Iron denied by cruel late goal|
odd goal in five defeat at Slough
A goal three minutes into added time at the end of 90 minutes cruelly robbed Iron of at least a deserved point in an entertaining encounter at Arbour Park on Saturday.
It mean for the second game in a row Iron lost by one goal and like against Oxford City in midweek they had done more than enough to have drawn this game played again behind closed doors.
Iron, who have a debut to new goalkeeper Jack Giddens, 28, the former Billericay Town and East Thurrock Utd stopper, were also without influential players which meant manager Ryan Maxwell reshuffling his starting line up with fit again Kyran Clements and George Allen back in the side.
In an end to end game Iron again played as they had in the second half against Dartford but were unlucky to go behind on 39 minutes with a deflected goal from the home side's Warren Harris.
Iron though were level just two minutes later when Arjanit Krasniqi chased down a loose ball to the home keeper and was able to slide it into the net although before both goals Corry Davidson and Tom Derry saw shots scrambled away off the home goal line.
It was the same in the second half with both sides attacking hard yet again it was the home side who snatched the lead on 57 minutes when Ben Harris headed home but again Iron struck back quickly through the livewire Ade Yussuf.
He was hauled down in the area just past the hour and he dusted himself down to slot the penalty home to level up the teams.
Iron continued to press hard for a winning goal and they were unlucky on 71 minutes when a Derry header came back of the inside the home post and 10 minutes later Davidson was unlucky when his shot was somehow blocked on the home goal line before being cleared.
But despite all these threats football can be a cruel game and just when it looked as both sides were going to earn a point each the home side's Ryan Bird managed to squeeze the ball home in this third minute of stoppage time leaving Iron players shattered.
But it was yet a continued overall improving display by Iron who now go to Maidstone United on Tuesday evening looking for a win against their old manager, Hakan Hanrettin.
Braintree Town: Giddens; Allen (70 Johnson-Schuster), Clements, Olomowewe (90 + 4 Smith), Renee; Thomas, Johnson, Krasniqi, Davidson; Derry, Yussuf. Unused subs: Kyangebeni, Prestedge, Charles.
Maxwell sees progress despite loss
odd goal in three defeat to Oxford City
Iron boss Ryan Maxwell was full of praise for his players' tremendous second half performance at Cressing Road on Tuesday evening when they came so close to grabbing a point which they fully deserved against one of the division's promotion favourites.
"It was a fantastic effort from the team because we put them under constant pressure in the second half forcing them to defend deeper and deeper and we had several chances that could have seen us equalise and end up with a point," he continued. "As we know the difference between winning and losing is such a fine margin but we did enough to gain something out of the game."
He went on: "We've come a long way in such a short time but we're getting there and in such as match like this one it's about game management.
"They had their backs to the wall in all of the second half and we just needed that bit of luck to score but it was not to be," he declared. "But again we have lots of positives coming from this encounter and it's part of our gradual development in becoming a more competent and cohesive team and I know we're on the right road."
Maxwell admitted despite taking an early lead in the game his side looked rather leggy in that first period adding: "They are a good side with plenty of movement - more than Dartford offered - and they break forward very quickly and we were caught out late in the first half when they scored their two goals.
"Again a lesson for the players to learn here and had we started and played in the first half as we did throughout the second I'm confident the outcome would have much different," he added.
The half time arrive of the experienced striker Adam Yusuff certainly changed the Iron's fortunes because he led the line with power and efficiency and caused the visitors' rearguard all kinds of problems in that second half.
"He gave us a new dimension up front but the whole team responded magnificently and even their manager said at the end they were relieved to have heard the final whistle," Maxwell continued. "We now have to take this second half performance into our next game at Slough on Saturday right from the first to the last whistle and I know we have a dedicated group of players united as a team," he added.
It certainly looked good when Corry Davidson whipped in a low shot into the visitors' net coming in from the left wing on 12 minutes but the more the half went on the more the visitors had the better of play so it was hardly surprising that they equalised on 32 minutes when a swift move down the right saw Nana Owusu fire home from close range.
With the Iron keen to go in at the interval on level terms the visitors though had other ideas and three minutes from interval another fast counter attack down their right wing saw Louis Coyle drive the ball home to give them the slender league.
The second half though was a completely different story as the Iron push hard from the kick off and set about their visitors with far more aggression and pressure causing them to be over run at times.
Further pressure came too when Frances Amartey came on as a substitute for Percy Kyangebeni with 16 minutes to go and both he and Yusuff force the visitors into some desperate last ditch defending.
Right on full time the Iron thought they had won a penalty for a defender's handball but the referee declared it to be free-kick right on the edge of the visitors' area but unfortunately Matthew Johnson's fierce shot was charged down and cleared and with it the Iron's last chance of scoring that much deserved equaliser.
As Maxwell declared: "It was as they say a game to two halves really but again we can build on this performance and we now prepare for the trip to Slough," he added.
Braintree Town: Jackson; Robbins, Olomowewe, Henshaw (69 Johnson-Schuster), Smith; Renee, Thomas, Johnson, Davidson; Kyangebeni (74 Amartey); Derry (46 Yusuff). Unused subs: Krasniqi, Prestedge. Referee: Callum Walchester.
and Iron off the bottom
Iron pulled off one of the shocks of the National League South season by beating current leaders Dartford in an absorbing if at times feisty encounter at Cressing Road on Saturday.
And there was no fluke about the outcome either because Iron put on one of their best performance of the current campaign to overcome their Kent neighbours in an action packed game that saw four yellow cards for each side and a straight red card for the visitors in the dying moments.
Iron included two signings from Bishop's Stortford - defender Ryan Henshaw and midfielder Jack Thomas - plus three newcomers on the bench in the shape of Reece Prestedge (Margate), Francis Amartey (Hayes & Yeading) and striker Adam Yusuf (Cray Valley) and the reshaped side certainly looked stronger and played with more cohesion than the team has of late.
In a fast, attacking approach from both sides there were several good goal scoring chances at either end and it was only surprising that the first half saw just one goal - a smart, low, right-footed shot from Percy Kyangebeni from just inside the area on 29 minutes to give Iron the lead at the interval.
The second half was just as frenetic with both sides trying to outdo each other and swift, counter-attacking moves that saw both goalkeepers being kept busy and some desperate defending at both end with chances going begging.
Iron needed a second goal to give them a little breathing space and it came on 62 minutes courtesy of a right-wing free-kick from Correy Davidson.
The diminutive winger whipped in a low, hard ball into the near post where defender Taofiq Olomowewe, Iron's outstanding player on the day, somehow managed to squeeze it into the net from close range.
This gave Iron even more confidence to continue to push forward and twice Johnville Renee ran clear and looked set to score only to be denied by a back-pedalling visitors' defence while up the other end some stout defending by Olomowewe and Henshaw in particularly continually thwarted the visitors while Iron keeper Samuel Johnson pulled off three saves to keep his side in the lead.
Nine minutes from time the visitors were reduced to ten men when full-back Jazzi Barnum-Bobb was shown a straight red card as the last man for bringing down Renee en route to goal.
The home defence though was finally breached four minutes from time when they conceded a penalty which the Darts' substitute Chris Dickson slotted home rather fortuitously off the upright.
In a hectic final few minutes which included eight minutes of added stoppage time the visitors pushed hard for an equaliser while on the counter-attack twice Renee broke clear and should have scored but he stumbled in the final yards and the ball was cleared.
Iron deservedly held on to win after their three successive defeats and with better players now in situ and the whole side galvanised into playing far more cohesive football and more united as a solid team this win, which lifted Iron off the bottom of the league bodes well for the coming games.
