Vanarama National League South

Just as they had at Tonbridge Angels a couple of weeks ago, Braintree Town fell to a disappointing defeat against one of the Vanarama National League South’s lowest-placed sides.

This time it was rock-bottom Hungerford Town who upset league placings and imposed a first home defeat on Braintree since early August as the Iron were second best in a 3-0 defeat.

Hungerford had won just two of their last six league outings but those had come against Concord Rangers and Dulwich Hamlet, so Iron knew they would have to be wary.

Unfortunately for them, though, they failed to heed the warning signs and two Cameron McGilp strikes and one from Liam Ferdinand sealed their fate.

Braintree boss Glen Driver opted to stay with the same starting line-up and bench from the 16 that secured a point from the 1-1 draw with Maidstone United in midweek.

That game had ended in dramatic fashion as the Iron grabbed a last-gasp equaliser but there was no instant continuation by the hosts as the game took a while to settle into a pattern.

Both sides were keen to see plenty of possession but neither was able to threaten in the final third until Braintree had a sight in the 13th minute.

It came as a clearance fell to Femi Akinwande, who was initially halted by Hungerford keeper Adam Siviter, but Adam Mills picked up the loose ball and his shot from an acute angle had to be cleared off the line by Taofiq Olomowewe to keep the scores level.

Braintree were starting to get on top at this stage so it was somewhat against the run of play when Hungerford took the lead on 19 minutes.

The goal came as midfielder Cameron McGilp tried his luck with a shot from outside the box and the ball took a big deflection before spinning past Michael Johnson into the back of the Iron goal.

It was a setback for the hosts and they were close to falling further behind when, five minutes later, an excellent save by Johnson was required to keep out a long-range effort by Hungerford striker Matt Jones.

Hungerford were certainly on top in the aftermath of their goal as the Iron lost their early momentum and struggled to have much impact going forward.

They did step the pace up a bit towards the end of the half, though, with Ade Cole seeing a shot saved after being set up nicely by Green and Tyler Christian-Law was wide of the target with an effort from outside the box.

However, the breakthrough wouldn’t come and the break arrived with the Iron still trailing and knowing they had work to do in the second half.

Whatever work they had to do, though, was magnified within six minutes of the restart as Hungerford found their clinical edge again and doubled their lead.

The visitors’ second goal came when a drilled cross into the Iron six-yard box was turned in by Liam Ferdinand as the hosts were caught napping.

It certainly wasn’t the start Iron were looking for and they went looking for a way back into the game, but it took time for them to really assert themselves in the Hungerford half.

In fact the visitors had a couple more sights of goal, with Joe Tomlinson firing low across the home goal and Matt Jones then skewing an effort wide from a good position.

However, there was better from Iron as the game headed into the final 20 minutes.

A lovely lofted cross by Green was headed towards goal by Alfie Cerulli at the back post but he was denied by a great save from Siviter, who then made a good stop from curling effort by Lucas Kirkpatrick.

Those saves proved important as they denied Braintree a route back into the game and Hungerford were able to kill the game off with a third goal in the 79th minute.

With Iron pressing high up the pitch, Hungerford broke and McGilp strode on before planting a shot past a horribly exposed Johnson to wrap up a miserable afternoon for Braintree.

Braintree Town: Michael Johnson, Josh Urquhart, Cameron Green, Lucas Kirkpatrick, Michael Clark, Jake Hutchings, Tyler Christian-Law, Ade Cole (Isaac Skubich 57), Jack James (Charley Barker 61), Femi Akinwande, Adam Mills (Alfie Cerulli 61). Subs not used: Rhys Murrell-Williamson, Kyron Clements.

Referee: Jacob Miles.