Manager Danny Searle was disappointed by the Jekyll and Hyde display from his Braintree Town team as they paid for a “shocking” first half performance in a 4-2 defeat by Bromley.

The Iron are sat bottom of the Vanarama National League table and cannot afford to give opponents three-goal leads at half-time.

However, that was precisely what an under-par first 45 minutes delivered and although the Iron responded with a better show after the break, Searle knew the damage had been done by that lacklustre first half.

He said: “I think there were two teams – there was the Braintree Town first-half one and then the Braintree Town second-half team.

“And the first half team was nowhere near good enough in pretty much every area.

“Our decision making was poor and just general game understanding and application to the fixture was poor.

“The message at half-time was that the first half was nowhere near good enough.

“It was an absolutely shocking standard from our work ethic and our whole approach to the first half was not good enough.

“They needed to give a reaction because the fans still supported and that’s something you can’t ask for all the time.

“But the fans did support us and clapped the boys off.

“They needed to get some pride out of the second half and to a certain degree they did, but that little lapse of concentration for the fourth Bromley goal just diminished what they did.

“No-one goes out to make mistakes or to lose a football match and for the most part of the second half, they tried.

“The first half was not good enough; the second half showed they are good enough but they had given themselves that uphill battle and that’s tough whoever you are up against.”

Despite there being little between the two sides in the opening 15 minutes of the game, Bromley took charge with a devastating five-minute spell when they scored two goals that Iron just couldn’t find a response to and Searle said his players had to learn to deal with situations like that better.

He added: “When you have a young squad like we have - and to be precise the average age of the players was 20.8 years – you are going to be naïve in some areas.

“I think that was shown in this game and the lads have to learn from that.

“It’s something we have to look at and we have to work with them in training to make sure those things aren’t happening again.

“What I have said to them is that we can’t be a team that has to go one-nil up to win a football match.

“You are going to concede goals, you are going to go one-nil down and that next five to ten minutes after that when you re-establish yourselves in the game is crucial.

“Unfortunately they didn’t do that against Bromley and we gave ourselves an absolute mountain to climb in the second half.”