get a call up
Q. You said in an interview at the time that they have a different style of playing, what did you mean by that?
A. They have no league set up or qualified coaches
Q. Guyana are currently ranked 164th in the world rankings, are they an improving country and what are their realistic goals?
A. Every game they are improving, need to qualify for more competitions. We've played the likes of Jamaica and need to be playing more teams like them
Q. Who has been the toughest defender you have come up against?
A. Michael Keane, now at Everton
Q. How did you end up at Braintree and what are your hopes for the rest of the season?
A. I rang Brad up. I try and work and train hard to get into the team. It was difficult early on because the team was playing so well. But now I've got my chance and scored a few, I'd like to finish the season in double figures
Q. How do you pass time on away trips and who do you sit with?
A. I sit on my own, watch Premier League 100 goals club then sleep
Q. Have you been fined, if so, what for?
A. No (Mark Okoye said he had for getting nutmegged)
Q. Who is the best finisher at the club?
A. Reece Grant
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Brad Quinton, he likes to push the youth, always talks to you and helps you to improve
Q. Where will Braintree finish?
A. Top

Nathan's vigilance sets up win
Iron ease four past East Thurrock
A much improved performance saw Iron run out deserved winners with a victory that moves them back up into second place in the league.
It could have been a different story though had the visitors taken their chances in the first 10 minutes with Sam Higgins (twice) and Max Cornhill missing chances thanks for some wayward finishing and an excellent fourth minute save by Iron keeper Nathan McDonald.
The visitors were to soon rue these opportunities as the Iron quickly settled down to take control of the game scoring three times before the interval and effectively ending the match as a contest.
Iron manager Brad Quinton though was pleased his side kept a clean sheet for the first time in a month adding: "It was a terrific performance from the boys who showed the right attitude, created a hatful of chances and defensively we stopped giving away sloppy balls that have let to goals against us.
"The second half was scrappy and we needed that fourth goal to really see them off and I had a go at them at half time that just because we were three goals up it was far from over," he added. "It clearly worked and full marks to them for responding in the right way."
Quinton was particularly pleased with the performance of fit again midfielder Luke Allen and the contributions from both Roman Michael-Percil and goal scorer Reece Grant adding: "It's good to see confidence returning throughout the side but again I warned them not to be over confident because that's when silly mistakes happen."
"We've missed Luke linking up with Billy Crook in midfield so it was great to see us stronger there while both Roman and Reece played their part in the win," he said.
Rocks' boss John Coventry was disappointed with his side's display adding: "I know we had some players out through injury but that's no excuse and had we taken those early chances to score I think we would have gone on to win."
Iron took the lead on 25 minutes with a superb half volley shot from Billy Crook on the edge of the area that gave Rocks' keeper Lidakevicius no chance.
They then took complete control of the game with two quick goals - the first on 37 minutes when Crook crossed the ball back across the goalmouth for young Reece Grant to tuck away and the second 45 seconds later when Phil Roberts worked his way down the right wing before crossing into the penalty box where the unmarked Allen stroked the ball into the net.
Iron wrapped the game up on 71 minutes when again Crook was the goal maker with an accurate cross to the far post for Grant to slide the ball home and before the final whistle the youngster could have had his first Club hat-trick but twice he found the side netting when well positioned.
Late Iron chances also went begging too with Marcel Barrington, Ricky Gabriel and Roberts just missing the target when clean through on goal with the by then ragged visitors' defence all over the place.
"We just have to stay focussed on what we do in every game because there's a long way to go and so long as we can stop those silly mistakes which have cost us we hopefully can continue our good, recent run," Quinton added.
Next up for Iron is on Saturday, 13th January when we make the trip to Wiltshire to take on Chippenham Town, kick off 3pm.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Gabriel (Baxter 84), Ellul, Okoye; Barrington, Allen (Bettache 73), Crook, Michael-Percil (Wyatt 66); Roberts, Grant. Unused subs: Oliyide, Bihmountine. Attendance: 445. Referee: Ryan T Atkin.

East Thurrock Preview
6 January 2018 - Braintree T v East Thurrock U
East Thurrock U are currently 9th in the Vanarama National League South on 34 points. Their away record this season is: P11 W5 D4 L2 GF 23 GA 24 Pts 19. Last 4 away League results: Game abandoned at Concord R with the score at 1-1, Lost 5-1 v Hampton & R, Won 0-3 v Welling, Lost 4-0 v Bath C. Top scorers this season: Sam Higgins - 17(3p), Montel Agyemang, Lewis Smith & Reece Harris - 5.
Braintree T last 4 home games: Drew 2-2 v Chelmsford C, Won 3-2 v Eastbourne B, Lost 0-1 v Weston-Super-Mare, Won 3-0 v Bognor Regis T. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Phil Roberts - 16, Karl Oliyide - 8, Billy Crook (5p) - 7. Braintree Town are currently in place in 6th the Vanarama National League South on 41 points. Home record this season: P 12 W 6 D 4 L 2 GF 23 GA 13 Pts 22. Team news - Osa Obamwonyi has left the club and joined Whitehawk.
Last meeting: 15 August 2017 East Thurrock U 5 Braintree T 3: Braintree's first defeat of the season came in an action packed, error strewn game on a warm Tuesday evening in South Essex. The hosts took the lead on 8 minutes before Phil Roberts levelled with a neat lob 8 minutes later. Three minutes later the hosts regained the lead before Billy Crook converted a penalty following a foul on Oliyide. The Iron had looked the better of the sides going in to the half time break and should've gone in front early in the second period, but Roberts shot over. Instead it was a mad 17 minute spell with 20 minutes to play that saw the hosts wrestles the match away from the Iron. Wynter scored a late consolation in added on time.
The Christmas period has seen the Iron pick up three points from their promotion chasing rivals. ETU meanwhile had one win, one defeat and one game abandoned. Sam Higgins has been in good goal scoring form all season, and bagged himself two in that home game back in August and will find himself up against former team mate Joe Ellul. Another tough game ahead for the Iron, against another local team with a good away record and who play direct football, which at times we have struggled with.

Talking to Samir Bihmoutine
never give up & keep training hard
DOB: 8/12/93 (24) Born: London
Previous clubs: Arsenal, Bournemouth, Wealdstone (L), Hayes & Y (L), Ware, Enfield T
Position: Left back/wing back
Q. What us your job?
A. Bus driver
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal
Q. Who is your current favourite player?
A. Sergio Aguero
Q. What is your favourite music genre?
A. R & B
Q. What is your favourite TV show?
A. Prison Break
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - Crossing, vision, pace. Weakness - my right foot
Q. You were released by Arsenal in 2013, with links to Wolves, what happened?
A. Their manager Dean Saunders wanted me and they sacked him before I could sign. Eddie Howe signed me for Bournemouth instead
Q. Who did you play alongside at Arsenal?
A. Hector Bellerin, Alex Iwobi
Q. Who has been the best coach you have worked with?
A. Steve Bould at Arsenal & Brad
Q. What has been the best piece of advice you have been given?
A. Steve Bould told me to never give up and keep training hard
Q. Where would you like to be playing in 3 years' time?
A. In the EFL
Q. You've had to be patient to get a start, how has that been, how do you feel you've done?
A. It was frustrating; I played pre-season then had to take a break for personal reasons. When I came back I wasn't fully fit, now I've got my confidence back and feel fit
Q. Which player is the hardest to mark in training?
A. Billy Crook
Q. Which player is the best tackler?
A. Mark Okoye
Q. Have you been fined, if so, for what?
A. No, I haven't been fined
Q. How do you pass the time on away trips?
A. I listen to music, watch films. I like to sit with different people
Q. What has been the worst ground you've played at?
A. Grays A
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Jurgen Klopp, he's passionate and has a good relationship with his players, hugging and kissing them
Q. Which teams will be challenging for the NLS title?
A. Us and Dartford
Q. Where will Braintree finish?
A. Top

Iron & City all square again
Neighbours share another 2-2 draw
Iron made the short journey to Chelmsford City's Melbourne Athletics Stadium and came home with a replica result from Boxing Day - a 2-2 draw.
In front of 1662, Iron had the better of the first half and took a deserved lead on 36 minutes. A Billy Crook free kick from deep on the right was tucked past Chelmsford keeper Sam Beasent by Joe Ellul to the unmarked Phil Roberts who steered the opener into an empty net.
Chelmsford levelled three minutes before the break when the match referee saw a hand ball in the Braintree penalty area and Kudos Oyenuga tucked the resultant penalty kick past Nathan McDonald.
The home side held the initiative after the break and took a deserved lead twenty minutes into the second half. The Iron defence struggled to clear their lines and the ball squirmed free to the waiting Shaun Batt who fired home from the edge of the 18-yard box.
But Iron responded positively to a series of late second half substitutions and levelled with seven minutes remaining.
A hopeful clearance by Jon Muleba wide on the right was hunted down by Marcel Barrington. He lifted the ball past the on-coming Beasent towards the City goal where Roman Michael-Percil followed up to tap the ball into an unguarded net.
Iron: McDonald, Muleba, Gabriel, Ellul, Okoye, Frimpong (Allen 77), Bihmoutine (Michael-Percil 65), Crook, Roberts, Grant (Oliyide 72), Barrington. Subs not used: Bettache and Wyatt.

Barrington secures Iron point
Late leveller sees neighbours share 2-2 draw
A dramatic 90th minute equaliser by Iron substitute Marcel Barrington ensured the first local derby between these two sides for seven years ended all square in a highly entertaining game with end to end action from the first to the last whistle.
Iron manager Brad Quinton felt a draw was a fair result on the day adding: "Going behind twice and to come back strongly and equalise each time showed a lot of character by my team and with a little bit of luck we could have snatched all three points.
"It was really entertaining football with both sides wanting to attack all the time but our players never gave up and kept plugging away and right at the death scored the second equaliser which we fully deserved," he continued. "Even when behind for the second time we still kept passing and showed lots of movement with our game which is how we play and I was never in doubt we would score an equaliser."
Watched by a bumper Boxing Day crowd of 1,465 the game had a cracking start with City taking the lead on seven minutes when Chris Smith's free-kick dropped to the far corner of the Iron penalty box where the unmarked Michael Spillane fried home a tremendous first time volley into the home net.
The delight of the 400-odd City fans in the crowd was short-lived when on 10 minutes the Iron's Roman Michael-Percil skipped clear down the right wing before pulling the ball back into the area where Phil Roberts drove it low into the far corner of the net passed ex-Iron keeper Sam Beasant.
There were chances at both ends for the remainder of the half with first Iron keeper Nathan McDonald pulling off a great save on the half hour to deny Kudud Oyenega and seven minutes later at the other the Iron should have taken the lead when Roberts set up Reece Grant but with the goal at his mercy he mis-cued his shot.
The start of the second half saw City come out with more determination and they forced the Iron on the backfoot for a time and regained the lead with the Iron giving away a needless penalty. It was in the 53rd minute when Oyenega appeared to go down all too easily in the Iron area from a faint challenge from Mark Okoye and despite strong protests from the Iron players referee Robert Massey-Ellis was unmoved and awarded a penalty which Oyenega picked himself up to score from the spot.
With Quinton bringing on two bigger strikers - Karl Oliyide and Barrington - just past the hour it gave a new impetus to the Iron and as the game progressed City sat deeper and deeper allowing the new duo to run at their back line causing all kinds of problems.
Oliyide forced a great full-length save from Beasant on 80 minutes quickly followed by two strong efforts on goal from Barrington.
The breakthrough for the Iron came in the first of the four minutes added on when Roberts again broke clear down the right pulling the ball back to the on rushing Barrington who made sure by drilling a fierce shot that flew off the legs of Beasant into the corner of the net.
It was no more than the Iron deserved overall which former Iron manager Rod Stringer admitted afterwards adding: "We knew it was going to be tough coming here, they are a good side, retain the ball well, pass well and have lots of movement but for the last 20 minutes we sat back too deeply and allowed them to dictate play.
"But it was a good advert for National South football and we look forward to them coming to us on New Year's Day when again it should be a cracking game," he added.
Braintree: McDonald; Muleba, Ellul, Okoye, Gabriel; Michaerl-Percil, Frimpong (70 Allen), Crook, Grant (67 Barrington); Limousine (66 Oliyide), Roberts. Unused subs: Baxter, Bettache. Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis (Coventry). Attendance: 1,465.

Holiday Preview
Tue 26 December 2017 - Braintree T v Chelmsford C & Mon 1 January 2018 - Chelmsford C v Braintree T
Chelmsford are currently 3rd in the Vanarama National League South on 39 points. Their home record this season is: P 11 W 5 D 3 L3 GF 18 GA 11 Pts 18. Their away record this season is: P10 W6 D3 L1 GF 15 GA 6 Pts 21. Last 4 home League results: Won 4-1 v Welling, Drew 1-1 v Hungerford, Lost 1-2 v Oxford C, Won 1-0 v Dartford. Last 4 away League results: Won 0-2 v Gloucester C, Drew 1-1 v Havant & W, Won 0-2 v Whitehawk, Lost 3-2 v Chippenham T. Top scorers this season: Chris Dickson - 13 (1p), Kudus Oyenuga - 6 (1p), Lee Barnard - 5 (1p), Michael Spillane - 5
Braintree Town are currently in 4th place in the Vanarama National League South also on 39 points. Braintree T last 4 home games: Won 3-2 v Eastbourne B, Lost 0-1 v Weston-Super-Mare, Won 3-0 v Bognor Regis T, Lost 1-3 v Havant & W. Braintree T last 4 away League games: Drew 1-1 v Dartford, Lost 3-1 v Wealdstone, Won 0-3 v Poole T, Drew 1-1 v Bath C. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Phil Roberts - 14, Karl Oliyide - 8, Billy Crook (5p) - 7. Home record this season: P 11 W 6 D 3 L 2 GF 21 GA 11 Pts 21. Away record this season: P 11 W5 D3 L 3 GF22 GA 19 Pts 18.
Braintree finish 2017 and start 2018 against the only side they've yet to meet in the League this season - our neighbours Chelmsford C. The Clarets have taken on three of our relegated team from last season, namely Sam Beasant, Craig Braham-Barrett and Lee Barnard, also former Iron man Luke Daley is on their books. The Iron picked up a well-deserved point at table topping Dartford last Saturday and will be looking to maintain momentum ahead on the New Year's Day return. With Muleba now back in action and Luke Allen making a welcome return as a sub at Dartford, the squad is beginning to look stronger again. The Clarets have done better on their travels so far with just the one defeat, succumbing to a last minute winner at Chippenham in October. They also have the joint best away goals conceded record (along with Havant & W), keeping 6 clean sheets, so the Iron will have to be on top of their game to break them down. Given the larger than usual crowd expected for Boxing Day, supporters are advised to arrive a little earlier than usual for the 3pm kick-off. Merry Christmas!

Iron share points at Dartford
Lads respond to Trophy exit
Saturday's top of the table clash may have ended up as a draw at Prince's Park on Saturday but Iron manager Brad Quinton was delighted with both the result and seeing his side reinvigorated after the disappointing midweek performance when they were beaten in the FA Trophy.
With four players replaced in his team shake-up, Quinton was pleased with the way the players responded adding: "Overall it was a good team performance with all the players working for one another and I felt we did enough to have come home with three points instead of one.
"We were far better organised as a unit and the players showed far more aggression and commitment and we were the better side for long periods of the game sticking to our game plan," he said. "We looked far more dangerous in attack and had we scored once in the second half we would have gone on to win the game."
The manager was please with the way his side attacked from the kick off, showing more composure, cohesion and commitment than in the previous game and they really took the game to their hosts who led the league on goal-difference.
Quinton switched Karl Oliyide and Roman Michael-Percil to the bench, while Ben Wyatt was rested and Dernell Wynter chose to continue his search for regular football at St Albans. Coming into the starting eleven were Joe Ellul, Samir Bihmoutine, Marcel Barrington and Reece Grant.
Iron had early chances to score, notably a Barrington header that went over the bar, so it was surprise when the hosts took the lead on 16 minutes as Andy Pugh had too much time and space on the left before planting the ball past keeper Nathan McDonald.
Five minutes later McDonald stopped the home side from adding a second with a great save with his legs as the Iron briefly lost their composure, but they soon forced their way back into the game.
Deservedly the equaliser came a minute before half time when a fine low, left wing cross from Ricky Gabriel was met by the alert Barrington in the area and he made no mistake firing the ball into the net.
Iron started the second half in the same frame of mind as the first and took the game to their hosts and they always looked the more likely side to score again and grab a winner.
The chances certainly came but Barrington headed over from a Phil Roberts cross before Billy Crook's effort went close and then on 71 minutes Grant looked almost certain to score but his header went over.
Three minutes from the end substitute Michael-Percil almost snatched a late winner for the Iron but his spectacular overhead kick was just off target.
Overall a draw was perhaps a fair result but key for Iron fans was their side's vastly improved performance over the 90 minutes.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Ellul, Okoye, Gabriel; Bihmoutine, Frimpong, Cook (Allen 83), Reece; Roberts 0- Baxter), Barrington (73 Michael-Percil). Unused subs: Obamwonyi, Oliyide. Attendance: 936
Next up for the Iron is a return to the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on Boxing Day for the visit of Chelmsford City, kick off 3pm.

Dartford Preview
Sat 23 December 2017 - Dartford v Braintree T
Dartford are currently top of the Vanarama National League South on 38 points. Their home record this season is: P 10 W 7 D 2 L1 GF 18 GA 28 Pts 23. Last 4 home League results: Drew 3-3 v Wealdstone, Won 4-1 v Gloucester C, Won 2-1 v St Albans C, Won 3-1 v Bognor Regis T. Top scorers this season: Alfie Pavey - 15, Elliot Bradbrook - 13 (5p), Lyle Della-Verde & Andy Pugh - 5.
Braintree T last 4 League games: Won 3-2 v Eastbourne B, Drew 1-1 v Truro C, Lost 0-1 v Weston-Super-Mare, Won 3-0 v Bognor Regis T. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Phil Roberts - 14, Karl Oliyide - 8, Billy Crook (5p) - 7. Braintree Town are currently in 2nd place in the Vanarama National League South on 38 points.. Away record this season: P 10 W5 D2 L 3 GF21 GA 18 Pts 17. Team news: Joe Ellul is once again available for selection
Last meeting: 8 August 2017, Braintree T 2 Dartford 2. The Iron kicked off this season's home campaign against one of the pre-season promotion favourites Dartford. A very open entertaining game saw the hosts go in at half time 2 goals to the good through Oliyide and Crook. The Iron had a third goal ruled out in the second half when Okoye was harshly adjudged to have fouled in heading home. Dartford subsequently fought back to get a share of the points. Dartford also lead the table for home performances having lost just the once, to East Thurrock U, almost 3 months ago. They are also the League's top scorers having scored one more than the Iron. They currently top the table by being 7 goals better off in goal difference than us. Both teams played FA Trophy replays in midweek and lost; with our hosts going to extra time before losing on penalties. This will be a tough one for the Iron and will test their promotion aspirations.

Talking to Joe Ellul
Returning to normality
DOB: 10/12 /88 (29) Born: Hackney
Previous clubs: Enfield T, East Thurrock U, Billericay, Ebbsfleet
Position: Centre Back
Q. Do you have another job?
A. No
Q. Who do you support?
A. Tottenham H
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Ledley King
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Trey Songz
Q. You must be the most tattooed Braintree player, how many do you have?
A. 28
Q. What is the most expensive tattoo you've had done?
A. A tattoo of my uncle which cost £500
Q. You're on Twitter, who do you follow?
A. Mainly footballers
Q. How did you end up ay Braintree?
A. Because of Brad, I became available and Brad knows my family
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - Heading, defending. Weakness - none
Q. How does life at Braintree compare with Billericay?
A. Life at Braintree is normality. There was a lot of hype around Billericay.
Q. What are your hopes going forward?
A. To win the league and get promoted, personally, to turn professional
Q. You're the oldest player in the squad, what can you pass on to your team mates?
A. Experience, I've been playing since I was 14. Tell players where they're going wrong and they do that for me too
Q. Who has been your best centre back partner?
A. Michael Clark, he came on loan from Orient when I was at East Thurrock U
Q. Which striker has been your toughest opponent?
A. Billy Bricknell at Billericay, also Reece Grant - he never stops running, likes to give you a dig and leave his foot in.
Q. How will you be celebrating Christmas?
A. With a few slurps, we've not been told what to do, just use common sense
Q. What sort of games do you expect against Chelmsford?
A. Physical, end to end, a real ding dong game
Q. How do you pass your time on away trips?
A. Listen to Billy, doing his stand up
Q. Which player is laziest in training?
A. Karl Oliyide
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Mauricio Pochettino, because of the way he plays football. He has a smaller budget than some of the other clubs in the PL, but gets his players playing
Q. Where will Braintree finish?
A. Top

Match arrangements for Boxing Day
Iron fans are advised to arrive a little earlier than usual
For our Vanarama National League South fixture against Chelmsford City on Boxing Day, Tuesday, 26th December, segregation WILL be in force. However, this game will NOT be all ticket and no tickets will be available for sale prior to the match. Spectators can stand or sit at no extra charge and admission prices for this match can be found by clicking the 'Tickets' link above. To gain entry to the ground, visiting spectators should use the two turnstiles to the right of the Main Stand and clubhouse, numbered 7 and 8. Home spectators should use the four turnstiles to the left on the clubhouse, numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4. Season ticket holders should use gates 5 and 6. A full colour 80-page matchday programme will be on sale inside the ground adjacent to the turnstiles. 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 £2 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. No vehicles will be allowed entry into the car park within thirty minutes prior to kick-off. 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. The Clubhouse at the Cressing Road Stadium can only be accessed from inside the designated home section of the ground. Those spectators wishing to use the segregated part of the ground reserved for visiting supporters may wish to visit The Pub some 500 yards from the ground on East Street, prior to entering the ground. For further information, please contact the Club on 01376 345617.

Iron out of the Trophy
Poor second half sees hopes slip away
Iron were dumped out of the FA Trophy at Brackley Town's St James Park on Tuesday evening and the players can have no complaints because it was all down to a poor second half performance by the majority.
After a promising first 45 minutes, Iron's game suddenly deteriorated with sloppy passing, careless marking, failure to close down the opposition, non existent tackling and a general lack of commitment to compete by most of the players.
Little wonder this dreadful second half showing left manager Brad Quinton seething at the final whistle when he declared: "I'm frustrated and angry with the players for the second half performance because the game was there for the taking and they blew it."
He went on: "We did well in the first half and looked for most to be in charge but there can be no excuses for what followed after the interval with all the basics gone out of the window and some players certainly let me down on the night." He added: "We will have some sorting out to do at training on Thursday."
It was a poor second half display and in reality only three players came out of the game with any credit - the central defensive partnership of Christian Frimpong and Marc Okoye and Billy Crook who was left totally isolated in midfield as he tried gamely to engineer some creativity for the side to go forward and attack the home defence.
Iron failed to register a shot on target in the second half, going behind on 51 minutes when they failed to clear an easy threat on their goal but they allowed Matt Lowe time and space to poke the ball home low into the net.
There was a lack of response too from some Iron players and the only surprise was that it took the home side until the 78th minute to add their second and kill off the game.
It stemmed from a wrongly given free-kick by referee Wayne Cartmel in the first place but up stepped Shane Byrne to fire in a terrific 20 yard shot into the top corner of the Iron net giving keeper Nathan McDonald no chance.
Even with Quinton making three overdue second half substitutions it failed to generate much fresh impetus and in the end Iron were left to rue their poor second half performance leading to a Trophy exit.
Iron had started well with Karl Oliyide clipping the top of the home bar with an effort on 15 minutes and three minutes later the same player did get the ball in the home net but it was ruled out for offside.
The home side should have taken the lead on 23 minutes when the unmarked Aaron Williams headed over from close range but on 31 minutes the Iron broke clear again and a fine low Phil Roberts shot was pushed round the post for a corner by keeper Danny Lewis.
But the game for the loyal handful of Iron fans in the 235 crowd will only be remembered for that dreadful second half performance and any chance of reaching a Wembley final this season are banished once again.
The only bright spot of the evening was a 16 minute run out as a substitute for midfielder Luke Allen who has been injured and not played since the end of October - a welcome sight too for midfield partner Crook.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Bettache (81 Wynter), Frimpong, Okoye, Gabriel; Michael-Percil (74 Allen), Crook, Muleba, Wyatt; Olyide (59 Barrington), Roberts. Unused subs: Obanwonyi, Bihmoutine.
Next up for the Iron is a return to Vanarama National League South action at Dartford on Saturday, kick off 3pm.


Promotion Final Early Bird tickets
Details released or Saturday 12th May at Wembley
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 12th May 2018 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) with no charge.
EARLY BIRD offer - up to and including 28th February 2018:
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://events.wembleystadium.com/Online/default.asp
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.

Trophy tie ends goal-less
Iron and Brackley replay on Tuesday
Iron have it all to do again on Tuesday at St James Park after this goalless draw in a game of few clear cut scoring chances from either side making it perhaps obvious to any neutral observers in the 249 crowd that for long periods it was always going to end in stalemate.
Iron boss Brad Quinton brought in fit again full-back Jon Muleba after his injury layoff and put him into midfield alongside Billy Crook after midfielder Luke Allen failing a late fitness test while Ben Wyatt started on the left side of midfield in preference to Samir Bihmountine.
With defender Joe Ellul Trophy-tied it saw the central defensive partnership of Christian Frimpong and Marc Okoye renewed.
Iron certainly had the better of the first half chances with efforts from Phil Roberts (14 minutes) and Roman Michael-Percil (39) both ending up in the side netting while at the other end the visitors rarely looked threatening with their best coming from an Aaron Williams' sharp shot also tucking into the Iron side netting on 20 minutes.
The second half saw the visitors have more of the game as the Iron lost their way a little with some stray passing and at times they struggled to clear their lines under pressure while for the visitors and both Gareth Dean (70) and Matt Lowe (81) came closest to scoring when well positioned.
Iron boss Brad Quinton felt it was a fair result overall adding: "It was a case of two good teams cancelling each other out - we did well in the first half but players failed to stick to the game plan in the second half which was frustrating."
He went on: "We didn't really pepper their goal with shots as we should have done and I thought we created enough in the first half to have come in at the interval in the lead.
"But we have it all to do on Tuesday when I will freshen up the side with some changes and we will be more determined to win," he continued. "We're still in the competition and we've kept a clean sheet too and that will also give us confidence - we will certainly be looking for a vastly improve away performance there than we put up when losing there in the FA Cup earlier in the season."
Brackley boss Kevin Wilkins declared: "I felt we always looked the more likely side to score but it's a difficult place to come to and they made it hard for us. We're stretched player wise at present and it looks as if skipper Gareth Dean will also now miss the replay having had to come off with a groin injury."
Iron substitute Marcel Barrington almost snatched a late winner and the ball then went straight up to the other end where the visitors' appeal for a possible penalty were immediately denied by referee David Spain.
Braintree Town: McDonald, Muleba, Gabriel, Okoye, Frimpong; Bettache (90+2 Obamwonyi), Michael-Percil, Crook, Wyatt (67 Bihmoutine); Roberts (85 Barrington), Oliyide. Unused subs: Baxter, Wynter. Referee: David Spain. Attendance 249.
The replay is at Brackley Town this coming Tuesday evening, 19th December, with a 7.45pm kick off. Travel details to Brackley were in Saturday's programme.