Braintree Town: Johnson; Robbins, Smith, Olomowewe, Henshaw; Renee, Thomas, Kyangebeni (90 Prestedge), Johnson; Davidson, Derry (75 Yusuf). Unused subs: Charles, Amartey, Johnson-Schuster. Referee: Paul Johnson
Next up for Iron is another game behind closed doors at Cressing Road on Tuesday against another high-riding side, Oxford City, with a kick off at 7.45pm.
Two games re-arranged
Our Vanarama National League fixture at home to Oxford City has been re-arranged for Tuesday, 12th January. Our Vanarama National League fixture at Maidstone United has been re-arranged for Tuesday, 19th January.
all the latest news
Iron Out of the Trophy
Iron put up a tremendous fighting display on the South Coast the Saturday before Christmas and were desperately unlucky to lose against a vastly more experienced home side in what was new manager Ryan Maxwell's first defeat.
Without their seven cup-tied first team players Iron were for most of the game more than a match against the full-timers and although conceding what turned out to be the winning goal midway through the second half the manager's new work ethos and commitment from his players is a breath of fresh air and bodes well for the remainder of the current campaign as Iron bid to move up the table.
"It was another good, all round performance from a made-up side with some young players competing so well at this level for the first time," said Maxwell. "I'm really proud of the lads which is a big plus point for the club.
"They all worked so hard against a much stronger and vastly more experienced side and the turning point of the game was when they brought on the hugely experienced Danny Kedwell just past the hour," he continued. "We had worked a plan out to cope with him playing from the start but we knew with his vast experience once he did come on it may cause us some problems."
Kedwell certainly made an impact setting up the only goal of the game on 72 minutes when his holding play up front and laying the ball off saw another substitute, Roarie Deacon, who slid the ball home from the edge of the Iron penalty box.
Despite this setback Iron continued to push hard for an equaliser with both Danny Bassett, who worked tireless up front all afternoon, and Gabriel Piorkowski going so close while in the final moments of the game Rondell Gordon and Arjavit Krasniqi almost each grabbed a goal.
A positive Maxwell added: "Yes, I don't like ever losing and we're disappointed and to have lost by such a close margin but that's how football goes. We are now already planning for our next game at home to Chelmsford City."
Braintree Town: Jackson; Renee, Smith, Olomewewe, Clements; Allen, Krasniqi, Johnson, Gordon; Bassett, Piorkowski (76 Holness). Unused subs: MIskin, Vukasinovic, Cameron.
Boxing Day Match off
Because of covid-related issues, our Boxing Day match at home to Chelmsford City was postponed.
Holiday defeat at Billericay
The lack of clinical finishing from inside the home side's area was the only reason Iron returned from their visit to a fog shrouded New Lodge on Monday evening empty handed because overall they created more goal scoring chances than their hosts.
After a fairly even first half Iron certainly finally upped their tempo in the second half putting the home side's defence under sustained pressure which saw some desperate last minute defending plus four excellent saves from home keeper Dion-Curtis Henry who denied Danny Bassett (twice), Ken Charles and Correy Davidson from scoring.
The home side have that clinical finisher in Jake Robinson who always seems to have the knack of being in the right place at the right time to snap up chances.
He opened the scoring on 22 minutes nipping in to pick up a loose ball after Iron keeper Patrick Ohman had parried a low Ruben Soares shot and then four minutes from time with Iron pushing hard for an equaliser up at the other end he again snapped up a half chance to score his side's third goal.
Iron though will rue their missed chances against a much improved home side because it cost them the game even though the final scoreline really flattered the Blues.
After a slow start Iron grew more into the game with Tom Derry, Percy Kianbegni and Davidson all going close in that first period.
Iron then had the worse possible second half start conceding a second goal on 48 minutes when the tricky Soares caught the Iron backline napping and in a well worked move squeezed the ball in from close range.
To their credit Iron came back strongly putting concerted pressure on the home rearguard and they were given a lifeline back into the game on 52 minutes when skipper Matthew Johnson fired in an unstoppable 25-yard shot into the top corner of the home net, an outstanding strike worthy of a higher level.
As Iron kept pressing how they failed to score an equaliser was difficult to understand and substitute Charles twice saw his efforts from inside the area go narrowly wide while Kiangeni was also inches wide with keeper Henry beaten.
But with Iron continuing to push forward in the final minutes of the game it naturally left gaps at the back and on a rare home side breakaway the ever alert Robinson was able to sneak in to score a third goal.
Manager Ryan Maxwell felt his side did enough, particularly in the second half onslaught, to have earned at least at point but like any match it's all about taking some of the chances when a team has them in front of goal adding: "I'm disappointed obviously at the final outcome and the scoreline didn't really reflect the 90 minutes.
"But we will regroup, get organised again and plan for Saturday learning from the lessons from this game," he added.
Braintree Town: Ohman; Johnson-Schuster (90 Holness), Smith, Olomowewe, Robins; Renee (72 Charles), Kiangbeni (82 Gordon), Johnson, Davidson; Bassett, Derry. Unused subs: Clements, MIskin.
Clarets goal glut sinks Iron
Four City goals within 16 minutes early in the second half completely transformed this local derby at the Melbourne Stadium on Saturday with the home side in the end deservedly running out winners and with it local bragging rights.
It was the proverbial game of two halves with Iron completely dominating the first 45 minutes, taking a two goal lead through Taofiq Olomowewe (18 minutes) and Tom Derry (39) and they could have easily have scored more to have taken what would have been an unassailable lead.
In a complete reverse though after the interval City were in total control from the start while Iron players lacked cohesion and organisation with too many passes going astray and unforgivingly giving silly, needless free-kicks away from which City capitalised, scoring three of their goals from set pieces as a result.
The early warning signs were then on 54 minutes when from a right wing corner Charlie Sheringham was his usual predatory self by scooping the ball home from close range and six minutes later again from an unnecessary given away free-kick City skipper Tom Wraigh tstruck home a superb shot into the top corner of the net to draw his side level.
With City by now rampant and a shell-shocked Iron completely all at sea they took the lead on 63 minutes when former Iron midfielder Cameron James was able to slip through past static defenders to score practically unchallenged.
On 70 minutes the comeback was completed when Iron full-back Nathan Smith dallied too long on the ball bringing down City's Daniel Imray inside the Iron area leaving referee Tom Danaher no choice but to award a penalty which Adam Morgan duly converted.
Iron manager Ryan Maxwell made three substitutions in quick succession in a bid to revive his shattered players but although they rally and cause a few anxious moments in the home defence with four good efforts on goal it was all too little too late.
It was another Jekyll and Hyde performance from Iron who remain rooted to the bottom of the league and they will need to up their game and full concentration when they entertain high-riding Dartford this coming Saturday at Cressing Road.
Braintree Town: Ohman; Johnson-Schuster, Smith, Olomowewe, Robbins; Renee (75 Charles), Johnson, Kiangeben, Davidson (73 Krasniqi); Bassett (61 Holness), Derry. Unused subs: Clements, Gordon.
Iron prevail in Billericay spot kick drama
Havant on Saturday in the Third Round
Iron pulled off an FA Trophy win at New Lodge on Tuesday evening by beating their hosts in a penalty shootout after the 90 minutes had ended all square at 1-1.
Iron manager Ryan Maxwell had been able to conjure up replacement players, including two youngsters from Step 7 in the pyramid that included winger Gabriel Pioskowski (from Hayes & Yeading) and 20 year-old full-back Mack Miskin (from Northwood), to see his side put on a creditable display and more than holding their own against a vastly more experienced home side.
Along with debutant young keeper Simon Jackson, who had an outstanding game, manager Maxwell was also forced to start with some fringe first team players with the newcomers never having even trained together the players before the game.
"I'm really proud of all the players and in particular the young ones who were thrown in at the deep yet they responded magnificently," said Maxwell. "We managed to set a game plan before kick off and everyone stuck to it and played their part which was really rewarding.
"Even when we went behind in the second half I knew we would come back at them and once we equalised we had a couple of great chances to have won the game," he continued. "All the squad showed great tenacity and worked their socks off for one another and we deserved to go to Havant in the next round on Saturday."
