Iron impress in four-goal win|
Ten men Barnet swept aside
It was the best birthday present any promising young striker would crave for hitting his first ever senior football hat-trick and helping his side to a crucial but fully deserved win at Cressing Road on Saturday and when in reality they should have won by a bigger margin.
Nineteen year-old birthday boy Callum Morton not only took his three goal superbly but also his all round running off the ball and pace caused problems all afternoon for the visiting Barnet defence.
Morton, on loan from WBA, said: "It all went so great today on my birthday and I can't really believe it scoring my first ever hat-trick at senior level and I felt I should have scored a couple more.
"I've already got the match ball in my bag to take home and I shall cherish it and remember the game for a long time," he added. "I'm really enjoying my football here and the new lads who have just come in have made all the difference," he added. "I'm now here to the end of the season and our aim is to keep in this division."
Iron manager Hakan Hayrettin, delighted with his side's win, was also full of praise for the youngster adding: "He's work really hard up front for us since arriving and got his just reward today but I was also pleased with the whole team's performance. They were excellent playing the attacking football I always want and every player fought for every ball and never gave up.
"We now need to keep up this consistency and I believe we can now start picking up points to get us away from the foot of the table," he added.
Bees' boss Darren Currie was scathing of all his players adding: "We were crap, simple as that - a total embarrassment to me and the club and I am totally shocked at the way we failed to show any fight, any determination and any hint of playing the type of football we have been showing."
Barnet's cause was not helped by the third minute sending off of their goalkeeper Mark Cousins for hauling down Morton after the youngster had chased him down, harried him into losing the ball and escaped to slide the ball towards an empty goal. Despite the ball ending in the Barnet goal, the match referee disallowed the goal, awarded a penalty and Morton showed tremendous composure to get to his feet and convert the resultant spot kick.
"It was a disgraceful piece of football by our player but it wasn't the reason we lost this game because that was down to all the players out there - they were pathetic and the home side should have scored double their goals as we were so bad in the second half they had the freedom of the park with four clear cut goal chances," Currie added.
This morale booster for Iron was fully deserved as time and time again they split the Bees' defence wide open with the best attacking display of football seen at Cressing Road for a long time.
On 33 minutes they duly added a second from a superb through ball by Courtney Richards into the path of Morton who took two touches to drill a great shot into the net off the underside of the bar.
The Iron had other first half chances with Danny Rowe, Justin Amaluzar and Luke Allen all missing the target by inches and on 19 minutes Cameron James saw his header come back of the crossbar and that rebound also clipped the woodwork again before being hoofed clear.
Other Iron chances went begging with Amaluzar desperately unlucky not score right on half time when his thunderous first-time shot was acrobatically saved by Barnet substitute keeper Rihards Matrevics.
The second half was a repeat of the first with Iron totally dominant and they added a third on 59 minutes when a high ball into the Bees' area was brilliantly controlled on by Morton on his chest only to be unceremoniously bundled over by Craig Robson, leaving the confident youngster to drill home the spot kick to complete his hat-trick.
Iron kept up the constant attacking pressure and added a fourth on 83 minutes when substitute debutant Iffy Allen picked up a nicely weighted through ball from Morton and easily slotted it home past the exposed Matrevics.
Just as pleasing as the goals for Iron was the clean sheet. With newcomers Andrew Eleftheriou and Rob Atkinson coming into the Iron defence, they have made all the difference alongside Kodi Lyons-Foster, who had another outstanding game, and Ricky Gabriel with the the backline looking as strong as it has all season.
The win still keeps the Iron at the foot of the table but Hayrettin added: "We must keep playing as we have in recent league games, keeping clean sheets. If we do, we give ourselves a chance."
Braintree Town: (4-4-2); Killip; Eleftherious, Atkinson, Lyons-Foster, Gabriel; Luke Allen, James, Rowe (75 Iffy Allen), Richards (84 Sogaf); Morton, Amaluzar. Subs unused: Curran, Della-Verde, Borg. Attendance: 700. Referee: Carl Brook. Next up is a trip up the A1 to visit Hartlepool United this coming Saturday, 26th January, with kick-off at 3pm.
Hak strengthens Iron squad
Two added plus loan extension
Iron Manager Hakan Hayrettin continues to improve his squad with two additions today. Joining the Club are a 21-year old defender and a 24 winger/striker.