Brackley Preview
Sat 16 December 2017 - Buildbase F A Trophy 1st Round
Brackley T are currently 2nd in the Vanarama National League North on 42 points. Their away record this season is: P 11 W 4 D 4 L3 GF 18 GA 12 Pts 16. Last 4 away League results: Drew 1-1 v F C United of Manchester, Lost 2-0 v Bradford PA, Won 0-3 v Darlington 1883, Won 2-3 v Boston U. So far in the Trophy they have overcome Salford C 4-0 in the 3rd Qualifying Round. Top scorers this season: Aaron Williams - 15(2p), James Armson - 8, Andy Brown & Lee Ndlovu - 5
Braintree T last 4 home League games: Won 3-2 v Eastbourne B, Drew 1-1 v Truro C, Lost 0-1 v Weston-Super-Mare, Won 3-0 v Bognor Regis T. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Phil Roberts - 14, Karl Oliyide - 8, Billy Crook (5p) - 7. Braintree Town are currently in 2nd place in the Vanarama National League South on 38 points. Home record this season: P 11 W6 D3 L 2 GF21 GA 11 Pts 21. Braintree T overcame Cray W in the 3rd Qualifying Round.
Team news: Joe Ellul is once again Trophy-tied.
Last meeting: 30 September 2017, F A Cup 3rd Qualifying Round: Brackley T 4 Braintree T 1. The Iron were one down within 5 minutes at high flying Brackley. Within a 12 minute period in the second half, Brackley had stormed into a four goal lead before Oliyide scored a late consolation. Brad has already described this defeat as the worst Iron performance of the season. He said "This wasn't my team and we owe the fans". There was a return to winning ways last Saturday and a welcome brace from Phil Roberts. There was also a return to action for Jon Muleba who came on as a late substitute. With Joe Ellul cup-tied, will Brad stick with three centre backs, or revert to a flat back four? Both sides were third in their respective tables when they last met, both have now progressed to second spot, so expect a tough battle for the right to progress on the road to Wembley.

Mid-Season review with Brad Quinton
Joint top at the half-way mark
Q. Pre-season the club had announced several signings (Sykes/Enver-Marum/Neita etc) who had all left before a ball was kicked, why was this?
A. George Sykes thought he wasn't good enough at this level. He was more comfortable at Canvey Island. Liam Enver-Marum told us his injuries were behind him, but it became clear he wasn't over them. Nigel Neita, we gave him the opportunity, but it didn't work out for him.
Q. Were you happy with the players and balance of the squad you had come the first game?
A. Yes, we managed to get a completely new squad, (with the exception of Matt Baxter) within budget.
Q. We had a very busy start with 7 games in August with a new team. We accumulated 14 points from a possible 21. What is your overall response to those opening games and our first defeat at East Thurrock and beating the then undefeated league leaders St Albans?
A. I was disappointed with the East Thurrock game; we'd got ourselves in front. When we lose we get a terrific response in the next game. Beating St Albans was good as they'd got off to a flyer.
Q. September saw another 8 games played, including 3 FA Cup matches. In the 5 league games we amassed a further 10 from 15 points. Again we lost a game we were in control of (Hemel) and recorded our biggest win to date over Hungerford. We were amongst the front runners and fans were optimistic of good things ahead. Did you think then we were going to be serious contenders, were there any concerns?
A. We've done well to get where we are. They're a young squad, lack experience, but are learning from one another. There's lots of spirit and they are committed to carry on being positive.
Q. The FA Cup saw our biggest defeat so far at Brackley. What are your thoughts on that game and our subsequent upcoming meeting in the FA Trophy?
A. That wasn't my team; I expect a massive response. The boys owe the fans.
Q. Scott Shulton left shortly after that FA Cup exit. He had been a regular starter up to that point. Why did he go, have we missed him?
A. Disappointed he left. Hemel offered him more money and it's on his doorstep. There'd been a few run-ins with my staff, then he was sent off at Royston and some lack of discipline. Did we miss him? Yes/no, nobody could predict the injuries we'd pick up. I expect Jon Muleba to step into that holding midfield role when he's fit.
Q. October was a quieter month with three games, one win, one draw and our first home defeat. What did you think of those performances and was it frustrating to have so few games - did that have any effect?
A. It's a young squad that want to play all the time, so yes there was some loss of momentum. The defeat to Havant - dubious penalties, all three were awarded in the first half. Overall I was happy with our performances.
Q. We also released Alfred Mugabo due to injury, what was his injury and what was the estimated recovery time?
A. Alfred had a re-occurring knee injury; he'd play a few games and then it would flare up again. We couldn't afford to keep a player with a consistent injury.
Q. November saw us pick up 9 from 12 points in the league and progress in the FA Trophy. Having recorded 2 good 3-0 wins how disappointed were you with our second home defeat to Weston?
A. WSM are a good footballing side with good players - Grubb now moved on to Forest Green R. Happy to be where we are; I thought winning at Poole shows we have a good togetherness.
Q. With injuries beginning to bite you've brought in Joe Ellul when most fans thought we would bring in a midfielder. What was the thinking behind that signing and with Tyler Campbell now gone; is there a possibility of anymore signings or departures?
A. I had Joe at Enfield, I cannot believe he's not in League football. He's strong, puts his head in where it hurts and he's good for the youngsters. Christian is a young talent who will do well in the game; he's been a bit stop/start. We have to stick to our means. Luke and Jon have both had break downs on their recoveries. Matt Baxter has done well and has been unlucky not to start. He got a slight knock in training and would've started against Eastbourne B. As for Tyler, Scott spoke to him, for us his performance had been inconsistent; he's now at Hemel, still not getting a regular start.
Q. How difficult is it to keep players motivated who are not getting regular starts?
A. It's tough; when you're young you want to play every week. Everyone was told at the start of the season how it would be. We are where we are because of the squad and everyone is told that if you take your chanced and play well, you keep the shirt.
Q. After playing Eastbourne at home, we have now played half the season and every team bar Chelmsford. Has any particular team surprised you?
A. With the money they've spent, I would've expected Dartford to be running away with it, but there are a lot of good teams who on their day can beat anyone.
Q. Who has been the best opposition we have faced this season?
A. Weston-Super-Mare and St Albans C
Q. Have we surpassed your original analysis of where you think we would be?
A. Yes we have done better than I expected. We've done really well, the boys have done great.
Q. Maidenhead won the league last season with 98 points and only 4 defeats, what sort of points total do you think will be enough this season to carry off the title?
A. Looking at 86 points, if someone was to run away with it. If we duplicate the number of points we've accumulated in the first half of the season, we're in with a shout. I'd be delighted to be in the play-offs with a squad and budget etc. different to the last 2 seasons.
Q. With three big game coming up against Dartford & Chelmsford; how pivotal could the outcome of those games be?
A. Not pivotal, but bragging rights. There's still a long way to go.
Q. Do you have any fond memories of previous encounters against our near neighbours?
A. Winning the title, picking up a bad injury when I went in for a committed tackle and did my hamstring and a 22 man melee!
Q. What has been our best performance so far this season?
A. Beating the previously unbeaten St Albans C and Hungerford for finishing off our chances.
Q. What has been the best go goal scored so far this season?
A. Roman Michael-Percil's first against Hungerford.
Q. Any message for the fans?
A. I want to thank them for their fantastic support. It means a lot to me coming back and taking over this great club. I hope they're pleased to see some great football; just ask them to remember that we're a young squad, still learning. After last season they deserve better performances for their money; they pay their money and have a right to their say; hopefully spread the word. It's a fantastic community and it would be great to be in the play-offs.

First double for Braintree
Victory dedicated to young Jacob Jones
Halfway through the Vanarama National League South season and Braintree Town moved level with leaders Dartford following Saturday's 3-2 victory over visitors Eastbourne Borough. A result that saw Iron complete a first double of the season, having won the opening day's game 3-2 in Sussex back in August.
In a game that Iron trailed and twice led, both sides played their part in an entertaining game, despite the bitterly cold weather.
There was spontaneous applause all around the IronmongeryDirect stadium after just four minutes with the crowd joining together for young Iron fan Jacob Jones who sadly passed away earlier in the day. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
The visitors took a 14th minute lead when Shaun Okojie was left free to score from close range after the home defence seemed to stop for an alleged hand-ball.
But Iron levelled eight minutes before the break. Billy Crook's corner finding Phil Roberts who fired home his thirteenth of the season from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Braintree enjoyed the better of the second forty-five minutes and were good value to take the lead on the hour mark. A free kick from Crook found three Braintree players at the far post and Joe Ellul's looping header back across the Borough goal found the unmarked Phil Roberts who headed home from close range.
But Borough battled to get back into the game and were rewarded on 76 minutes when Kiran Khinda John was allowed too much time in the home penalty area before steering his shot into the bottom left corner.
However Iron responded again with Roman Michael-Percil breaking down the right before being unceremoniously flattened in the Borough penalty area by Eastbourne's Matt Drage for a penalty, which Billy Cook duly tucked home for the winner.
Braintree: McDonald, Bettache, Gabriel, Ellul, Okoye, Frimpong, Michael-Percil (Muleba 83), Crook, Roberts, Oliyide (Barrington 78), Bihmoutine (Wyatt 69). Unused subs: Wynter and Baxter. Attendance: 389.
Next up for Iron is the visit of Vanarama North side Brackley Town for a Buildbase FA Trophy First Round tie this coming Saturday, 16th December, with kick-off at 3pm.

Eastbourne Preview
Sat 9 December 2017 - Braintree v Eastbourne Boro'
Eastbourne B's away record this season is: P 10 Won 4 Lost 4 Drawn 2 GF 15 GA 21 Pts 14. Last 4 away League results: Won 1-2 v Gloucester C, Lost 5-1 v Weston-Super-Mare, Won 0-1 v Hungerford T, Lost 5-2 v Chelmsford C. Top scorers this season: Jamie Taylor - 8, Sergio Torres & Yemi Obubade - 5, Lloyd Dawes - 4
Braintree T last 4 home League games: Drew 1-1 v Truro C, Lost 0-1 v Weston-Super-Mare, Won 3-0 v Bognor Regis T, Lost 1-3 v Havant & Waterlooville. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Phil Roberts - 12, Karl Oliyide - 8, Billy Crook (4p) - 6
Braintree Town are currently in 2nd place on 35 points, Eastbourne B are 15th on 26 points. Suspension news: Mark Okoye is available for selection after his one game ban. Last meeting: 5 August 2017: Eastbourne B 2 Braintree T 3
The Iron kicked off their season on the sunny south coast and soon found themselves 2-0 down within the first 20 minutes following goals from Odubade & Pinney. Shulton started the comeback for the Iron with a good run and well placed long range shot. Eastbourne were reduced to 10 men early in the second half when the Sports defender Khinda-John received a second booking. Within 5 minutes of the sending off, the Iron had the lead courtesy of Roberts and Crook and brought home the three points.
One of Eastbourne's goal scorers that day, Pinney, has left the Sports and joined St Albans City. They have made 2 new signings in the last week bringing in defender Ugo Udoji, from Maldon & Tiptree and midfielder Simon Johnson, from Hastings U. Braintree fell back into their self-destruct mode at Wealdstone last Saturday but other results meant they held on to second spot in the league table. Brad will be hoping the boys can claim their first double of the season to complete a very satisfactory first half of the 2017/18 season.

Talking with Dernell Wynter
and his fear of ice baths
DOB: 28/8/96 (21) Born: London
Previous clubs (L=Loan): Enfield T, Ware (L)
Position: Striker
Q. What is your job?
A. Retail manager, front of house in a leisure centre
Q. Who do you support?
A. Manchester U
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Jermaine Defoe
Q. Who is your favourite band/artist?
A. Wretch 32
Q. What social media do you use?
A. Instagram, Twitter & Facebook
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strength, speed and shooting. Weakness shooting with weaker foot
Q. You played for Brad at Enfield, was he the main reason you came here?
A. Yes and also lads here from last season. I played last half of last season at Enfield
Q. You scored a stunning strike in the first minute against Bognor, is that your best goal?
A. I scored a better one against Barnet at the Hive - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6AbQsbB04k - Barnet's 3rd goal was special, also a rare Ricky Gabriel goal!
Q. What were your expectations when you first joined the club?
A. To stay up, but the lads have done really well
Q. Where would you like to be playing in 3 years?
A. Realistically in the Championship
Q. What do you think are the strengths of the team?
A. movement of the ball, keeping possession, good counter-attacking
Q. How do you pass your time on away trips, who do you sit with?
A. I have my headphones on, used to sit with Tyler, now sit with Mahrez
Q. Which player takes the most time in the shower?
A. Mahrez
Q. Which player is the worst finisher in training?
A. Christian
Q. Have you been fined, if so what for?
A. Yes - for missing an ice bath
Q. If you could partner any striker, who would it be and why?
A. Lukaku, he could hold it up for me
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Pep Guardiola for the way his teams move the ball and his tactics
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. Top

PLAY WITH THE CHAMPIONS & LEGENDS
Your chance to bid for the game of a lifetime!
A new idea from the Club to help Bradley & the lads push on this season is the introduction of the new Iron Twelfth Man initiative. All funds raised by Iron12thMan will go towards strengthening and improving the Club's playing budget NOW.
There are a number of ideas currently being pulled together by the fledgling Iron12thMan committee. The first we are able to announce is the staging of an Iron Champions v Iron Legends match on Christmas Friday, 29th December at the ground, kick-off 6.30pm.
Brad and Andy have been busy contacting all the members of that great 2006 championship-winning side and most have committed to coming along. Entry will be by donation on the night and all funds raised will go straight to the Iron12thMan fund.
Players confirmed so far are: Louis Riddle, James Hawes, Robbie Martin, Nick Morgan, Eugene Ofori, Paul Lorraine, Billy Burgess, Brad Quinton, Andy Porter, Chris Piper, Lennie Piper, Danny Gay (if his wife doesn't go into labour!), Bertie Brayley, James Baker, Michael Shinn, Ian Cousins and Alex Revell (subject to playing commitments) ... with more to follow!
We're keen to get the fans involved and Iron12thMan will be auctioning four slots of 23 minutes in one of the sides. The four lucky winners will get the chance of a lifetime to play as part of one of the Champions and legends teams.
If you would like to bid to be in one of the two sides, please send your bid with your name, address, telephone number and e-mail to: braintreeTFC@aol.com. Good luck!

Embarrassing mistakes cost Iron
Quinton criticises players
The Iron players will have to learn to cut out embarrassing, individual defensive mistakes and show more physical prowess against the opposition if they want to fulfil their aim of challenging for promotion and an immediate return to the National League.
On the evidence of this display at Grosvenor Vale on Saturday there's still a great deal of work for manager Brad Quinton to do to achieve this because, again, Quinton's side gifted away three poor goals and all too often players were hustled off the ball from the more physical approach by the home side.
They also lacked that clinical finishing in attack and despite an improved performance once the game was already lost late in the second half, it was by then all too little, too late to try and retrieve the game.
It left manager Brad Quinton a frustrated man on the touchline who criticised his players for their first half performance adding: "It was simply disappointing and again we were three goals down before we really started to get going in the second half. We can do better than that.
"You can't give silly goals away at any level of football but even in the first half we still had chances to have come in level at half time," he explained. "We played much better in the second half and had four or five good chances to score but players dragged their shots wide of the target.
"I know we are a better side than we played over the 90 minutes and sometimes coming to places like this you have to work extra hard and try and dig out a result," he continued. "Conceding a third goal a minute into the second half was a killer blow but credit to the players we made three substitutions and everyone worked hard to try and pull the game back," he added.
The home side's opening eighth minute goal was a tad fortunate after Iron had unnecessarily given the ball away in midfield because it fell to the feet of Ryan Sellers who's long range shot deflected off team mate Taofiq Olomowewe into the net with keeper Nathan McDonald stranded.
The Iron responded well with first Christian Frimpong going close with a header, Billy Crook firing a shot straight at the home keeper and then on 20 minutes after some good right wing build up Karl Oliyide was left unmarked in the home area and should have buried his header into the net for the equaliser.
But it all fell apart on 32 minutes. A poor, defensive mistake by defender Osa Obanwonyi, who failed to clear the ball with a header just inside the Iron half, gifting Daniel Fitchett a clear run through to drive the ball past McDonald.
But it went from bad to worst for the Iron a minute into the second half which effectively killed off any slim hopes they had to getting something from the game.
Again defensive errors saw a cross allowed to come in from the right wing and a very poor clearance by McDonald saw the ball fall straight to the feet of Daniel Green who promptly lashed it into the top corner of the net.
As the half continued the Iron did at least compete, but the game was gone. Their only consolation coming on 65 minutes when Wealdstone defender Taofiq Olomowewe rose like a salmon from a left wing corner to head past his own keeper.
Iron huffed and puffed late on but lacked that final cutting edge in front of goal and the home side in the end ran out winners, grateful for the Iron's defensive frailties for their three points.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Bettache, Gabriel, Obanwonyi, Ellul; Wyatt (Bihmoutine 84), Crook, Frimpong, Wynter (Barrington 52); Oliyide, Percil (Roberts 47). Unused subs: Baxter, Allen. Referee: Lee Brannan. Attendance: 861.

Wealdstone preview
Sat 2 December 2017 - Wealdstone v Braintree T
Last season Wealdstone finished 8th in the National League South on 66 points. Their home record last season was P 21 W 7 L 7 D 7 GF 30 GA 31 Pts 28. Their home record this season is: P 9 Won 6 Lost 2 Drawn 1 GF 15 GA 8 Pts 19. Last 4 home League results: Won 1-0 v Hungerford T, Won 2-1 v Truro C, Won 2-1 v Whitehawk, Won 4-0 v Poole T. Top scorers this season: Abobakar Eisa - 8 (1p), Danny Green - 6 (4p), Matt Whichelow - 4
Braintree T last 4 away League games: Won 0-3 v Poole T, Drew 1-1 v Bath C, Won 1-3 v Gloucester C, Won 0-1 v Concord R. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Phil Roberts - 12, Karl Oliyide - 8, Billy Crook (4p) - 6. Braintree Town are currently in 2nd place on 35 points, Wealdstone are 11th on 28 points.
The Stones have won their last 5 home games and are unbeaten at The Vale since 19 August. For the second Saturday running the Iron come up against one of last season's full backs with Jerome Okimo lining up for the hosts. Braintree meanwhile has fared better on the road recently and but still have players out with injury. I envisage a close low scoring game as our hosts currently have the third best home record in the League whilst we have the third best away record. David Bland

Talking to Mahrez Bettache
Playing in front of 57,000 in Brazil
DOB: 22/11/93 (24) Born: Kouba, Algeria
Previous clubs: Fulham U18, Corinthian Casuals, Hendon T
Position: Midfield
Q. What is your job?
A. Football Coach/School TA
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Zinedine Zidane
Q. What is your favourite food/meal?
A. Traditional couscous
Q. What is your favourite TV programme?
A. Game of Thrones
Q. You had 8 years at Fulham, who did you play with that's now in the League football?
A. Cauley Woodrow, I also trained quite a bit with the first team
Q. Who has been the best coach you have worked with?
A. Mark Pembridge at Fulham
Q. Which managers were at Fulham during your time and who let you go; what were your thoughts on leaving?
A. Chris Coleman was there when I first joined; Martin Jol was in charge when I was released. At the time it was a shock because I had been promised so many things. I had to get back to reality, go down a few leagues and play some proper football.
Q. How did you come to sign for Braintree?
A. Erroll contacted me on Twitter and I knew a few lads from Hendon Karl & Scott.
Q. You had to wait a while for your debut, how do you think you've done so far?
A. I think that I've adapted well to the position. I'm taking every game as it comes, learning and enjoying it
Q. You've had a run in the team at right back/wing back, is this a new position for you, would you play there regularly?
A. I've always enjoyed playing on the right flank, so yes
Q. Who is the best player you've come up against?
A. Renato at Corinthians, Brazil. Played against him in a pre-season friendly for Corinthian Casuals in front of 57000 fans
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - 1v1, passing and range of passing. Weakness - strength
Q. At what level would you like to be playing in 3 years' time?
A. I'd like to play as high as possible and be a full time professional in the Football League
Q. Who is the best/worst trainer?
A. Best - Billy Crook. Worst - Karl Oliyide
Q. Who is the fittest player at the club?
A. Jon Muleba
Q. What has been your favourite Braintree goal so far?
A. Phil's second against Gloucester or Roman's against Hungerford
Q. What has been the most disappointing part of the season so far?
A. Playing well and not killing teams off. Lapses in concentration, conceding goals making it harder for ourselves
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Pep Guardiola, he's a tactical genius and improves any player. I've also have to mention Brad who has helped me a lot
Q. Where will Braintree finish?
A. Top three

Iron drawn at home in the Trophy First Round
Braintree to play Brackley, again!
Braintree Town have been drawn at home to Brackley Town in this season's Buildbase FA Trophy First Round. The two sides have already met in an FA competition earlier this season when Iron were humbled 4-1 at St James Park in a FA Cup Third Qualifying Round tie at the end of September. Brackley reached the First Round courtesy of a thumping four-goal victory over North Division leaders Salford City, while Iron progressed past Cray Wanderers 3-0. The First Round match will be played on Saturday, 16th December, with kick-off at 3pm.

Braintree graft to progress
Iron through to competition proper
Braintree Town secured a place in the competition proper of this season's Buildbase FA Trophy competition on Saturday, but only after having to work hard to overcome an enterprising Cray Wanderers side at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on Saturday.
The visitors from Kent, two steps beneath Iron in the footballing pyramid and plying their trade in the Isthmian League's South Division, were more than a match for Braintree as the two sides turned around goal-less at the interval.
The opening goal came just after the hour mark and was well constructed on the break. Billy Crook swept out a long diagonal pass to Ricky Gabriel, he went forward, playing the ball inside to Roman Michael-Percil who played a quick one-two with Phil Roberts and cut back for Karl Oliyide to hit home from close range through the Cray 'keepers legs.
It was two-nil after 76 minutes when a move down the right flank saw Roberts play in a fine cross for Marcel Barrington to meet and sweep home at the far post from ten yards out.
Substitutions were made with Matt Baxter coming on for Michael-Percil and he was soon on the score sheet. With seven minutes remaining, another break saw Baxter get in on the right side of the area and although outnumbered and with only Roberts in support; Baxter managed to shift the ball to his right foot and drill a low shot across the 'keeper into the far corner for a slightly flattering three-goal winning margin.
After the match Manager Brad Quinton was pleased to be through: "Credit to Cray they worked hard first hard and I had to remind the lads how I wanted them to play at half time. They listened and we scored three good goals. We can now look forward to a clear week to prepare for next Saturday."
The draw for the First Round will take place at Wembley Stadium at Monday lunchtime and we hope to have news of our opponents as soon as it is known here on the Club website. Next up for Iron is a return to Vanarama National League football next Saturday, 2nd December, and a trip to Wealdstone.

Cray Preview
Sat 25 November 2017 - Buildbase FA Trophy 3rd Round Qualifying - Braintree T v Cray Wanderers
Cray Wanderers are currently in 4th place in the Bostick South Division on 34 points. Their away record this season is: P 10 Won 5 Lost 1 Drawn 4 GF 17 GA 3 Pts 19. Last 4 away League results: Won 0-7 v East Grinstead T, Drew 1-1 v Hastings U, Won 0-1 v South Park, Drew 0-0 v Sittingbourne. In the FA Trophy so far they have overcome Horsham 8-0, Grays A 0-2 after a home 2-2 draw and Moneyfields 4-1 following an away 1-1 draw. Top scorers this season: Michael Power - 15 (5 pens), Freddie Parker - 6 (2 pens).
Braintree Town last 4 home League games: Drew 1-1 v Truro C, Lost 0-1 v Weston-Super-Mare, Won 3-0 v Bognor Regis T, Lost 1-3 v Havant & W. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Phil Roberts - 12, Karl Oliyide - 7, Billy Crook (4p) - 6
Braintree Town are currently in 2nd place in the National League South on 35 points. Joe Ellul is ineligible as he has played for Billericay already in the competition. Cray W are having a good season in the Bostick South with games in hand over the three clubs currently above them. They are averaging 2 goals a game overall and have an excellent away record with only one defeat to date. Their top scorer will be known to Iron fans and will be one to watch out for. But scoring goals is only part of their success; a mean defence, which includes former Iron right back, Barney Williams; has seen them concede only 3 goals on their travels. So a potential banana skin awaits for the Iron who have shown more inconsistency of late. Replay on Wednesday anyone?

