LESS than two weeks after a side with seven reserves held Billericay Town to a draw in the FA Trophy, Braintree Town’s recognised first team fell to a disappointing 3-1 defeat at the same venue, writes RON FOSKER.

Whereas the first meeting had seen little action at either end of the pitch, this time both sides created plenty of chances and both goalkeepers were kept busy.

The difference was that Billericay had the more clinical finishers.

Their goals were a tap-in, a sweet flowing move and something of a fluke but they were executed by players who knew where the goal was.

Braintree competed well in midfield but were toothless where it mattered, in front of goal.

And at the back, where they had been steadfast and reliable in the earlier encounter, and the later defeat by Havant, this time they proved fallible.

Halfway through the first half, Patrick Ohman, who has been impressive since being brought in by new manager Ryan Maxwell, failed to hold on to an innocuous looking shot from Ruben Soares Jr and the ball fell invitingly into the path of striker Jake Robinson, who poked it into an empty net.

Iron’s task became twice as hard within two minutes of the start of the second half when Soares threaded a neat ball through to Kyel Reid, who outpaced the defence to place the ball wide of the exposed Ohman. 

Within four minutes, a cracking shot from skipper Matt Johnson from outside the box gave Braintree hope that they could get back into the game and their best period of the match followed as they hammered away at the home defence.

Shortly after his goal, Johnson had another powerful shot deflected wide.

They then forced three corners in quick succession, from the last of which Dion-Curtis Henry made a stunning save from a Taofiq Olomowewe header.

The keeper produced another excellent stop not long afterwards to keep out a drive from substitute Ken Charles after two shots had been blocked by defenders’ bodies.

With men committed forward, Braintree were always susceptible to a counter punch and so it proved.

In the 86th minute, the ball found its way to Luke Wanadio in the inside-left channel. While defenders wasted precious time appealing for offside, Wanadio unleashed a shot from an acute angle that was going wide until Robinson somehow got his head to it.

It could be argued that he couldn’t get out of the way, but the essential point is that he was in the right place, something Iron’s forwards seldom were.

It is one of the areas Maxwell has to address as he plots a way out of the relegation morass.

Braintree Town: Patrick Ohman; Marcus Johnson-Shuster, Taofiq Olomowewe, Sam Robbins, Nathan Smith; Johnville Renee (Ken Charles 71), Percy Kiangbeni (Rohdell Gordon 79), Matt Johnson, Danny Bassett, Correy Davidson; Tom Derry.