The game was played at a fast pace and several times in the first half the Iron broke clear but missed their goal chances whilst at the other end the defence, exceptionally well marshalled by both Taofiq Olomowewe and Kyran Clements, always looked strong and the pair managed to keep top scorer Jake Robinson quiet all evening.
The early part of the second half saw the home side press hard for the opening goal and it duly came on 65 minutes when Robinson skipper away down the right before crossing a low ball into the Iron penalty box where Ruben Soares JR crashed the ball in at the far post.
Undeterred by this sudden setback the Iron came back strongly causing the home defence all kinds of problems with Danny Bassett, Rhondell Gordon and George Allen all narrowly missing the target.
Some shrewd change of tactics and substitutions by Maxwell paid off too and they were finally rewarded on 78 minutes when the impressive midfielder Arjanit Krasniqi sent in a 30 yard rocket of a shot into the far top corner of the home net for the equaliser.
It was no more than Iron deserved at this stage and in the final flurry of attacks both substitute Luke Holness and Gordon went so close to scoring the winning goal.
At the final whistle and with no extra time in the competition it came down to a penalty shootout and Gordon, Matthew Johnson, Johnville Renee and debutant and substitute Jake Clowsley all scored from the penalty spot but when the home side's Frankie Sutherland kick was brilliantly saved by Jackson and then Joe Felix launched his effort over the grandstand it gave the Iron a 4-2 win from the penalty spot.
Trip to Maidstone off Saturday
plus draw for FA Trophy
Braintree Town's Vanarama South fixture away at Maidstone United, scheduled for this coming Saturday, has been postponed as the Kent club are in isolation following a positive covid test. News on a new date for this match when we have it.
In the Buildbase FA Trophy, Braintree Town have been drawn away to fellow Vanarama South side Billericay Town in the Second Round Proper. This match will take place next Tuesday, 15 December with kick-off at 7.45pm. The winners of that match will continue into the Third Round Proper the following Saturday, 19 December with a trip to face the winners of the Second Round tie between Bracknell Town or Havant & Waterlooville.
All square with Welling
Iron off the bottom
Iron came within sixty seconds of making it three wins in a row for new boss Ryan Maxwell only to see their Kent visitors snatch a dramatic equaliser but the point gained at least moves the side off the bottom of the league at Cressing Road on Tuesday evening.
In an enthralling encounter with end to end play the 90 minutes, played yet again behind closed doors, it looked to be going in Iron's favour when on 81 minutes Corry Davidson curled over a left wing free-kick for Tom Derry to outjump the tall Welling defenders to head home a fine poachers goal.
But a minute from normal time Iron gave away a free-kick out on their right flank and when the ball was lofted over into the area it conveniently fell to the feet of Dipoplonabi Akinyemi with his back to goal but he swivelled on the spot to fire in a tremendous right foot shot into the far top corner of the net for the equaliser.
Over the 90 minutes a draw was probably a fair result for any neutral watching although this new look Iron side at times played some really impressive football with new striker Joe Leslie, signed from Woking, immediately finding his feet alongside Derry in attack and caused the visiting rearguard problems all evening.
The physically strong visitors though had their moments and in the first half should have scored twice with easy chances and then on the half hour ex-Iron midfielder Della Verde saw his shot cleared off the home goal line.
On 32 minutes though the Iron scored what appeared to be a superb goal when the ball was swept up right down the right wing, Johnville Renee outpaced the defence to the byline before sending over a great high ball to the back post where Davidson ran in and volleyed the ball into the net.
But to the amazement of Iron players referee Paul Johnson was then alerted to an assistant referee's flag still raised right up at the other end of the field where it was claimed the ball had gone out of play for a throw-in before the Iron swiftly moved the game upfield.
It was a disheartening change of mind by the referee which clearly upset the Iron players and he disallowed the goal and brought the game right back to the opposite flank deep in the Iron half.
Despite this setback the longer the game went on the more the Iron regained their confidence although in the first two minutes of the restart after half time Iron keeper Patrick Ohman pulled off a fine save from Rowan Liburo to keep out what looked a certain goal.
Iron certainly pressed hard late on in the second half with both Arjanit Krasniqi and Derry going close and then with 15 minutes to go Derry and Davidson almost broke the deadlock only to see their efforts charged down and cleared by some frantic last minute defending.
Iron boss Maxwell brought on two subs in Rohdell Gordon and Danny Bassett to give his side some fresh legs and again both players went close to scoring while up at the other end Taofiq Olomowewe, who had an outstanding game in the heart of the Iron defence twice foiled the visitors from breaking clear on goal.
Once Iron did take the lead they did try to hold but Akinyemi's super late strike in the dying moments ensured the points were shared while Maxwell was nonetheless pleased with his side's continued improvement as they strive to move away from the relegation zone.
Braintree Town: Ohman; Johnson-Schuster, Smith, Olomowewe, Allen; Renee (56 Bassett), Krasniqi, Johnson, Davidson (90 Kiangebeni); Derry, Leslie (64 Gordon). Unused subs: Clements, Charles.
Oxford postponed & Welling confirmed
Tuesday behind closed doors
Saturday's match at home to Oxford City was postponed as parts of the Cressing Road pitch were deemed unsafe by a local referee. Sections of the pitch were either waterlogged or frozen. A new date for the visit of Oxford City will be announced as soon as it is known. Tuesday evening's match at home to Welling United has now been confirmed, with kick-off at 7.45 and will be played behind closed doors.
Saturday's Match Behind Closed doors
No fans for the foreseeable future
Following a Friday morning meeting of Essex County Council's Trading Standards Safety Advisory Group, including representatives from The Football Club, Braintree District Council Environmental Health, Essex Police, Ambulance and Fire Services, the decision was taken that games could not resume at the Cressing Road Stadium in front of spectators for the foreseeable future. Therefore both tomorrow (Saturday)'s match at home to Oxford City and Tuesday evening's match at home to Welling United will continue to be staged behind closed doors. It was agreed that a test event would be staged at the ground before any subsequent matches would be staged at the ground.
Saturday's Match v Oxford City
Safe return of spectators
The Club hope to finalise arrangements for the return of spectators to the ground for tomorrow's game at lunchtime today. While arrangements are concluded, to any fans proposing to attend Saturday's game:
You must NOT attend if you are self-isolating, if you have been contacted by Test and Trace to self-isolate or have COVID symptoms.
If you have any coronavirus symptoms:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
Get a test and stay at home!
In addition to the above requirement all spectators should undertake their own health risk assessment, before leaving home.
Do you have a shortness of breath? Yes/No
Do you have a sore throat? Yes/No
Are you feeling generally unwell? Yes/No
Are you vulnerable due to your age or general health condition? Yes/No
If you answered YES to any of the above, then it is your personal responsibility to be honest & stay at home to ensure we do not spread this deadly virus or put yourself at an unnecessary risk!
Away fans are *NOT* allowed to attend - this is to significantly reduce impacts on transport and the movement of populations between regions.
We ask spectators to arrive no earlier than 1.45pm to ensure staggered entrance times for players, staff & spectators. Do not turn up at 2.55pm expecting to walk straight in - there is every likelihood there will be a queue!
Season ticket holders can collect there passes from the club office before joining the queue.
If you are satisfied you are ok to attend, as soon you enter the car park area you will go through a few quick checks, again this is for everybody's safety.
These will be done as quickly and efficiently as possible, before any payment is taken - failure to do either of these will result in you being turned away.
You will have your temperature taken.
You will be asked to either scan the NHS QR code or give your contact details for Test & Trace - It is a legal requirement.
Everybody attending is actively encouraged to walk to the ground where possible, and sanitise hands regularly!