Centre-half Daniel Lewis Matsuzaka joins the Club from J3 League side Kataller Toyama FC. The 21-year old defender has been training with Iron for a few days prior to signing for the Club today after receiving his International Clearance from The FA.
Also joining the Club is Ifeanyi "Iffy" Allen from National League South side Dulwich Hamlet. 24-year old Allen began his career at Fulham and Reading, before joining Barnet in 2011 where he signed a contract in 2013. Following his release from Barnet signed for League Two side Yeovil Town in 2015, moving on to Torquay United in February 2016. The following season saw him sign for both Aldershot and Wrexham before spending last season with Bromley and then joined Dulwich Hamlet last September.
The loan of midfielder Cameran James from Colchester United has also been extended into February.
Match Preview - Sat January 19 2019
Braintree Town v Barnet
Barnet are currently 15th in the Vanarama National League on 35 points. Their away record this season is P 12 W 6 D 1 L 5 GF 11 GA 10 Pts 21. Their last 4 away results this season: Won 0-1 v Dagenham & R, Lost 1-0 v Boreham Wood, Lost 1-0 v Ebbsfleet U, Won 1-3 v Hartlepool U. Top scorers this season: Wes Fonguck & Shaquile Coulthirst (2p) - 7, Manny Duku - 4. Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 19 points. Braintree Town home record this season: P 14 W 1 D 3 L 10 GF 11 GA 31 Pts 6. Braintree Town last 4 home results this season: Lost 0-4 v Ebbsfleet U, Drew 1-1 v Boreham Wood, Lost 0-2 v Barrow, Drew 2-2 v Sutton U. Braintree Town scorers this season that remain with the Club are: Della-Verde - 4, Amaluzor - 2
This will be the third meeting between the two clubs this season with the Iron already having travelled twice to the Hive. The League game back in August saw the Iron earn a creditable 1-1 draw; the meeting in the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup saw the Bees triumph 4-2 after the Iron had pulled it back to 2-2, having been two down at the break.
Since that October cup meeting, the Bees have progressed in to the 4th Round proper disposing of EFL2 Bristol Rovers, Stockport County and Championship side Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, courtesy of a Coulthirst penalty. The reward for their endeavours is a home tie against the other Bees - Brentford.
The Bees have also progressed in the FA Trophy beating Bath City and Dorchester Town. They have been drawn away to Carshalton Athletic in the Third Round, a draw that would've seen them meet up with the Iron had we progressed to the same stage. All these cup games mean that Barnet are now playing catch up with the rest in the VNL, with 3 or 4 games in hand, which could propel them in to play-off contention. Since our last meeting, manager John Still has retired from his post and has been replaced by former Bees legend and Still's assistant, Darren Currie, who is currently unbeaten in all competitions.
They also added our former player Mo Bettamer to their squad in addition to former Iron men Dan Sparkes and Simeon Akinola; the latter now getting playing time after a long injury lay-off.
The Iron meanwhile have had time off and Hakan has been looking at more players to boost the relegation battle. Already added are defenders Rob Atkinson, Andrew Elefthiriou and Ross Marshall and re-joining the club is striker Danny Rowe.
With a decent following from Barnet, the Iron faithful need to get behind the boys in their quest for a vital three points.
Talking to Henry Ochieng
taking Kenya forward!
DOB: 11/11/98 (20) Redbridge, Ilford
Previous Clubs: West Ham U (Yth) & Leyton Orient
Q. Do you have another job?
Q. Who do you support?
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Ngolo Kante (Chelsea)
Q. What is your favourite film?
Q. Which social media did you use?
Q. Who discovered you for West Ham?
A. I was at Buckhurst Hill from Jan and played striker, scoring 28 goals in 3 months when a West Ham scout asked me to go there
Q. Who did you play with in West Ham's Youth team?
A. Declan Rice and Grady Diangana
Q. Who has had the biggest influence on your career so far?
A. Richard Thomas youth development manager. He integrated me into Leyton Orient first team
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strength - passing range. Weakness - aerial duals
