WEST Bromwich Albion youngster Callum Morton feels his first taste of "men's football" has shown that Braintree Town have enough in their tank to climb to Vanarama National League safety this season.

Together with midfielder Nicholas Clayton-Phillips, Morton is one of two young Baggies players to join the Iron on loan from the Championship club.

Both played in Braintree's 2-0 defeat by Barrow on Saturday, with Clayton-Phillips coming on as a second-half substitute and Morton being called into a place in the starting line-up.

The 18-year-old was unlucky not to score on his Iron debut and, like his team-mates, was rueful about missed chances as Barrow made them pay for two pieces of sloppy defending.

But the West Brom youngster saw enough in their performance to feel that Braintree can get themselves clear of their current sticky predicament at the foot of the National League table.

He said: “I was quite happy with how I did but I know I should have scored, especially in the first half.

“I still don’t know how it went over the bar because I was right underneath it; any other day and it’s in the net but the luck wasn’t with us.

“There were a couple of headers in the second half as well and it was tough out there.

“In the first 20 minutes we pressed high up and won the ball back with loads of regains but we just didn’t have the clinical edge to get the goal to get back into the game.

“After the second goal, everyone’s heads dropped and we just couldn’t get back into it from there.

“But I think I’ve seen enough to show that we can get ourselves up the table.

“Looking at the middle part of the game, we showed we could match Barrow and even better them and we just need to have that killer edge to see off teams with goals."

The Albion pair are with Braintree for the season, although Morton said his deal would be reviewed after Christmas to make sure it was one that was suiting both parties and he was happy to be getting a chance to step up his development beyond under-23s football.

Morton has featured three times for the Baggies this season in Checkatrade Trophy action, but he has welcomed the chance to taste action in the physically demanding National League.

“The loan deal will get reviewed in January when they’ll look at how much I’m playing and how well I’m doing and it will go from there," he said.

“This is my first loan.

"I went from Yeovil to West Brom a couple of years ago and I’ve been playing under-23 football since then but this is my first loan.

“So it’s a completely different environment and hopefully it will help me grow as a player and physically.

“I’ve wanted to get out on loan for my own benefit.

“Under-23s football is good technically and tactically but it’s nothing like men’s football and when I heard Braintree had come in for me I was very keen to get the chance.

“I definitely saw a difference in that first game against Barrow.

“I know teams can play at this level because I have watched games, so I know the ball can be up in the air, but it can also be on the floor and I’ll be able to play to my strengths."