Vanarama National League South

Braintree Town moved clear at the top of the Vanarama National League South once again with a rousing 3-0 win at Poole Town.

With the Iron securing a fifth away win of the campaign and Dartford losing at Truro City, the Essex front runners retook their place at the summit with a fine performance wrapped up by second half goals from Dernell Wynter, Mahrez Bettache and Billy Crook.

Braintree boss Brad Quinton made just one change from the line-up that started the 3-0 win against Bognor Regis Town seven days before.

That change saw Osa Obamwonyi drop out, to be replaced in the defensive unit by Joe Ellul, who had his first start for the Iron just a day after signing for them.

The 28-year-old defender had joined Braintree the day previously after leaving Bostik League premier division side Billericay Town a couple of weeks before.

There was also one other notable addition to the matchday squad as full-back Jon Muleba was back on the bench after recovering from a knock to the back of his knee.

Braintree had been buoyed by their win against Bognor the week before and it was a confident Iron that started on the road as they made the early running in the game.

Karl Oliyide was just unable to get to one early chance after a neat flick on by Dernell Wynter as Poole keeper Nick Hutchings just got there ahead of the Iron striker and Phil Roberts then went close from a 14th minute free-kick that curled just wide of the target.

Roberts was pressing for the opener and after seeing another shot blocked, he headed past the post from a cross by Wynter and Braintree went even closer on 27 minutes when the woodwork was rattled this time with a Marc-Anthony Okoye header from a corner.

Despite dominating the chances created and keeping their hosts quiet at the other end with some solid defending, Braintree were unable to find the breakthrough before the break as the first half ended goalless.

They went looking again after the restart and while an early goal didn’t come, there was a boost as Poole were reduced to ten men in the 49th minute.

Poole defender Will Spetch had been cautioned in the first half, but received another booking for a late challenge on Wynter to give the Iron a numerical advantage for the final 41 minutes of the game.

It was an advantage that they took just ten minutes to make count.

With 59 minutes on the clock, Hutchings twice saved his team as he saved from efforts by Roberts and then Oliyide, but he could do nothing as Wynter tucked away the loose ball for his second goal in as many games.

It gave the Iron the breakthrough they deserved, but they were thankful to goalkeeper Nathan McDonald on 67 minutes when he had to tip a Poole free-kick on to the crossbar to maintain his team’s lead.

That took even greater significance on 75 minutes when Braintree made the points safe with a second goal.

This time it came from Bettache, who was set loose by a ball from Ben Wyatt, before stepping inside and curling the ball into the Poole goal for a first goal for Braintree.

If the game wasn’t safe already it certainly was three minutes later when Samir Bihmoutine’s low cross was turned in by Crook to make it 3-0 and complete a great day on the road for Braintree.

Braintree Town: Nathan McDonald, Mahrez Bettache, Christian Frimpong, Marc-Anthony Okoye (Ricky Gabriel 74), Joe Ellul, Ben Wyatt, Billy Crook, Samir Bihmoutine, Phil Roberts, Karl Oliyide (Roman Michael-Percil 65), Dernell Wynter (Marcel Barrington 79).

Subs not used: Matt Baxter, Jon Muleba.

Referee: Alex Blake.