BRAINTREE Town were beaten 4-3 by National League side Dagenham and Redbridge in their latest pre-season friendly, in front of a crowd of more than 200 at Cressing Road, writes DAVID WARD.

Despite the result, the Iron fans would have been pleased with the way their young side took on and competed equally against a vastly more experienced full-time team.

Had Braintree not conceded two horrible gift goals in the first half and scored the first of two penalties late on in the second half, they would have run out as winners.

Braintree manager Ryan Maxwell said: "The final scoreline doesn't matter in these games.

"It's more important how we played individually and as a team that counts and in this respect, I'm more than happy."

Braintree took the game to their visitors from the off.

They were rewarded with the first goal on 18 minutes when Matt Johnson's long throw-in was knocked on in the area by Anderson Pinto towards the far post where Femi Akinwande headed the ball down into the far corner of the net.

It all seemed to be going well for the Iron but on 27 minutes, Jayden Gipson's disastrous lobbed high ball back to keeper Preston Edwards resulted in a surprise equaliser for Daggers.

If that wasn't bad enough, Braintree conceded a second gift goal, soon after.

Edwards took too long to clear the ball upfield, allowing Scott Wilson to charge the ball down and see it rebound into the empty net.

After such a bright start for the Iron it was disappointing to go in at the break behind and manager Maxwell made a double substitution, with Kyran Clements and Harry Hope on for Gipson and Christian Frimpong.

Six minutes after the restart the Iron were level when Akinwande's power and pace, which caused problems all afternoon for the visitors' rearguard, was rewarded when he brushed past two defenders before cutting inside on the edge of the area to fire a great low shot across the face of the goal into the far corner of the net.

But four minutes later Daggers restored their lead with a fine worked goal that saw substitute Matt Robinson give keeper Edwards no chance with a first-time low shot into the Iron net.

With the Iron making several second-half substitutes, their pattern of play was understandably disrupted.

It gave fresh incentive for the visitors who added a fourth goal on 69 minutes through Josh Walker.

Undeterred the Iron kept plugging away and worked hard to put renewed pressure on the Daggers' backline.

It paid off on 85 minutes when substitute Luke Holness was tripped in the area and he chose to take the spot-kick himself but his weak effort was easily saved by keeper Josh Strizovic.

In the final minute the Iron were awarded another penalty when substitute Gianni Crichlow was hauled down in the area enroute to goal.

This spot-kick was excellently executed by substitute Korrey Henry, back in an Iron shirt on trial after a two-year absence.

Braintree Town: Edwards; Ikebuasi (78 Sade), Pennell, Gipson (45 Clements), Porter; Payne (71 Holness), Johnson (60 Crichlow), Pinto (Ditkevicius), Frimpong (45 Hope), Davidson (68 Gouldbourne); Akinwande (68 Henry).