Vanarama National League

In front of a bumper Bank Holiday crowd, Braintree Town signed off their home games in style with a 2-0 victory against Dagenham & Redbridge.

It was Braintree’s final outing at Cressing Road of the Vanarama National League season and they gave their fans something to cheer with a third home win on the bounce and a fourth win from their last five games.

The work of Iron manager Danny Searle to boost the crowd by publicising the match around Braintree and handing out free tickets to under-18s and discount vouchers to adults was rewarded with a big turnout.

A crowd of 909, that included 370 Daggers fans, basked in the Easter sunshine and the hoem contigent were sent home happy after seeing second-half goals from Alfie Cerulli and Mo Sagaf to wrap up a memorable victory.

Braintree named an unchanged starting 11 and bench from the 16 that had performed so well in winning 2-0 at Maidstone United on Good Friday.

Considering how they had played in Kent, it was little surprise that boss Searle had seen no reason to ring the changes.

On that occasion, Braintree had grabbed the initiative early with a second-minute goal by Sagaf, but this time it was Dagenham who threatened first with an early effort from Liam Gordon that went just wide of the target.

Kodi Lyons-Foster fired just past the upright for Braintree on 22 minutes and Courtney Richards went just wide with an effort, but neither side was really able to dominate the other in the opening 45 minutes.

Braintree did feel they had a call for a penalty just before half-time when Korey Henry went down in the box under a challenge from Gavin Hoyte, but nothing was given by referee Carl Brook and the break came with the game still goalless.

The second half opened with Ifeanyi Allen firing well over for Braintree as clear-cut chances remained scarce, although Dagenham keeper Lewis Moore scrambled to hold on to a header from Rob Atkinson that looked like it may be creeping in.

There were two good chances – one at each end – just after the hour mark, as Sagaf saw a shot saved after lifting the ball over his covering defender and Iron keeper Ben Killip then kept out a Tomi Adeloye effort.

But the pace of the game then picked up as Courtney Richards forced a save from Moore with a dipping volley and Cameron James’ curling effort wasn’t far away from the top corner of the Daggers’ goal.

And Braintree did finally break the deadlock in the 77th minute.

The goal came when Henry played in Cerulli and the 18-year-old Braintree Town Academy graduate belied his youthful age once again by advancing and calmly tucking the ball past Moore.

It was Cerulli’s second goal for the senior side, after scoring on his Iron debut last month, and another young player who has shone in the latter stages of the season made the points safe in the dying minutes.

Sagaf has been in electric form in the last few games and scored for the third game in a row when he picked up a ball from Atkinson and curled a superb shot into the top corner that gave Moore no chance.

It ensured a comfortable end for the Iron and although their relegation remains a fact, it was a win that ensured they would not finish bottom of the National League table this season.

Braintree Town: Ben Killip, Andrew Eleftheriou, Cameron James (Ikechi Eze 90), Courtney Richards, Daniel Matsuzaka, Kodi Lyons-Foster, Robert Atkinson, Sven Karic, Ifeanyi Allen (Alfie Cerulli 58), Mo Sagaf, Korrey Henry (Shane Temple 90). Subs not used: Jayden Gibson, Kieran Smith.

Referee: Carl Brook.