FOR the second match running, Braintree Town showed signs of getting their season in gear but eventually slipped to their sixth defeat in six outings, writes RON FOSKER.

Unbeaten St Albans City were made to battle for 90 minutes to subdue the visitors but a solid back wall and some skilful forward play turned a 1-0 half-time deficit – the first time this season that Iron have led after 45 minutes – into a 2-1 victory that took them up to fourth place with matches in hand on those above.

Braintree began the match playing with greater composure and confidence on the ball, playing it around at the back waiting for openings.

But the movement was not duplicated up front where once again too many passes were overhit or misplaced.

There also remained too much embroidery and not enough plain stitching. Well-worked positions were squandered by players needing the extra touch on the ball or failing to lift their head up to spot a teammate in a good position.

Jordan Chiedozie was especially guilty five minutes into the second half when a breakaway sent him clear.

With Louis Yamfam free on his right he delayed too long and was smothered by recovering yellow shirts.

A 2-0 lead then could have made things interesting.

In the first half, Iron had looked well worth their lead, the goal coming from just the sort of direct play that was mostly missing.

Yamfam, another player who often seems overwhelmed by his surroundings, for once put his head up and sent over a pinpoint cross which was met by Romario Dunne’s excellent header.

Two minutes after Chiedozie’s missed chance, a shot from the edge of the box from Yamfam had ex-Iron keeper Michael Johnson at full stretch.

But that was almost the last time the visitors got the better of the massed ranks at the back.

St Albans gradually worked their way into the game and for much of the last half hour peppered the Braintree goal.

Their equaliser came from Zane Banton who latched on to a clearance and slammed a fierce shot into the corner of the net.

Nine minutes later the Saints grabbed the winner in fortunate circumstances as Kyran Wiltshire weaved his way in from the left, appeared to lose control of the ball but somehow, despite a heavy covering of Iron defenders, the ball wriggled its way into the net.

Braintree: Preston Edwards; Jamie Fielding, George Allen, Kyran Clements, Johnville Renee; Romario Dunne (Liam Smyth 80), Rohdell Gordon, Matt Johnson, Arjan Kresniqi (Charley O’Keefe 68), Louis Yamfam (Bradley Rolt 76); Jordan Chiedozie.