Vanarama National League

Mitch Brundle once again scored a decisive Braintree Town goal as the Iron took a huge step towards a finish in the Vanarama National League play-offs.

Having scored what turned out to be the winner at Gateshead seven days previously, the 21-year-old former Bristol City trainee fired in an 81st-minute goal to wrap up a 3-2 victory at Wrexham.

And, added to Michael Cheek’s first-half double strike, Brundle’s late goal has left the Iron on the verge of a top-five finish to an amazing season.

With Eastleigh losing 1-0 against Tranmere, Braintree now know that just a point in their final game of the season – against Altrincham at home next weekend – will be enough for them to be in the play-offs.

Braintree started the day holding fifth place in the table, but only clear of Eastleigh thanks to a superior goal difference of just one.

They knew that even if they won both of their final two games of, what has already been, a history-making campaign they may not finish in the top five if Eastleigh also won and managed to turn the goal difference in their favour.

So Braintree travelled knowing that a positive result in Wales could be crucial to their hopes.

The hosts also had an outside chance of claiming a place in the top five so both sides knew a good start was needed.

Braintree manager Danny Cowley was able to name an unchanged side from the one that started the 3-2 win at Gateshead the week before and his team repaid him with an excellent start.

They went ahead in just the third minute when Cheek scored his 12th league goal of the season, however, the lead didn’t last long.

They held on to the advantage for just eight minutes until Simon Heslop headed in to level things up and Wrexham then went ahead in the 37th minute.

Kenny Davis earned a yellow card for a foul on Wrexham’s Connor Jennings and from the resulting free-kick, Lee Fowler fired home as the hosts looked to stay ahead at the break.

However, Cheek’s timing was perfect once again as he denied them that by pulling Braintree back level before the interval with a 43rd minute goal.

It gave Cowley a different half-time team-talk from the one he may have been planning but his players knew the job was far from done.

With a win being equally important to both sides’ hopes, both pushed for a third goal after the break, but while Wrexham were disappointed, Braintree were jubilant.

It didn’t come until nine minutes from the end, but it was worth waiting for for the small contingent of Iron fans among the crowd of 4,507.

And it was Brundle who proved to be the hero once again as he drilled the ball into the top corner to leave Braintree’s fans dreaming of a place in the play-offs.