Braintree Town manager Alan Devonshire is hoping an extra day of rest over the Easter weekend will help keep his team’s Skrill Premier play-off push on track at Barnet today.
While rivals Gateshead and Grimsby were dropping points as they drew with Southport and Alfreton respectively on Good Friday, the Iron were picking up their push with a 1-0 win against Dartford.
Kenny Davis’ sublime strike in the 24th minute was enough to win the game for Braintree, although they needed an incredible double save by Nick Hamann in the 95th minute to preserve their lead.
That late spell saw the Iron players run out of gas a bit to almost allow the Darts back in, but they held out.
And Devonshire is hoping his players have rested up over the holiday weekend, especially as Barnet will have had a day less to recuperate after travelling to Nuneaton on Saturday.
“I could see tiredness getting in at the end against Dartford,” said Devonshire.
“We’d played on the Tuesday before whereas they hadn’t and it showed in the last five minutes.
“We’ve had an extra day’s rest ahead of this one so I’m hoping we’ll be a bit fresher to face Barnet.
“Dan Sparkes and Chez Isaac both came off with dead legs, but I’m hoping they’ll be alright.
“It’s just a thing where players are getting knocks but they want to play and they then get another knock on the same area and it makes it really sore.
“But we’ll just have to roll our sleeves up and go again at Barnet.”
The win against Dartford and Grimsby’s draw at Alfreton means that Braintree know a win today and another when they face the Mariners on Saturday will secure their place in the play-offs.
Devonshire added: “It’s nice to be in there and what a great achievement it is to still be in there.
“Hopefully there will still be something on that last game of the season next weekend, which would be fantastic.
“But we know Barnet will be hard.
“They have a decent pitch and some decent players so we’ll have to look after ourselves and make sure we look forward to it.
“Let’s have a go.”