Vanarama National League South

Phil Roberts stepped off the bench to have a significant impact for Braintree Town as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Oxford City.

Roberts came on as a first-half substitute after the Iron had fallen behind early, but made his presence felt by winning a penalty and then scoring the winner after the break as the Iron claimed three Vanarama National League South points on the road.

Braintree manager Brad Quinton made one change from the starting line-up that had won 1-0 against St Albans City on Bank Holiday Monday.

Dropping out was captain Marc-Anthony Okoye, the man who scored the winner in that previous game, with Osa Obamwonyi returning to the side.

Things didn’t start well for them, though, as a loose ball in midfield allowed the hosts to break in the seventh minute and Matt Patterson put Oxford ahead.

Braintree responded well, with Tyler Campbell forcing a good save from the home keeper, but Oxford remained a threat themselves and Nathan McDonald had to be at his best to keep out a close-range shot at the other end.

However, a change for Braintree was to have a big impact as Roberts replaced Alfred Mugabo and the striker showed his intent early as his first touch was a shot on goal.

Roberts was then involved just before half-time as he was felled in the Oxford box in the 43rd minute and Billy Crook stepped up to drill in his fourth penalty of the campaign.

That made it level at the break, but Roberts was to have more of an impact in the second half.

In the 72nd minute, he went close when a header flew just wide from a Christian Frimpong free-kick and he did find the target three minutes later On the counter-attack, Luke Allen played a beautiful through ball to Roberts, who fired in at the near post to give the Iron the lead.

The striker then hit the post with nine minutes to go when he latched on to Jon Muleba’s ball forward and struck the woodwork with his effort.

It didn’t matter, though, as although Oxford came forward in the latter stages and pressed for an equaliser, Braintree’s defence held firm to make the three points safe.

Braintree Town: Nathan McDonald, Jon Muleba, Ben Wyatt, Christian Frimpong , Osa Obamwonyi, Scott Shulton, Luke Allen (Mahrez Bettache 79), Billy Crook, Al Mugabo (Phil Roberts 34), Karl Oliyide (Dernell Wynter 71), Tyler Campbell.

Subs not used: Ricky Gabriel, Roman Michael-Percil.