BRAINTREE Town boss Ryan Maxwell admits he was left 'totally frustrated' after his side's game at Hampton and Richmond was abandoned, writes DAVID WARD.

The Iron were leading 1-0 and looked well in command when the National League South game was halted and then abandoned in the 50th minute due to floodlight failure.

Maxwell said: "We know these things happen in football but it's still heartbreaking because we were in the lead, deservedly so, and looked in charge.

"And with the players performing well we were looking for that crucial second goal at the start of the second half.

"We were playing some good football and very much running the tempo of the game and the lads were keen to make it two successive wins."

Maxwell started with a slightly changed side from the previous win against Tonbridge Angels.

Skipper Matt Johnson was back from suspension in midfield and young Dover Athletic loanee Khale de Costa led the attack with Tom Derry.

Costa had an early chance but headed wide as did both Derry and Johnson when they were well placed, all this after Braintree had survived a fourth-minute penalty when Marcus Johnson-Schuster was adjudged to have fouled a home striker in the area.

Iron keeper Billy Johnson chose the right direction to spoil Sam Deadman's penalty kick, diving low to his left to push the ball away to ensure his side escaped an early setback.

"I cannot understand why the referee decided to penalise us because in no way was it a foul because their player choose to go down for no reason in my view," said Maxwell.

"But Billy Johnson, who continues to improve with confidence in every game, did exceptionally well so we kept a clean sheet."

Young Costa was causing all kinds of problems to the Hampton and Richmond defence with his twisting and turning and feeding off Derry's knock downs.

On 15 minutes he was well set up but headed the ball just over the crossbar.

He came good again though on 17 minutes when he collected the ball just outside the home area, turned his man and from 25 yards and fired a tremendous left-foot shot into the far corner of the net, giving keeper Alan Julian no chance.

Braintree continued to build on the goal and even when the Hampton and Richmond attack threatened, some expert last-minute defending along with some smart positioning to make saves by Johnson thwarted any chance of an equaliser.

With the second half underway and Iron looking to build on their slender lead, the floodlights went out five minutes into the restart.

And despite referee Matthew Scholes taking the players off the field and waiting for 20 minutes, he announced he had abandoned the game.