BRAINTREE Town manager Ryan Maxwell was disappointed with the penalty that was awarded against his side in their 2-2 draw with Dorking Wanderers, writes DAVID WARD.

Iron conceded from a spot-kick awarded a minute into the second half of the National League South contest, at the Dunmow Group Stadium.

It denied Braintree a win, in what was an entertaining game of football by both sides.

The penalty was awarded after full-back Ezra Ikbuasi turned towards his marker only for the ball to fall on the top of his shoulder, as he tracked his man.

Referee Callum Walchester deemed it to be handball and awarded a penalty, which Dorking's Taylor Bobby-Joe duly converted.

Maxwell said: "I just can't simply understand why referees can give a penalty in such circumstances.

"There was clearly no intent, no advantage to be gained by the defender and purely a passage of play.

"It's really frustrating because we were well in command of the game, had a few chances to score in either half, saw two of our efforts cleared off the line and in the end we find ourselves sharing the points.

"We know they are a well financed, well organised outfit with experience players but we more than matched them on the day and overall I think any neutral watching the game would say we should have won.

"We started far too slowly, allowed them time and space so it was no surprise when they took the lead on 11 minutes when we caught out at the back.

"But full marks to our lads because they showed what character we have in the side and they refused to let that early first half goal affect them.

"I think we should have won this game and I'm disappointed but certainly not in our performance.

"We soon managed to get a grip on the game and players showed their desire and commitment to take the game to them and we had chances to have even come in at half-time 3-1 up in my view.

"I think they got lucky on the day because particularly in the second half we completely controlled the game and caused their backline all kinds of problem and they play loads of long balls up to their wingers but I felt both our full-backs Ikbusai and Jay Porter did exceptionally well in keeping them in check."

After their shaky start the Iron settled more into the game and with Femi Akinwande, restored to the right wing after his one-game suspension, causing their defence all kind of problems all afternoon with his pace.

He duly scored the equaliser for the Iron on 33 minutes when he jinked his way down the right flank, dribbled past two defenders in the area before driving the ball low into the visitors' net.

With confidence continuing to build the Iron kept pressing hard and twice in quick succession, Dorking managed to scramble the ball away off the goalline.

But the inevitable happened on 41 minutes when a cross-field ball in the visitors' area fell to Correy Davidson who controlled it well on the turn and volleyed the ball home from 20 yards.

Despite the early penalty setback on the restart the Iron kept pressing forward and on 59 minutes the unmarked Luke Holness should have scored when he was set up on the edge of the penalty only to turn and fire the ball over the bar.

At the other end twice Ikbuasi, clearly Iron's man of the match alongside the impressive midfield display by Arjanit Krasniqi, saved the day with timely tackles when the visitors broke clear.

On 77 minutes a clever left wing move by Davidson saw the ball whipped into the penalty area where Matt Johnson sidefooted it towards the net only for a last-ditch clearance off the goal-line that denied the Iron a goal.

Maxwell said: "It was a really well worked move and caught the visitors off guard and it was another goal chance for us that went begging.

"Then Femi had another great chance to score with a header that dropped straight to the keeper.

"Disappointed though I am in not winning and collecting the three points we clearly deserved to but I was so pleased with the overall performance and again it's another step forward in the right direction."

Maxwell and his assistants were also left miffed when referee Walchester failed to show a straight red card to Dorking skipper Barry Fuller on 83 minutes for what appeared a two-footed tackled on Iron defender Luke Pennell.

After taking some time to decide the punishment, the man in the middle brandished a yellow card.

Maxwell added: "It was so blatantly a bad tackle and the kind of thing that has to be stamped out so how could the referee not see that as a straight red I cannot understand.

"But it's over and there's nothing you can do about it now - we are already preparing for the Bank Holiday Monday game at Billericay where we want a win and three points."

Braintree Town: Edwards; Ikbuasi, Porter, Pennell, Clements; Payne, Johnson, Akwanda, Krasniqi; Holness (90+2 Renee), Davidson (89 Crichlow). Unused subs: Ainsworth, Hope.

Attendance: 461