10:58pm Thursday 19th July 2012
By Simon Spurgeon
Kane Shepherd marked signing a one-year deal with Braintree Town by scoring the winning goal in their 2-1 pre-season win at Witham Town.
The 18-year-old striker had penned a deal before the match at Spa Road and came off the bench at half-time to fire in a late winner for The Iron – his fifth goal in three pre-season games.
Braintree manager Alan Devonshire was pleased to have the former Leyton Orient trainee on board and feels he is a player who can develop further at the Amlin Stadium.
Devonshire said: “He is a natural goal scorer.
“He is only 18 and the kid has a lot to offer.
“He probably won’t be in the starting team at the start of the season unless he does really well but to have a goal scorer like him on the bench will be nice.
“He has a great attitude about him and has a great left foot.
“He hits the target a lot and gives us a different option.
“Goal scoring is a knack and I’m delighted to have Kane on board.”
Despite Braintree eventually emerging as winners, the pre-season friendly was a match that could have gone either way, with Witham more than holding their own against their neighbours.
Having beaten Canvey Island two days previously, the hosts had chances to secure a second win against higher-placed opposition, but they were hit by a late sucker punch from Braintree’s new addition.
Both Devonshire and Witham boss Garry Kimble made full use of their squads and also trial players looking to impress and earn places in their respective teams next year.
It was one of Braintree’s triallists, former Maidenhead winger Jerome Walker, who opened the scoring in the first half as he cut in from the right and fired in a shot that beat Witham keeper Danny Sambridge at his near post.
However, a superb run down the left flank by Witham’s Billy Hunt in the 70th minute ended with him cutting the ball back to Sam Taylor, who rifled in a sweetly-hit shot to level the scores.
It looked as if that would be how it would end, but, with six minutes left on the clock, Shepherd turned in a driven ball across the face of the Witham goal to make it three wins from three for Braintree in their pre-season campaign.
The Iron now continue their summer fixtures with a home game against Southend United on Saturday, while Witham welcome Leiston to Spa Road on the same day (both kick-off 3pm).
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