We would ask that where possible you pay by contactless method. If you have to pay by cash please purchase your ticket from the Club Office and have the correct money, ie: £15 Adults, £10 Concessions and £5 under 18's as this will reduce the amount of contact with cash & time for the transaction to be completed.
Toilet facilities will be open, and we will have sanitising staff on hand to maintain hygiene standards. Any issues found please report to a steward or club official.
You will be required to wear a face covering for the duration of the time you are in the ground from the time you enter the carpark area, unless you are eating or drinking, or have proof of medical exemption. Failure to do so, you will be asked to leave, potentially face a ban from re-attending in the near future & possibly be reported to the police.
It is everybody's responsibility to maintain a safe distance inside the ground. A minimum distance between family groups of 2m or 1m+ in the Main Stand, where 2m is not possible. Failure to do so you will be asked to leave, potentially face a ban from re-attending in the near future & possibly be reported to the police.
Smoking & Vaping is prohibited anywhere within the ground. You will be asked to leave & face a ban should you fail to comply.
If a ball comes into the crowd - do not throw it back, no matter how urgent a player is to restart play.
It is essential for player safety that all balls are sanitised by club staff, before returning to the field of play.
Food & Drink concessions are subject to local authority granting permission to allow to be open.
Please listen carefully to any announcements being made on the PA System.
These are just a few of the rules we have to abide by to be able to allow fans back in to watch football again.
Please bear with us and abide by the rules as this is huge learning curve for all of us including you.
There is a lot to put in place by a small number of volunteers, we are doing our best.
If anybody has time to spare to assist voluntarily with any of the tasks please get in touch via email - firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday.
Watch this space for any further updates.
New dates agreed
This Saturday's league match at home to Oxford City has been postponed as Oxford are involved in FA Cup action. Additonally, the league match at home to Welling United scheduled for next Tuesday, 1 December has also been postponed due to a Covid-related incident at Welling. Therefore our next match is at home a week on Saturday, 5 December, when the league match against Oxford City has been re-arranged to replace the originally scheduled FA Trophy Second Round fixture. The FA Trophy fixture will now take place on Tuesday 15 December. There is a possibility that the home league match against Welling United will be re-scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 8th December - but this is subject to confirmation on Friday.
Iron off the bottom
Maxwell's lads impress at Tonbridge
A superb commanding second half performance ensured Iron came away from Longmead on Tuesday evening with their second league win within the first week of new manager Ryan Maxwell's tenure and it was no fluke either, moving the team off the bottom of the table.
Fielding the starting line up as against Concord Rangers the previous week, Iron put up a fine early first half defensive display as the home side pushed hard for the opening goal before coming stronger towards the interval and they could have gone in at the break with a least one goal to the good.
The second half though was a different story as Iron took hold of the game from the start creating consistent problems for the home rearguard with their best football of the season creating several decent scoring chances in a team that had cohesion, commitment and endeavour.
The breakthrough came on 51 minutes when man of the match Jason Banton fought his way up field before laying the ball off to Johnville Renee who cut in from the right wing to fire home his first goal for the club.
It was no more than Iron deserved as they continued their attacks against a beleaguered home defence and the crucial second goal on 70 minutes when Tom Derry broke completely clear on his own to round the advancing home keeper to slot the ball home into the empty net from a tight angle.
With Corry Davidson and Renee causing all kinds of problems for the home side down either flank the only surprise was that the Iron didn't add to the goals tally with Derry, Banton and substitute Arjanit Krasnigi all going to close in the latter stages of the game, as did new striker Danny Bassett signed from Hampton and Richmond.
In the final flurry of activity Iron keeper Patrick Ohman, who had pulled off two fine saves within the first ten minutes of the game, again came to the rescue with a great stop from home striker Tommy Wood to ensure his side made it two games running without conceding a goal.
This was a fine, all round team performance from Iron with new boss Maxwell clearly stamping his authority on how his new charges should play while the win moves the team up to 19th in the league, three places above the bottom.
With Iron having no game this Saturday, next up is a rearranged home game against Oxford City on Saturday week.
Braintree Town: Ohman; Johnson-Schuster, Smith, Olomowewe, Robbins; Johnson, Olu Olu (61 Krasniqi), Renee (83 Bassett), Davidson; Banton (87 Yamfam), Derry. Unused subs: Dunne, Clements.
Ryan Maxwell takes over
Assisted by Nicky Symons
Following the departure of former Manager George Borg, Iron have moved quickly to appoint former player Ryan Maxwell as their new Manager. Maxwell began his career as a youth player at Chelsea before moving onto Crystal Palace and Reading in 1999. 37-year old Ryan Maxwell was a midfielder, during his lengthy playing career, and was most recently player-manager of Walthamstow. Belfast-born Maxwell previously played in the Scottish Football League for Hamilton Academical and Raith Rovers as well as a number of non-League football teams (making three appearances for Braintree in 2007) in England. He has also represented the Northern Ireland national under-21 football team.
Ryan will be helped by another former player - 33-year old Nicky Symons - as his assistant. Nicky made 119 appearances for the Club scoring four goals including an memorable strike from the half-way line at Woking. Nicky was a part of Rod Stringer's 2011 Conference South championship winning side and remained at the Club for three years as the Club established itself at the highest level in non-League football.
Iron secure first victory
New look Braintree impress
With the new management team in the dugout and a totally new look Braintree side including eight new players on the field - this was a vastly improved all round team display that deservedly earned them their first win and league points of the season at Cressing Road on Tuesday evening.
There was certainly a new found belief in this totally revitalised side that took the game to the Beachboys from the kick off playing some decent attractive attacking football while the completely new back line proved to be pivotal as they were forced to defend extremely well at times, well supported by new keeper Patrick Ohman from Carshalton Athletic.
One of the newcomers was striker Jason Barton, back at the club from last season, and whilst all the new players seem to fit in well together from the kick off there was overall a new attitude, commitment and teamwork not seen in an Iron side this season.
With just skipper Matt Johnson, Olu Olu and Johnville Renee retained from the Iron's previous heavy defeat at Eastbourne the new team showed all round strength and far more cohesion as a unit with all players chasing and harrying from the first whistle.
Iron could not have wished for a better start too by opening the scoring on eight minutes when a swift move upfield saw Banton deceive the Beachboys' defence and he squared the ball to Correy Davidson and the former Bishop's Stortford winger drove the ball into the net.
Five minutes later though the visitors could have equalised when central defender newcomer Taofiq Olomowewe fouled a Beachboy attacker but regular spot kick specialist Alex Wall saw his effort brilliantly saved by Ohman diving down to his right to deny the equaliser.
Iron continued to have the upper hand and for the first time this season they always looked like scoring every time they ventured into the visitors' area and it took several fine saves by keeper Chris Haigh to deny them a second goal.
At the other end and particularly towards the latter stages of the game it was Ohman who proved to be the hero making several saves and interceptions to help keep his new side in the lead.
The final whistle saw jubilation amongst Iron players and the only pity was that home fans were unable to witness this new look team which on this showing could see Iron move up and away from the relegation area. With no game this Saturday next up for the Iron is an away game at Tonbridge Angels next Tuesday.
Braintree Town: Ohman; Johnson-Schuster, Smith, Olomowewe, Robbins; Renee (87 Krasniqi), Johnson, Olu Olu, Davidson; Derry (89 Dunne), Banton (75 Yamfan. Unused subs: Clements, Fielding.
Borg steps down
George - a legacy which we all still benefit from
Following Saturday's defeat at Eastbourne Borough on Saturday, Iron Manager George Borg spoke with Chairman Lee Harding and offered his resignation. The two agreed to discuss the situation again on Sunday and, following deliberations with the rest of the Board, The Club have agreed to accept George's decision.
