AFTER their heady heroics at Hemel Hempstead, a match against big-spending Dorking Wanderers was expected to be where reality would bite for Ryan Maxwell’s raw and inexperienced Braintree Town team, writes RON FOSKER.

And for the first 20 minutes of Saturday’s 2-2 draw it looked as if reality would bite very hard indeed as the visitors threatened to overwhelm their hosts.

They scored in the 12th minute through Barry Fuller and but for a hastily blocked shot, another cross that filleted the Iron defence but found no takers and various other threatening moves, it could have been more, much more.

But around the halfway point of the first half, Braintree came into their own, their hunger for every ball seeming to unnerve their opponents, and gradually it was they who looked the more menacing.

When Femi Akinwande beat two defenders inside the box to drill the ball home and eight minutes later Correy Davidson drove into the net after a long throw, the 2-1 interval lead was no more than they deserved.

Their resolve was tested within two minutes of the restart when a handball decision, marginal at best, was given against Ezra Ikebuasi and Bobby-Joe Taylor rammed in the penalty kick.

But apart from a flurry of activity in the last five minutes, that was more or less the last time Dorking looked in the least bit menacing.

Instead Braintree could and perhaps should have won the game. Luke Holness’s shot on the turn went wide, Arjan Krasniqi’s diagonal effort was tipped over by keeper Lee Worgan and Akinwande could not get enough purchase on a header from a Davidson cross.

The closest they came was when Davidson got behind his marker and centred the ball only to see Matt Johnson’s attempt cleared off the line.

Considering Dorking were top of the National League South table when play was abandoned last season, this was most definitely a point gained, even though it felt like two points lost.

Braintree: Preston Edwards; Ezra Ikebuasi, Kyran Clements, Luke Pennell, Jay Porter; Femi Akinwande, Arjan Krasniqi, Matt Johnson, Alfie Payne, Correy Davidson (Gianni Crichlow 87); Luke Holness (Johnville Renee 90).