Q. You've played for Kenya U23's in Africa U23 Cup of Nations, what are your chances of qualifying?
A. We'll go far. I'm also in the full squad for next year
Q. Who else is in that squad?
A. Victor Wanyama (Spurs)
Q. How did you end up at Braintree?
A. I was released from Orient, went to a few U23's, but they weren't for me, Errol got me back to play in VNL Premier
Q. What have you made of your time here so far?
A. Great lads, great atmosphere, good family club
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. Elland Road, Leeds
Q. Which player has been your hardest opponent?
A. Marcus Edwards at Spurs
Q. How different is football in the VNL compared to U23 football?
A. U23 is all played on the floor, I've had to adapt
Q. Who is the most skilful player in the squad?
Q. How do you pass your time on long away trips?
A. Watching Netflix
Q. Which player has the best singing voice?
A. Marcel Barrington
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. We'll get out of relegation
New date for Chesterfield visit
Trophy progress for visitors sees date delayed
Following Chesterfield's victory in the FA Trophy on Saturday, their visit to the Cressing Road Stadium for a Vanarama National League match, scheduled for Saturday 2nd February, has been postponed. The match has now been re-arranged for Tuesday, 5th March, with kick-off at 7.45pm.
Next up for Braintree is the visit of Barnet this coming Saturday, 19th January, with kick-off at 3pm.
Iron 'giant-killed' in FA Trophy
FA Trophy 1st Round - Salisbury C v Braintree Town
Iron were the victims of a FA Trophy 'giant-killing', bowing out of the competition at the First Round stage in the twice-rearranged tie at Salisbury on Tuesday evening.
With just twelve players for manager Hakan Hayrettin to choose from following recent squad re-organisations, departures and absenteeism, the home side took a 25th minute lead through Darren Mullings's deflected effort. However, Iron responded positively with Luke Allen cracking a sweet drive off the post from 25 yard on the half-hour.
Salisbury started the second half the better of the two sides and scored what proved to be the winner when the ball was crossed into the Iron 18-yard box for Mullings to sweep the ball into the bottom right corner for his second on 68 minutes.
Iron took the game to the home side late on with both Justin Amaluzar and Callum Morton creating chances but couldn't net a second leveller.
Braintree: Killip, Borg, Lyons-Foster, Gabriel, Curran, Allen, Richard (Barrington 60), Ochieng, Sogaf, Morton and Amaluzar. Un-used subs: Wray, Lamb, Iyayi and Bailey.
No game for Iron this Saturday, with our next fixture on Saturday 19th January, when Braintree entertain Barnet.
Match Preview - Tues 8 January 2018
FA Trophy 1st Round - Salisbury C v Braintree Town
Salisbury F.C are currently 3rd in the Evostik League South on 45 points. Their home record this season is P 12 W 9 D 2 L 1 GF 29 GA 15 Pts 29. Their last 4 home League results this season: Won 1-0 v Frome T, Won 2-1 v Beaconsfield T, Won 4-3 v Wimbourne T, Drew 1-1 v Met Police. Top scorers this season: Tom Whelan & Luke Hopper - 12, Zack Katwica, Lewis Benson & Dan Fitchett - 8.
Braintree T are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 19 points. Braintree T away record this season: P 15 W 3 D 4 L 8 GF 14 GA 22 Pts 13. Braintree T last 4 away League results this season: Drew 0-0 v FC Halifax T, Won 0-1 v Maidenhead U, Lost 4-2 v Ebbsfleet U, Lost 2-1 v Havant & W. Braintree T scorers this season: Della-Verde - 4, Amaluzor - 2.
Since the postponement of the original meeting and subsequent scheduled replay, Salisbury F.C have won three and drawn two of their last five games. They have only been beaten five times all season and their only home League defeat came in their first home fixture back in August. Braintree meanwhile have had mixed fortunes over the same period with five points from five games. There has been progress for Hakan who will be pleased to have kept a clean sheet at Halifax last Saturday. Replay next Saturday 12th - if needed!
Iron re-focus on the Trophy
Third attempt to visit Wiltshire
Following Iron's draw at FC Halifax Town on Saturday, Iron have a fortnight away from Vanarama National League action and can now re-focus on the FA Trophy for a third attempt at a trip to Wiltshire on Tuesday, 8th January, to play their twice postponed First Round tie.
If there is a definite result over 90 minutes on Tuesday evening, the winners will play a Second Round tie at Carshalton Athletic on Saturday.
If Tuesday's match ends as a draw at 90 minutes, the replay (weather permitting) will be on Saturday, 12th January at Cressing Road, with the replay winners then set to visit Carshalton a week on Tuesday, 15th January.
Iron battle for a point in Yorkshire
New look side secure second successive away clean-sheet
Braintree made the long journey up the A1 to visit Yorkshire side FC Halifax Town and came home with a point from a goal-less draw.
