Braintree Town’s players and manager agreed that their Skrill Premier game against Salisbury City was one too many after the gruelling time that they’ve had this week.
The Iron headed into the game on the back of fixtures at Gateshead, Southport and Halifax in the space of six days, so knew it would be hard work as they returned to the Amlin Stadium.
And an already big ask was made even greater when they lost striker Sean Marks to a red card just before half-time.
Braintree winger Luke Daley said: ““I knew it was going to be a hard one after the week that we’ve had.
“There were some tired legs out there.
“But we still put in a good shift and I don’t think Salisbury had too many real efforts on goal.
“Maybe if we’d kept the 11 men on the pitch we’d have got something from it.”
In the end, Charlie Sheringham’s 18th minute headed goal was the difference between the sides as Braintree lost 1-0 and the defeat dropped the Iron from fourth to seventh in the table.
Braintree’s cause wasn’t helped by referee Colin Lymer sending Marks off in the 43rd minute when he clashed with Salisbury’s James Clarke in an off-the-ball incident.
Iron boss Alan Devonshire said: “I didn’t see it, but if he’s done an elbow then he’s a silly boy.
“We’ll deal with it if that’s the case.
“To be fair the kid gets elbowed every game we play and gets no protection, but if he’s done it and I look at the DVD then he’ll get fined.
“We can’t stand for that.”
Devonshire’s team are now two points shy of the play-off spots, but have a game in hand on the three sides directly above them.