Talking to Osa Obamwonyi
Falling asleep with the Mafia
DOB: 29/5/91 (26) Born: London
Previous clubs: Fisher A, Dulwich H, Bognor Regis, Staines, Waltham F, Tooting & M, Sutton U, Billericay T, Dulwich H
Position: Centre Back
Q. What is your job?
A. Musician (Rapper)
Q. Who do you support?
A. Manchester U
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Currently - Phil Jones
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Instagram & Twitter - follow various players
Q. What do you enjoy doing away from the game?
A. Watching other games both non-league & professional
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - 1v1 defending, heading. Long range left foot finishes (Osa had been outscoring everyone in a training drill). Weakness - concentration
Q. How did you come to Braintree?
A. Mark Okoye is a good friend who I played with at Merstham and he brought me to Brad's attention
Q. Which striker has given you the most problems?
A. Hugo Rodallega, former Fulham striker. I played against him in a friendly for Staines.
Q. Which Braintree player do you find the hardest to mark in training matches?
A. Marcel Barrington - he's quick, skilful, clever and strong. A good all-rounder like Lukaku
Q. Who do you sit with on away trips, how do you pass the time?
A. Mark Okoye - put on a mafia documentary and fall asleep
Q. The defence has come under some scrutiny this season; do you think that's fair and how has it improved?
A. Yes it's fair. Everyone now defending for their life. Defend first not try to be pretty on the ball
Q. Which of your team mates do you see playing in the Football League in the next 3 years?
A. A few - Mahrez Bettache, Ben Wyatt and Jon Muleba
Q. What annoys you in the game?
A. Refs awarding fouls against me when I've used my strength to win the ball against a weaker opponent
Q. Which player would do well on a TV quiz show?
A. Billy Crook, not for his brains but for common knowledge
Q. Do any of the squad have a good singing voice?
A. Yes Marcel Barrington & Mark Okoye
Q. If you could go out for a drink with anyone from football, who would it be and why?
A. Phil Roberts, he's a good guy, cool. Has good music taste
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Pep Guardiola - makes you a better, fitter player. Gives you a better understanding of the game
Q. Where will Braintree finish?
A. First

Cray in the Trophy on Saturday
Kick-off 3pm
Following their Second Round Qualifying replay victory over Moneyfields on Wednesday evening, we will now be at home to Bostik League Southern Division side Cray Wanderers in Saturday's Third Round Qualifying tie.
Kick-off at 3pm and season tickets are not valid for this match, as the game is a FA Trophy tie and the gate receipts are shared.
Cray saw their first attempt to play last Saturday week postponed by a waterlogged pitch. The re-arranged match finished 1-1 last Tuesday evening with Moneyfields taking the lead just before half time and Cray equalising halfway through the second half. The replay on Wednesday evening saw Cray take a first half lead through Mitchell Nelson, a lead they maintained until visitors Moneyfields levelled seven minutes after the break through Ryan Pennery. But Michael Frieter restored Cray's advantage three minutes later before two penalties from Michael Power on 71 and 87 minutes secured their progress.
If we draw on Saturday, the replay will be at Cray's current Bromley FC home on Wednesday, 29th November - more details on page 15 of Saturday's programme.

Cray hopeful of playing tonight
Iron to meet the winners on Saturday
We've just spoken with the Cray Wanderers Secretary, following the electrical problems that led to the postponement of Bromley's National League match last night.
He advised that the problem is not inside the stadium but with the supply to the site. Electricians are on site this morning and hope to have the problem rectified by 1pm to allow their match to go ahead this evening as planned.
If the problems cannot be resolved, their game may be re-arranged for tomorrow (Thursday) evening.
More news when we have it.

As you were at the top
Iron and Truro cancel each other out
Second placed Braintree Town and third placed Truro City shared the spoils following a 1-1 draw at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on Tuesday evening.
After a bright opening from Iron, they gifted the lead to their Cornish visitors ten minutes before the break. Truro's Cody Cooke pouncing on a stray pass between Iron defenders to break through one on one with an exposed Nathan McDonald who could do little to deny Cooke's low shot.
But Iron upped their game further after the break and were level on 50 minutes. Phil Roberts broke through on the right, raced to the goal-line before pulling the ball back for Roman Michael-Percil who netted the equaliser from close range.
Both sides played their part in an entertaining game thereafter, but neither could break the deadlock and had to settle for a point on an evening when all of the top five drew.
Iron therefore remain second and can now look forward to Saturday's Buildbase FA Trophy Third Round Qualifying tie against either Cray Wanderers or Moneyfields who have their Second Round Qualifying replay this evening at Bromley's Hayes Lane ground.
Braintree Town: McDonald, Bettache, Gabriel, Ellul, Okoye, Frimpong (Bihmoutine 59), Michael-Percil (Oliyide 81), Crook, Roberts (Wynter 71), Barrington, Wyatt. Subs not used: Obamwonyi, Baxter. Referee: Josh Smith. Attendance: 466.

Truro Preview
Can Iron bounce back?
Tues 21 November 2017 - Braintree T v Truro C
Last season Truro C finished 19th in the National League South on 40 points. Their away record last season was: P 21 Won 4 Lost 15 Drew 2 GF 24, GA 58 Pts 14. Their away record this season is: P 8 Won 5 Lost 2 Drawn 1 GF 13 GA 8 Pts 16. Last 4 away League results: Won 0-1 v Hungerford T, Lost 2-1 v Wealdstone, Won 1-2 v East Thurrock U, Won 1-2 v Havant & Waterlooville. Top scorers this season: Cody Cooke - 8, Noah Keats - 7, Tyler Harvey - 5.
Braintree T last 4 home League games: Lost 0-1 v Weston-Super-Mare, Won 3-0 v Bognor Regis T, Lost 1-3 v Havant & W, Won 5-0 v Hungerford T. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Roberts - 12, Oliyide - 7, Crook (4p) - 6, Allen & Wynter - 3. Braintree Town are currently in 2nd place on 34 points, Truro City are in 3rd on 33 points. Suspension news: Despite a smattering of yellow cards on Saturday no suspensions for Tuesday's match. Tyler Campbell has been released.
Truro City have already surpassed last season's away efforts when they chalked up their fifth away win last time out at Hungerford Town. They are also only 7 points off their whole 2016/17 season total in less than half the games. So it will be a much improved and in form team of White Tigers, with only one defeat in their last eleven league games, testing the Iron. Braintree meanwhile suffered their second home defeat in the last three games at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium where they also failed to score for the first time this season. This is Truro's game in hand over Braintree so the Iron will be looking to distance themselves from their opponents and could secure an early return to the top of the National League South table.

IRON SECOND BEST TO WESTON
Visiting keeper wearing orange causes confusion
Iron can have no complaints about a surprise home defeat that saw them slip from the top as league and it was because the more workmanlike visitors played far the better football for most of the afternoon and deserved all three points.
With their star man Naby Diallo running the show from midfield, Weston-super-Mare passed the ball better, had far more movement up and down the field and created more clearcut goal chances and they could have won by a bigger margin.
The only goal of the game came on 51 minutes when defender Ashley Harper picked up one of many loose balls coming out of the home defence and he neatly drove the ball straight back into the far bottom of the home net.
Iron huffed and puffed but rarely looked likely to score leaving manager Brad Quinton frustrated at the end adding: "They moved the ball better and we simply didn't get into the game as we should and created more problems at their end.
"I'm really disappointed particularly with some individual performances and were really poor in the second half and then out of frustration started to hoof long balls forward and that isn't our game," he said. "We like to play a high tempo passing game but we didn't really get started and perhaps some of the younger players were feeling the pressure on them being league leaders."
The Iron created little in the first half and even less so in the second half and although any neutral watching would have been concerned by the performances of the match officials who booked four Iron players and three visiting players when there wasn't a really bad tackle all afternoon.
Iron did get the ball into the net on 32 minutes when a Phil Roberts shot was only parried by keeper Luke Purnell and Karl Oliyide poked home the rebound - only to be flagged offside.
With the visiting keeper allowed play the first half in an orange shirt, clashing with the Iron players' colours, it was little wonder the assistant referee with the Iron attack seemed to be confused and flagged for offside when the players appeared to be in onside positions. Common-sense prevailed and the Weston keeper changed his shirt at half time but, with many spectators also confused, it really shouldn't have been allowed to occur from the first kick off.
All that aside the Iron were second best, particularly in that second half with passes going astray and nobody taking control of the midfield allowing the visitors to command the match.
"They had better movement and good formation base but we simply didn't respond and several players failed to perform as they can," added Quinton. "We will talk it through and get ready for a much improved performance against Truro at home on Tuesday."
That game kicks off at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium at 7.45pm
Braintree Town: McDonald, Bettache, Frimpong, Okoye, Elull; Bihmoutine, Crook, Wyatt, Wynter (Michale-Percil 64); Roberts (Barrington 72), Oliyide (Gabriel 87). Unused subs: Baxter, Obamwonyi. Attendance 452. Referee Jason Richardson.

WESTON PREVIEW
Sat 18 November 2017 - Braintree T v Weston-Super-Mare
Last season Weston-Super-Mare finished 15th in the National League South on 48 points. Their away record last season was: P 21 Won 8 Lost 11 Drew 2 GF 30, GA 34 Pts 26. Their away record this season is: P 9 Won 1 Lost 3 Drawn 5 GF 14 GA 21 Pts 8. Last 4 away League results: Won 3-4 v East Thurrock U, Drew 2-2 v Concord R, Drew 1-1 v Hemel Hempstead T, Drew 3-3 v Oxford C. Top scorers this season: Dayle Grubb - 13, Gethyn Hill - 7, Jake Lee & Jake Reid - 4.
Braintree T last 4 home League games: Won 3-0 v Bognor Regis T, Lost 1-3 v Havant & W, Won 5-0 v Hungerford T, Drew 1-1 v Welling. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Roberts - 12, Oliyide - 7, Crook (4p) - 6, Allen & Wynter - 3. Braintree Town are currently in 1st place on 34 points, W-S-M are 13th on 24 points.
W-S-M now has the division's leading scorer in Dayle Grubb and are unbeaten in their last four League games, securing their first away win last time out on the road. Iron meanwhile have returned to form in their last two outings scoring six and securing two clean sheets for Nathan in the process. A chance to reinforce their status as League Leaders before next week's re-arranged fixture with fellow promotion contenders Truro City. Saturday sees two of the division's top three goalscorers in action. Braintree have scored 37 so far, whilst Weston-super-Mare have netted 34 - so no chance of a nil-nil, surely?

A PIECE OF IRON HISTORY
There are just fifteen available
We're offering a unique opportunity to get hold of one of only fifteen shirts available. Following the three-nil victory at Poole Town to take the Iron clear at the top of the table on Armistices Day November 11th, the special shirts were worn by the players bearing the remembrance poppy, we have decided to take the opportunity to make these available to the fans.
AND AT THE SAME TIME RAISE SOME FUNDS, WITH THE PROFITS BEING SPLIT EQUALLY BETWEEN ...
The British Legion Poppy Appeal and funds to help Brad and the lads maintain their position at the summit!
Priced at just £45 these are the actual shirts worn by the squad so far this season together with the sponsors' logos front and back and the Vanarama National League sleeve decals. Now with the addition of the poppy!
Each numbered shirt will be signed by the player wearing it on November 11th.
You can select and purchase this only by going on line to the link:
https://www.andreascartersports.co.uk/club-shops/braintree-town-f-c/match-worn-poppy-shirts/
Your shirt will be posted to you, or you can use the click and collect option and either collect from Andreas Carter Sports in Stanway, or from the Club Shop on match days.

Iron drawn at home in the Buildbase FA Trophy
Braintree to play the winners of tomorrow night's re-arranged match
Braintree Town have been drawn at home to the winners of next Wednesday evening's Second Qualifying Round replay between Evo-Stik Southern League Division One South-East side Moneyfields and Bostik Isthmian League Division One South side Cray Wanderers in this season's Buildbase FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round. The two sides saw their first attempt to play last Saturday postponed by a waterlogged pitch. The re-arranged match finished 1-1 last Tuesday evening with Moneyfields taking the lead just before half time and Cray equalising halfway through the second half. The replay is this coming Wednesday evening, 22nd November, with kick-off at 7.45pm - news of our opponents will be on the Club website as soon as the result is known. The Third Qualifying Round match will be played on Saturday, 25th November, with kick-off at 3pm.

Iron move three points clear
Division's top scorers hit the top again
A thoroughly professional second half performance by the Iron ensured they returned home from this game at the Black Gold Stadium with all three points and eased themselves back to the top of the league.
It was an impressive display which delighted Iron manager Brad Quinton who said: "It's important to come to grounds like this and get the right result and equally to go home with another clean sheet.
"It was a tremendous all round team performance because we played some good football throughout," he said. "We should have come in leading at half time with the possession and movement we had and it was crucial that we kept our discipline.
"The second half showed what we are capable of with excellent defending when needed and moving the ball forward with our passing game," he said. "We won comfortably in the end but we should have scored more goals in that second half."
Quinton made one change from the previous week's winning side against Bognor Regis with new signing Joe Ellul from Billericay Town coming in at the three-man backline replacing Osa Obamwonyi.
"I think Joe did exceptionally well fitting in without really knowing his fellow defenders and again playing three at the back with the wing-backs able to push forward at every opportunity paid off," he added.
Iron controlled most of the first half with both Karl Oliyide and Phil Roberts going close before defender Marc Okoye moved up for a corner only to see his header come back off the woodwork.
Iron were helped on 49 minutes when home defender Will Spetch was shown a second yellow card for hauling down Dernell Wynter and ten minutes later it was Wynter who opened the scoring.
Home keeper Nick Hutchings managed to parry away shots from first Roberts and then Oliyide but Wynter was on hand to pick up the third rebound to drive the ball into the net.
It was no more than Iron deserved for all their promising endeavours up to then, although their rarely troubled keeper Nathan McDonald had to be alert on 67 minutes to tip a fierce free-kick from the home side onto the crossbar and behind for a corner.
Wanting that second goal to give them more breathing space it finally came with a finely taken shot on 75 minutes by wing-back Mahrez Bettache which went across the face of the goal and into the far corner off the inside of the far upright.
With the Iron now looking rampant every time they crossed the half way line it was not surprise when, three minutes later, Samir Bihmoutine sent a low cross in from the left wing to the edge of the penalty box where the unmarked Billy Crook side-footed into the net with Hutchings well beaten.
A good and fully deserved win on the day for Iron who eased three points clear at the top from the chasing pack.
Next up for the Iron is this coming Saturday when Weston-Super-Mare are the visitors to the IronmongeryDirect Stadium with kick-off at 3pm.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Frimpong, Okoye (Gabriel 74), Ellul; Battache, Wyatt, Crook, Bihmoutine, Wynter (Barrington 79); Roberts, Oliyide (Michael-Percil 65). Unused subs: Baxter, Muleba. Attendance: 470. Referee: Alex Blake (Waterlooville).

Brad adds Joe Ellul to squad
Central defender joins from Billericay
Braintree Town have signed 28-year old central defender Joseph Ellul following his release from Billericay Town. Joe Ellul left the New Lodge club in October, after 10 months at the club, having previously played for East Thurrock United who he left in January. Previously with Manager Brad Quinton at Enfield, Joe will be eligible for inclusion for tomorrow's trip to Poole.

Poole Preview
Sat 11 November 2017 - Poole T v Braintree T.
In 2016/17 Poole T finished 5th in the National League South on 71 points, but were refused admission into the end of season promotion play-off matches - having failed to secure the required ground grading. Their home record last season was: P 21 Won 12 Lost 3 Drew 6 GF 38, GA 19 Pts 42. Their home record this season is: P 8 Won 0 Lost 5 Drawn 3 GF 8 GA 16 Pts 3. Last 4 home League results: Drew 1-1 v Concord R, Lost 0-3 v Gloucester C, Drew 0-0 v Chelmsford C, Lost 2-4 Hemel Hempstead T. Top scorers this season: Warren Bentley - 11, Steve Devlin & Jez Bedford - 3.
Braintree T last 4 away League games: Drew 1-1 v Bath C, Won 1-3 v Gloucester C, Won 0-1 v Concord R, Lost 4-3 v Hemel Hempstead T. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Roberts - 12, Oliyide - 7, Crook (4p) - 5, Allen - 3. Braintree Town are currently in 2nd place on 31 points, Poole T are 18th on 17 points. Suspension news: Mark Okoye & Ricky Gabriel are on 4 yellow cards. Poole Town were very strong on their home patch last year conceding only 19 goals; so it's somewhat surprising that they head into the game against the Iron with no home victories and 15 goals already conceded. They have one of the League's top scorers in Warren Bentley, who joined them from Hungerford Town in September. Iron will be buoyed by their second half display against Bognor Regis last Saturday playing with three centre backs. Injuries forced a re-shuffle in that game. Injuries are beginning to take their toll on the squad and players are stepping up looking to cement a place in Brad's thoughts!

Talking to Roman Michael-Percil
All about his pace and trickery
DOB: 28/2/95 (22) Born: London
Previous Clubs: Tottenham H, Concord R, Billericay, Farnborough, Grays A, Met Police, Dulwich H
Position: Winger
Q. What is your job?
A. School Teacher
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Thierry Henry
Q. What was the last gig you went to?
A. Migos
Q. What has been your favourite holiday destination?
A. Kos
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. Boleyn Ground former home of West Ham U
Q. What made you choose Braintree?
A. Brad - played against his teams in the past, like his style and it was a step up
Q. You were injured during pre-season, how did you cope with that?
A. I damaged my ankle ligaments against Southend. It was tough as I'd been flying pre-season and missed the rest of it. Everyone else was doing well, there was nothing I could do and I didn't like not being in control
Q. You scored your first goal against Hungerford, have you scored many better?
A. No, I think that was my best goal
Q. Do you set yourself a goal target, how many do you think you can score this season?
A. My best scoring tally was 14 in half a season for Met Police, I'm aiming for that number again
Q. Where is your preferred playing position?
A. Right wing
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - pace & trickery. Weakness - heading
Q. Who did you play with in your Spurs days?
A. Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Kyle Walker-Peters
Q. Who had had the biggest influence on your career to date?
A. John McDermott, he took me from Leyton Orient in my scholarship days to Spurs
Q. Who is the biggest moaner at the club?
A. Ricky Gabriel
Q. Who is the best/worst dressed?
A. Best - Phil Roberts, he tries hard. Worst - was Alfred, now Christian
Q. How do you pass the time on long away trips?
A. Listen to music, play cards with Billy, Mark
Q. Would you be up for taking a penalty in a penalty shot out?
A. 100%, I scored 5 out of 6 at Met Police
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Pep Guardiola; best philosophy I've seen, also improves players
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. No less than play-offs. Want to finish top!

Iron move level with leaders
Braintree have to work hard to overcome enterprising Bognor
Iron moved level on points with leaders Dartford after an ultimately comfortable three goal-win over a Bognor Regis side that impressed, determined to play entertaining football for the duration.
It was an impressive home performance by the Iron that left manager Brad Quinton 'absolutely delighted' with his side's response after the previous week's home defeat and they ran out deserved winners on the day.
The Iron had the best start possible with striker Darnell Wynter scoring in the first minute, cutting in from the left wing to fire a great 20-yard shot into the far corner of the net.
The young Bognor Regis side fought back well and played some great approach football but it all kept fizzling out in the final quarter against a strong Iron defence that showed far more composure and unity than in their previous game.
The turning point of the game came on 53 minutes great piece of football when Samir Bihmoutine's pinpoint left wing cross fell straight at the feet of Karl Oliyide who fired a fine first-time shot into the net off a post giving the Iron a healthy 2-0 lead.
It was always then going to be difficult for the visitors as the Iron controlled the game with some good passing moves up the field and the only surprise for home fans is that they had to wait until the fourth of seven minutes of added before they scored a third.
It was a superbly taken goal by substitute Marcel Barrington who broke clear from the half way line, brushing aside two defenders before driving a powerful shot into the roof of the net giving keeper Dan Lincoln no chance.
Fourteen minutes before full time Barrington had missed an equally good opportunity to score when running through unchallenged towards the visitors' goal but keeper Lincoln pulled off a great save to deny the young striker.
A satisfied Quinton said: "It was a much all round improved performance after the previous week and the response I wanted from my players and crucially we kept a clean sheet.
"There was more energy about us right throughout the side, much better pass and movement and we could have scored more goals," he said. "I'm glad Darnell scored because he's been frustrating. I know what he can do but he has struggled and the goal gave him the ideal lift."
He added: "We had a thorough sort out during the week's training sessions where it was case of going back to basics in most respects. We effectively played with three at the back in this game and the system worked well for us and shows you adapt your style sometimes from game to game.
"I liked the football we played and we created several goal scoring chances," he said. "But fans must realise that we are still a young side and still learning and that all takes time."
Next up for the Iron is the long trip to Poole Town on Saturday for another league game, kick off 3pm.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Bettache, Frimpong, Obamwonyi, Okoye; Wyatt, Crook, Bihmoutine (66 Campbell); Oliyide (72 Barrington), Roberts (88 Baxter). Unused subs: Gabriel, Michael-Percil. Attendance: 491. Referee: Wayne Cartmel.

Bognor Regis Preview
Sat 4 November 2017 - Braintree T v Bognor Regis T
In 2016/17 Bognor Regis T were runners-up of the Isthmian Premier League with 92 points. They were promoted to the National League South after overcoming Dulwich H in the play-off final. Their away record last season was: P 23 Won 12 Lost 5 Drew 6 GF 41, GA 25 Pts 42. Their away record this season is: P 8 Won 0 Lost 4 Drawn 4 GF 8 GA 17 Pts 4. Last 4 away League results: Drew 1-1 v Truro C, Lost 3-1 v Dartford, Lost 3-1 v Hemel H T, Lost 3-0 v Wealdstone. Top scorers this season: Ollie Pearce & Jimmy Muitt - 5
Braintree T last 4 home League games: Lost 1-3 v Havant & W, Won 5-0 v Hungerford T, Drew 1-1 v Welling, Won 1-0 v St Albans C. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Roberts - 12, Oliyide - 6, Crook (4p) - 5, Allen - 3. Braintree Town are currently in 4th place on 28 points, Bognor Regis T are 19th on 12 points.
Following on from last Saturday's promoted Isthmian League champions; we now face the runners-up Bognor Regis Town. The Rocks were also very strong on the road last season, but have yet to register a victory on their travels this season. Having said that, away from home, they have played most of the top eight teams.
They have former Iron man Ibra Sekajja in their ranks who made two appearances for us in 2015/16. So far, he has scored 2 goals in 3 appearances for them.
A mixed bag of results in October saw the Iron claim 4 points from a possible 9, surrendering their unbeaten home record last weekend. With 2 further home games this month and a visit to Poole next week, Brad will want the boys to rediscover their fortress Ironmongery Direct Stadium form pretty quickly.

Talking to Ben Wyatt
Life at Norwich City
DOB: 4/2/1996 (21) Born: Norwich
Previous clubs (L=Loan): Norwich C, Ipswich T, Maldon & Tiptree, Colchester U, Concord R (L)
Position: Midfield/Left Back/Wing back
Q. What is your job?
A. Personal Trainer
Q. Who do you support?
A. Norwich C
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Ashley Cole
Q. What was the last album you bought?
A. Ed Sheeran
Q. How do you relax away from the game?
A. Watch films/TV, socialise with mates
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - Up and down, 1v1 defending, tackling. Weakness - my size
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. Stamford Bridge/Anfield
Q. Who has been the best coach or manager so far in your career?
A. Neil Adams at Norwich/Brad
Q. You were an FA Youth Cup winner with Norwich in 2013, are any of those players now in professional football?
A. Josh & Jacob Murphy, Cameron McGeehan
Q. You beat Chelsea in that final, who was in their ranks?
A. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Nathan Ake
Q. Where do you see yourself playing in 3 years' time?
A. I'd like to be playing as high as I can in the Football League - Championship
Q. Why did you opt for Braintree?
A. We're a young side, Good aspirations - pushing for title, style of football
Q. You've been getting some very complimentary tweets, how do you think you've done so far?
A. I've been pleased with my performances, I've come in and done what I've been asked to do and been consistent.
Q. What is your preferred position?
A. Wing back
Q. What has been the greatest disappointment of your career to date?
A. Initial release from Norwich when I was 18. I'd been there 8 years. Chris Hughton released me and was sacked shortly afterwards
Q. Who do you turn to for advice in the game?
A. My Dad, discuss things with players I've previously played with
Q. Would you be up for taking a penalty in a penalty shoot-out?
A. Yes - not taken one since I was at school!
Q. Who has been the most difficult opponent you've come up against?
A. I came up against Raheem Stirling in a training game
Q. Who is the best left back in England at the moment?
A. Danny Rose at Spurs
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Pochettino at Spurs - he gives the younger players a go
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. Champions

Trio of spot kicks sink Iron
Defensive mistakes gift visitors three points
Iron boss Brad Quinton is hopeful of signing on Tuesday a 30 year-old midfielder with Football League experience to bolster his young side and help them to regain top spot they which lost after defeat to Havant & Waterlooville at Cressing Road on Saturday.
"I'm hoping it will all happen and he will give some much needed strength in midfield," said Quinton who described this defeat as "a bitter pill to swallow."
"I am bitterly disappointed at the outcome particularly at giving away three penalties in the second half and some of my players were simply not at the races today. It's left a bitter taste in my mouth.
"I think some were clearly not fit enough although they said they were and you simply can't get away with that at this level of the game," he said. "It also means that their confidence goes when things start to go wrong and that's what happened in the second half and every player has to be fully fit - there's no hiding place."
"We did miss our injured skipper Marc Okoye in defence but overall our performance was poor and there will be changes," he warned.
In all reality the Iron were second best throughout most of this game and Quinton admits it highlighted the shortcomings he has in certain areas of the field.
The damage was done by a hat-trick of three second half penalties from visiting striker Jason Prior which was enough to ensure the visitors returned home with all three points and overall they deserved their win.
After a goal less first half Prior benefited from some dreadful individual mistakes by Iron defenders to convert his three penalties on 48, 53 and 78 minutes and although the Iron pulled a goal back courtesy of substitute Marcel Barrington on 66 minutes there was little doubt which team was going to win.
With Okoye injured Osa Obamwonyi came into defence, Jon Muleba returned from injury, Ben Wyatt replaced Samir Bihmoutine on the left of midfield and Mahrez Bettache moved up from full-back to wide midfielder.
The visitors though had clearly done their homework and stifled the Iron midfield from the start and they always looked the more dangerous going forward and they almost took the lead on 20 minutes when a left wing cross came off Ricky Gabriel, hit the foot of the Iron post before being cleared.
The second half started disastrously for the Iron from which they never recovered with first Obamwonyi conceding a penalty two minutes into the restart and four minutes later Muleba conceding another allowing Prior to score two quick goals from the penalty spot.
With substitutes Barrington and Roman Michael-Percil arriving on the hour the Iron had a brief spell of pressure on the visitors' rearguard, culminating with Barrington slotting the ball home from close range after excellent work on the left flank from provider Karl Oliyide.
But on 78 minutes it went all horribly wrong again for the Iron when a sloppy backpass on the edge of the area from Obamwonyi left keeper Nathan McDonald totally exposed and has he tried to grab the ball in doing so brought down Wes Fogden for the third penalty which former Bognor Regis striker Prior duly completed his hat-trick - his first ever just on penalties.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba , Frimpong, Obamwonyi, Gabriel; Wyatt (75 Campbell), Allen (60 Michael-Percil), Bettache; Roberts, (60 Barrington), Oliyide. Unused subs: Wynter, Bihmoutine. Referee: Lloyd Wood. Attendance: 511.

