SEEING resilience and a never-say-die attitude from his players was the most pleasing aspect of Braintree Town’s superb draw against Havant & Waterlooville for manager George Borg.

The Iron claimed a stunning point against a side who have been widely tipped as promotion favourites in Vanarama National League South this year as they showed great resolve in a dramatic finale.

Having battled hard over 95 minutes, come back to draw level at 2-2 in the 87th minute and then fallen behind again almost immediately, it looked as though Braintree wouldn’t see their efforts rewarded.

However, deep into time added-on at the end, Rhys Murrell-Williamson stepped up and fired in a 30-yard free-kick to grab a point with a 3-3 draw that sparked wild celebrations around Cressing Road.

It was a wonderful way to kick-start the festive fixtures and Borg couldn’t have been more pleased for his players.

He said: “I said to them at the end that I was so proud of all of them.

“We hadn’t had a chance to do patterns of play or anything before the game because of the weather and for them to put in that performance was unbelievable.

“It just goes to show what you can do.

“So I was delighted for us because we have tough fixtures coming up and it won’t be easy, but I have never quit on anything as a challenge.

“I said to the chairman that it’s nice to come back and help and we’ll see how we go forward.

“The ticker does go a little bit more these days and I’m not getting any younger but it was great.

“What pleased me most was the way we kept competing and getting back at Havant.

“Even though they thought they would come here and it would be like it was when Hampton & Richmond did.

“But that wasn’t a team like the Braintree teams I have.

“I know we have young players and there is a little bit of naivety, so I have to accept that players will make the little errors, but as for the system and the players, everything went to plan.

“I felt this could be a turning point because we have some tough games coming up.”

Braintree were due to continue their Christmas fixtures with a trip to one or Borg’s former clubs – Chelmsford City – on Boxing Day for a game that was set to be played after the Times went to press.

And the festive games keep coming when first Concord Rangers visit Cressing Road on Saturday and then the Clarets arrive for the second part of the local derby on New Year’s Day.

It is a tough spell, but Borg was pleased to head into it with a win.

He added: “It was nice after all the effort we put in before the game (against Havant & Waterlooville) that they could put in a performance like the one they did and to get something out of it against one of the best teams in the league.

“It shows the potential that we have as a little squad of players.

“All of the stuff that has been going round about money – yes we aren’t the biggest paying club – but it isn’t about that.

“It is about passion for this football club and passion for the supporters.

“The boys I’ve got in now won’t leave.

“Keep sending in your seven-dayers because they won’t leave; they can see the good stuff that we’re trying to do with helping the young players.

“Hopefully we’ll have two good games against Chelmsford and one against Concord over Christmas and keep moving forward.”