Iron were arguably the better of the two sides during a cagey first forty-five minutes with Justin Amaluzar's effort coming closest to breaking the early deadlock, while a miss-placed clearance from Halifax's Joe Skarz could have ended in his own net!
After the interval the home side took the initiative but the new look Iron defence held firm. Braintree weathered that early second half pressure and forced their way into the game and it was to Amaluzar again who nearly opened the scoring when his effort from the edge of the 18-yard box skimmed the far upright.
But defences proved to be on top and Iron had to settle for a point.
Braintree: Killip, Eleftheriou, Allen (Della-Verde 80), Atkinson, Gabriel, Lyons-Foster, Barrington (Rowe 73), James, Richards, Morton, Amaluzor. Un-used subs: Blackmore, Curran, Borg.
Four join Iron squad
Three defenders and a striker
Hakan Hayrettin has added four players to his squad. Joining the Club are:
20 year old defender Robert Atkinson from Fulham - a left-footed central defender with good technique and size, he likes to play with the ball at his feet and has settled in well at the heart of the Fulham Under-23s'. Previous non-League experience with Basingstoke Town.
21-year old defender Andrew Eleftheriou from Watford on a long-term loan for the remainder of the season; and
19-year old defender Ross Marshall from Ipswich Town on work experience.
Also rejoining the Club from Boston United is 22-year old forward Danny Rowe.
Match Preview - Sat 5 January 2019
F.C. Halifax T v Braintree Town
F.C. Halifax T U are currently 17th in the Vanarama National League on 32 points. Their home record this season is P 13 W 5 D 5 L 3 GF 14 GA 9 Pts 20. Their last 4 home results this season: Drew 1-1 v Harrogate T, Lost 0-1 v Sutton U, Drew 1-1 v Boreham Wood, Won 1-0 v Dover A. Top scorers this season: Dayle Southwell - 7 (2p), Nathan Clarke & Matty Kosylo - 5, Jordan Preston - 4. Braintree T are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 18 points.
Braintree T away record this season: P 13 W 2 D 3 L 8 GF 13 GA 22 Pts 9. Braintree T last 4 away results this season: Won 0-1 v Maidenhead U, Lost 4-2 v Ebbsfleet U, Lost 2-1 v Havant & W, Lost 3-1 v Harrogate T. Braintree T scorers this season: Della-Verde - 4, Amaluzor - 2.
F.C. Halifax T made a good start to the season with 5 wins out of their opening 7 fixtures in August. They opened their campaign against the Iron with a comfortable two-nil victory playing a very direct style of football. During this spell they had a brief stay at the top of the VNL Premier table. Since those heady days they have only mustered two victories which have seen them slip down to seventeenth.
They are joint fifth lowest scorers (26 goals) in the League and second in the number of draws they have achieved - eleven. They made it to the second round of the F.A. Cup, overcoming Warrington and Morecombe, before being eliminated at home to AFC Wimbledon.
It was a poor start for 2019 for the Iron with a 4-0 defeat to in-form Ebbsfleet United. With goals at a premium for both sides a single goal may be enough to take all three points. Something the Iron did last time out on the road at Maidenhead!
Talking to Marcel Barrington
all about beating the odds of gaining promotion
DOB: 28/8/95 (23) Born: London
Previous clubs (L=Loan): Stoke C, Harrow B (L), Leicester C, Nuneaton T (L), Bishops S (L), Walton Casuals, Tooting & Mitcham (x2), Margate, Grays A (L), Hendon
Q. What is your job?
A. Sports Coach
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal & Juventus
Q. Who is your favourite current Arsenal player?
Q. What are you listening to in the car at the moment?
A. One Acen
Q. What was the last film you saw?
A. Creed 2
Q. You've played in a few different forward positions, which do you prefer?
A. I don't mind as long as I'm contributing to the team
Q. Were there any other offers for you in the summer or were you always going to sign again for Braintree?
A. I had offers from other clubs in the VNL, but I wanted to stay here to build on the success of last season
Q. What do you remember of last season's play-off final?
A. It was kind of a blur, but I remember Dan Thompson beating 4 men to cross for Reece's goal
Q. What are your personal highlights of last season?
A. Beating the odds of gaining promotion, despite finishing 6th
Q. You were injured in pre-season what was the injury?
A. It wasn't an injury; it was surgery on my knee
Q. You were out for quite a while, how did you cope with that?
A. It wasn't too bad, I knew it would be a long recovery, I just kept positive
Q. You mentioned last time that you played alongside Ben Chilwell, are you pleased to see him play for England, have you spoken to him about it?