Havant & Waterlooville Preview
Sat 28 October 2017 - Braintree T v Havant & Waterlooville
In 2016/17 Havant & Waterlooville were champions of the Ryman Premier League with 94 points. Their away record last season was: P 23 Won 13 Lost 4 Drew 6 GF 39, GA 22 Pts 45. Their away record this season is: P 7 Won 4 Lost 1 Drawn 2 GF 9 GA 4 Pts 14. Last 4 away results: Lost 2-1 v Maidenhead U (FAC), Drew 1-1 v Concord R, Won 0-4 v Hayes & Yeading U (FAC), Lost 2-1 v St Albans C. Top scorers this season: Jason Prior - 8, Alfie Rutherford & Rory Williams - 3
Braintree T last 4 home games: Won 5-0 v Hungerford T, Drew 2-2 v Royston T (FA Cup), Drew 1-1 v Welling, Won 1-0 v St Albans C. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Roberts - 12, Oliyide - 6, Crook (4p) - 5, Allen - 3. Braintree Town are currently in 2nd place on 28 points, Havant & Waterlooville are 9th on 22 points. Suspension news: Alfred Mugabo didn't play at Bath C and remains on 4 yellow cards. Our visitors have only won once in their last 6 League games, but boast a strong away record with only one defeat to date. Three of their four away victories were by a one goal to nil margin and they have only conceded four so far on their travels. This follows on from their successful promotion campaign last season, when they were only beaten four times on the road. They have some experienced former Football League players on their books with the likes of Matt Tubbs, James Hayter, Brian Stock and Wes Fogden. The Iron meanwhile will be playing their first home League match in over a month. Their unbeaten home record will be put to the test by a side that looks to be very hard to beat. I'm going for a low scoring game, the first 0-0 anybody?

Talking to Christian Frimpong
not wearing flip-flops in the shower!
DOB: 13/11/98 (19) Born: Ghana
Previous clubs: Bristol C Academy, Reading Academy, Swindon T
Position: Centre Back
Q. Do you have another job?
A. Yes, I do work for Community Iron and also work in a warehouse
Q. Who do you support?
A. Manchester U
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Christiano Ronaldo
Q. You're on Twitter, who do you follow?
A. Ronaldo, Man U, BBC Sport. Ex-team mates follow me
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Drake
Q. Are you related to Emmanuel Frimpong who was at Arsenal?
A. No, just from same country
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - Strength, physical appearance, voice. Weakness - Decision making, awareness
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. Madejski Stadium, Reading
Q. How do you pass the time on away trips?
A. I sit on my own, listen to music, sleep, get some food inside me
Q. Why did you choose Braintree?
A. Want to help team get back to National League, get game time and experience, learn new skills
Q. You've been scouted by teams in the top 2 leagues of English football and had a taste of playing at professional clubs, where do you hope to be in 3 years' time?
A. Playing at the highest level I can in League football as a first team regular
Q. Which coach have you learned the most from?
A. My old Swindon T manager Alan McCormack
Q. You've been coaching youngsters in schools in Braintree, what do you enjoy about this?
A. I enjoy teaching kids new skills, ball control, catching & throwing
Q. How do the coaching sessions compare to your previous clubs?
A. It's more intense here, quicker with more ball work, the energy is better
Q. You were sent off against Chippenham, what did the manager say to you afterwards?
A. He thought second yellow was harsh, but that I shouldn't have put myself in that position and to learn from it
Q. Who is leading the way in player fines so far this season?
A. Me, Ricky & Jon
Q. What have you been fined for?
A. Lateness and not wearing flip-flops in the shower
Q. If you could play alongside any centre half in England, who would it be and why?
A. Gary Cahill, for his leadership, it would be an honour to learn from him
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Alex Ferguson because of his history and great things players say about him
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. Promoted either as champions or play-offs.

Nathan & Karl secure point at Bath
Penalty save and late leveller earn draw
Iron had to settle for a draw and a share of the points on a rain swept afternoon at Twerton Park on Saturday and it was mainly due to keeper Nathan McDonald for pulling off two brilliant reactionary second half saves.
The first was on 57 minutes when Marc-Anthony Okoye was rather harshly judged to have fouled home striker Nat Jarvis from a right wing cross.
But Marvin Morgan's spot was saved by McDonald's leg with the ball then striking the crossbar before being cleared.
Moments later cannon shot from home substitute George Rigg ricocheted off an Iron defender forcing McDonald to twist the opposite way he was diving to grab the ball on the line.
There was nothing the Iron keeper could do about City's opening goal on 79 minutes when again Rigg let fly with another shot which this time ricocheted off Iron's Billy Crook, the ball looping high over McDonald into the top corner of the net.
Credit to the Iron they came back strongly and deservedly equalised on 84 minutes when defender Christian Frimpong surged forward with the ball deep into the visitor's where Karl Oliyide drove the ball straight into the net.
The home side were reduced to ten men almost at final whistle and hard the Iron tried to muster a late winner they had to settle for a draw.
Iron boss Brad Quinton whilst pleased to have returned home with a point felt his side could have done enough to have won, particularly with the huge amount of possession they had in the first half.
"We knew it would be a hard game because they are a good side and we could have been in the lead before the break had Samir Bihmoutine's shot not come back off a post," he said. "But full credit to all the boys for digging in particularly after going a goal behind.
"Our first touch was a bit heavy and it showed we hadn't played as a team for two weeks and also some of the players understandably tired towards the end with the conditions but we were well worth our draw," he added.
"Nathan did brilliantly to save the penalty, which I think was unfairly given, and then followed up with another great save from another deflected shot," he said. "We could have even snatched a late winner too."
Braintree Town: McDonald; Battache, Gabriel (Wyatt 67), Frimpong, Okoyo; Bihmoutine (Campbell 94), Allen, Crook, Michael-Percil (Barrington 71); Roberts, Oliyide. Unused subs: Wynter, Obanwonyi. Attendance: 842. Referee: Ben Cooke.

Bath City Preview
Can Iron maintain the push for a play-off place
Sat 21 October 2017 - Bath C v Braintree T
In 2016/17 Bath C finished in 9th place in the National League South on 62 points. Their home record last season was: P 21 Won 10 Lost 6 Drew 8 GF 41, GA 24. Their home record this season is: P 6 Won 2 Lost 2 Drawn 2 GF 7 GA 9 Pts 8. Last 4 home results: Drew 0-0 v Chelmsford C (FAC), Won 3-0 v Hemel Hempstead T (FA Cup), Drew 0-0 v Wealdstone, Won 6-0 v Knaphill (FAC). Top scorers this season: Jack Compton & Connor Lemonheigh-Evans - 3, Andy Watkins, Jamie Lucas, Marvin Morgan & Nathaniel Jarvis - 2
Braintree T last 4 away games: Won 1-3 v Gloucester C, Lost 4-1 v Brackley T (FA Cup), Won 1-2 (FAC) v Royston T, Won 0-1 v Concord R. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Roberts - 12, Oliyide & Crook (4p) - 5, Allen - 3
Braintree Town are currently in 1st place on 27 points, Bath C in 10th on 20 points. Suspension news: Alfred Mugabo is currently on 4 yellow cards.
Like our previous NLS hosts, (Gloucester C), Bath C also have a balanced won, lost, drawn sequence at home. Last season they had some big wins at Twerton Park, but so far this season in the League, they have struggled for goals on their home turf; whilst the Iron have only managed one clean sheet on their travels. With only 4 points separating us from 8th place Hemel, wins on the road are pivotal if you want a promotion play-off place. The Iron travel having not played the previous week, will they be slow out of the blocks or chomping at the bit?

Talking to Ricky Gabriel
From Antigua to Brimsdown
DOB: 24/6/1991 (26) Born: Bradford
Previous Clubs: Bournemouth, QPR, Los Angeles Blues, Antigua Barracuda, Dover A, Brimsdown, Enfield T
Position: Defender/Full Back
Q. What is your job?
A. I work in traffic management
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Thierry Henry
Q. Who is your favourite tv show?
A. How to get away with murder/ Black List
Q. What is your favourite food/meal?
A. Rice & chicken
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strength - defending 1v1, weakness - pass completion
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. The Hawthorns - West Bromwich A
Q. You're one of a set of triplets; do any of them play competitive football/what positions?
A. Yes, one of my brothers plays as a striker for Haringey Borough
Q. Tell me about Antigua Barracuda, where are they based?
A. They are in the USL pro-league. I originally went to the USA on the recommendation of a friend and signed for L.A. Blues, then moved for more money to Antigua B for one season
Q. You always seem to have a smile on your face, what is your football philosophy?
A. I'm happy to be playing, not a lot gets me angry
Q. Who has had the biggest effect on your career to date?
A. My Dad
Q. At what level do you think you can play?
A. Top level, I could play in the EFL now
Q. How have you found your time at Braintree so far, does it help having several ex-Enfield team mates?
A. I'm enjoying it, they're a good group of lads.
Q. Who do you sit with on away trips?
A. Roman Michael-Percil, Phil Roberts & Billy Crook
Q. Who is the dressing room joker?
A. Billy Crook
Q. In practice games, who is the trickiest player to mark?
A. Roman Michael-Percil
Q. Who is the best left back in English football at the moment?
A. Bernard Mendy at Man City
Q. If a cup tie went to penalties; would you be up for taking one?
A. Yes, I've taken them before, I'm a bit hit & miss
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Arsene Wenger, because he likes to play football
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. Top

Third successive league win puts Iron top
Braintree respond to conceding early
A stirring second half display from Iron saw them come back from a goal down to run out comfortable winners against Gloucester City at Evesham's Jubilee Stadium on Saturday and with the three points putting them top of the table for the first time this season.
It did take a frank half-time talking to by manager Brad Quinton to completely change the game with Iron showing far more tempo and playing with much more pace after the interval and they should have won by a bigger margin.
"I was certainly not happy with their first half performance and told them so in no uncertain terms at half time," said Quinton. "But credit to them all because they came back out with this time the right attitude and commitment playing the football I know they can play.
"We upped the tempo and dominated across the park and were in total control and really should have scored five or six goals," he added. "Their response was excellent but they should have done so in the first half."
With Jon Muleba out injured allowing Mahrez Bettache to make his full debut Quinton also dropped Osa Obanwonyi, Taylor Campbell and Roman Michael-Percil to the bench being replaced by Christian Frimpong, Samir Bihmoutine and Karl Oliyide.
Iron started well in the first quarter of an hour but it all went to pieces on 18 minutes when an uncharacteristic error at the back by skipper Marc Okoye gifted the ball straight to the feet of Karnell Chambers who didn't hesitate to skip free and drive the ball past exposed keeper Nathan McDonald.
For a while Iron struggled to get their game together although both Phil Roberts and Alfred Mugabo saw shots narrowly miss the target and on 36 minutes Billy Crook almost snatched an equaliser from a right wing cross from Mugabo but his header was just wide of the target.
With their ears burning from Quinton's half-time team-talk, Iron came out for the second half a totally different team with just one change of personnel that saw Mugabo replaced by Michael-Percil.
The effect was immediate as Iron were level on 47 minutes when Roberts was given a superb through ball by Oliyide and he strode clear to strike the ball into the net.
Four minutes later the Iron were in front when Roberts volleyed home a first time shot having been set up by Okoye who was making up for his earlier mistake for giving the home side the lead.
On 54 minutes, with Iron rampant and looking dangerous every time they cross the half way line, the game was effectively over as a contest when they again broke clear to escape the home defence and, from a Crook flick-on, Oliyide's quick, first-time shot hit the inside of the home side's post to almost break the net with its force.
Now completely dominating the game the Iron should have added more goals with first Roberts failing to complete his hat-trick with a lob shot over the stranded home keeper, then Michael-Percil, Luke Allen and substitute Campbell all squandering chances."Yes, it was a much better second half performance but we can't afford to start as sloppy as we did in this game, gifting the opposition a goal," added Quinton. "We just need to keep going, be consistent and show the commitment from the first whistle."
Braintree Town: McDonald; Bettache, Gabriel, Frimpong, Okoye; Mugabe (Michael-Percilo 45), Crook, Allen, Bihmoutine (Campbell 77); Oliyide, Roberts (Wynter 81). Unused subs: Grant, Obanwonyi. Referee: James Durkin. Attendance: 324.
Next up for Iron is an Essex Senior Cup third round tie at home to Southend Manor on Tuesday, kick off: 7.45pm.

Gloucester City Preview
Sat 7 October 2017 - Gloucester C v Braintree T
In 2016/17 Gloucester C finished in 10th place in the National League North on 64 points. Their home record last season was: P 21 Won 10 Lost 8 Drew 3 GF 41, GA 30. Their home record this season is: P 6 Won 2 Lost 2 Drawn 2 GF 6 GA 8 Pts 8
Last 4 home results: Lost 0-3 v Hungerford T (FA Cup), Drew 1-1 v Hampton & R, Lost 0-1 v Havant & W, Won 2-1 v Bath C. Top scorers this season: Ed Williams & Joe Parker - 4, Robbie Cundy - 2.
Braintree T last 4 away games: Lost 4-1 v Brackley T (FA Cup), Won 1-2 (FAC) v Royston T, Won 0-1 v Concord R, Lost 4-3 v Hemel Hempstead T. Top Braintree Town Scorers: Roberts - 10, Crook - 5 (4p), Oliyide - 4, Allen - 3. Braintree Town are currently in 2nd place on 24 points, Gloucester C in 13th on 15 points. Squad news: Scott Shulton has been released.
Gloucester C have not won in their last 5 games, whilst Braintree remain inconsistent on their travels, shipping early goals and periods of collapse in the second half of games. So far at home this season, the Tigers have an equal number of wins, draws & losses, so one of those must change. Their home wins have come against Bath C and Hemel Hempstead T, two teams that currently sit above them in mid-table. Brad will be looking for a response after last week's F.A. Cup exit. The stats show that the Iron remains a goal threat, but of their 17 goals conceded so far in the league, 13 have been on their travels. I wouldn't put any money on a 0-0 draw any time soon!

STOP PRESS - GLOUCESTER CITY FOR A FIVER
Gloucester City have announced plans for reduced admission for tomorrow's home game against Braintree Town, as part of Non-League Day 2017. Should you own a season ticket from any sporting club, you will be able to gain admission for just £5. Other admission prices are £13 Adults, £7 Concessions and free for those aged 12 and under.

Talking with Jon Muleba
Asking Zinedine Zidane why?
DOB: 4/9/1995 (22) Born: Bujumbura (Burundi)
Previous clubs: L=Loan - Chelsea (U18), Bournemouth (U21), Poole T (L), Gosport (L), Bishops Stortford (L), Enfield T
Position: Right Back
Q. What is your job?
A. Personal Trainer
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. Chipmunk
Q. What is your favourite meal?
A. Chinese takeaway
Q. What sort of things do you enjoy doing away from the game?
A. 10 pin bowling
Q. Who did you play with at Chelsea?
A. Ruben Loftus-Cheek & Nathan Ake
Q. Which coach has taught you the most?
A. Adrian Viveash, my Youth Team Coach at Chelsea
Q. What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
A. Never play within yourself
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - fitness & endurance. Weakness - heading
Q. You make a lot of runs down the right flank, do you do extra training?
A. Yes, I take my fitness very seriously
Q. Who have been the most difficult opponent so far this season?
A. East Thurrock U
Q. You've played at U20 level for the Democratic Republic of Congo, what was that like, do you hope to represent them at full international level?
A. It was unexpected and a very good experience. I played in Spain for them against Chile. I would like to go on and represent them at full international level
Q. At what level do you think you can play?
A. I'll be playing in the Premier League in a few years
Q. How do you sit with on away trips?
A. Alfred Mugabo
Q. The team seems to have gelled really quickly, why is that?
A. I think it's due to our backgrounds; we've had similar upbringings and the same foundations.
Q. Have you been fined and what for?
A. Yes, I'm on the fines committee. I've been fined for being late for training and for arriving late for games
Q. You recently scored your first goal for the club, what is your overall record like?
A. (laughs) I score one every couple of seasons; I'll score eight this season
Q. If you could question any footballer who would it be and what would you ask them?
A. Zinedine Zidane, why did he head butt Materazzi in the World Cup Final
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Pep Guardiola, for his philosophies. He's second to none
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. We're going for straight promotion

Truro visit postponed
Match to be rescheduled for a Tuesday evening before December
Following Braintree Town's exit in the Emirates FA Cup and Truro City's progression in the competition, the Vanarama National League South match at home to Truro City, originally scheduled for Saturday, 14th October, has now been postponed. The new date will be announced in due course.

Manner of Cup exit leaves BQ fuming
Early goal costs Iron
Iron were unceremoniously dumped out of the Emirates FA Cup at Brackley Town's St James Park on Saturday and they can have no complaints either following their worst performance of the season, one which left manager Brad Quinton fuming with anger at the final whistle.
Lacking commitment and desire from practically all of his players from the first whistle he declared: "I'm very, very angry and bitterly disappointed from what I received from my squad of players today.
"There was no effort, desire or determination from the whole team, most of all who really failed to turn up for the game," he continued. "We had a game plan which we had worked out beforehand but it all went out of the window from the off.
"It's very difficult to accept this kind of poor performance and me along with my staff now have to sit down and analyse everything and put it right because what went on today was totally unacceptable," he added. "The chance of a decent cup has now gone and the players are to blame but we have to put things right for our next league game."
Iron behind after just three minutes when Glenn Walker was given three successive chances to score with the visiting defence all at sea and drove the ball home at that third attempt past keeper Nathan McDonald.
With the Iron players showing no cohesion or determination both individually and collectively they were fortunate not have conceded a second goal on the half hour when Alex Gudger saw his header come off the post and cleared.
Any hope the Iron might salvage a draw completely disappeared within a two minute spell early in the second half when first the unmarked Luke Graham headed home from a right wing corner and almost immediately calamitous schoolboy defending by the Iron allowed right-back Ellis Myles to stride through and fire a shot straight at McDonald which the keeper should have saved.
It went from bad to worse for the Iron on 68 minutes when Aaron Williams again made light work of dreadful Iron defending to easily poke the ball into the net for the home side's fourth goal.
Despite Iron three Iron substitutions they hardly improved although late in the game Karl Oliyide came on and scored what was merely a consolation goal and much against the run of play.
There was relief at the final whistle for the loyal band of Iron supporters who had witnessed a poor display by their side and lucky that the home side had not won by an even bigger margin.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba (Frimpong 78), Gabriel, Obanwonyi. Okoye; Mugabo, Allen, Crook, Campbell (Grant 57); Michael-Percil (Oliyide 62). Roberts. Unused subs: Baxter, Bettache, Bihmoutine, Wynter. Attendance: 383. Referee: Tom Reeve.

Brackley Town Preview
Sat 30 September 2017 - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Qualifying
In 2016/17 Brackley Town finished in 7th place in the National League North on 73 points. Their home record last season was: P 21 Won 9 Lost 6 Drew 6 GF 27, GA 21 Pts 33. Their home record this season is: P 6 Won 4 Drawn 2 Lost 0 F 9 A 3 Pts 14. Last 4 home results: Drew 2-2 v Curzon A, Drew 0-0 v Tamworth, Won 2-0 v Kidderminster, Won 2-0 v Spennymoor T. Scorers this season: Armson - 6, Ndlovu - 4, Williams & Brown - 2, Walker, Graham., Lowe, Myles & OG - 1
Braintree T last away games: Won 1-2 (FAC) v Royston T, Won 0-1 v Concord R, Lost 4-3 v Hemel Hempstead T, Won 1-2 v Oxford C. Braintree Town Scorers: Roberts - 10, Crook - 5, Oliyide & Allen - 3, Shulton & Michael-Percil - 2, Wynter, Okoye, Maluba, Wyatt & OG - 1. In their respective Leagues, Braintree Town are currently in 2nd place on 24 points, Brackley Town in 3rd on 23 points.
Our hosts for the next game on the road to Wembley are high flying National League North contenders Brackley Town. There squad features several ex Solihull Moors players who were successful at this level previously. They are currently unbeaten at home and will certainly fancy their chances on their own patch. They progressed through the last qualifying round with a convincing 3-0 win at Kingstonian. Braintree overcame Royston Town in the previous round, drawing 2-2 at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium, before completing a 2-1 victory in the replay. With Shulton starting a three match ban following the red card he received in that replay, the door is open for someone to step forward and gain themselves a first team start. With Roberts goal tally now in double figures for the season and nine other players off the mark, can the Iron defence hold firm to secure progress?

Talking with Luke Allen
Importance of the third man!
DOB: 22/2/93 (24) Born: Basildon
Previous clubs (L=Loan): Cambridge U, Cambridge C (L), Hemel Hempstead T, St Albans C, Tonbridge A
Position: Midfield
Q. What is your job?
A. Senior Associate in finance.
Q. Who do you support?
A. Manchester U.
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Paul Scholes.
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Ed Sheeran.
Q. What is your favourite holiday destination?
A. Las Vegas.
Q. What do you enjoy doing away from the game?
A. I play golf.
Q. Why did you decide to join Braintree?
A. I wanted to play at a higher level and I like Brad's passing game.
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strength - third man run (Lampard goals), weakness - don't score enough headed goals.
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. M K Dons.
Q. Do you have a role model you base your game on?
A. When I was younger I enjoyed watching Lampard, Beckham & Scholes - goal scoring midfielders.
Q. You scored direct from a free kick against Whitehawk, who decides who is taking the kick?
A. I scored 6 last season for Tonbridge, it's me or Phil that will normally take them.
Q. Who has given you the best advice in your career to date?
A. When I was 19 at Cambridge City, their manager was Gary Roberts, he told me to play each game as it comes, enjoy my football and play with a smile.
Q. At what level do you think you can play?
A. I'd like to achieve playing in the Football League.
Q. Who is the funniest player at the club?
A. Billy Crook is funny, Osa for his funny personality.
Q. How does training here compare with previous clubs?
A. There are a lot more technical drills here.
Q. What have you made of the team's performances so far, what needs to improve?
A. We're playing some nice football. The lads have gelled well, just need to stop leaking goals. It was disappointing to lose at my former club Hemel.
Q. Who is the best and worst dresser?
A. Best - Phil Roberts, worst - Nathan McDonald.
Q. Who is the best passer at the club?
A. Billy Crook.
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Alex Ferguson, he had that winning mentality.
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. We're going for promotion, so top three.

County Cup News
Iron to host Southend Manor in October
Braintree Town have been drawn at home to Southend Manor in the Essex Senior Cup Third Round. Following the Club's return to the regional game, the Club will once again be treating this match as a first team fixture. The match has been scheduled for a fortnight on Tuesday, 10th October, kick-off at 7.45pm, with manager Brad Quinton looking to give squad members game time. Admission for this match will be reduced as follows: adults-£5, concessions-£3 and Under 18s-£2.

High Five for Braintree
Great saves from Nathan set up big win
Braintree Town moved up to second in the Vanarama National League South table after an impressive five-goal victory over visitors Hungerford Town at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on Saturday.
But the outcome could have been different if Iron keeper Nathan McDonald hadn't pulled off a couple of excellent saves early in the first half.
With just fourteen minutes on the clock, a corner from Hungerford's Louis Soares was met eight yards out by Gareth Thomas and his half-volley was brilliantly tipped over the bar by McDonald.
The visitors shaded the first half an hour, continued to press and McDonald had to be full stretch to hold a low drive from Soares.
But the tide turned in the 31st minute. Referee Will Finnie played the advantage as Roberts was upended in a neat interchange with Allen and Michael-Percil which ended with the latter rocketing the ball into the top right corner from all of 25 yards.
Four minutes later Roberts burst through the Hungerford defence and slipped the ball to Michael-Percil. He dribbled past two defenders before deftly finding the back of the net.
Four minutes before the interval the game was as good as over as a contest when Roberts lobbed Ward after Crook's quickly taken free kick.
After the break, the visitors tried to respond with a 58th minute triple substitution. But Braintree continued to dominate and, in the 67th minute, Jon Muleba capitalised on Read's error, feeding Roberts who finished coolly for the fourth goal.
Iron continued to torment the visitors defence and, with four minutes remaining, there was time for a fifth goal from Wyatt, stretching to convert after Ward had parried Wynter's initial effort.
Braintree manager Brad Quinton was pleased after the game: "Yes, delighted with the five goals and the play that led up to them. It was good to see the goals spread around the side. But we must also give a bit of praise to Nathan who made a couple of worldy saves to keep us in the game at 0-0. Had we conceded early on, the outcome could have been so different."
Iron remain a point of the leaders and can now turn their attention to next Saturday's Emirates FA Cup Third Round Qualifying tie at Brackley Town, kick-off 3pm.
Braintree Town: McDonald, Muleba, Gabriel, Obamwonyi, Okoye, Mugabo, Allen (Bettache - 72m), Crook, Roberts (Oliyide - 67m), Michael-Percil (Wynter - 75m), Wyatt. Unused Subs - Frimpong, Campbell. Hungerford Town: Ward, Tyler, Stonehouse, Herring (Rees - 58m), Read, Thomas, Clark (Simpson - 58m), Willmoth, Brown, Bignall (Lawrence - 58m), Soares. Unused Subs - Boardman, Beachamp. Referee: Will Finnie. Attendance 475.

Hungerford Preview
Last season's top six side visit
Sat 23 September 2017 - Braintree T v Hungerford T
In 2016/17 Hungerford Town finished in 6th place in the National League South on 70 points. Their away record last season was: P 21 Won 7 Lost 7 Drew 7 GF 30, GA 32 Pts 28. Their away record this season is: P 5 Won 2 Lost 2 Drawn 1 GF 6 GA 7 Pts 7. Last 4 away results: Won 0-3 (FAC) v Gloucester C, Won 1-2 v Bognor Regis T, Won 1-2 v Poole T, Lost 3-2 v Welling. Scorers this season: L Soares - 5, L. Hopper & N. Bignall - 2, J. Clark, L. Williams, S. Brown, S. Ngamvoulou, C. Willmoth & OG - 1.
Braintree T last four home games: Drew 1-1 (FAC) v Royston T, Drew 1-1 v Welling, Won 1-0 v St Albans C, Won 2-1 v Hampton & R. Braintree Town Scorers: Roberts - 8, Crook - 5 (4p), Oliyide & Allen - 3, Shulton - 2, Wynter, Okoye, Maluba & OG - 1. BraintreeTown are currently in 6th place on 21 points, Hungerford Town in 12th on 14 points.
Braintree's last league game in October brings the visit of Hungerford Town, who like their hosts have 7 points from a possible 12 in September. Whilst the Iron will not be able to equal the two points per game average of the opening month of the season, they are in amongst a group of 6 clubs separated by just one point at the top of the table.
The Iron have yet to win a game by more than one goal, but remain unbeaten at home. Chances have been a plenty at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium, we just need a few more of them to hit the back of the net. I feel that this could be yet again another tight encounter in this very competitive league.