Lee Harding was saddened by the turn of events: "I had high hopes for this season and will always be grateful for the way George stepped into the position after we have been let down last season. George was the first to accept that its a results business, but the last six months have been so difficult for clubs to prepare with the delayed start to the season and then having to play behind closed doors making it difficult to attract players to the Club. Despite the difficult position we find ourselves in - George will always be the manager that took the Club to the Isthmian play-offs, Isthmian championship and Conference South play-offs in three successive seasons - a legacy which we all still benefit from. I share the responsibility for the poor start to the season and I now look to re-start our campaign with a positive performance against Concord on Tuesday."
Tonbridge & Oxford
We have re-arranged our Vanarama South trip to Tonbridge Angels and will now visit Kent a week on Tuesday 24 November. Our home Vanarama South match against Oxford City, scheduled for Saturday 28 November, has been postponed as Oxford are in FA Cup action that day.
Concord Rangers behind closed doors
No supporters permitted on Tuesday
Braintree Town are at home to Concord Rangers this coming Tuesday evening in the Vanarama South. This match will be played behind closed doors due to the current pandemic restrictions.
Iron denied at St. Albans
Braintree let lead slip again
Iron may still be searching for their first league point of the season but they were desperately unlucky at Clarence Park not to have actually won this game on Tuesday evening.
Continuing on from their much improved display of the previous Saturday they were in the ascendancy for long periods of this encounter particularly in the first half when they hot the home bar before scoring the opening goal a minute before the interval.
With the experienced Preston Edwards back in goal the Iron defence looked again stronger in this game and it was only two second half slip-ups by individual players that in effect cost them their first victory.
During a strong first half showing both Louis Yamfam and Jordan Chiedozie went close to opening the scoring with tremendous efforts and it was Yamfam who created the Iron goal cutting in from the left wing with a cross headed in by Romario Dunne.
A goal to the good at the start of the second half the Iron continued to battle hard but the introduction by the home side of Chid Onakwai early on paid off as he began to create a few problems for the Iron rearguard and on 61 minutes he scored the equaliser although it was a little fortuitous as the ball bobbled about in the Iron area before left unmarked he drove the ball into the net.
Iron's push for a win was badly hindered on 69 minutes when the influential Arjanit Krasniqi, by far Iron's best player on the night, was forced to limp off after a being on the end of a bad tackle.
Two minutes later the home side grabbed what would turn out to be the winner when again Onakwai was the creator although again it was a lucky goal as the ball came off two defenders before it was scrambled into the net.
Despite the setback the Iron continued to press hard and five minutes from the end they were denied a blatant penalty when Johnville Renee was hauled down in the home area but somehow referee Dale Wootton waved play on.
The Iron continued to press hard and their was an impressive late substitution with 17 year-old Peterborough United youngster Bradley Rolt coming on for his debut but as in previous game the Iron still clearly lack a strong leader in attack who can score goals if they are to utilise all the good approach work fans are now seeing.
Hungerford survive late rally
Braintree continuing to improve
The Iron can count themselves unlucky not to have picked up their first league point of the season after this much improved display at Cressing Road on Saturday.
Having more than held their own for most of the game they conceded an unfortunate goal right on half time, came close to equalising in a second half they dominated for long periods before giving away a penalty but then coming back strongly and pulling a goal back with thirteen minutes to go.
The visitors arrived in form up amongst the promotion hunting pack but to their credit the Iron, with young Ipswich loanee keeper Adam Przybek back in goal, played their best football off the season yet they clearly still need an out and out striker to snap up all their good approach work.
The first half saw the visitors initially in the ascendency with three times Przybek pulling off fine saves to keep the scoreline blank but up at the other end Rohdell Gordon, Arjant Krasniqi and Louis Yamfam all went close.
The Iron suffered a cruel piece of luck right on the half time whistle when in-form visiting striker Luke Hopper cut inside from the right wing and drove the ball across the Iron area only for it to deflect off defender Kyran Clements and looping into the top corner of the net over Przybek's head leaving him stranded.
Undeterred by this setback the Iron showed more resilience and character in the second half than they have in recent games and really for long periods they had the upper hand but chances were wasted in that final quarter.
The Iron were further deflated on 71 minutes when a low, hard left wing corner was whipped into the near post with it hitting Johnville Renee's arm leaving referee John Richardson to point to the penalty spot from which Hopper drove the ball past Przybek.
Full marks though to the Iron players this setback failed to dampen their much improved display of football and 13 minutes from time they were rewarded with a goal when Jordan Chiedozie cut in from the right wing and let fly with a terrific right foot 35-yard shot into the far corner of the net.
It was no more than the Iron deserved and in the final minutes of the game they pressed hard again for that illusive equaliser but again chances when begging and the visitors held on to take all three points.
This was a much better Iron performance and clearly something to build on and on this showing points should soon start coming their way.
Braintree Town: Przybek; Fielding, Renee (90+2 O'Keefe), Allen, Clements; Johnson, Gordon, Krasniqi (82 Olu Olu), Yamfam; Dunne (73 Smyth), Chiedozie. Unused subs: Greenaway (keeper), Forrest.
Hemel prevail by odd goal in seven
Goals at last but no points
A madcap four minute spell right on half time with the Iron losing their 2-1 lead to going in at the interval 2-4 summed up this topsy-turvy clash of the two basement sides at Cressing Road on Saturday which left the hosts still searching for their first league point of the season.
The visitors had taken the lead on 21 minutes through a fine Taofiq Olomowewe header but the Iron equalised a minute later when Liam Smyth neatly back-heeled the ball into the net from close range.
With the Iron now in full flow they regained the lead on 38 minutes when Romario Dunne fired in a terrific 35 yard first time shot from outside the area into the top far corner of the net.
But on 41 minutes it all went horribly wrong for the Iron when stand-in central defender George Forrestneedlessly gave away a penalty which Matt Bateman duly converted from the spot kick.
Three minutes later with the Iron defence all at sea Jake Evans was allowed time to drive a low shot into the corner of the Iron net and a minute later it went from bad to worse for the Iron when Forrest somehow managed to chest a low right wing cross into his own net.
Hardly surprising Forrest was substituted at the break, replaced by Johnville Renee, but the visitors looked the better side throughout the second period with at times the woodwork three times saving the Iron from conceding further goals.
With the surprise and sudden departures from the club of experienced defenders Lewis Ferrell and Tarik Moore-Azille in the heart of the defence the Iron back line always looked vulnerable every time the visitors attacked and they had several lucky escapes with at times only keeper Preston Edwards denying them another goal.
The Iron, also missing the impressive young injured Colchester Oliver Kensdale in the defence, battled on and their caused should have been helped on 66 minutes when the visitors' defender Chris Paul was sent off for a second yellow card but they failed to capitalise on the one-man advantage.
Ten minutes from the end they did grab a goal back when a left wing cross from debutant 21 year-old Kosovar Arjan Kresniqi, back from a spell playing in Finland, saw it deflected into the net and in the final few minutes the Iron had a couple of really decent chances to have equalised but the shots went over the visitors' bar.
Braintree Town: Edwards; Fielding, O'Keefe, Johnson, Clements; Forrest (45 Renee), Gordon, Kresniqi (81 Olu Olu), Yamfam (58 Chiedozie); Smyth, Dunne, Unused sub: Cameron.
Hemel Hempstead Town behind closed doors
No supporters permitted on Saturday
Braintree Town are at home to Hemel Hempstead Town this coming Saturday afternoon in the Vanarama South. This match will be played behind closed doors due to the current pandemic restrictions.
Iron second best to Dorking
First half display fades
After an encouraging first half performance where Iron more than held their own against the league leaders they conceded a goal right on the half time whistle, followed by an unnecessary second within three minutes of the restart after which the visitors dominated proceedings.
Iron lost their way in that second half and had no answer to the neat, slick quick passing style football from the visitors who already look like being up amongst the promotion seekers at the end of the season.
