The look of relief on the face of Braintree Town boss Alan Devonshire was matched only by that of delight as his team picked up three vital Skrill Premier points against Dartford.

While two of the other sides bidding to secure top-five finishes – Gateshead and Grimsby – were dropping points, the Iron were collecting a full complement.

But only just.

Having taken a 24th minute lead with a wonder goal by Kenny Davis, Devonshire’s players proceeded to put their boss through the emotional mill.

A number of chances to make the game safe were spurned and only some last-gasp heroics by keeper Nick Hamann stopped then joining Grimsby and Gateshead in having to settle for a draw.

Devonshire said: “I said to the players afterwards, no wonder I’ve gone grey in the last couple of years being manager of this football club.

“I’m delighted, though, as it was all about getting a result.

“Nick pulled off two great saves at the end, but he didn’t have a lot to do up until then.

“We were a bit tired and I think playing on Tuesday (against Gateshead) took a lot out of us, so I was delighted to have got the result.

“Kenny scored a quality goal and we needed that for the game.

“It was a scrappy game and we knew it would be that way.

“There were chances to get a second.

“Marksy was through with the keeper to beat but has it saved, there was Jordan Cox’s header that was kept out and then there was the one where we just miskicked it and it went wide.

“A second goal would have settled the nerves a bit, but we have won and we roll on to Monday (at Barnet).

“The pitch isn’t the best and we know the way Dartford play so we knew it would be tough.

“It was just about getting the result.

“We dug in and showed at the end how much we wanted it as Nick pulled off a couple of great saves at the end.

“So I’m delighted for them.”