Talking with Phil Roberts
who talks about the standard of Scottish football
DOB: 7/4/94 (23) Born: London
Previous clubs: (L=Loan) Norwich C U18, Arsenal, Inverness CT (L), Falkirk, Dundee, Alloa (L), Sligo R, Chelmsford C
Position: Striker
Q. Do you have another job?
A. No
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Thierry Henry
Q. You're on Twitter, who do you follow?
A. Hector Bellerin, my mate from Arsenal
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Drake
Q. What is your favourite holiday destination?
A. Albufeira (Portugal)
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. Celtic Park
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - speed/finishing. Weakness - defending
Q. Which manager/coach has taught you the most?
A. Steve Bould at Arsenal
Q. Which player has been your toughest opponent?
A. Virgil Van Dijk
Q. You were at Arsenal as a youth, who did you play with in those squads?
A. Jack Wilshere & Hector Bellerin
Q. You spent a few seasons playing in Scotland, what was that like, what was the standard of football like, would you go back there?
A. Yes it was a good standard which surprised me, would definitely go back there.
Q. How did you come to sign for Braintree?
A. I came here a few years ago when Danny Cowley was here; it was just before I moved to Falkirk. I remembered my time here and a few of the boys and Erroll said I should join.
Q. Your last club was Chelmsford, how can/will you win over the fans here and what sort of reception do you think you'll get when the 2 sides meet over Christmas/New Year?
A. My time there was very sporadic; I didn't play many games and didn't score for them; so I don't think there'll be any hostility. I'll just keep scoring goals
Q. Do you set yourself a goal target, how many do you think you can score this season?
A. I don't set a target, but would like to get twenty this season.
Q. What has been your most memorable goal scored?
A. It was for Inverness CT against Dundee U - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCUKSzxLj34
Q. Who is the best dressed player at the club?
A. Osa Obamwonyi
Q. If you could play alongside any striker, who would it be and why?
A. Wayne Rooney, because his football intelligence and ability to find a pass
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be?
A. Arsene Wenger
Q. Where do you think Braintree will finish this season?
A. Definitely top four!


Iron squeeze through in FA Cup
Shulton dismissal makes it so much tougher for Iron
Iron came through their tricky FA Cup replay at Royston on Tuesday night to claim a place in the Third Round Qualifying and they will now travel to face Brackley Town, a week on Saturday, September 30th.
The evening had started very positively with Iron dominating the game as they kicked downhill. They opened the scoring in the 21st minute when a short corner was returned to Billy Crook. He ran along the goal line before slipping the ball to Phil Roberts who coolly placed the ball past home keeper Joe Welch.
Ten minutes before the break, Marc Okoye came close to extending Iron's lead. His header was cleared off the line but as the ball was played back into the danger area Jon Muleba was on hand to head his side 2-0 ahead.
At half-time Braintree seemed to be cruising but the pendulum swung in the home sides favour early into the second half. Having been fouled and awarded a free-kick, Scott Shulton needlessly lashed out at Royston's Scott Bridges. Match referee Jason Richardson referred to both his assistants before making the decision to give Shulton a straight red card.
It was just what Royston needed to take control of the game. Alfred Mugabo replaced Roman Michael-Percil to shore up the midfield but with Iron dropping deeper and deeper it seemed only a matter of time before the home side would score. Royston hit the bar from a corner and then four minutes later Adam Murray converted a cross to make the score 2-1.
But the Hertfordshire club's numerical advantage only lasted until the 71st minute. Former Chelmsford City player Sam Corcoran recklessly lunged at Phil Roberts in front of the Braintree dugout, giving the referee the simple task of brandishing his second yellow card of the game, followed by a red.
Braintree still sat deep and survived several close shaves, while relying on occasional breakaways. The defence held resolute and survived a nervy six minutes of time added on to the relief of the travelling Iron support.
BRAINTREE: McDonald, Muleba, Gabriel, Okoye, Obamwanyi, Shulton, Allen (Campbell), Crook, Roberts (Wynter), Michael-Percil (Mugabo), Wyatt. Unused subs: Frimpong, Grant, Oliyide and Bettache. Attendance: 251.

Iron travel to Brackley in FA Cup
Vanarama North opposition in next round
Following Tuesday evening's Emirates FA Cup Second Round Qualifying victory at Royston Town, Braintree Town have been drawn away to Vanarama North side Brackley Town in the Third Round Qualifying. This match is scheduled for Saturday, 30th September.

Iron lucky to still be in the Cup
Replay on Tuesday evening
Braintree Town and Royston Town will have to try again on Tuesday evening after Saturday's Emirates FA Cup Second Round Qualifying tie ended all square at 2-2.
"Our first half performance was a shambles and although we improved a bit in the second half overall it was a poor display - our worse this season," claimed Iron manager Brad Quinton after this surprise draw against Evo-stik South League Royston Town at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on Saturday.
"The one bright spot is that we are still in the competition and we have a chance to put things right in Tuesday's replay," he explained. "And we certainly will because this performance cannot be repeated at anytime."
Quinton went on: "In the first half we had no urgency, created no pressure on the opposition, had no tenacity and no real commitment and then when did get ourselves back in the game and take the lead we shot ourselves in the foot defensively.
"It's certainly not the standard we have set at the Club and the overall performance was unacceptable," he added.
His comments about summed up this Iron performance and but for better finishing by the visitors they would have won what was quite a physical encounter, certainly neither side helped by the performance by referee Paul Harris.
The first half belonged to the visitors with Scott Bridges giving them a 22 minute lead from close range after the Iron defence had dithered and with poor marking.
Three minutes after the restart the visitors' Adam Marriott forced a great save from Iron keeper Nathan McDonald and three minutes they should have taken the lead when Jack Vasey was left unmarked at the far post but the striker put his header wide.
The Iron, with Luke Allen coming on as a half time substitute, were reprieved and did get themselves back in the game on 52 minutes when Allen scored from close range after great work down the left by Billy Crook.
Eight minutes later the Iron took the lead when first a Phil Roberts shot came back off the foot of the left-hand post and Karl Oliyide was quickest to react and rifled it home into the net.
But on 67 minutes though another Iron defensive lapse saw the tricky and ex-Lincoln City striker Adam Marriott allowed to come in from the left and fire home an angled shot into the net to equalise.
A minute later the Iron should have taken the lead again following a great right wing run by Oliyide who streaked through to the byline pulling the ball back into the path of Tyler Campbell.
From just six yards out and with an empty goal staring at him, he managed to lift the ball over the bar which perhaps aptly summed up the Iron's afternoon performance.
The game continued to ebb and flow with both sides still having chances to snatch a late winner and the visitors' cause was not helped on 83 minutes when they were reduced to ten men after left-back Romelle Alomenu was shown a second yellow card for a foul - 45 seconds after having received his first yellow for a similar challenge.
But Iron failed to capitalise on the advantage and now have to face a tricky replay at Garden Walk on Tuesday where manager Quinton will expect a vast all round improvement from all his players. Kick off is 7.45pm.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Gabriel, Frimpong, Okoye; Shulton (45 Allen), Mugabo, Crook, Campbell; Roberts (79 Grant), Oliyide. Unused subs: Obamwonyi, Bettache, Wyatt, Wynter, Michael-Percil. Referee: Paul Harris. Attendance: 256.

Royston Preview
Sat 16 September 2017 - F.A. Cup 2nd Round Qualifying - Braintree T v Royston T
Royston Town are currently in 13th place in the Evo Stick South Division. Their away record this season is: P 3 Won 2 Lost 1 Goals For 4, Goals Against 3. Away results this season: Lost 0-1 v Hitchin T, Won 2-3 v Gosport B, Won 0-1 v Farnborough. Scorers this season: Marriott - 3, Frendo, Potton, Castiglione, Braithwaite, Ingrey, Ives, Vasey, Scott & Bridges - 1. They beat Dunstable Town 2-0 at home in the First Round Qualifying.
Braintree T last four home games: Drew 1-1 v Welling, Won 1-0 v St Albans C, Won 2-1 v Hampton & R, Won 2-0 v Chippenham T. Braintree Scorers: Roberts - 7, Crook - 5 (4p), Oliyide, Allen & Shulton - 2, Wynter & Okoye - 1.
Iron take a break from League action to entertain Royston Town who are one Division below us. So far our visitors have only played seven league games, but they've had some good results. While we were winning at Concord on Tuesday evening, Royston beat their league leaders King Lynn Town 2-0 at home. From the list of scorers, it looks as though they have goals available throughout the team. For some, Iron may start as favourites, having more games under their belts. With the all-important prize money on offer for progressing through the rounds, Iron will put out their strongest side as they strive to secure a place in the Third Round Qualifying. Braintree have shown this season that they can score goals but, it's the FA Cup, so you can never tell!

Talking to Coach Barry Bolton
The brains behind the throne!
DOB: 22/2/67 (50) Born: London
Position: 1st team coach
Q. Who do you support?
A. Tottenham H
Q. Who is your favourite all time player?
A. Diego Maradona
Q. What sort of music do you like?
A. Coldplay, deep house
Q. At what level did you play football?
A. I played at county level for Hertford T
Q. What has been your previous coaching experience?
A. I coached at Enfield, managed their reserves and U21's
Q. How did you meet Brad?
A. In a sauna. We did yoga together.
Q. Did you ever see Brad play, what was he like?
A. Yes, he was a good player; he could do with running a bit more!
Q. Any players you have coached that are playing at a higher level?
A. Yes Corey Whitely at Dagenham & Redbridge
Q. Who are the hardest working players in training?
A. Osa Obamwonyi, Jon Muleba & Mahrez Bettache
Q. Which players do you think can plat at a higher level?
A. Phil Roberts, Christian Frimpong, Luke Allen & Jon Muleba
Q. Which game so far has been the most pleasing for you?
A. The 1-0 win over St Albans C. No one could have complained if we'd won that 3 or 4 - nil. Also the 3-0 pre-season win against Reading - I managed the team that day!
Q. What has been the best goal scored so far this season?
A. Luke Allen's free kick against Whitehawk. It was an important goal and could be an important point.
Q. What has been the most disappointing game so far?
A. The second half against Hemel Hempstead. It was the most frustrating half of football as we were in total control of the game.
Q. Have you been impressed by any other side so far?
A, Yes, East Thurrock U. They didn't know how to deal with our midfield then decided to go more direct.
Q. Where will Braintree finish in the league?
A. I'd say conservatively in the top 3. Every manager I've met so far has said we have played the best football. We need to cut out the mistakes and poor defending and also take more of the chances we create.

Iron grind out win
Nathan performs heroics to keep clean sheet
It wasn't at times pretty or entertaining particularly during the heavy rain and blustery second half winds, but Iron returned from the Aspect Arena with a clean sheet and all three points on Tuesday evening.
Nobody was more pleased than manager Brad Quinton who praised his players for their response after the weekend reverse at Hemel Hempstead and said: "It was crucial we came back strongly after that game and I know it was scrappy and untidy at times, particularly in worsening second half conditions, but the players did the job and won.
"I thought we were outstanding in the first half with our pace and play down both wings and we created several good scoring chances and in reality we should have been four or five goals up by the break," he explained. "It's always a worry when you go 1-0 up early on and have so much of the ball, hemming the opposition in their half and creating openings but not taking them.
"That leaves you open to a counter attack and a possible equaliser but the players did an exemplary job in the second half," he continued. "On the rare occasions they break through our keeper Nathan McDonald, who knows he didn't do particularly well last time out, pulled off a couple of really good saves to keep us ahead."
He added: "I had to make changes for this game to help give some players a rest and again we were a bit leggy in the second but full marks to those players who came in to start and also the second half substitutes played their part in this important win."
Iron certainly completely controlled the first half with Phil Roberts opening the scoring on 10 minutes thanks to a somewhat fortuitous ball across from the left by Ricky Gabriel, which bounced off home defender Amos Nasha.
It ran straight into the path of Roberts though who needed no second invitation as he drove the ball low into the net past keeper Louis Wells.
Iron kept opening up the home defence and twice Roberts looked to have scored but first Wells saved brilliantly and then his second effort went just over the bar with the goal gaping in front of him.
Subsequently, Scott Shulton, Roman Michael-Percil, Tyler Campbell and Roberts again all had chances to have scored before the interval while at the other end McDonald pulled off two excellent saves to deny first Steve Cawley and then Lewis Taaffe.
For all their dominance at the break Iron only had the one goal to show when in reality they could have scored several more and put the game to bed.
The home side, who included four ex-Iron players in their side (Matt Paine, Jordan Cox, Harry Lee and Kyron Farrell) were allowed to come more into the game in the second half which became a scrappy affair not helped by the worsening weather conditions.
The home side never really troubled the Iron defence while at the other end tired legs prevent Iron from adding to their score in a game in which they could have won more convincingly.
"I'm happy with the outcome. It wasn't a vintage display and we had to grind a result out in the second half but I never felt we would lose, although again we need to convert our chances and be more clinical in front of goal to win better," added Quinton.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Moleba, Gabriel,Frimpong, Okoye; Schulton, Allen (72 Bettache), Mogabo, Campbell (62 Grant); Roberts, Michael-Percil (58 Wyatt). Unused subs: Wynter, Oliyide. Attendance: 275
Next up for Iron is an Emirates FA Cup tie at home to Royston Town on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Concord Preview
Familiar names face Iron
In 2016/17 Concord R finished 18th in the National League South. Their record last season was: Played 42, Won 10, Lost 20, Drew 12 (42 points). Goals For: 57, Goals Against: 75. Their home record 2016/17 was: Played 21, Won 6, Lost 9 Drew 7 (25 points). Goals For: 28, Goals Against 37. Last 4 home results: Lost 0-1 v Bath C, Lost 0-2 v Chelmsford C, Won 1-0 v Whitehawk, Drew 2-2 v Truro C. Scorers this season: Steve Cawley - 3, Jordan Cox & Lewis Taffe - 2. The current league table shows Braintree T in 7th on 18pts, Concord R in 21st on 7pts.
Braintree T last four away games: Lost 4-3 v Hemel Hempstead T, Won 1-2 v Oxford C, Drew 1-1 v Whitehawk, Lost 5-3 v East Thurrock U. Braintree Scorers: Roberts - 6, Crook - 5 (4p), Oliyide , Allen & Shulton - 2, Wynter & Okoye - 1.
There will be a few familiar faces lining up against us with former Iron men Matt Paine, Jordan Cox, Harry Lee and last season's loanee, Kyron Farrell now on the Beach Boys playing staff. Concord have now lost five on the bounce and have dropped to second from bottom of the table. Braintree meanwhile have looked vulnerable on their travels and have conceded first in every away game. Our second defeat of the season demands a response like we did following our only other defeat at East Thurrock. Perhaps Brad may feel we need to adopt a more defensive approach on the road, but the most damaging thing he cannot legislate for is individual mistakes.

Kamikaze defending costs Iron
2-1 and coasting, Iron see points slip away
A kamikaze six minute spell of early second half defending by the Iron cost them any chance of returning from Vauxhall Road with as much as a point on Saturday.
Iron had started brightly and were well in command in the first half and had chances to take an early lead, the best one falling to Roberts with his first time shot coming back of home keeper Laurie Walker and moments later Karl Oliyide put his shot into the side netting when he looked easier to score.
Much against the run of play the home took the lead on 21 minutes when Charlie Sheringham slid the ball in at the near post from a low, right wing cross.
On 26 minutes the Iron did equalise when a fierce Billy Crook shot was beautifully headed past his own keeper by ex-Iron player Taylor Miles and, on 34 minutes, it looked as if the Iron had taken the lead when a great first time shot from Scott Shulton hit the underside of the home bar before being scrambled clear with the assistant linesman declaring the whole ball had not cross the line.
Two minutes before the interval and Shulton was not to be denied. A swift move up field by the Iron saw the midfielder from 25 yards strike a sweet, low shot that went into the bottom corner of them home net with Walker well beaten.
Iron started the second half in the same frame of mind and really should have added a third goal with the chances on offer before six minutes of poor defending.
First on 59 minutes a misunderstanding in the Iron back line between them and keeper Nathan McDonald allowed home striker Rowan Liburd to run clear and simply go round McDonald to slide the ball into the net for an equaliser of Sunday-morning quality.
Three minutes later saw McDonald fail to collect a Jordan Parkes free-kick coming in from the right wing which allowed James Kaloczi to scoop the ball over his head into the net.
Three more minutes later it went from bad to worse for the Iron when home skipper Parkes was given room going forward on the left he let go a low shot which McDonald failed to get across to in time leaving the ball to go in off the foot of the near post to make it 4-2.
Iron players were left shell-shocked as was manager Brad Quinton who tried to rally his troops by making three substitutions before the end but, despite a cracking individual goal from Phil Roberts on 75 minutes, Iron could not level things up as they pushed forward late on.
"I am so shocked at what happened because that was very unlike us," said Quinton afterwards. "We had so much control and command of the game until that dizzy spell when we should have been three or four goals to the good.
"When they equalised through our own mistake at the back we should have simply been experienced enough shut down for 10 minutes and not keep giving the ball away which we did," he explained. "But what happened? We shot ourselves in the foot and have only ourselves to blame and from my viewpoint is was frustrating and totally unacceptable.
"But we will sort it out inside the dressing room and ensure it doesn't happen again - I still can't actually believe what happened in that crazy short spell," he added.
Next up for the Iron is an away match at Concord Rangers on Tuesday, kick off 7 45pm.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Wyatt (78 Gabriel), Frimpong, Okoye; Shulton, Allen, Crook, Campbell (85 Michael-Percil); Roberts, Oliyide (67 Wynter ). Unused subs: Obanwonyi, Mugabo. Attendance: 469. Referee: Alex Blake.

Hemel Hempstead Preview
Sat 9 September 2017 - Hemel Hempstead T v Braintree T
In 2016/17 Hemel Hempstead T finished 12th in the National League South. Their record last season was: Played 42, Won 15, Lost 15, Drew 12 (57 points). Goals For: 74, Goals Against: 83. Their home record 2016/17 was: Played 21, Won 9, Lost 6 Drew 6 (33 points). Goals For: 34, Goals Against 36. Last 4 home results: Lost 1-2 v Truro C, Lost 0-3 v Dartford, Won 1-0 v Hampton & RB, Won 3-0 v Whitehawk. Scorers this season: Jordan Parkes, Rowan Liburd - 2, Alex Osborn, Ben Greenhalgh, Callum Driver, Charlie Sheringham, Joe Howe, Tom Hamblin, James Kaloczi - 1. The current league table shows Braintree T in 4th on 18pts, Hemel HT in 9th on 13pts.
Braintree T last four away games: Won 1-2 v Oxford C, Drew 1-1 v Whitehawk, Lost 5-3 v East Thurrock U, Won 2-3 v Eastbourne B. Braintree Scorers: Crook - 5 (4p), Roberts - 5, Oliyide & Allen - 2, Shulton , Wynter & Okoye - 1
Hemel have a sprinkling of goal scorers so far this season, with four of their goals coming from defenders, so may be a threat from dead ball situations. They have former Iron man Taylor Miles in their squad and we know how lethal he can be from free kicks. They have lost their last two home matches having won their two openers. Braintree will be looking to be more ruthless in front of goal having spurned several good opportunities on Tuesday evening whilst at the same time, not offering their hosts a goal start, which has been the way so far on our travels.

Talking with England's Number 1
about he joys of badminton ...
Born 16/5/91 (26) Stevenage
Previous clubs: Southend U, Braintree T, AFC Sudbury (L), Billericay T (L),Enfield T
Position: Goalkeeper
Q. What is your job?
A. Groundworker
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal (& Leeds U)
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Manuel Neuer
Q. What is your favourite music genre?
A. I like a bit of everything
Q. What other sports do you enjoy?
A. Formula 1, boxing, rugby
Q. Do you play any other sport?
A. Yes - badminton
Q. What are the best/worst grounds you have played at?
A. Best - Reading. Worst - Long Melford
Q. Growing up, were you always a goalkeeper?
A. No, I was a centre half for Cambridge U
Q. During your career, who has been your inspiration?
A. My family
Q. Who is currently the best goalkeeper in English football?
A. David de Gea
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - kicking. Weakness - none
Q. Who has been the best goalkeeping coach you have worked with?
A. Terry Mason at Southend U & Cambridge U
Q. Which Braintree player has the hardest shot?
A. Scott Shulton
Q. Who is the dressing room joker?
A. Scott Shulton
Q. Who is the best trainer?
A. Jon Muleba
Q. Who are the best/worst dressed players?
A. Best - Phil Roberts. Worst - Samir Bihmoutine
Q. Are there any rule changes you would make to improve the game?
A. No
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be?
A. Arsene Wenger
Q. Which teams in this league will be in the promotion hunt?
A. Us, Dartford and Chelmsford

Wings frustrate Braintree
Iron dominate but are restricted to a point
Braintree Town moved up one place to fourth in the Vanarama South table following Tuesday evening's 1-1 draw with Welling United.
"Complete frustration" was how Iron manager Brad Quinton summed up this draw at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on Tuesday evening having seen his side dominate for long periods in a game in which they had enough chances to have run out comfortable winners.
"It feels like a loss to me because we were far the better side, created so many chances but again failed to be as clinical as we should," he explained. "They clearly came to frustrate from the start and intent not in winning the game but stopping us from doing so.
"They slowed the game down, time wasted and were quite cynical in off the ball incidents," he said. "The referee should have clamped down more and late on he denied us a blatant penalty when Jon Muleba had his legs swiped away from him when running through clear into their area.
"But we kept playing our football and I was impressed how the players stuck to the game plan and we didn't lose," he added. "They had one shot on goal and scored when we should have closed the player down so that also frustrating."
It was certainly an entertaining game for the 504 crowd on a wet evening but the Iron should have been a couple of goals up at the break but Phil Roberts, Luke Allen and Karl Oliyide all wasted fairly easy chances.
They did take the lead on 26 minutes when Roman Michael-Percil threaded a through ball into the visitors' area which Roberts latched on forcing the ball home down at the near post.
But on 35 minutes the visitors equalised in a rare breakaway when Jeffrey Monakana was given too much room and time cutting in from out on the right to fire the ball which dipped over the head of keeper Nathan McDonald.
A minute before the break Allen somehow missed an open goal 10 yards out when the ball was pulled back from the byline and right on half time Roberts saw his goal bound shot somehow kept out by keeper Dillon Barnes.
The second half had much the same pattern with the Iron doing most of the attacking, the visitors defending deeper and deeper and several home chances again going astray or scrambled clear.
Roberts, Allen and substitute Tyler Campbell all found themselves in good positions to score but simply couldn't find that crucial clinical finishing.
Roberts almost snatch a goal on 70 minutes when an acute ball in from the left frustratingly ended up in the side netting.
Two visiting players were booked for time wasting and a minute before the end they lost Joe Healy for picking up a second yellow within a minute of the first for a crude foul on Scott Shulton.
The Iron's frustration was summed up two minutes into stoppage time when Christian Frimpong, the Iron's outstanding player of the evening, turned with the ball on the edge of the Welling penalty box only to see his first time shot somehow come back off the foot of the post with keeper Barnes beaten while Allen just couldn't find his feet to score from the rebound.
"We'll work on things in training and try and be more clinical when we go again at Hemel Hempstead on Saturday," he added. "I am frustrated now but we are on the right track and will continue to improve."
Braintree Town: MacDonald; Muleba, Wyatt, Frimpong, Obamwonyi; Shulton, Allen, Crook (75 Gabriel), Michael-Percil (51 Campbell); Oliyide (68 Wynter), Roberts. Unused subs: Mugabo, Bettache.
Next up for the Iron is the away game at Hemel Hempstead on Saturday, kick -off 3pm.

Welling Preview
Tues 5 September 2017 - Braintree T v Welling United
In 2016/17 Welling finished 16th in the National League South. Their record last season was: Played 42, Won 12, Lost 23, Drew 7 (43 points). Goals For: 64, Goals Against: 69. Their away record 2016/17 was: Played 21, Won 3, Lost 14 Drew 5 (14 points). Goals For: 28, Goals Against 43. Last 4 away results: Drew 1-1 v Bath C, Drew 1-1 v Oxford C, Drew 0-0 v Eastbourne B, Lost 3-2 v Truro C. Scorers this season: Jamie Coyle - 4, Bradley Goldberg - 3, Joe Healy & Tom Bradbrook & Harry Phipps - 1. The current league table shows Braintree T in 5th on 17pts, Welling in 17th on 7pts. Braintree T last four home games: Won 1-0 v St Albans C, Won 2-1 v Hampton & Richmond B, Won 2-0 v Chippenham T, Drew 2-2 v Dartford. Braintree Scorers: Crook - 5 (4p), Roberts - 4, Oliyide & Allen - 2, Shulton , Wynter & Okoye - 1. Last home meeting: Feb 2nd 2016: Braintree T 1 Welling 0: A Dan Sparkes goal after 9 minutes was enough to complete the double over our visitors, although Iron played most of the match with 10 men after Sean Marks received a red card in the 33rd minute.
Welling have drawn their last three games on the road, so the Iron will not find them an easy side to break down. Brad's boys will be buoyed coming back from 1-0 down at Oxford City and Saturday and now sit 2 points behind the League leaders. Okoye was missing through injury on Saturday whilst Gabriel came back into the squad with a place on the bench. It'll be interesting to see if Roberts winning goal gets him a place in the starting line-up. Can we continue our unbeaten home start and even be rewarded with another valuable 3 points?

