DESPITE the end result of their Essex Senior Cup tie at Chelmsford City, Braintree Town assistant manager Danny Searle insisted the experience at Melbourne Park had allowed them to work on things that were their real priority right now.

The Clarets won the fourth round tie 2-0, with goals from Amos Nasha and Tom Wraight, but, while the hosts went with a stronger side, Braintree began with a team that had just one player - Ricky Gabriel - who had been in their starting line-up for their previous fixture.

Searle said it had been a conscious decision to make so many changes as it gave him and manager Hakan Hayrettin the perfect opportunity to learn things about players who may not have been involved in recent action or to get a look at several trial players who had come in.

With it being still less than a month since Hayrettin was appointed as permanent manager and the team still sat bottom of the Vanarama National League, the Iron's assistant boss said it was necessary that they utilised every opportunity they had to learn as much as they could about a variety of players.

Searle said: “It was always going to be tough because Chelmsford had a lot of first-team experience in their side whereas we used it as an opportunity to have a look at some players.

“Obviously myself and Hakan have come in and this early period has been almost like a pre-season for us as we’re still trying to work out where our strengths and weaknesses are.

“Unfortunately we don’t have the luxury of time to do that and we have to be getting results.

“We did that when we first came in and we remind the players that there are things they did well when we first came in that they aren’t doing as well now.

“So the game at Chelmsford was a chance to have a look at a few different faces.

“Don’t get me wrong, we wanted to win; it was a local derby and we wanted to beat Chelmsford just as they wanted to beat us.

“But we have to prioritise what is important for us.

“We are in a fight for the league and we have to make sure our preparations are about Saturday and going to Havant & Waterlooville.

“We wanted to get into the next round of the Essex Senior Cup to give the fans something to cheer about but the priority was Havant on Saturday.

“With all that in mind I’d say 100 per cent that we got what we wanted to from the game at Chelmsford.

“We saw some things we needed to see.

“It highlighted some weaknesses that we have got and we also saw some definite positives there.

“A couple of the younger players did well and there were patches where we played some good football."