Iron need an experienced striker who can not only lead the attack and hold the ball up but also score goals while in midfield a quality player who can put his foot on the ball and distribute it to team mates is also much needed.
Iron, bottom of the league without either a point or yet to score a goal in the league this season, the future looks on this showing difficult because they failed to have a shot on target all game and it leaves manager George Borg with an apparent problem to see his side improve in any department.
In a fairly even first half Iron did compete well against a workmanlike visitors' side but they have no forwards of quality and never really threatened the Wanderers' goal and the only surprise was that it took right to the half time whistle before the visitors scored, the goal coming from a tremendous first time drive by Wes Fogden.
Within three minutes of the restart Dorking added a second through Ed Harris who managed the final touch for the ball to go into the net following a right wing free-kick which the home defence failed to clear and it effectively meant game over as a contest.
From then it was the visitors who dominated the game although it took them until the 79th minute to add their third which came through James McShane and then six minutes from time Jimmy Muitt wrapped up a fine team performance by firing home from close range with the home defence again at sixes and seven.
On this form Wanderers will certainly be one of the pace setters in the league because they appear to be a well organised outfit with quality players.
Braintree Town: Edwards; Fielding, O'Keefe, Moore-Azille, Kensdale; Clements, Forrest, Yamfam, Smyth; Olu Olu (66 Romario), Gordon. Unused subs: Payne, Renee, Cameron Przybek.
Iron giant killed in FA Cup
No fixture on Saturday 24 October
Maldon & Tiptree pulled off one of the early FA Cup shocks by knocking Iron out of the competition on a wet Tuesday evening at Cressing Road.
The breakthrough came on 75 minutes when Iron keeper Adam Przybek pulled off a fantastic save but the wet ball was parried out to the edge of the area where the unmarked Andre Hassanally drove the ball low back across the area into the bottom far corner of the net.
Four minutes later the Jammers almost added a second but Alfie Mason's fierce 25-yard first time shot was brilliantly tip over the bar by Przybek.
Four minutes from the end the Iron's Louis Yamfam broke clear of the Jammers' backline and raced into the area and should have scored but somehow he drove the ball wide of the goal.
In the second minute of added time the Iron did hit the Jammers' bar but in all honesty their failure to score goals and without a quality striker showed up again in this game.
The Iron, without injured skipper Lewis Ferrell and on loan defender Olivier Kensdale refused by Colchester United to become cup tied, had started the game well and were well on top creating several decent chances but again the failure to find that touch of the ball into the net let them down.
Rhondell Gordon, Romario Dunne and Olu Olu all wasted gilt-edge chances and on the half hour Yamfam somehow failed to connect with a low right wing cross into the penalty area when positioned almost on the goal line.
Six minutes from the interval Olu Olu had another great chance to score but from close range ballooned the ball over the Jammers' goal.
The Jammers played some decent enough football too on the slippery surface in the first half too but really the Iron's vast superiority should have seen them find the net at least a couple of times.
They were to rue their missed chances in the second half while the Jammers began to show more cohesion and the longer the half progressed the more they gained confidence taking the game to their hosts.
Once in front they never looked like losing their lead despite the Iron's late rally and the Jammers go into the draw for the next round and a possible repeat of last season's giant-killing act.
For the Iron their next test is on Saturday when they face current league leaders Dorking Wanderers at Cressing Road, kick off 3pm but again being played behind closed doors. Braintree have no fixture on Saturday 24 October as Tonbridge are in FA Cup action that day.
Defeat at Chippenham
Second league match ends in defeat
A goal five minutes from time sealed this Iron defeat in the West Country on Saturday in their second league game.
After an indifferent first half performance that saw the hosts on top Iron responded much better after the break with an improved performance creating a few chances but with the side still clearly missing a proven goal scorer to take advantage of them.
But for the heroic performance by Iron keeper Preston Edwards, clearly the man of the match with half a dozen excellent saves, the home side would have won by a bigger margin.
With young Colchester United defender Oliver Kensdale drafted in for his debut on a month's loan and giving a solid performance it was the experienced keeper Edwards who kept the rampant home side's forwards at bay until late on.
The only goal came in the 85th minute when the Iron gave away a needless free-kick out on the home side's right wing and the ball was whipped into the penalty area where defender Kieran Parselle raced in unmarked to head a bullet of header into the net giving Edwards no chance.
It was a goal that the home side deserved overall because they always looked the more likely to score throughout the match but until that late goal they had been thwarted by the excellent Edwards.
The Iron custodian pulled off a fine finger tip save in the second minute of the game and repeated the feat five more times during the afternoon but there was nothing he could do to stop that late winning goal.
After a disappointing first half the Iron certainly upped their game in the second period and looked more threatening, particularly down the right wing, but the final finishing was all too often missing.
Early on Romario Dunne and Alfie Payne had chances but the ball was soon kicked clear by a ruthless home defence and then late into the second half the Iron's best two chances fell to Rohdell Gordon but first his shot and then a header went straight into the hands of home keeper Will Puddy, himself a former Iron player.
So despite their more promising second half showing the Iron were to rue giving away that late free-kick and then sloppy marking when Perselle was allowed time and space to run and head the ball into the net.
Braintree Town: Edwards; Fielding, O'Keefe, Ferrell, Moore-Azille; Kensdale, Forrest, Olu Olu (Smyth), Payne (71 Yamfam); Dunne, Gordon. Unused subs: Schmid (gk), Clements, Renee.
Maldon & Tiptree FA Cup tie kicks off at 7.30
Braintree Town's match at home to Maldon & Tiptree in the Third Qualifying Round of this season's Emirates FA Cup, on Tuesday, 13th October at the Cressing Road Stadium, will kick-off at 7.30pm.
Iron lose opener behind closed doors
Ebbsfleet impress with late goals
A three-goal second salvo by visitors Ebbsfleet put an end to hopes Iron had of at least picking up a point in their opening Vanarama National League South League game at Cressing Road on Tuesday evening against a side who are favourites for promotion and an immediate return to the top non-league tier. The full-time players from Kent showed why they are favourites to go back up as they had in striker Rakish Bingham a proven goal scorer who opened the scoring on 57 minutes, added a second on 84 and but for the woodwork would have netted a hat-trick. Iron, with young Ipswich and Wales U21 goalkeeper Adam Przybek on international duty and replaced by the former experienced Ebbsfleet custodian Preston Edwards, had no answer to Bingham who twice in the second half was denied further goals by great saves by Edwards. Played behind closed doors and with an eerie silence in the stadium to their credit the Iron put in a good performance, particularly in a fairly even first half when they more than matched their visitors and twice could have grabbed a goal with both Romario Dunne and Rohdell Gordon going close.
The visitors though took control of the second half playing some fluent football with the Iron players beginning to tire and never really threatening the visitors' goal leaving manager George Borg well aware his side needs a strong striker in the Bingham mould if they are to going to be able to score goals regularly. Iron fought hard, competed well in midfield but were all too often let down in the final quarter with no real penetration in front of the 'Fleet goal and even an early second half double substitution failed to make any impression on the experienced visitors' back line. Once in front the visitors never looked back and they completed their scoring on 87 minutes when their skipper Lee Martin skipped through the Iron defence to drive the ball into the net giving Edwards no chance of saving. Iron knew it would be a hard opening game against Ebbsfleet and they can take comfort that for almost an hour they competed well against them only to lose their way in the latter stages.
Braintree Town: Edwards; Fielding, Ferrell, Moore-Azille, O'Keefe; Olu Olu, Payne (55 Renee), Forrest (55 Okunlola), Yamfam; Rohdell, Dunne (65 Smyth). Unused subs: Clements, Schmid (gk). Next up for the Iron is an away game at Chippenham Town on Saturday which again will be played behind closed doors due to the current virus restrictions.