Talking with the skipper
Not here to make up the numbers ...
DOB: 9/10/92 (24) Born: London
Previous clubs: Erith & Belvedere, Dulwich H & Merstham
Position: Centre-Back
Q. What is your job?
A. I have my own business - Alkaline Recovery Ltd
Q. Who do you support?
A. Manchester U
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Ronaldinho
Q. You use Twitter, who do you follow?
A. Nobody famous, couple of mates who play pro-football
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Chance the rapper
Q. What is your favourite holiday destination?
A. The Maldives
Q. What do you enjoy away from the game?
A. Reading, spending time with my family
Q. How did you end up signing for Braintree?
A. I announced that I'd left Merstham and Brad got in touch
Q. You have been made captain, what are your feelings about that and what do you bring to the role?
Q. I feel honoured, I bring leadership, reliability, heart
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - reading the game, composure, weakness - don't score enough goals
Q. Do you have any pre-match superstitions/rituals?
A. I thank God for the opportunity to play and my heart is on fire for my partner and son
Q. What are the best/worst grounds you have played at?
A. Best - Woking, worst - Hornchurch
Q. Who has had the biggest effect on your career to date?
A. Gavin Rose at Dulwich H and Peter Adeniyi at Carshalton
Q. At what level do you think you can play?
A. In the Football League, Championship
Q. Who are the quickest and slowest players in the squad?
A. Quickest - Tyler Campbell, slowest - Billy Crook
Q. Who is the best/worst dresser?
A. Best - Scott Shulton, worst - Christian Frimpong
Q. How do you think Braintree have done so far and what about that disallowed goal against Dartford?
A. I think we've surprised a lot of people because we are a young team. We're here to play and dominate teams. In the build up to the 'goal' we'd been jostling and I managed to get to the ball first.
Q. If you could play alongside any centre back, who would it be and why?
A. Rio Ferdinand, we're from similar areas and I watched him growing up
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. It's been a pleasure to play for every manager I've played for so far. I'm very happy with Brad.
Q. Where do you think Braintree will finish this season?
A. We're going for promotion.


Royston Town at home in the FA Cup
Iron drawn against Southern League Premier side
Braintree Town have been drawn at home to Evo-Stik Southern Premier League side Royston Town in the Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round. The Hertfordshire club are currently twelfth of 22 clubs with two wins and a draw from their first five league games and defeated Dunstable Town 2-0 at home in last Saturday's First Qualifying Round. This match will take place a week on Saturday, 16th September, with kick-off at 3pm.

Tactical switch changes game
BQ unleashes Phil Roberts to win at Oxford
Braintree Town made the trek around the M25 and up the M40 to visit Oxford City and came home with three points after an odd goal in three win.
Iron were not at their best early on, struggling to get to grips with the home side's new 3G surface that had seen games played on it in the morning.
The home side took the game to Braintree from the start and opened the scoring after just eight minutes when Oxford City's Matt Patterson broke free of the Iron defence before steering his shot past the exposed Nathan McDonald.
The home side had half chances to extend their lead before Braintree boss Brad Quinton made a tactical switch with his formation and personnel as substitute Phil Roberts came on after 33 minutes for Alfred Mugabu.
The re-organisation paid dividends before the interval with Roberts opening up the home defence, surging into the box and being up-ended by Oxford's Eddie Jones to concede a penalty.
Billy Crook stepped up to calmly tuck the ball past home keeper Jack Stephens.
Braintree continued to control the game after the break, but had to wait until fifteen minutes from time before netting the decider.
Second substitute Dernell Wynter set up Roberts on the left of the home 18-yard box. He cut inside his man before rifling a low drive under the keeper into the bottom corner for 2-1.
Iron continued to press and Roberts could have had a second when Jon Muleba set him up nicely, but Phil's effort struck the woodwork.
Braintree had to endure a lengthy spell late on, reduced down to ten men, after Osa Obanwonyi had clashed heads with Ben Wyatt, but eventually saw out time to secure the three points.
After the game Brad Quinton was objective in his assessment: "We struggled to get going for half an hour and we made the decision to switch things around before the break. Phil came on and made a real difference; he created the opening for the penalty and a nice finish for the winner. We're all really looking forward to Welling on Tuesday now."
The three points keeps Braintree in fifth place in the Vanarama National League South table, but has reduced the gap between Iron and the leaders to just two points. Next up is another Vanarama National League South game at home to Welling United this coming Tuesday evening, 5th September, with kick-off at 7.45pm.
Braintree team: McDonald, Muleba, Wyatt, Frimpong, Obamwonyi, Shulton, Allen (Bettache 81), Crook, Mugabu (Roberts 33), Oliyide (Wynter 74), Campbell. Un-used subs: Michael-Percil & Gabriel. Crowd: 312. Referee: Lee Brennan.

Oxford Preview
Sat 2 September 2017 - Oxford C v Braintree T
In 2016/17 Oxford C finished 14th in the National League South. Their record last season was: Played 42, Won 15, Lost 20, Drew 7 (52 points). Goals For: 48, Goals Against: 73. Their home record 2016/17 was: Played 21, Won 8, Lost 8, Drew 5 (29 points). Goals For: 21, Goals Against 32. Last 4 home results: Drew 1-1 v Welling, Won 2-0 v Hungerford T, Lost 2-3 v St Albans C, Won 1-0 v Margate (2016//17). Scorers so far this season: Matt Patterson - 5 (2p), Zac Mceachran - 2, Robert Sinclair, Horatio Hirst, Reece Fleet & Dave Pearce - 1. The current league table shows Braintree T in 5th on 14pts, Oxford C in 18th on 7pts.
Braintree T away record this season: Drew 1-1 v Whitehawk, Lost 5-3 v East Thurrock U, Won 2-3 v Eastbourne B. Braintree Scorers: Crook - 4, Roberts - 3, Oliyide & Allen - 2, Shulton , Wynter & Okoye - 1. The Iron head for the city of dreaming spires this weekend for the first of our three away fixtures in September. After a well-deserved victory over the previously unbeaten League leaders, St Albans C, on Bank Holiday Monday, it'll be interesting to see how Brad sets his side up for this encounter. Last season City found goals hard to come by at home only managing an average of 1 goal a game. They will also be without Freddie Grant through suspension. The Iron meanwhile need to be more ruthless in front of goal having squandered numerous chances in their last two outings. With three of the four teams above us at home this weekend a victory would get the month off to a good start and keep us in contention. Oxford don't do many draws.

Talking to Billy Crook
Following his 'Dad'
DOB: 23/8/90 (27) Born: London
Previous clubs (L=Loan): Crystal P, Peterborough U, Bromley (L)Weymouth (L), Histon (L), Tooting & Mitcham, Carshalton, Dulwich H, Met Police, Enfield T
Position: Midfield
Q. What is your job?
A. Teaching Assistant
Q. Who do you support?
A. Crystal Palace
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Andres Iniesta
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. Justin Timberlake
Q. Which social media do you use the most?
A. Twitter - I follow the original Papa Crook
Q. What is your favourite meal?
A. Lasagne
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - passing, penalties. Weakness - pace , too nice
Q. What has been the best ground you've played at?
A. City Ground, Nottingham Forest
Q. Why did you choose to come to Braintree?
A. Because of my Dad - Brad Quinton
Q. Who has taught you the most so far in your career?
A. Darren Ferguson when I was at Peterborough U
Q. You've put away three of penalties so far this season, what is your overall record like?
A. Last season I scored 8 out of 9
Q. Do you have a method for taking pens, or are you told anything about the 'keeper?
A. I just know, I try to pick a corner
Q. Looking forward at what level do you think you can play?
A. League 2 - Championship, La Liga
Q. Fans have been treated to some great goals so far this season, which has been your favourite?
A. Karl Oliyide against Dartford, good team move which I started
Q. Who is the biggest moaner at the club?
A. Scott Shulton
Q. Who is the best dribbler at the club?
A. Tyler Campbell
Q. If you could play alongside any midfielder, who would it be and why?
A. Zinedane Zidane - he's the man
Q. If you could play for any manager, who would it be and why?
A. Pep Guardiola - likes the passing game
Q. Which opposition clubs have impressed you so far?
A. Haven't come across any so far
Q. Who will be top scorer?
A. If we keep getting pens, me. Karl or Phil.
Q. Where do you think Braintree will finish this season?
A. First

Iron beat leaders
Skipper grabs the decider
Iron put in a professional 90 minutes of attacking football at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday to end their visitors' unbeaten league run and, but for the woodwork, could have won by a much bigger margin.
Braintree effectively dominated the game in every department with their pace and feet football never allowing the visitors to get into their stride and, despite the hot conditions, they continued in that manner until the final whistle.
Iron manager Brad Quinton was delighted with his players' response after their draw against bottom club Whitehawk 48 hours earlier adding: "We changed our formation with three players coming and the opposition, who are clearly a good side, couldn't cope with us.
"All the players worked hard and put a shift in and I am proud of them all because we had all the energy and stuck to our game management plan,"
he explained. "We obviously tried to frustrate them from the start but I'm also pleased we never stop chasing them down and then we kept counter-attacking."
Iron were certainly the sharper and better side throughout and, in the first half, only visiting 'keeper Dean Snedker kept his side in the game saving with his legs from Tyler Campbell (7 mins) and Karl Oliyide (20 mins) and twice before the interval the Iron hit the woodwork.
On 37 minutes Campbell stretched the visitors' defence only to see his shot come back off the crossbar then, seven minutes later, midfielder Luke Allen broke clear, cut in from the right byline only to his shot hit an upright.
Iron carried on in the same manner after the interval and every time they attacked with pace and precision passing the visitors' rearguard simply couldn't handle them.
The deciding goal came on 64 minutes from a right wing corner by Ben Wyatt who swung the ball over the far post where defender Mark Okoye out jumped everyone to head the ball home for his first goal for the Club.
Iron went looking for a second goal and but for a brilliant save by Snedker on 75 minutes to deny Allen with his terrific first-time volley they would have been home and dry.
The flow of the game was understandably disrupted in the final minutes of the game as both sides made substitutions to replace some players who were clearly feeling the heat of the afternoon.
Iron again looked like scoring on 81 minutes when the industrious Allen worked his way clear to fire a fierce first-time shot on goal only for Snedker to pull off another fantastic save to deny the home player.
The game also saw sensible officiating by referee Lloyd Wood who midway through both halves halted the game for players to take on water to cope with the hot conditions.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Wyatt, Frimpong, Okoye; Shulton, Allen, Crook, Campbell (72 Michael-Percil); Mugabo (81 Obamwonyi), Oliyide (56 Roberts). Unused subs: Barrington, Wynter. Attendance: 706. Referee: Lloyd Wood.
Next up for the Iron is an away league match at Oxford City on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

St Albans Preview
Iron look to match maximum points leaders
Mon 28 August 2017 - Braintree T v St Albans C
In 2016/17 St Albans C finished 10th in the National League South. Their record last season was: Played 42, Won 16, Lost 15, Drew 11 (59 points). Goals For: 72, Goals Against: 66. Their away record 2016/17 was: Played 21, Won 5, Lost 10, Drew 6 (21 points). Goals For: 27, Goals Against 37. Top scorers: (2016/17): Sam Merson - 12, Shaun Lucien - 9, Charlie Walker - 7. Last 4 away results: Won 0-1 v Poole T, Won 0-2 v Chelmsford C, Won 2-3 v Oxford C, Lost 3-0 v Bath C (2016/17). Scorers so far this season: Rhys Murrell-Williamson & Sam Merson - 3, Charlie Walker - 2, Shaun Lucien, Solomon Sambou, Zane Banton, Tom Gardiner & David Noble- 1. The current league table shows Braintree T in 5th, St Albans C in 1st.
Braintree T home record this season: Drew 2-2 v Dartford, Won 2-0 v Chippenham T, Won 2-1 v Hampton & Richmond B. Braintree Scorers: Crook - 4, Roberts - 3, Oliyide & Allen - 2, Shulton & Wynter - 1. Last home meeting: 19 March 2011: Braintree T 1 St Albans 1. Saturday saw the Iron come back from a 1-0 half time deficit to gain a 1-1 draw at previously pointless Whitehawk. The Saints meanwhile continued their 100% winning start with a 2-1 win at home to Concord Rangers. If form is anything to go by, then this will be the Iron's biggest test to date. The draw at Whitehawk was also the first time Braintree had not scored 2 goals or more in a game, although they had three very decent chances to score late on. As we come towards the completion of a hectic August fixture schedule, hopefully Iron can cut that seven point gap between the two teams to just four.

Iron respond to half-time BQ livener
Luke Allen free-kick secures point
Braintree Town made the journey down to the Sussex coast and came home with a point from a 1-1 draw. It took a verbal half-time rollicking to his players by Iron manager Brad Quinton to shake them out after what had been a lethargic and lackadaisical first half display to come back strongly in the second half when they should have won comfortably but for wasting a host of goal scoring chances.
"I certainly wasn't happy with our start because we were slow, not sharp enough and allowed ourselves to be bullied by them," he said. "On top of that we picked up two silly bookings and conceded a dreadful goal from a free-kick.
"But the players responded after what I had said to them in the dressing room and we went out and completely dominated the second half but again we failed to take several scoring opportunities when in reality we should have comfortably put the game to bed," he continued. "I'm disappointed because we should have come home with all three points, not just one."
The first forty-five minutes was certainly the worse the Iron had played so far this season as they lacked cohesion and any real pace in their game against a struggling side still looking for their first point of the season.
Both Osa Obanwonyi and Marc Okoye were booked for unnecessary fouls and they conceded a 14th minute goal when home striker Pape Gueye, on loan from Sutton United, was allowed space to rise unmarked in the Iron area to head home from a left wing free-kick.
The Iron's only creditable first half goal effort came on 23 minutes when Dernell Wynter saw his shot parried away by keeper Alex Tokarczyk and two minutes later Wynter was left with an open goal at his mercy after the keeper had made a hash of a clearance but somehow he conceived to balloon the ball high and wide.
The second half was a much improved Iron performance and they equalised on 53 minutes through a superbly taken free-kick by Luke Allen who slotted the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net giving Tokarczyk no chance.
Iron kept up the pressure and just past the hour Phil Roberts raced clear on goal but somehow Tokarczyk somehow managed to get a hand to the ball and palm it away for a corner.
By now it was all Iron going forward and twice they broke clear with literally one-on-one situations with the keeper only to waste the chances by putting the ball wide.
Late on the home keeper pulled off two more fine saves from Billy Crook and substitute Tyler Campbell to deny the Iron.
The Iron were to rue those missed chances as the home side clung on for a desperate draw which left Quinton a clearly unhappy boss at the final whistle.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Moleba, Wyatt, Obanwonyi, Okoye; Schulton, Allen, Crook, Wynter (86 Michael-Percil); Olyide, Roberts (72 Campbell). Uunused subs: Frimpong, Mugabo, Battache. Attendance: 237.
Next up for the Iron is home against early league leaders St Albans City on Bank Holiday Monday, kick off 3pm.

Whitehawk Preview
Iron head down the M23
Sat 26 August 2017 - Whitehawk v Braintree T
The current early season table shows Braintree T in 4th, Whitehawk in 22nd.
In 2016/17 Whitehawk finished 17th in the National League South. Their record last season was: Played 42, Won 12, Lost 23, Drew 7 (43 points). Goals For: 51, Goals Against: 72. Their home record 2016/17 was: Played 21, Won 6, Lost 10, Drew 5 (23 points). Goals For: 24, Goals Against 32. Top scorers: (2016/17): Danny Mills (now Ebbsfleet) - 17, Glen Southam & Michael West - 6. Last 4 home results: Drew 1-1 v St Albans C, Won 2-0 v Poole T, Lost 2-3 v East Thurrock U, Lost 0-3 v Oxford C. Scorers so far this season: Connor Tighe & Ramone Rose - 2, Jordy Mongoy - 1
Braintree T away record this season: Won 2-3 v Eastbourne B, Lost 5-3 v East Thurrock U. Braintree Scorers: Crook - 4, Roberts - 3, Oliyide - 2, Shulton, Wynter & Allen - 1. The Hawks are the only team yet to register a point in the 2017/18 season having suffered five successive defeats. The Iron meanwhile bounced back from their first defeat of the season at East Thurrock, with a much improved defensive performance against Hampton & Richmond Borough. Frimpong is available for selection after his one match ban, but Brad will have been impressed with Obamwonyi's debut. Gabriel & Oliyide remain doubtful for the game so another chance perhaps for Wyatt and Wynter to claim a regular starting slot? With 12 goals scored so far and Crook leading the way on four, let's hope Iron delay the Hawk's first points of the season for another week.

Talking to Scott Shulton
& the joys of racking up fines
DOB: 31/1/1990 (27) Born: Edgware. Previous clubs: Wycombe W (U18), Ebbsfleet U, Braintree T, Bishops S & Enfield T. Position: Midfield
Q. What is your job?
A. I have my own football coaching company
Q. Who do you support?
A. West Ham U
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Patrick Vieira
Q. What has been your best holiday?
A. Thailand - on a coaching trip
Q. What are the best/worst grounds you have played at?
A. Best - Stamford Bridge & Upton Park. Don't like playing at East Thurrock, I once got a bad injury there
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - Fitness, driving forward. Weakness - I talk too much, no patience, hate losing
Q. Who are the best players you've played with?
A. I've played with Rob Lee & Matt Phillips
Q. This is your second spell at Braintree, what changes can we expect to see in your game now?
A. No difference, I'm the same player
Q. What are your best memories of your previous spell here?
A. Winning promotion in 2010/11. Scoring the winner at Havant late on in the season
Q. Who is the worst dresser at the club?
A. Mark Okoye (he was wearing an Arsenal shirt after training)
Q. Who is the dressing room moaner?
A. Me
Q. At what level do you think you can play?
A. I could play at League 1/2, definitely National League. Wouldn't want to play in a League that means I have to play matches up north
Q. You have coaching qualifications, where do you see yourself going with these?
A. No interest in any further coaching.
Q. How do you think the season has gone so far?
A. We've done alright, should've beaten Dartford and East Thurrock, disappointed to have dropped points in those games. But for a new side 10 points from 5 games is a good ratio
Q. Which player will rack up the most player fines this season?
A. Me
Q. Who has been the best manager/coach you've worked with?
A. Paul Lambert (at Wycombe W)
Q. What has been the best bit of advice you have been given?
A. Never change the way you are - from my Dad
Q. If you could play alongside any midfielder who would it be?
A. Patrick Vieira
Q. Who do you see challenging for the NLS this season?
A. It's open to anyone, there won't be a runaway winner this season
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. Definitely in the play-offs!

Iron back to winning ways
Ten-man Beavers beaten
Braintree Town clawed their way back to winning ways with this hard fought victory at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium after their midweek defeat at East Thurrock and in the end should really have won by a bigger margin.
With three players out - two with injuries and one suspended - manager Brad Quinton had to shuffle his pack bringing central defender Osa Obamwonyi for his debut and who quickly formed a solid partnership at the back with Mark Okoye.
The game really turned on its head on 18 minutes into the second half when the visitors' defender Jack Cook was shown a straight red card by referee Declan Bourne for hauling down Iron's Dernell Wynter who was clear on goal and reducing the visitors to ten men.
By then the Iron were already two goals to the good having scored a second goal on 53 minutes from the penalty spot by Billy Crook after Luke Allen had been hauled down.
It gave the home side more breathing space with that second goal having opened the scoring a minute before half time with a superbly taken goal by Allen after again brilliant midfield work by Crook.
After the sending off the Iron completely dominated play and in reality should have scored three or four more goals from the chances they created which left Iron boss Brad Quinton less than happy with his players.
"Obviously I'm pleased with the win and the way the players responded from our first defeat in midweek and I can't complain about their attitude, work-rate, motivation and commitment," he said. "I know it's an old cliché about it being more difficult to play against ten men but in reality we should have finished the game off with the number of chances we had.
"I know we had three players out today but the lads coming in have done really well, they know they have to stake their place to start games and they played like it," he said. "I'm also disappointed we gave away such a sloppy goal in injury time."
That all stemmed from a mistake by Iron keeper Nathan McDonald allowing Charlie Wassmer to find the net with a scrambled header in the third minute of injury time.
Visiting manager Alan Dowson though lashed out at his senior players for the letting the team down adding: "They committed absolute schoolboy errors and they need to take a long hard look at themselves and their performances today - the youngsters didn't let me down at all.
"It was always going to be difficult going a man down but in the first half I felt we more than matched them and we could have scored first with the couple of chances we had," he said. "I don't think it was a penalty because their lad was in an offside position in the first place."
The home side though missed several good chances in that second half with Phil Roberts, Dernell Wynter and substitutes Marcel Barrington and Tyler Campbell all creating chances.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Obamwonyi , Mugabo (81 Bettache), Okoye ; Schulton, Allen, Crook (86 Campbell), Wyatt; Roberts (75 Barrington), Wynter . Unused subs: Maxter, Stephenson. Referee: Declan Bourne. Attendance: 472.
Next up for the Iron is an away trip to Whitehawk next Saturday, 26th August, with kick-off at 3pm.

Hampton & Richmond Preview
Sat 19 August 2017 - Braintree T v Hampton & Richmond B
In 2016/17 Hampton & Richmond B finished 7th in the National League South. Their record last season was: Played 42, Won 19, Lost 11, Drew 12 (69 points). Goals For: 81, Goals Against: 56. Their away record 2016/17 was: Played 21, Won 10, Lost 4, Drew 7 (37 points). Goals For: 45, Goals Against 28. Top scorers: (2016/17): Nicke Kabamba - 16 (now at Portsmouth), Brendan Kiernan & Jamal Lowe - (now at Portsmouth) 15. Last 4 home results: Lost 1-0 v Hemel Hempstead T, Drew 1-1 v East Thurrock U, Lost 2-1 v Ebbsfleet U, Won 1-2 v Welling. Scorers so far this season: Michael Kamara, Ryan Moss & Max Kretzschmar all with 1 goal.
The current early season table shows Braintree T in 8th, Hampton & RB in 12th. Braintree T home record this season: Drew 2-2 v Dartford, Won 2-0 v Chippenham T. Braintree Scorers: Roberts & Crook - 3, Oliyide - 2, Shulton - 1. Suspended - Frimpong - 1 match. Last meeting: 22 April 2011 - Conference South: Hampton & Richmond 0-1 Braintree Town. Both sides lost their unbeaten records on Tuesday evening so will quickly want to get back on track. So far this season the Iron has featured in four games with a goals aggregate of 20 goals, whilst our visitors have scored and conceded 3 goals, having lost last season's top scorers to Pompey. Brad will be looking to see a much improved defensive performance whist maintaining the goal threat. He will have to change the starting XI with Frimpong suspended and Oliyide taking a knock on Tuesday; maybe a chance for Iron fans to see new signings Reece Grant and Alex Stephenson. I think we know we can score from various positions, but need to balance that with a more assured defensive performance. I don't expect us to maintain the 5 goal a game average in this match.

Defensive frailties exposed at East Thurrock
Iron score three again but lose
Defensive mistakes particularly in second half cost Iron the chance of returning from the Rookery with anything on Tuesday evening and which will also serve as a wake-up call for the younger players who will now realise this league is quite a physical one they need to quickly adapt.
After a fairly evenly contested first half with both sides playing fast, open football there's no question that the second half belonged to the hosts and their more experienced players who were quicker to the ball, more direct and found the Iron's Achilles heel.
The Iron defence struggle to cope with high balls to the far post and the Rocks quickly discovered this and subsequently scored three of their goals from that position as did Dartford against the Iron on Saturday.
Up front the Iron clearly still need a strong player who can hold the ball up, as the Rocks' experienced striker Sam Higgins did and who helped himself during the evening to two fine goals in the process.
The turning point of the game though came on 54 minutes when home keeper Ryan Sammons was forced off with a head injury leading to ex-Iron utility player Lee Burns donning the keeper's jersey.
Again perhaps the current lack of experience in the Iron side they failed to put any pressure on the stand-in keeper for the remainder of the game with just one long distant shot going into the side netting.
The home side took the lead on eight minutes when a lack of understanding in the Iron defence allowed Higgins to break through and round keeper Nathan McDonald to score.
On 16 minutes the Iron equalised with a well taken goal, thanks to an accurate through ball by Billy Crook allowing Phil Roberts to race through and lob the ball into the net.
The hosts though were quickly back in front three minutes later when Lewis Smith was left unmarked at the far post to head home a Reece Harris free-kick.
Five minutes later Crook hit the home bar and the ball scrambled clear but on 32 minutes he scored from the penalty spot after Karl Oliyide had been hauled down by George Allen who was booked for his troubles.
Right on half time McDonald pulled off a great save to deny Higgins who had again crept in at the post unmarked.
The second half though certainly belonged to the home side as the game lacked the earlier fluency after the change of keeper and Iron lost their way in midfield for the first time this season.
Higgins headed home unmarked at the far post on 71 minutes and then home substitute Femi Akinwande scored in the penalty box with a great first time shot from a direct right wing cross after the Iron's Ricky Gabriel had gifted the ball to Smith's feet.
It went from bad to worse for the Iron on 88 minutes when Montel Agyemang cut in from a left wing corner and unmarked fired home a 20 yard shot past McDonald.
Four minutes into the nine minutes of added time, because of the earlier home keeper injury, Iron substitute Dernell Wynter raced through to fire a low shot into the home net but by then it was no more than a consolation.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Gabriel (Wynter), Frimpong, Okoe (Wyatt); Schulton, Allen, Crook, Campbell, Roberts, Olyide (Barrington 46). Unused subs: Mugabo, Bettaghe. Attendance: 442.
Next up for the Iron is a home game on Saturday against Hampton and Richmond, kick off 3pm.

Brads adds two
Striker and defender join club
Braintree Town have completed the paperwork for two more signings. Joining the Club are 22 year old striker Reece Grant from Heybridge Swifts and 20-year old defender Alex Stephenson from Billericay.
Reece Grant has caught the eye at Heybridge after scoring 26 goals last season and that after netting 19 goals during season 2015/16 for Hillingdon and Uxbridge.
Alex Stephenson started his career at Southend United before moving on to Canvey Island, Bishop's Stortford and Billericay Town.

East Thurrock Preview
Two sides with seven points from nine
Tues 15 August 2017 - East Thurrock U v Braintree T
In 2016/17 East Thurrock U finished 13th in the National League South. Their record last season was: Played 42, Won 14, Lost 14, Drew 14 (56 points). Goals For: 73, Goals Against: 65. Their home record 2016/17 was: Played 21, Won 7, Lost 5, Drew 9 (30 points). Goals For: 37, Goals Against 25. Top scorers: (2016/17): Tom Wraight (now Maidstone U) - 20, Sam Higgins & Reece Harris - 11. Last 4 home results: Drew 1-1 v Hampton & Richmond, Drew 1-1 v Wealdstone, Won 2-0 v Bath C, Lost 2-3 v Whitehawk. Scorers so far this season: Montel Agyemang - 3, Lewis Smith, Sam Higgins (pen), Ben Marlow & Reece Harris - 1
The current early season table shows Braintree T in 4th, East Thurock U in 5th. Braintree Scorers: Roberts, Crook & Oliyide - 2, Shulton - 1. Last meeting: 14 January 2017 - F. A. Trophy 2nd Round: East Thurrock U 2 Braintree T 5. On a very cold Saturday afternoon a Michael Cheek hat-trick and further goals from Midson & Barnard saw the Iron safely through to Round 3.
The Rocks had a somewhat indifferent home form last season, culminating in a lot of draws. Despite this they also managed three 5-1 victories against Gosport B, Truro C & Weston-Super-Mare. So far this season at home, they have only played Hampton & Richmond in yet another drawn game. Like the Iron, they all also unbeaten having won away 3-2 at Poole Town on Saturday. Brad's boys will be buoyed by their first three performances and the way they held firm with 10 men for virtually the whole of the second half against Chippenham. This match will see the first enforced change to the back four following Frimpong's red card. I expect a decent local following to roar the Iron home in a closer encounter than it was 7 months ago.