A. Yes very pleased for him. I wished him well, he's a good player and I told him to keep doing what he's done
Q. What is the best worst ground you've played at?
A. Havant, maybe down the bad weather on the day
Q. Which players from last season would you like to have seen stay?
A. Marc Okoye, he was a big influence and Reece, but good luck to him going full-time
Q. You represented Guyana playing against French Guyana in November; there are quite a few VNL players in that squad, who are your best players?
A. Neil Danns (Bury), Sam Cox (Hampton & RB), Emery Welshman (F C Cincinnati)
Q. What differences have you noticed under Danny Searle's coaching?
A. A lot more shot sessions. There's more purpose and you know what's required of you.
Q. Which of the new players has impressed you and why?
A. Mo Sagaf - he's tidy and competent, Justin Amaluzor - he's very direct and a threat
Q. Who is in charge of the dressing room music?
A. It's shared, usually whoever gets in first
Q. Who has the best and worst dance moves?
A. Best - Mo Sagaf, worst - Christian Frimpong
Q. Where will Braintree finish?
A. NOT IN RELEGATION PLACES!
Promotion Final Early Bird Ticket Offer
Saturday 11th May 2019 at Wembley Stadium
The Vanarama National League has released details of the opportunity for ALL football fans to purchase Early Bird tickets for their Promotion Final on Saturday 11th May 2019 at Wembley Stadium connected by EE.
Tickets are now on sale and will remain available as outlined below direct from Wembley Stadium Ticketing Portal. This offer is only available on-line.
There is also an option for 'Print at Home' (PAH)
EARLY BIRD offer - up to and including 28th February 2019:
Seniors (Over 60): £10
Under 16: FREE **
(** 1 free U16 ticket can be ordered for each ticket sold at Adult or Senior price).
Additional tickets for Under 16 over the above allowance can be purchased at £5 each.
Early Bird sales are made even more attractive as no booking fee is charged.
Please be advised no ticket is refundable once purchased through the Early Bird option.
Disabled seated allocation is available directly through Wembley Stadium and details are also available on-line.
WEMBLEY TICKET PORTAL: https://ticketingcontent.thefa.com//Vanarama%202019
General Admission Ticket prices for the Promotion Final will be announced in April.
Early Bird tickets will NOT be forwarded to purchasers until the two competing finalist clubs are confirmed. This will allow for ticket allocation to be made in blocks for any group of supporters of a neutral club wishing to be in the same area. Initial purchase therefore will be placed into holding blocks for the time being.
In order for this to be offered, each purchaser will be required to nominate which National League member club they align themselves to or they may indicate a 'No Preference' neutral option.
Supporters of the two clubs who do reach the Promotion Final and who purchase Early Bird tickets will be allocated their tickets for the correct area of the stadium when allotted to each finalist club.
Iron beaten on New Year's Day
Contentious penalty ends game as a contest
Braintree Town started 2019 with a disappointing four-goal home defeat by Ebbsfleet United on New Year's Day.
From the previous Saturday's winning team at Maidenhead, Joe Ellul left the Club to take up a year-long full time contract in New Zealand and his place in the side was taken by Ejiro Okosieme. Courtney Richards took over as captain.
Iron conceded after just three minutes when Cody McDonald headed home from a corner.
A second came mid-way through the first half, with another corner being headed past Killip by former Iron striker Michael Cheek.
After the break Iron took the game to the Kent side, with both Oscar Borg and Callum Morton having chances.
But the game as a contest effectively ended on the hour when a challenge by Ricky Gabriel two yards outside the box was judged to be inside the area by referee Josh Smith. Cheek converted from the spot for 3-0.
Ebbsfleet added a fourth with 11 minutes remaining when Corey Whitely beat Killip from a tight angle.
Braintree Town: Killip, Muleba, Okosieme, Gabriel, Lyons-Foster (Curran 79), Borg (Barrington 55), James, Richards, Della-Verde (Clayton-Phillips 66), Morton, Amaluzor. Un-used subs: Allen and Sagaf. Referee: Josh Smith. Gate: 752.
Saturday 26 January, 3pm
Hartlepool United (Away)
Saturday 9 February, 3pm
SALFORD CITY (HOME)
Saturday 16 February, 3pm
Saturday 23 February, 3pm
ALDERSHOT TOWN (HOME)
HOW WE STAND