Ebbsfleet United behind close doors
No supporters permitted on Tuesday
Braintree Town are at home to relegated Ebbsfleet United this coming Tuesday evening in the Vanarama South. This match will be played behind closed doors due to the current pandemic restrictions.
Maldon & Tiptree at home in the FA Cup
Iron at home in the Third Qualifying Round
Braintree Town have been drawn at home to Isthmian League North side Maldon & Tiptree in the Third Qualifying Round of this season's Emirates FA Cup, with the tie scheduled for Tuesday, 13th October at the Cressing Road Stadium.
Maldon & Tiptree are currently unbeaten after progressing through three rounds of the FA Cup (1-0 at Hertford in the Preliminary Round, 3-0 at Haverhill in the 1st Qualifying Round and 5-4 on penalties at home to Grays in the Second Qualifying Round after the game ended 2-2) and having drawn their first two league matches: 1-1 at Soham and 1-1 at home to Brentwood.
Iron progress in FA Cup
Penalty shoot out success secures progress
Iron progressed in the FA Cup after winning a dramatic penalty shootout 7-6 after both sides scored within 50 seconds of each other in the final minute of normal time.
In what was a close encounter from start to finish with both sides playing attacking football it was Iron who had the better of the first half, missing three goal scoring chances, only to be pegged back in the second half when the home side were the better team even hitting the visitors woodwork with seven minutes to go.
The deadlock was broken right on 90 minutes when home substitute Toby Aromoralan cut inside from the left to fire a great low shot into the bottom corner of the net beating Iron's debutant young goalkeeper Adam Przybek, on loan from Ipswich Town.
But in an immediate counter attack Iron broke clear and equalised within 50 seconds when Olu Olu sidestepped a defender to fire in an almost identical low shot into the bottom corner of the home goal.
With no extra time allowed the game went straight to penalties and in a nerve-tingling climax Iron prevailed 7-6 with only Seye Okunlola missing from the spot allowing the Iron to progress into the Third Qualifying Round.
With only one player in the side from last season - young full-back Charlie O'Keefe - the new-look Iron team took the game to their opponents from the off and should have taken the lead on 15 minutes but Alfie Payne's shot was well saved by the home keeper.
On 35 minutes the Iron saw a triple save from the home keeper denying Payne, Rohdell Gordon and then Romario Dunne and right on the half time whistle Dunne again saw his shot narrowly miss the crossbar.
The second half saw the home side gain momentum and determined to see the Iron try and score that all important first goal manager George Borg made a double substitution on 54 minutes with Johnville Renee and Okunlola coming on for Payne and George Forrest.
The home side continued to look the more likely to score first but some stout defending and good goalkeeping from Przybek kept them at bay until that frantic final minute when they scored only for Olu Olu to respond in style and equalise with an exceptionally good goal to send the match into a penalty shootout.
Braintree Town: Przybek; Fielding, O'Keefe, Ferrell (89 Clements), Moore-Azille; Olu, Olu, (54 Payne), Forrest (54 Okunlola), Dunne, Dunne; Yamfam, Gordon. Unused subs: Schmid (GK), Smyth, Miller, Cameron.
Next up for the Iron is their opening Vanarama South game at home of Tuesday against Ebbsfleet, kick off 7 45pm but the game will be played behind closed doors with no spectators under the current Covid restrictions.
Maidenhead friendly behind closed doors
Clubhouse will be open and donations are invited
Braintree Town complete their pre-season build-up with a final pre-season friendly at home to National League Maidenhead United this coming Saturday, 26th September, with kick-off at 3pm. Like the game at home to Ipswich Town a fortnight ago, this match will be played behind closed doors, but the Clubhouse will be open as usual from 12 noon and supporters are invited to make a donation towards the cost of the match officials on the day.
Hashtag United away in the FA Cup
Iron on the road in Second Qualifying Round
Braintree Town have been drawn away to Essex Senior League side Hashtag United in the Second Qualifying Round of this season's Emirates FA Cup, with the tie scheduled for Saturday, 3rd October at the Len Salmon Stadium, home of landlords Bowers & Pitsea.
Hashtag currently have a 100% record in the Essex Senior League, having won their first three league matches, level on points with leaders Cockfosters. They have also progressed to the Second Qualifying Round after victories at Park View FC (2-1) in the Extra Preliminary Round, at home to Felixstowe & Walton United (13-12 on penalties after a 1-1 draw) in the Preliminary Round, and at home to Soham Town Rangers (4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw) in the First Qualifying Round.
Fixtures for 2020-2021
Iron start with an FA Cup tie
Braintree Town commence their 2020/2021 campaign on Saturday, 3rd October with an Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round tie, against opponents to be drawn after the First Qualifying Round has been completed.
Our Vanarama National League South campaign gets underway on the following Tuesday evening, 6th October when Ebbsfleet United are the visitors to Cressing Road Stadium.
Our first trip on the road is on Saturday, 10th October with a trip to Chippenham Town.
Holiday fixtures include a home match with near neighbours Chelmsford City on Boxing Day, with the reverse at Melbourne Park on Saturday, 2nd January 2021.
Iron commence their involvement in the Buildbase FA Trophy at the Second Round stage on Saturday, 5th December.
Braintree Town's full fixture list is as follows:
Sat Oct 3 - FAC2Q
Tue Oct 6 - Ebbsfleet United (HOME)
Sat Oct 10 - Chippenham Town (Away)
Wed Oct 14 - FAC3Q
Sat Oct 17 - Dorking Wanderers (HOME)
Sat Oct 24 - Tonbridge Angels (Away) or FAC4Q
Sat Oct 31 - Hemel Hempstead Town (HOME)
Sat Nov 7 - Hungerford Town (HOME) or FAC1
Tue Nov 10 - St. Albans City (Away)
Sat Nov 14 - Eastbourne Borough (Away)
Tue Nov 17 - Concord Rangers (HOME)
Sat Nov 21 - No fixture
Sat Nov 28 - Oxford City (HOME) or FAC2
Tue Dec 1 - Welling United (HOME)
Sat Dec 5 - FAT2
Sat Dec 12 - Maidstone United (Away)
Sat Dec 19 - FAT3
Sat Dec 26 - Chelmsford City (HOME)
Mon Dec 28 - Billericay Town (Away)
Sat Jan 2 - Chelmsford City (Away)
Sat Jan 9 - Dartford (HOME) or FAC3
Sat Jan 16 - Slough Town (Away) or FAT4
Sat Jan 23 - Bath City (HOME) or FAC4
Sat Jan 30 - Havant & Waterlooville (Away)
Sat Feb 6 - Dulwich Hamlet (HOME) or FAT5
Tue Feb 9 - Welling United (Away)
Wed Feb 10 - FAC5
Sat Feb 13 - Maidstone United (HOME)
Sat Feb 20 - Oxford City (Away)
Sat Feb 27 - No fixture or FAT Semi-Finals
Sat Mar 6 - Hampton & Richmond Borough (Away)
Sat Mar 13 - Billericay Town (HOME)
Tue Mar 16 - Ebbsfleet United (Away)
Sat Mar 20 - Chippenham Town (HOME) or FAC6
Sat Mar 27 - Dorking Wanderers (Away)
Fri Apr 2 - Tonbridge Angels (HOME)
Mon Apr 5 - Hemel Hempstead Town (Away)
Sat Apr 10 - St. Albans City (HOME)
Tue Apr 13 - Concord Rangers (Away)
Sat Apr 17 - Hungerford Town (Away) or FAC Semi-Final
Sat Apr 24 - Eastbourne Borough (HOME)
Sat May 1 - Dulwich Hamlet (Away)
Mon May 3 - Havant & Waterlooville (HOME)
Sat May 8 - Slough Town (HOME) or FAT Final
Sat May 15 - Dartford (Away) or FAC Final
Sat May 22 - Hampton & Richmond Borough (HOME)
Sat May 29 - Bath City (Away)
FAT - Buildbase FA Trophy, Emirates FA Cup - FAC
Chairman Update Mid-June 2020
What's going on at Cressing Road?
