Devonshire's pride in his players despite last-gasp heartache on the road

Braintree and Witham Times: Devonshire's pride in his players despite last-gasp heartache on the road Devonshire's pride in his players despite last-gasp heartache on the road

Braintree Town dropped back out of the Skrill Premier play-off places as JJ O’Donnell’s last-gasp strike robbed them of a point at Gateshead.

Despite all the games they have had to play recently and the long distance they had had to travel to the north east, it was the Iron who were on top for most of the game.

They made two changes from the side that beat Nuneaton, with the injured Ryan Peters replaced in the back line by Alan Massey, who had recovered from a foot injury, and Dan Sparkes rested as Josh Laurent came back into the starting line-up.

The team lined up in the 4-5-1 formation that had worked well at Welling last week and it worked well again as Dan Holman, Sean Marks and James Mulley all went close to putting Braintree ahead, with a couple of shots blocked on the line.

However, their failure to convert chances into goals came back to haunt them in the game’s final minute as O’Donnell pounced to score a winning goal that sent Gateshead up to third in the table and dropped Braintree down to eighth.

Iron manager Alan Devonshire said: “The performance was absolutely excellent and our boys showed just how good a side that we are.

“We totally controlled the game, but they had the bit of luck that you sometimes need to win games.

“We just have to regroup, dust ourselves down and go again with another long trip on Tuesday.”

That next trip will see Devonshire’s troops head to Southport as they continue their task of travelling more than 1,400 miles to three games in six days.

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