Essex Senior Cup third round

Reece Grant’s first-half treble helped Braintree Town to finally break their home duck and pick up a win at Cressing Road as they beat Canvey Island 4-0 in the Essex Senior Cup.

It came as a welcome relief for the Iron after a turbulent few days that had seen manager Brad Quinton depart and former boss Hakan Hayrettin return to the club in a caretaker capacity.

Hayrettin may only have the reins on a temporary basis but the Iron’s players responded by picking up their first home win of the campaign.

It came thanks to a first-half blitz as Braintree blew their Bostik League division north visitors away as Grant scored three times and Lyle Della-Verde once before half-time to put the tie to bed early.

Hayrettin opened his first game back in charge of the Iron by making four changes from the side that started Quinton’s final game at the helm – the 2-1 defeat by Eastleigh on Saturday.

One of those changes saw Ashlee Jones come in between the sticks as regular first-team keeper Ben Killip was on England C duty ahead of Wednesday’s international against Estonia Under-23s at Leyton Orient.

The other changes saw a first start of the season for Christian Frimpong and returns for Della-Verde and Grant as Luke Allen, Mohamed Bettamer and Dan Thompson all dropped to the bench.

And it was one of those changes – Grant – who had an almost immediate impact as he put Braintree ahead on six minutes when he headed in from a corner.

It was the perfect start for the hosts and it got better 11 minutes later when Grant was on target again as he headed in a cross from Jon Muleba to open up a 2-0 lead.

That was stretched further on 37 minutes when Della-Verde also marked his comeback into the starting line-up with a goal as he slammed home a free-kick that curled and dipped into the goal from 25 yards.

The Iron certainly had their mojo back and an excellent half was rounded off when a penalty was awarded almost on the stroke of half-time after a foul by Canvey’s Alex Stephenson.

Grant stepped up to convert from the spot and secure a first-half hat-trick that put the Iron well and truly in the driving seat.

There was no eroding of that lead after the break as Braintree stayed on top, although Martin Tuohy almost captialised on a slip by Jones on 63 minutes, but slid the ball just wide.

The Gulls were unable to respond with a goal as Braintree held on to their advantage and eased into the fourth round of the county cup.

Braintree Town: Ashlee Jones, Jon Muleba, Joe Ellul (Pat Webber 51), Kodi Lyons-Foster, Ricky Gabriel, Christian Frimpong, Mo Sagaf, Cameron James, Lyle Della-Verde, Jake Cass (Dan Thompson 61), Reece Grant (Christie Pattison 75).

Subs not used: Luke Allen, Mohamed Bettamer.