Vanarama National League South

Braintree Town remained 14th in the Vanarama National League South table despite a second Essex derby defeat in quick succession.

Having lost 4-1 at Chelmsford City on Boxing Day, the Iron returned home to Cressing Road where they were beaten by a single goal by Concord Rangers.

The pair had shared a point in the reverse fixture on Canvey Island in the early part of the season, but it was the south Essex side who had the edge this time around.

Braintree headed into the post-Christmas fixture having taken just a solitary point from their previous five National League South games and they were made to wait a while longer for a return to winning ways as Rangers departed with a 1-0 victory.

The Iron kept the same starting line-up as the one that had begun the 4-1 defeat at Chelmsford City on Boxing Day and like in that game, they kept things tight at the start of this one.

The first sight of goal for the home side came on nine minutes when Rhys Murrell-Williamson cut inside from the right, but he fired his shot over the Concord crossbar.

However, there were threats going the other way and Iron keeper Marcin Brzozowski had to be at his best to keep out a header from Lamar Reynolds after he found space at the back post on 20 minutes.

There was also a chance from a headed effort at the other end as Christian Frimpong sent the ball over the bar from a Braintree free-kick.

However, scoring chances remained at a premium and half-time came around with neither side able to break the deadlock.

That was also the case in the opening part of the second half, with Tyler Christian-Law’s shot that went just wide on 52 minutes being Iron’s closest effort.

However, Concord did end the stalemate with 14 minutes left when James Blanchfield gave them the lead.

It was one that was to prove decisive as well as there was no way back for the Iron and their wait for a return to winning ways was extended.

Braintree will hope that wait ends on Wednesday when Chelmsford make the short trip Cressing Road for New Year’s Day derby action.

Braintree Town: Marcin Brzozowski, Brendan Ocran, Cameron Green (Frankie Stone 81), Christian Frimpong (Jordan Chiedoze 60), Stevie Sheehan, Dan Matsuzaka, Tyler Christian-Law, Lucas Kirkpatrick, Rhys Murrell-Williamson, Alfie Cerulli, Jacob Gardner-Smith. Subs not used: Gavin Hinds-Cadette, Michael Johnson, Charley Barker.

Referee: Aji Ajibola.