The Club have agreed their match day and season tickets pricing for next season. Prices have been retained at last season's levels.
Big Iron 'early bird' discounts are offered for season tickets purchased on or before Saturday 20 June 2020. Adult and concession season tickets bought on or before Saturday 20 June allow supporters to sit or stand and receive five games free of charge, while an under 18 season tickets offer an incredible thirteen games free! A new initiative for the coming campaign is the introduction of a new season ticket for our younger supporters - Under 12 - provided with entry for just £21 - just a pound a game! Season ticket prices for next season, purchased by Saturday 20 June, are as follows:
ADULT - £240 (21 for the price of 16 or just £11.43 a match)
CONCESSIONS - £160 (21 for the price of 16 or just £7.62 a match)
UNDER 18s - £40 (21 for the price of 8 or just £1.90 a match!)
UNDER 12s - £21 (21 for the price of £1 a game!)
BACK THE IRON BID FOR SURVIVAL
The Iron look to the Fans and the Business Community for survival - and survival is serious business! With absolutely no income until the club can generate funds through the turnstiles and in the clubhouse Braintree Town's overheads still need to be met.
For the past few seasons the Club have been heavily supported financially by two of the Club's directors who have also provided key sponsorship.
They have said they will continue to support the Club to the same level but they are donating the shirt sponsorship as a major raffle prize.
The plan is to find 20-30 businesses to contribute net £1,000 each and first out of the hat will be the Main Club sponsor with runner-up being the secondary sponsor.
Will your business support the Club and enter? - Each entry will receive one perimeter advertising board which is valued at £1,000+VAT.
In addition entrants will receive plenty of other recognition and hospitality packages.
Businesses or individuals can enter and, if preferred, payments can be made by monthly instalments.
Contact Club Director Jerry Carter for more information on his e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHEN COULD FOOTBALL START?
I took part in an on-line meeting of National League management and South club chairman last week and the current thinking is that our league campaign could start in September 2020.
Safety Officer Andy Gill and I are currently reviewing our stadium entry, holding and exit capacities in line with current government social distancing requirements. Our initial thinking is that our stadium capacity will be reduced to between 500 and 1,000 spectators.
Discussions are on-going between manager George Borg, players and the Club about possible pre-season training arrangements commencing in July, with pre-season friendly matches possible in August.
A first pre-season friendly match has already been agreed, with the Club agreeing to send the first team squad to Needham Market on a date still to be agreed.
As to our status, National League Chief Executive Michael Tattersall recently advised that: "The FA Council decided that there would be no promotion from Step 3 and also instructed the FA Executive to prepare the necessary amendment to FA regulations. These changes will be considered by FA Council and include a provision that confirms that there will be no relegation from Step 2.
In line with recent government thinking, the Club are making preparations to re-open the Cressing Road Stadium Clubhouse on Saturday 4 July 2020.
The government insists it is still working towards early July as the possible date for the re-opening of pubs and restaurants in England.
Comments from a Number 10 spokesman downplayed reports ministers could bring forward plans to allow the sector to start serving customers outdoors. "The roadmap envisaged" an easing from 4 July and "we continue to follow the road map," Downing Street said.
Our current thinking is that our clubhouse would serve customers on terraces, and similar outdoors areas.
Working towards Saturday 4 July, the Club is still to re-stock and bring back staff. The Club are currently working towards accommodating the current two-metre social distancing separation rule.
Under the guidance of Matt Hawtin, work parties continue next Saturday 20 June, the main areas to focus on are:
- 1 re-decorate the clubhouse end outside toilets.
- 2 treat Kit Room & Club Shop deck.
- 3 dugouts need a deep clean & lick of paint.
If anybody has any half tins of magnolia/white masonry paint would be great if you can spare them.
If anybody has paint or brushes/rollers or decking stain/oil they wish to donate Matt will be up club on Tuesday 16 June 7-8.30pm to sell season tickets.
Chairman's Update May 2020
With thanks to those helping keeping our 122 year old club alive
Braintree Town Football Club are preparing for the re-start of football as and when it is accepted that it is safe to do so. In the interim, the Club are continuing with routine maintenance at the Stadium.
However, throughout the course of a normal football season, the Club receives regular income from both its match and social activities. Both of these were abruptly curtailed in mid-March.
As a result, the Club has played no matches since Saturday 14 March and the Government's decision to restrict licensed premises a week later dictated that the Club's Clubhouse has also been closed.
With commitments to both staff and suppliers, this left the Club in a precarious financial position, but hard work by the Club's Board and its friends has ensured that the Club has been able to continue.
The Club would therefore like to express its thanks for the help and support received from a number of organisations in what are difficult and challenging times.
The support from our local authority - Braintree District Council - has made a significant difference to the Club's cashflow and we are grateful for their help.
The Club welcomes the decision of the National League to bring forward the sponsorship payment, due next September, to assist with the Club's cashflow challenges.
The Club also appreciates the recent donations from both the Independent Supporters Club and our Twelfth Man Group.
Finally, the continued support from two members of the Club's Board has also proved to be vital, without which the Club's finances would have been overwhelmed in recent months.
Looking forward, the Club continues to wait for confirmation from either the National League or the Football Association as to the structure and format of the game for the forthcoming 2020/2021 season.
We are aware of the statement from the Football Association that leagues within tiers three to seven have reached a consensus to bring the 2019/2020 season to an immediate end and that as a result all results will be expunged. This suggests that there will be no promotion or relegation of clubs between these tiers.
We understand that this decision has been supported by The FA Council.
Therefore, until any statement is made by either the National League or Football Association to contrary, the Club will continue to plan for the resumption of football in the National League.
Next season is due to commence on Saturday 8 August, but this date is by no means certain. For this date to be met by the Club, pre-season friendly matches would normally be played during July and pre-season training would be scheduled from mid-June. Both these activities may not be possible due to existing and future social distancing guidelines. However, it is the Club's view that football at our level may be able to commence in September. On that basis, the Club is now reviewing the possible sale of season tickets for the forthcoming 2020/2021 season from Monday, 1 June 2020, with the usual early purchase discount being offered until the following Saturday 6 June 2020. All season and match day ticket prices will be frozen at last season's prices. More news will be announced when the sale of season tickets is confirmed.
Chairman Lee Harding said: "Given the current situation, our thoughts and main focus is on supporting the rest of our community in overcoming the existing pandemic.
"But we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to those that have helped and continue to help the Club in what are very difficult and challenging circumstances. Put simply, their support has allowed the Club to continue.
"While we await guidance from Government, the National League and The Football Association, the Club has been making some preliminary preparations for next season and I am pleased to announce that all tickets for next season will be frozen at last season's prices.
"The Club is also mindful of the three matches that were not played before the closure of last season and we are currently looking at the possibility of offering season ticket holders free admission to home pre-season matches to recompense those supporters affected by decisions beyond the Club's control.
"The Club has also decided to reward those in our community working for our remarkable National Health Service - with special incentives and rewards currently being reviewed and considered.
"When our pre-season matches are scheduled it has been decided that one match will be a designated as a 'Pay what you like' match to celebrate the return of football in the town, with other food and refreshment incentives planned for what we expect to be a special 'We're back!' party.
"But there is still much work to be done to safeguard the Club's future. We are still looking to encourage local businesses and individuals to step up and talk to us about ways to become a commercial partner or sponsor.
In these difficult times, we need the community we are proud to represent to pull together, support it's local team, and, together, we can keep The Iron alive!"
Tuesday 19 January 2021
Maidstone United (Away)
Saturday 23 January 2021
BATH CITY (HOME)
Saturday 30 January 2021
Havant & Water. (Away)
Tuesday 2 February 2021
CHELMSFORD CITY (HOME)
HOW WE STAND