BRAINTREE Town were beaten 1-0 by Bishop's Stortford, in their latest pre-season friendly, writes DAVID WARD.

The Iron's second pre-season game of the summer turned out to be the proverbial game of two halves.

The hosts dominated the first period before fielding a completely new line-up for the second with the exception of experienced keeper Preston Edwards.

It saw Braintree play second best to an impressive visitors' outfit, in the second half.

Iron boss Ryan Maxwell was without three newcomers for the friendly, with Lance Akins (injured) and midfielder Marcus Gouldbourne and striker Lionel Ainsworth (both subject to Covid quarantine) all missing out.

Braintree started strongly and should have taken the lead on 12 minutes when from out on the left Alfie Payne put in a dangerous cross into the area where Anderson Pinto, running in unmarked, failed to connect.

With skipper Matt Johnson pulling the strings in midfield it was the Iron who continued to look more dangerous when attacking the visitors' goal.

Midway through the first half, Johnson's brilliant cross-field ball saw Correy Davidson, playing against his old club, almost sneak in before being hauled down for a foul just outside the area.

Two minutes from half time the Iron should have opened the scoring when Pinto sold his marker a dummy only then to see his sharp shot come back off the woodwork.

The second half saw the visitors have more momentum against a fully-changed home side lacking a little cohesion, with passes often going astray.

It was no surprise thereford when on 57 minutes there was confusion in the home rearguard allowing Frankie Merryfield to pick up a ball at the far post to score.

Despite this setback the Iron kept pressing for an equaliser with diminutive right winger Gianni Crichlow causing all kind of problems for the visitors' left-back.

From one of his mazy runs he pulled the ball back to Jake Clowsley who drove the ball on to the crossbar before being cleared, although it wouldn't have counted due to an assistant linesman flagging for an offside.

Close to the final whistle striker Joshua Ovinsan almost snatched an equaliser chasing down a through ball but the visitors managed to scramble the ball away, as the Iron were beaten.

Braintree (first half): Edwards; Ikebuasi, Porter, Clements, Pennell; Pinto, Johnson, Payne, Davidson; Hope, Akinwande.

(Second half): Edwards (Dixon-Hodge 71); Sade, Gipson, Smith, Adam; Crichlow, Krasniqi (69 Frimpong), Clowsley, Ditkevicius; Hollness, Ovinsan.