A game of two halves for Iron
Dismissal changes game
Ten-man Braintree put up a tremendous backs-to-the-wall second half performance to maintain their two-goal first half advantage and collect all three points in a fiesty encounter at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium and remain unbeaten after their first three games.
Iron had controlled the first half with Karl Oliyide opening the scoring on 19 minutes with a well taken goal set up by the industrious Scott Shulton in midfield.
The home side kept up the pressure and on 31 minutes Phil Roberts was unlucky not to add his side's second when his first time volley came back off the crossbar with visiting keeper Jared Thompson well beaten.
Roberts was not to be denied though because he duly added the Iron's second on 44 minutes with an exceptional strike after a great passing move down the left wing by the Iron with final cross being met first time by the striker who drove the ball into the top of the goal net.
Just on half time Iron keeper Nathan McDonald, rarely troubled all afternoon, pulled off a great save to deny Matt Smith.
Three minutes into the restart though it all went wrong for Braintree when central defender Christian Frimpong was shown a second yellow card for a foul leaving Iron boss Brad Quinton to reorganise - forcing him to take off two key midfielders - Shulton and Luke Allen - for more defensive players.
Obviously the tactical changes made the Iron less dominant in midfield and allowed the visitors to come forward but full credit to the defence they held firm and never let the visitors have a clear shot at goal.
The manager's changes clearly worked because the home defence continued to frustrate the visitors every time they attacked causing few problems for keeper McDonald
Iron were also denied what looked to be a clear penalty on 71 minutes when substitute Mahrez Battache was hauled down in the area but the home players' appeals were ignored.
Quinton added: "I am pleased we won and collected all three points got and that we kept a clean sheet and full marks to the players for their second half efforts when we up against it.
"It does show how fit we are to stay in charge with only 10 men and I am disappointed with the sending off and we shall be talking that through with the team," he added. "Again we should have scored more goals in the first half and obviously the sending off did disrupt our game plan but I feel the substitutions were right and they did the trick."
Braintree Town: McDonald, Muleba, Gabriel, Frimpong, Okoye; Shulton (Mugabo 52), Allen (Wyatt 52), Crook, Campbell; Oliyide, (Barrington 80), Roberts. Unused subs: Wynter, Bettache. Attendance: 462.
Next up for the Iron is an away game at East Thurrock on Tuesday with a 7.45pm kick off.

Chippenham Preview
Five-goal boys in town
Sat 12 August 2017 - Braintree T v Chippenham T
In 2016/17 Chippenham Town were Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Champions. Their record last season was: Played 46, Won 31, Lost 5, Drew 10 (103 points) Goals For: 94, Goals Against: 47 Their away record 2016/17 was: Played 23, Won 14, Lost 3, Drew 6 (48 points) Goals For: 57, Goals Against 32. Top scorers: (2016/17) Andy Sandell - 27, David Pratt - 22.
Chippenham opened their 2017/18 season with a 0-0 home draw against Havant & Waterlooville. Their first away game on Tuesday evening saw them beat Bath City 5-2 with goals from Matthew Smith, David Pratt, Andy Sandell (2-1 pen) and William Richards.
On the same evening the Iron played out a very entertaining 2-2 draw (having held a 2-0 half time lead) with Dartford, where Billy Crook's penalty made him the early season top scorer after opening his account with the winner at Eastbourne.
Sandell was the Southern League top scorer for two seasons running (2015/16 and 2016/17) having played previously in the Football League for Bristol R and Wycombe W and is one to watch out for. They also scored more goals on their travels last season than they managed at home averaging more than 2 goals a game. We could well be in for another goal fest at the Ironmongery Direct Stadium!
Kick-off is 3pm, admission is just £14 for adults, £10 for concessions and £5 for under 18s. And you can sit or stand wherever you like!

Denied third goal costs Iron
Braintree settle for a point
Iron had to settle for a draw in the end against their old Kent adversary from Dartford in a highly entertaining and lively encounter which turned out to the proverbial game of two halves.
The first half certainly belong to the Iron who dominated the game, scored two good goals and they could have had a couple of more before the interval while the second half belonged to the visitors who managed to haul themselves back in the game to earn a share of the points.
And but for a fantastic reactionary save from Iron 'keeper Nathan McDonald two minutes from the end it was the visitors who almost literally stole all three points which would have been an injustice over the 90 minutes.
Iron manager Brad Quinton though said he was really disappointed not to have won the game as it felt more of a loss than a draw and a point.
"We played well throughout and should have won it and I think we scored a perfectly good third goal early in the second half which in my view was wrongly ruled out for a foul," he declared. "We could than have gone three goals up and I think that would have made such a difference.
"But having said that we again gave away two sloppy goals in the second half which obviously put them on the front foot," he added. "We know what we have to work on now before our home game with Chippenham on Saturday and that is to take our chances and stop giving away silly goals."
Iron should have taken the lead on nine minutes when Phil Roberts burst through the visitors' defence only to see his low, hard shot come back off the legs off keeper Deren Ibrahim.
It wasn't long before they did break the deadlock and it came after the Iron had wasted three reasonable chances to have scored.
On 35 minutes in a sweeping move up field it led to Karl Oliyide firing home finally beating Ibrahim but in reply the visitors almost scored themselves in a goalmouth scramble at the other but the ball was finally kicked clear.
Two minutes from the interval the dominant Iron had their expected second goal and it came from the penalty spot after Elliott Bradbrook handled a fierce Iron shot in the area leaving Bill Crook to calmly slot home the spot kick.
Five minutes after the restart it looked as if Christian Frimpong had scored his first goal for the club when he headed in a left wing cross but referee Josh Smith deemed he had pushed the defender en route.
A third goal then would have given the Iron breathing space and soon afterwards twice Olyide broke clear down the right only to drive the ball into the side netting when it looked easier to score.
The visitors, reorganised with a couple of substitution which gave them fresh impetus in midfield, to their credit hit back and on 65 minutes they pulled a goal back through Tom Murphy due to some slack marking at the far post by Iron defenders.
They pressurised the Iron for a spell and ten minutes later they equalised, again through sloppy defending across the box by the Iron defence, allowing Bradbrook to make amends for giving away the penalty as he drove the ball home from close range.
It was all end to end play with both sides going for that winning goal and also providing good entertainment for the 530 crowd but both sides had to settle for a draw which was an overall fair outcome of the match.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Gabriel, Frimpomg, Okoye; Schulton, Allen (Mugabo 87), Crook, Wyatt (Campbell 78); Roberts (Wynter 84), Olyide. Unused subs: Obamwonyi, Bettache.
Next up for the Iron is a visit from newly promoted Chippenham Town on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Dartford preview
Iron welcome pre-season favourites
Tues 8 August 2017 - Braintree T v Dartford
In 2016/17 Dartford finished 3rd in the Vanarama South Division on 84 points. They lost in the play-off semi-finals 2-1 on aggregate to Chelmsford.
Their away record last season was: Played 21, Won 9, Lost 6, Drew 6 (33 points) Goals For: 34, Goals Against: 34. Last 4 away games: Won 2-3 v Poole T, Lost 2-0 v Hungerford T, Drew 2-2 v Hemel Hempstead T, Lost 1-0 v St Albans C. Top scorers: Elliot Bradbrook - 16, Andy Pugh - 14, Luke Wanadio (now at Bromley) - 11
Last meeting at Cressing Road: 1 January 2015 National League: Braintree T 3 Dartford 0, with goals from Isaac, Akinola and Sparkes late in the second half gave the Iron all three points.
The Darts started their 2017/18 campaign with a home 0-0 draw against Hungerford T, whilst the Iron came back from 2 down to triumph 3-2 at Eastbourne Borough.
Our visitors are one of the favourites with the bookies to win the National League South this season, so it will be a good test for Brad's new look team. It was good to see goals coming from midfield in our opening fixture, but we need to cut out the costly defensive mistakes that gave Borough a two goal start. Although the Darts won more than they lost on their travels last season, they did take several heavy beatings amongst those six defeats. I think we can expect more goals in a close encounter.

Iron impress on the coast
resilience from going 2-0 down
Braintree Town came back from a two-goal deficit to put in a sparkling second half performance to win and claimed all three points in their season opener at Priory Lane on Saturday.
It was just the kind of performance new manager Brad Quinton had demanded from his all-new Iron side and he was particularly pleased with their attitude and commitment having gone two goals down within a three minute spell midway through the first half.
"We started well, created chances early on but were then caught out by individual errors leading to two quick goals against the run of play but crucially we pulled one back before the interval and again we had a couple of decent chances to have come in on level terms," he explained. "The players responded magnificently in the second half, kept to our game plan and I knew we could go on and win.
"In reality we should have won by a bigger margin because we dominated play and had several chances to have scored more in the last 20 minutes," he added. "But I am satisfied with a win away from home in our first game and it gives all the players that bit extra confidence."
He added: "Our work rate and cohesion throughout the side was good too."
Against the run of play the Iron went behind on 19 minutes when a wayward back pass from Phil Roberts fell straight to the feet of Yemi Odubade who strolled through to beat 'keeper Nathan McDonald.
Three minutes later it went from bad to worse for the Iron when from another through ball into their area it led to a defensive mix-up allowing Nathan Pinney to turn and chip the ball into the net.
Needing to retrieve a goal back before the interval it came on 29 minutes when the hard working Scott Shulton broke well from midfield and fired home a low 25 yard shot past home 'keeper Bailey Vose into the bottom right corner.
Iron kept up the pressure and eight minutes later Vose somehow saved a great shot from Karl Oliyide forcing the ball on to the bar and over.
Within a couple of minutes of the restart Iron's cause for an equaliser was helped by second yellow card for home defender Kiran Khinda-John for hauling down Oliyide en route to goal.
With a minute the Iron scored their equaliser courtesy of a lob shot from Roberts as he made amends for giving the home side their first goal.
Iron kept up the pressure and Roberts, Oliyide and Luke Allen were constantly causing all kinds of problems for the home side back line with their pace and tenacity on the ball.
The expected third Iron goal came on 54 minutes thanks to a near post effort from Billy Crook following yet another excellent save by Vose.
Once in the lead and with the man advantage the Iron continued to dominate play and they created five or six decent goal scoring chances before the final whistle which would have given a bigger scoreline which over the 90 minutes they deserved.
The only dent in the Iron's win was a bad facial injury to Allen who was forced off and may be doubtful for the side's next match at home to Dartford on Tuesday evening (kick off 7.45pm).
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Frimpong, Okoye, Gabriel; Allen (Craddock 66), Shulton, Crook, Wyatt (Campbell 72); Oliyide, Roberts (Wynter 74). Unused subs: Mugabo, Bettache. Attendance 598. Referee: David Spain.

Talking to The Gaffer
I taught Joe Hart everything ...
We get the season underway with a chat with the Gaffer - Brad Quinton
DOB: 7/9/78 (38) Born: Mile End, London Previous Clubs: Tottenham H, Romford, Aveley, Bishops Stortford, Braintree T & Enfield
Q. what is your full time job?
A. Colour Manager for Rhapsody Media
Q. Who do you support?
A. Tottenham H
Q. Who is your all-time favourite player?
A. Paul Gascoigne
Q. How do you relax away from the game?
A. Time with family, watching TV
Q. Who is your favourite singer/band?
A. Phil Collins
Q. What was the last gig you attended?
A. Elton John
Q. What is your favourite TV programme?
A. Only Fools & Horses
Q. How easy/difficult a decision was it to come back here as the manager?
A. I had been approached, but needed to see what happened with Enfield in the play-offs. The Board got me at their second attempt.
Q. You hold the club appearance record, what are your best memories of those games; do any particular moments stick out?
A. Scoring against Joe Hart when he was at Shrewsbury Town. The next day he made his move to Manchester City.
Q. What are you looking for from this season?
A. Looking to give it a go, give the fans justice after last season. See where we are at Christmas.
Q. This is the second successive season the club has had to rebuild, how will it help having the lads in from Enfield?
A. I did a similar job last season at Enfield, all the lads I've brought in here, I brought in to Enfield. They're all hungry players who want to progress.
Q. How would you describe your management style?
A. Enjoy your football.
Q. What style/formation of football do you like to play?
A. I like a fluid formation that allows us to change at a given signal. I always look to play a passing game.
Q. Are there any players from last season who you would like to have kept?
A. They were all given the option to talk to me, some had wanted more money, but that would have took us over budget.
Q. Are there fines for the players?
A. Yes, including things like lateness, being overweight, not wearing flip-flops.
Q. Who have been the best manager/coach you have worked with?
A. George Borg and Graham Roberts
Q. When you were a player, which manager gave you the biggest rollicking?
A. Several. I remember Graham Roberts making me sit with him in the stand during a 4 match suspension. He'd send me down to the touch line with some instructions and as soon as I got back to my seat, he'd send me off again with more instructions. I learned I was no use if I was not playing!
Q. Which teams in this league do you see challenging for promotion?
A. I think it's an open League and wouldn't single out any particular team.
Q. You're fairly new to management, at what level do you think you can manage?
A. I'd like to manage full time and then see where it goes from there.
Q. You have you appointed Mark Okoye as captain, what do you expect from him?
A. Hard work, leadership and commitment.
Q. Name your all-time best Braintree XI from those you have played with.
A. (4-3-3 formation) GK - Nathan McDonald, RB - John Muleba, LB - Ashley Cole, CB - Russell Edwards & Rio Ferdinand. Midfield - Brad Quinton, Andy Porter and Billy Crook, Strikers - Britt Assombalonga, Alex Revell & Carl Griffiths.

Eastbourne Preview
Iron lads ready for the challenge ahead
Sat 5 August 2017 - Eastbourne B v Braintree T
In 2016/17 Eastbourne finished 11th in the NL South Division on 58 points. Their home record was: Played 21, Won 12, Lost 5, Drew 4 (40 points). Goals For: 51, Goals Against: 30. Last 4 home games: Won 3-2 v St Albans C, Won 4-0 v E Thurrock U, Won 5-1 v Wealdstone, Won 7-3 v Welling. Top scorers: Nathaniel Pinney - 25, Elliott Romain (joined Dag & Red in March 2017) - 19.
Braintree Town finished in 22nd place in the NL top flight on 48 points. Home Record: Played 23, Won 7, Lost 12, Drew 4 (27 points). Goals For: 23, Goals Against: 33. Last 4 home games: Lost 0-2 v Barrow, Won 2-0 v Guiseley, Lost 1-2 v Dover A, Lost 1-2 v Woking. Top scorers: Michael Cheek - 25, Lee Barnard - 6, Jack Midson, Reece Hall-Johnson - 5
Last meeting: 5 November 2016 - FA Cup 2nd Round: Braintree T 7 Eastbourne B 0. Goals from Patterson, Elokobi (2), Muldoon, Bernard (pen), Akinola & Lee. Arguably the game of the season for many Iron fans as we struggled to win at home in the National League top flight. Braintree served up a cracker with three of the goal scorers being loanees.
This season we go again with another re-built squad. BQ has put together a squad assembled around several players from his previous club - Enfield. Hopefully this will see the lads gel together quickly. The Sports too are under new management with Jamie Howell stepping into the breach from Bognor Regis. Howell's first signing was Torres - no not Fernando but Sergio Torres formerly of Wycombe W, Peterborough U & Crawley amongst others. Eastbourne had a good home record last season, scoring 19 in their last 4 games at Priory Lane. The new Iron defence will have to keep the strings tight on Pinney to secure an unbeaten start.


Sun shines on Iron squad!
Boys ready for the challenge ahead
Brad Quinton's new look Braintree Town squad got together for the annual pre-season squad shot on Thursday evening. The showers kept away and the clouds parted! Pictured above are:
Back Row: Karl Oliyide, Alfred Mugabo, Osa Obamwonyi, Harry Aldridge, Nathan McDonald, Sam Souter, Marc Okoye, Luke Allen, Ricky Gabriel.
Middle Row: Barry Bolton (Coach), Barry Sewell (Goalkeeping Coach), Phil Roberts, Ben Wyatt, Scott Shulton, Jon Muleba, Connor Bolton, Dernell Wynter, Samir Bihmoutine, Christian Frimpong, George Craddock, Errol Hassan (Coach), Jacque Edouard (Coach).
Front Row: Luke Mallett, Tyler Campbell, Roman Michael-Percil, Tyler Overton (Physio), Brad Quinton (Manager), Andy Porter (Assistant Manager), Billy Crook, Matt Baxter, Mahrez Bettache. Photo: Paul Tebbutt.


Iron complete friendlies with a win
Reading XI beaten
Iron wrapped up their pre-season friendlies with an impressive victory over a workmanlike young Royals side at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on Saturday, writes David Ward.
The winning margin would have been greater but for several heroic saves by visiting keeper George Legg while Iron fans in the 140 crowd would have been impressed by the way their new-look side created opportunities, played their passing game and were far more entertaining to watch than at any time last season.
The Iron were in command for most of the game forcing Legg to make a point-blank save on 35 minutes from a close range effort by Marc-Anthony Okoye and two minutes later he denied Karl Oliyide with an outstanding save with his legs.
Close to the interval Legg again proved to be the stumbling block tipping over a fierce first time shot by Ipswich loanee Shane McLoughlin.
Four minutes after the restart the Iron finally made the breakthrough when Phil Roberts headed on a long Nathan McDonald goal kick to the ever alert McLoughlin who drilled the ball low past Legg.
Five minutes later the Ipswich youngster almost added a second but he was again denied by Legg.
Earlier McDonald had twice pulled off two fine saves to deny Teddy Howe and Ben House but once the deadlock was broken it gave the Iron players more confidence in pushing forward for that crucial second goal to give them some breathing space.
It didn't come until eight minutes from the end when Iron substitute Samir Bihmoutine was hauled down in the area by Howe and up stepped Billy Crook to fire the resultant spot kick home.
It also gave a better reflection of play over the 90 minutes in which the Iron without doubt played their best football of pre-season and gives the new side confidence ahead of next Saturday's opening National League South game at Eastbourne Borough.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Gabriel, Frimpong, Okoye; Mugabe (55 Maybanks), Craddock, Cook, Olyide, (75 Bihmoutine); Roberts (79 Wyatt), McLaughlin (55 Wynter). Unused subs: Shulton, Baxter, Obamwonyi. Referee: Carl Pearce.

Squad side resolute at Lowestoft
Clean sheet in the rain
Braintree Town called upon a number of unfamiliar faces at Lowestoft on Friday evening, writes Jon Weaver.
With the squad entertaining Reading the next day, there were only five players on show who had featured regularly in the earlier friendlies. Connor Bolton, Joe Robinson (Captain) and Mahrez Bettache were the only players to complete a full 90 minutes, while Matt Baxter and Ben Wyatt both completed a half. There were five reserves on show, with Harry Aldridge, Harry Seal, Ethan Evison, Aaron Dyson and Charlie Webb all playing in the second half. From the Under 21's Sam Souter and James Dicker both started the game, as did Mase Wade who had scored against Maldon & Tiptree in last season's Essex Senior Cup tie, the day before his 17th birthday.
Lowestoft included their new signing Dean Leacock, who had played in the Premier League with Derby County. The highly rated Travis Cole was at 4 and Harvey Hodd, who played for Braintree last season in friendlies at Bury Town, Heybridge and Stanway was at 10.
Lowestoft were first out of the blocks, and enjoyed plenty of possession but were finding it had to get past an Iron backline in which Osa Obamwonyi was outstanding. Clear cut chances for either side were few and far between although the game was opening out to be a most absorbing match.
Multiple substitions were made at the second half, with eight changes to the Braintree side. Charlie Webb and Harry Seal took over as the central defensive pairing, with Robinson moving to right back. They both played really well and as the game wore on and weather conditions worsened Iron began to look the better side. Late in the game both Alfie Cervulli and Ethan Evison came close for the away side but the final whistle blew with no goals scored.
General opinion among the home supporters seemed to be that they had thoroughly enjoyed the match, and the young Braintree players had acquitted themselves very well.
FIRST HALF TEAM: 31. Sam Souter, 2. Martin Frimpong, 3. Connor Bolton, 4. Osa Obamwonyi, 5. Joe Robinson, 6. Jamie Dicker, 7. Jacob Lay, 8. Matt Baxter, 9. Mase Wade, 10. Harry Adil, 11. Mahrez Bettache.
SECOND HALF SUBS: 21. Harry Aldridge, Ben Wyatt - no number, 14. Harry Seal, 15. Alfie Cervulli, 16. Jack Lelliott, 17. Ethan Evison, Aaron Dyson - no number, Charlie Webb - no number. Attendance: 194

Sim returns for friendly
Ben Wyatt grabs Iron consolation
Tuesday evening's third home pre-season friendly against Football League opposition saw another encouraging display by Iron who took on a youthful Barnet side at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium that included former Braintree favourite Sim Akinola.
Although the visitors, clearer fitter from full-time training and with some experienced players in their squad won 3-1, watching Iron fans in the 160 crowd would again have been encouraged by the way their side continued to play a passing game right up until the final whistle with just that final ball letting them down.
Iron gave a debut to on-loan 18 year-old striker Shane McLoughlin from Ipswich and he had an impressive game and twice almost put his name on the scoresheet while, at the other end, keeper Nanthan McDonald again pulled off some fine saves as he did against Colchester United on Saturday to keep his side in the game at times.
The visitors took the lead on 20 minutes when sloppy passing in the Iron defence allowed Nana Keyi to drive the ball home past McDonald and four minutes from the interval Barnet triallist Jordan Lussey scored from outside the area with McDonald unsighted.
Five minutes after the restart the visitors grabbed a third goal through Mauro Vilhete but to their credit the Iron increased their tempo and put renewed pressure on the visitors goal causing keeper Craig Ross to pull off three fine saves.
With several second half substitutes on both sides the game lost a little of its rythym but towards the end it was the Iron who looked the more likely side to score.
Their efforts were rewarded in the final minute when substitute Ben Wyatts finally beat keeper Ross with a glancing header.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Okoye, Frimpong, Gabriel; Baxter, Shulton, Crook, Roberts; McLoughlin, Wynter. Second half substitutes were Robinson, Wyatt, Craddock, Theobalds, Bihmoutine, Bolton/
Next up for Iron is away to Lowestoft Town on Friday evening, 28th July, kick off 7.45pm, followed by a home game against a Reading XI on Saturday, 29th July, with kick off 3pm.

Iron still work in progress
Keeper McDonald impresses
It's still a case of work in progress for the Iron as they battled hard but ultimately lost out against a full Football League squad from their near neighbours at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on Saturday, writes David Ward.
Although not quite reaching the high playing level as they did in their previous home friendly against Southend United at least the all-new look Iron side are playing some attractive football, keeping the ball on the ground with short passing and creating goal scoring opportunities.
Clearly still needing more cutting edge though in attack and perhaps also one more experienced defender to put together a more consolidated unit, Iron in the end were beaten by a clearly fitter and quicker full-time team.
Ironically the player who caused most of the problems for the home side was Sammie Szmodics, who had a successful loan spell at Braintree the season before last, his pace and perception showed why he is being watched by bigger clubs.
He latched on to a home defence mistake on 26 minutes to lift the ball over Iron 'keeper Nathan McDonald into the net for the opener and practically repeated the process on 62 minutes nipping on to a sloppy pass between two Iron players to beat McDonald again.
In fact two superb saves in either half from McDonald prevented the visitors from returning up the A120 with a bigger winning margin.
On 19 minutes he pulled off a great save to deny Denny Johnstone and against shortly before the break stopped Lewis Kinsella from scoring.
At times the Iron showed Iron fans in the 619 crowd what good build up play they can produce but unfortunately despite creating half chances they lack a potent striker to finish off all the good approach work while free-kicks outside the visitors' area were all too often wasted.
With both sides each making obviously several second half substitutes as the match progressed the flow of the game was interrupted but full credit to the Iron players they stuck doggedly to their task and but for some poor final balls into those danger areas they could have found the net.
The visitors confidently wrapped up the game on 82 minutes when U's substitute Louis Dunne slipped through the Iron defence to score his side's third goal with a low, hard shot past McDonald.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Okoya, Frimpong, Gabriel; Shulton, Craddock, Wyatt, Crook; Wynter, Ottaway.
Iron substitutes all used in the second half: Robinson, Allen, Bettache, Roberts, Baxter, Theobalds.
Next up for the Iron is at home on Tuesday when another Football League side Barnet are the visitors, kick off 7.45pm.

Colchester visit on Saturday
Happy hour in the Clubhouse from 1-2
Iron continue their pre-season build-up with another prestigious friendly against Football League neighbours Colchester United this coming Saturday, 22nd July, with kick-off at 3pm. The Weston Homes Community Stadium club just missed out on the play-off places for promotion to League One last season, finishing a point off seventh-placed Blackpool - who won the play-off final at Wembley.
The U's have had a busy summer so far. They have signed defender Cole Kpekawa from Championship-side Barnsley, former Watford goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin and Ryan Jackson from Gillingham. They have also promoted trio Charley Edge, Diaz Wright and Decarrey Sheriff from the Club's under 23 squad. Early indications are encouraging with The U's beating a West Ham United side 2-0 on Tuesday. That was their fourth successive win after victories at Maldon & Tiptree (2-0), Needham Market (4-0) and Llandudno (1-0).
Admission prices for Saturday's match have been reduced to just £10 for adults and £5 for OAPs and under 18s. The Clubhouse will open to all from 1pm and we'll be offering selected beers at 'happy hour' prices from 1 'til 2 before the game.

Only goal beats Iron's 22 man squad
Pre-season continues with plenty of game time
Braintree Town made the trip into Suffolk on Tuesday night to play Bostik League side Bury Town, and lost there for the second successive season.
Brad Quinton used more players than he has done in any of the previous three games, and 22 of them got game time. The outcome was that play was more disjointed than in the previous matches.
Iron started brightly, dominating possession but with very little to show for their efforts. Bury soon settled in to the game. Iron's first chance came in the 28th minute. Bury's goalkeeper was dispossessed outside the penalty area by Karl Okiyide. He pulled the ball back to Phil Roberts but his shot was tame and gathered easily. Six minutes later Matt Baxter had the ball in the net after being slipped through by George Craddock but the linesman judged him to be offside.
A second meaty challenge by Baxter saw him booked by the referee Ollie Morris-Sanders, a former Braintree goalkeeper. In the melee that followed Liam Enver-Marum, a 30th minute substitute for Oliyide, was booked along with a home protagonist.
Multiple changes were made at the start of the second half. On the hour mark Samir Bihmoutine slipped an inviting ball across the goal. Enver-Marum missed it but it was met by Joe Gardner flying in at the far post, and he struck the ball up on to the crossbar. Gardner had previously made 6 sub appearances for Braintree in the Danny Cowley era.
The home side were starting to create the better chances and went ahead in the 71st minute. Their long throws had been causing problems all evening. From one of them the ball looped to Ollie Canfer who was unchallenged as he softly back-headed over McDonald and in to the net.
There was no further scoring although Ricky Gabriel was also booked. Bury also had three players yellow-carded in a competitive fixture that would have been of more benefit to the home team than the away one.
TEAM: 33. Nathan McDonald, 2. Jon Muleba (SUB: Joe Maybanks - no number), 11. Ben Wyatt (15. Samir Bihmoutine), 5. Joe Robinson, 6. Osa Obamwonyi (Ricky Gabriel - no number), also 6. George Craddock (10. Desean), 7. Mahrez Bettache (12. Joe Gardner), 8. Matt Baxter (Billy Crook - no number), 4. Xavier Vidal (14. Luke Allen) (6. Connor Bolton), 3. Karl Oliyide (16. Liam Enver-Marum) (8. Nigel Neita), 17. Phil Roberts (9. Luke Mallett). Attendance: 171.

Odd goal in three defeat for Iron
Braintree continue to flourish
Braintree Town returned to the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on an overcast afternoon and faced a strong Southend United side, writes Jon Weaver. The Skybet League One team included new signings Michael Turner and Stephen Hendrie with Michael Kightley on the bench. Nine of Braintree's starting XI were making home debuts.
Iron's first clear chance fell to Karl Oliyide who found himself well clear of Southend's backline but rolled the ball agonisingly wide of Mark Oxley's far post. The miss proved costly as a minute later the visitors were ahead when Simon Cox headed past Nathan McDonald.
Despite trailing, Iron were looking impressive and were creating the better chances. On 36 minutes Oliyide crossed low from the right wing. It was met by Roman Michael-Percil, who blasted over the bar from 12 yards out. Iron equalised four minutes later when Oliyide rose to meet Ben Wyatt's left wing cross and out-jumped former West Ham centre half Anton Ferdinand to powerfully head home his third goal of the pre-season campaign.
Braintree were not level for long. Mark Antoine Fortune fired low into the goal from 20 yards out in the 44th minute of the half to re-establish the Shrimpers lead.
Both teams made multiple changes in the second half. The main talking point came on the hour mark when Southend's Michael Timlin took exception to a challenge from Scott Shulton and was shown the red card for his part in the ensuing incident, which sparked a confrontation. When order had been restored Shulton was shown a yellow card and tactically withdrawn from the action by Brad Quinton.
Iron had further chances to get back into the game. Jon Muleba's pin point cross was mis-hit by the oncoming Dernell Wynter, who diverted the ball wide. Harry Ottaway created an opportunity for Wynter who went around the visiting keeper but failed to divert the ball the right side of the post. Several long range efforts by Matt Baxter went close, and the same player did have the ball in the next although he was clearly offside.
At the other end McDonald pulled off a couple of finger tip saves late on to keep the final score at Braintree Town 1 Southend United 2.
Iron Team: 33. Nathan McDonald, 2. Jon Muleba, 3. Ricky Gabriel (16. Connor Bolton), 4. Marc Okeye (17. Joe Robinson), 5. Christian Frimpong (19. Nigel Neita), 6. Scott Shulton (15. Mahrez Bettache), 7. Luke Allen (14. George Craddock), 8. Billy Crook (21. Phil Roberts), 9. Roman Michael-Percil (12. Dernell Wynter), 10. Karl Oliyide (Harry Ottaway - no number), 11. Ben Wyatt (Matt Baxter - no number).

Southend at home on Saturday
Cracking football and cheap beer!
Braintree Town welcome Southend United to the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on Saturday for a first home pre-season friendly. It will give the Iron fans an opportunity to take a look at the progress new manager Brad Quinton is making with his squad. The game kicks off at 3pm on Saturday and admission prices have been reduced to just £10 for adults and £5 for OAPs and under 18s. Chairman Lee Harding was quick to accept the importance of the fixture: "We always enjoy competitive matches with our friends from Southend and I'd like to think we both benefit from them. Brad has already stamped his authority on how he wants to see his side play the game and we've seen some encouraging early signs in the games at Long Melford and Newmarket - not to mention eleven goals! Just as importantly, attractive games against local Football League opposition will help with the Club's income. Although we do not budget for pre-season games, any windfalls from these games will go straight towards Brad's playing resources and his squad-building ambitions, so I'd encourage our supporters to come along on Saturday and have a look at the how we're doing. We've reduced admission prices, the t-bar will be open and we'll be offering selected beers at 'happy hour' prices from 1 'til 2 before the game. Let's hope the weather is kind to us!"

Braintree passing it nicely
Iron impress in the rain
Iron enjoyed a good workout in the rain on Newmarket Town's new cork-based 3G pitch on Tuesday night, adding some cracking long range goals to the six they had scored at Long Melford, writes Jon Weaver.
There were plenty of changes to Saturday's line-up, with only Scott Shulton and Joe Robinson starting both games.
Iron quickly got into their stride and right back Luke Mallett advanced into the penalty area before unleasing a shot that hit the base of the post. Soon after Dernell Wynter let fly from outside the box and found the top left corner to put Braintree 1-0 up. On 25 minutes George Craddock shot high into the roof of the net from the edge of the penalty area, and then the Newmarket keeper made a blinding point blank save from Mallett. Having dominated the game and played some really good football, Iron led 2-0 at the break.
For a while after the restart Newmarket came more in to the game but it was Braintree that scored the crucial third goal, and it was the best of the night. Matt Baxter struck sweetly from 25 yards into the top left corner. The visitors weren't finished. Michael Campbell was upended after weaving his way into the penalty area, and Scott Shulton converted the resulting penalty (pictured). Late in the game Enver-Marum laid the ball on for Campbell to convert the fifth.
Team: 33 Ben McNamara (SUB: 21 Aiden Prall), 8. Luke Mallett, 15. Ricky Gabriel, 6. Joe Robinson, 5. Marc-Anthony Okeye, 7. Xavier Vidal (16. Matt Baxter), 17. Scott Shulton, 4. George Craddock (7. Vidal - returning to the field late on), 9. Dernell Winter (14. Michael Campbell), 12. George Sykes (Liam Enver-Marum), 11. Phil Roberts (Luke Allen). Late substitute - Brian, surname unknown. Attendance: 92

Mr Michael Doyle
Vice President passes away
Braintree Town Football Club are saddened to announce the passing of its Vice President Mr Michael Doyle on Saturday morning. Chairman Lee Harding said: "A regular in the Iron clubhouse for many years, Michael was a jovial character who always managed to put a smile on the face of those he met and spent time with. His humour was infectious and he was a well respected member of our Club. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. As a mark of respect, a minutes' silence will be observed prior to Saturday's match at home to Southend United."

Iron open pre-season with victory
Six without reply at Long Melford
An all-new look Iron side comfortably won their opening pre-season match at Stoneylands on Saturday. It left new manager Brad Quinton well satisfied with their first out but he knows tougher friendlies against stronger opposition are coming up.
With all new players both in the starting line-up and on the substitutes' bench he was looking for some early signs of teamwork and cohesion and in reality they did by dominating the 90 minutes against their Thurlow Nunn Premier Division hosts.
Former Hendon and Enfield striker 21 year-old Karl Oliyide gave his new team a two-goal lead at the interval in what was a competitive first half but the Iron stepped up a gear in the second half to easily overcome their hosts and also the extreme heat of the afternoon.
Former Swindon youth central defender Christian Frimpong, 18, added a third early in the second half with a superb header and shortly afterwards Burundi-born right-back Jonathan Muleba, 22, who was with Quinton at Enfield last season, moved up the right wing to score the fourth goal with a blistering shot.
Second half substitute Dernell Wynter grabbed two goals late on, including a 25-yard shot into the top corner of the net, as the Iron ran out easy winners.
With only former Iron goalkeeper Nathan McDonald the only player known to watching Iron fans - he was made captain for the day - all the other players on show were making their club debuts and all the substitutions were made in the second half.
Braintree Town: McDonald (sub Witham); Muleba, Frimpone, Shulton (Baxter), Wyatt; Robinson, Allen (Gabriel), Bettache, Crook (Seal); Oliyide (Ottoway), Michel-Percil (Wynter). Attendance: 207.
Next up for Iron is a second pre-season match at Newmarket Town this coming Tuesday evening, 11th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm.

Pre-season changes
Date switch and new fixture
Braintree Town have agreed an additional new pre-season fixture and also switched the date of the trip to Lowestoft Town. The game at Lowestoft Town has now been brought forward 24 hours and Iron will now visit the Crown Meadow Ground on Friday, 28th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. The following day, Saturday, 29th July, Braintree Town will now entertain a Reading XI, with kick-off at 3pm.

Iron start in Sussex
See all the fixtures here!
The fixtures for the forthcoming 2017/2018 season are out!
Braintree Town will start their Vanarama National League South campaign on Saturday, 5th August, with a trip to Sussex to visit Eastbourne Borough and their 3G pitch. The two sides met in last season's FA Cup at the First Round stage, with Iron progressing through to a Second Round trip to Millwall.
The Club's first home match is the following Tuesday, 8th August, when the bookmaker's pre-season favourites Dartford are the visitors to the IronmongeryDirect Stadium, with this match followed four days later by the visit of Chippenham Town on Saturday, 12th August.
Bank Holiday matches see Braintree Town entertain St. Albans City on August Bank Holiday Monday, 28th August, with the return at Clarence Park on East Monday, 2nd April. Boxing Day sees Iron welcome Chelmsford City, with the return at Melbourne Park on New Year's Day.
Our longest journey sees us travel to Cornwall to visit Truro City on the penultimate Saturday of the season, 21st April and we finish the season at home to Gloucester City.
Iron will start their FA Cup campaign at the Second Qualifying Round stage on Saturday, 16th September and will join the FA Trophy competition at the Third Qualifying Round stage on Saturday, 25th November.
The opening day's Vanarama National League South fixtures are as follows:

Bognor Regis Town v. Bath City
Chelmsford City v. Gloucester City
Chippenham Town v. Havant & Waterlooville
Dartford v. Hungerford Town
East Thurrock United v. Hampton & Richmond Borough
Eastbourne Borough v. BRAINTREE TOWN
Hemel Hempstead Town v. Whitehawk
Oxford City v. St. Albans City
Truro City v. Welling United
Wealdstone v. Concord Rangers
Weston-Super-Mare v. Poole Town


For a full list of the season's fixtures click on the Games link above.

Three more sign up!
Brad adds defender, midfield and forward
Iron Manager Brad Quinton has continued his squad-building with the addition of three more players to his squad for the forthcoming Vanarama National League South campaign. Joining the Club are defender Ricky Gabriel, striker Nigel Neita and midfielder Connor Bolton from Brad's previous club Enfield Town.
26-year old Ricky Gabriel was part of Brad's side that lost the Ryman League play-off semi-final at Dulwich Hamlet last May, making a total of 43 appearances and scored seven goals for the North London club. He joined Enfield from local Spartan South Midlands League side Brimsdown in early 2015 and had a spell at Dover Athletic after playing in the USL Pro League for Antigua Barracuda FC.
Nigel Neita started his career at Arsenal and signed a professional contract in 2011. During his two years with the North London club he was called up for Jamaica's friendly against Costa Rica in March 2012. After leaving Arsenal, he moved on to Dulwich Hamlet in 2013 and then Met. Police a year later. Now 23, he was also at Enfield Town with Brad last season and made 18 appearances, scoring twice.
Connor Bolton is 22 and at home on the left side of midfield. Another with Brad at Enfield last season, Connor also spent time at Hadley and Ware last season. Part of the Enfield Under-21 side that won the Middlesex Premier Cup in 2015.


Iron Reserves return home
Second XI back at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium
Braintree Town Football Club have arranged for their reserve side to play their Thurlow-Nunn League Division One matches at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium next season.
Reserve management Lee Fisher and Luke Nash said: "We feel like we are back where we belong this coming 2017-18 season."
"The success of the extensive drainage work carried out on the pitch this time last year, has allowed the Reserves to return after a successful 2016-17 season playing out of Long Melford FC - who we thank for their support in recent years."
"News of the young Iron Res's returning to the IronmongeryDirect Stadium for 2017-18 will hopefully be taken with much joy from the fans and supporters. Creating a buzz every week that 234 supporters achieved on the last home game is our aim."
"The Reserve management has an open canvas to create something special at Braintree. Working closely with Brad, the 1st Team management and players; we will be able to attract, develop and utilise all avenues and facilities at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium."
"One of the great qualities from the committed Reserve management is the ability to nurture a close-knit environment which allows all players to gain confidence and generate their best performance. Delivering success will be a by product of this."
"Chairman Lee Harding and the Board are fully supportive of the return and working closely with the youth."
"Attracting local sponsorship during preseason is something we wish to generate contact Club Sales & Marketing Director Mark Sansom via e-mail: sales@braintreetownfc.org.uk."
"We hope we can make it a success and enjoy the return to the IronmongeryDirect Stadium. Pre season starts on 22nd June with the season kicking off on 5th August."


BQ adds two more
Striker and attacking midfielder sign
Iron boss Brad Quinton has added a further two signings to his squad for the forthcoming Vanarama National League South campaign.
Rejoining the club is 29-year old striker Liam Enver-Marum who played eighteen games for the club during our successful 2013-14 season when we finished sixth. Liam started his career at Cambridge United before moving on to Crawley, Ebbsfleet and Stevenage. After leaving Braintree, he enjoyed spells at Bishop's Stortford, Basingstoke Town and, last season, Maidstone United and Hemel Hempstead.
Also joining the Club is 26-year old Billy Crook. A goal-scoring midfielder, Billy scored 17 goals and provided 17 assists last year for Brad Quinton at Enfield and finished the season as the players' player of the season, supporters player of the season, manager's player of the season and golden boot award winner! Billy started his career as a youngster at Crystal Palace before being given a professional contract at Peterborough. He then moved on to the Glen Hoddle academy in Spain, before returning to the UK and playing for Met Police, Dulwich Hamlet and Enfield.


Striker added to squad
Brad signs George Sykes
Brad Quinton has continued his pre-season build-up with the addition of a 6'4" striker to the Iron squad.
22-year old George Sykes joined the Barnet youth team as an under-16 and was top scorer in the English U-18 youth system in the 2011-12 season with 24 goals. He made his senior debut at the age of 17 against Bristol Rovers in August 2012 and signed his first professional contract with the Bees in November 2012. He won the League Two Apprentice of the Year award at the Football League Awards in March 2013. During his three years with Barnet, Sykes had various loan spells before joining Dartford for the 2015-2016 making 25 appearances. After a 2nd short loan spell at Canvey Island, George made the move permanent, joining the Ryman Premier side for the 2016-2017 season where he scored 21 goals in a difficult season for the club as they were relegated. George swept the board at the clubs end of season presentation evening winning Manager's Player of the Year, Players' Player of the Year and the Supporters' Player of the Year awards.


Gaffer adds three more
Iron squad taking shape
Braintree Town manager Brad Quinton has continued his busy squad-building with the addition of three players to the Iron squad for the forthcoming season.
Joining the club is 22 year old attacking midfielder Xavier Vidal. Vidal was on the verge of breaking into the professional game while at Dulwich Hamlet, spending time on trial with Birmingham, Bolton, Brentford and Oxford. After failing to secure a deal in the Football League, he moved up to then National League Welling United. He made 28 appearances in all competitions for the Wings, scoring four times He also had a loan spell at National League South side Hemel Hempstead and most recently he has played Merstham.
The Club are also pleased to announce the signing of 22 year old winger Roman Michael-Percil. Roman has previously played for Tottenham Hotspur, Billericay, Dulwich Hamlet and most recently Metropolitan Police and chipped in with 9 goals last season.
The third signing is the highly-rated Jonathan Muleba. The 21-year old defender joined Chelsea at Under-14 level and made his Under-18 debut as a 15-year old during the 2011-12 season. He became a regular in the Under-18s' defence in his first year as a scholar in 2012-13. His displays earned him late-season recognition at Under-21 level, where he made his first appearance in April 2013. An Under-18 ever-present right up until the last game before Christmas in 2013-14, his impressive performances secured him the offer of a professional contract at Chelsea, but rejected the opportunity and joined Bournemouth on a two and a half year contract in January 2014. He received a call-up to the Democratic Republic of Congo's Under-20 national team during June 2013 and featured in a friendly against Chile. Spent time last season in the Enfield side that reached the Ryman League play-offs.

Brad signs four
Work underway for Iron's new manager
Iron Manager Brad Quinton has continued his squad building with the completion of formalities with four more players. Joining the club are:
- Samir Bihmoutine, who is a 23 year old dynamic attacking left back/wing back. Samir spent eleven years at Arsenal including a year as a full professional and then a full year at Bournemouth, from where he spent loan spells at both at Wealdstone in the National South and neighbours Hayes & Yeading.
- Scott Shulton, who returns to the Club after playing a big part in our 2010/11 South championship-winning side. Now 27, Scott (pictured top left with Brad) is an aggressive ball playing midfielder who can score goals. After making 24 appearances for Braintree in 2010/11, Scott enjoyed spells at Bishop's Stortford, Hendon, Wingate & Finchley and Enfield.
- George Craddock, who is a 22. A goal scoring midfielder, George (pictured top right) was a Northampton Scholar before signing a one-year professional contract with the Cobblers. Has recently spent time with National South side East Thurrock.
- Marc Okoye, is 24-year old towering centre-half who has spent recent seasons with Ryman League Premier Division sides Merstham and Dulwich Hamlet. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted Marc at the Club's Open Day last Sunday week!

Open Day - a success!
Brad explains his vision to packed clubhouse
Braintree Town's new manager Brad Quinton met the fans again on Sunday. He aims to first stabilise the Club after its relegation from the Vanarama National League and ensure his completely new look first team squad can establish themselves at that level as part of his longer term strategy.
"We are first laying the foundations and making sure the 18/19 man first team squad are 'all singing off the same hymn sheet' from the outset and know what are aim is which is to progress this club forward again," he explained to over 150 fans attending a Club open day on Sunday afternoon.
"Like at my first club in management at Enfield, we have a great deal of work to do to start with and to get the right mix of the side and have everyone involved behind us," he continued. "That takes time but we will be working hard to get things right from the start and in readiness for the first league game.
"Obviously our aim is to be in that top half of the table and at Christmas if were are in such a strong position then it would be fantastic to make the play-offs but there's a long, long way to go and a great deal of hard work before then," he added. "Initially it's all about consolidation."
Quinton, who has brought his back room team from Enfield, confirmed he had already agreed terms in principle with 15/16 players to sign but would only reveal their identity once signatures had been completed in the coming days.
With all of last season's relegation squad allowed to depart, except young home grown winger Joe Maybanks and goalkeeper Ben McNamara, Quinton is in the process of completely rebuilding a first team squad.
"We will also involve both reserve and academy players along the way and they will mix as and when with the seniors so we can what potential there is with the younger players," he continued. "One thing is for certain though is that all our players will fit and the team well organised from the start of the season."
He went on: "All the players will be constantly monitored in terms of individual fitness levels by my team using the modern techniques that are now part of the game at higher levels so there will be no excuses from them in terms of recovery time from any injuries.
"We will be looking to constantly improve their performances and we will signing players who also able to play in different positions too," he explained. "We will also have our staff out scouting for players, looking at future opponents and doing a great deal of background work which is essential at our level of the game.
"I am hoping the fans will get behind us and we in turn intend to play an attractive brand of football to both entertain and win which has always been the ethos at our Club," he added.
The Club will be holding a trialists' day on June 22 to have a look at potential players and first team training starts on June 24 with the first pre-season home friendly against Southend United on July 15.
The Vanarama National League South kicks off on Saturday, August 5th, with fixtures expected in early-July.

Seventh friendly added
Iron travel to Suffolk coast
Iron have added a seventh fixture to their pre-season schedule. Brad Quinton's new-look Braintree side will visit Lowestoft Town's Crown Meadow Road ground on Saturday, 29th July, with kick-off at 3pm. Lowestoft play in the Ryman League Premier Division and finished eleventh of 24 last season.

Sixth friendly added
Braintree to visit Newmarket's new 3G
Braintree Town have added a sixth fixture to their pre-season schedule. Iron will visit Newmarket Town's Cricket Field Road ground on Tuesday, 11th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. Newmarket play in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division and have just completed their first season on a state of the art 3G pitch - the first full size with cork infill in the country. With four sides having 3G pitches in next season's Vanarama National League South next season, it gives our new look Iron squad an ideal opportunity to experience game time on an artificial surface.

Fifth friendly agreed
Iron to visit Long Melford
The Club have arranged a fifth pre-season friendly. Iron Manager Brad Quinton will send the first team squad to visit Thurlow-Nunn League Premier Division side Long Melford at their Stoneylands Stadium on Saturday, 8th July, with kick-off at 3pm.

Iron appoint new Manager
Building for the future
Braintree Town have appointed their new manager. Re-joining the Club is Brad Quinton, who will be working with another former Iron Andy Porter as his assistant manager. Brad will need no introduction to the Braintree faithful, as he spent twelve successful seasons at Cressing Road. Brad finished his Iron career as the Club's record appearance holder with an amazing 546 competitive appearances, during which he scored 69 goals! Brad's time as a player was synonymous with success and included: a Ryman League play-off place, a Ryman League championship, a Conference South play-off final and a Conference South championship! Andy Porter was also an important part of those successful Braintree sides, playing nearly 200 games for the club between 2003 and 2009! Brad and Andy spent the past three years managing Ryman Leaguers Enfield, where they guided the North London side to the Ryman League play-offs last season.
Chairman Lee Harding was delighted with the appointment: "We've had some excellent applicants and I must thank all for their interest in our Club. But Brad is someone that has been instrumental in building our Club from the foot of the Ryman League to the top tier of non-League football from 2002 to 2013. But while I'm sure we will all welcome a true Iron back to our Club, his appointment is based entirely on merit. Were it not for coming across the same Dulwich side that beat us in the FA Trophy last season in his play-off match, Brad could well have taken his Enfield side into our division. His desire and enthusiasm for our Club is infectious and I sense that this move is something of a home-coming for him. But realism at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium dictates that we must not gloss over the challenges that lie ahead of us. The majority of last season's relegated side have been released and another re-building process will begin afresh. Fortunately Brad has been an integral part of many successful Braintree sides and knows exactly what is needed to turn our fortunes around after two disruptive campaigns. From the Board Room, Brad will receive our support and patience. We are not expecting, or looking for, a one-season wonder - but a return to the successful formula that brought consistent success to the Club over many years. We are all looking forward to the journey."
Brad is keen to get work underway: "I'm really looking forward to coming back to a club where I played for most of my career. I'm really enjoying management and it feels right to come back to a club where I spent so many enjoyable years. Both Andy Porter and I are looking forward to seeing many familiar faces. We've got a lot of work ahead of all of us, but it's a league I know well, have won as a player, and I'm looking forward to the season. To the supporters, so many of whom have become close friends over the past 15 years, your support and patience will be vital as there's a long journey ahead of us. I'll be looking to bring in good quality young players that will be fit, hungry and 100% committed. Things won't always go our way, that's football, but everyone in the dressing room will be entirely focused on bringing success, so it's important that everyone gets behind us."

Two more friendlies agreed
Southend and Colchester to visit in July
The Club arranged two more pre-season friendlies. Iron will welcome SkyBet League One neighbours Southend United to the IronmongeryDirect Stadium for a pre-season friendly on Saturday 15th July, with kick-off at 3pm. A week later, Iron will welcome SkyBet League Two neighbours Colchester United to the IronmongeryDirect Stadium for a pre-season friendly on Saturday 22nd July, with kick-off at 3pm.

Ticket prices for 2017/2018
Reduced prices and discounts for season tickets
The Club have agreed matchday and season ticket prices for next season.
Adult matchday tickets will be reduced by 18% from an average of £17 last season to £14. Concessionary match day tickets for OAPs and students will be reduced by 17% from £12 to £10, while admission for under 16s will be simplified to cover all youngsters and will also be reduced by 17% from £6 to £5. All spectators can either sit in the seats or stand on the terraces.
Season tickets for the 21 league matches will be split between those purchased on or before Sunday 4th June and those thereafter. For adults, season tickets purchased on or before Sunday 4th June will be offered a 19% discount, with Adults season tickets £240.00 (or just £11.42 a match) and concession season tickets £170.00 (or just £8.09 a match). Season tickets for under 18s will be just £21.00 (or £1 a match), with each ticket including a voucher for a replica first team shirt!
After 4 June adults season tickets will increase to £265.00, concession season tickets £190.00 and under 18s will be just £42.00 (or £2 a match), with each ticket including a voucher for a replica first team shirt.
Chairman Lee Harding commented: "We have balanced the impact of relegation to the South Division with the desire to provide our manager with a competitive playing budget. We've withdrawn the additional £1 surcharge for seating (unless extra-ordinary circumstances dictate the need for additional stewarding during the season) so supporters can sit or stand whereever they please next season! Season tickets for regular supporters offer four of next season's 21 matches FREE if they are purchased at the Club's Open Day on Sunday, 4th June, but still offer savings thereafter. Finally, our thanks go to Jerry Carter for his sponsorship of the special deal to allow all our younger season ticket holders (under 18) to have a free replica first team shirt - let's see a lot or orange around the IronmongeryDirectStadium next season!"

Club to stage Open Day
Meet the management on Sunday 4th June
Braintree Town Football Club will be hosting an Open Day on Sunday, 4th June, from 2pm. The day will provide all supporters an opportunity to meet our new management team and also the opportunity to purchase the discounted season tickets for the 2017/18 season. More news on our Open Day when we have it!



THE LAST TWO

Tuesday 24 April, 7.45pm
OXFORD CITY (HOME)
Saturday 28 April, 3pm
GLOUCESTER CITY (HOME)

HOW WE STAND