BRAINTREE Town lost their unbeaten National League South record thanks to two penalties for handball and a late breakaway that gave visitors Bath City a 3-1 victory on Saturday, writes RON FOSKER.

But this was no hard luck story.

Iron’s shortcomings, largely covered up in their previous five matches by a battling display that unsettled their opponents, were exposed by opponents who were able to repel almost everything that was thrown at them.

And they were often literally thrown.

Matt Johnson’s long throws are a useful weapon but it soon became obvious that Bath’s giant centre backs Ben Gerring and Jack Batten were going to give nothing away.

And there was no plan B. No Kenny Davis or Brad Quinton, for instance, to put their foot on the ball and dictate the play from the centre of the field.

In most cases the midfield was simply by-passed, the ball lumped over the top in the hope that Femi Akinwande might be able to do something with it.

Akinwande will always be a threat but was short of support, a point manager Ryan Maxwell appeared to take on board when he brought on Luke Holness at half-time and played the second 45 minutes with two up front, his first experiment with that system.

It looked to be a sound move when they scored within two minutes of the restart, although it was Johnson who was on hand to prod the ball in the net after it was headed back from a corner.

That levelled the scores after Ezra Ikebuasi had been penalised in the 35th minute for handball for the second home match running and Cody Cooke slammed the ball in from the spot.

The scores remained level for all of two minutes and this time it was Kyran Clements who was deemed to have handled and again Cooke found the back of the net.

The goal seemed to take the steam out of the home attack and a disjointed display ended predictably when on 89 minutes they threw too many men forward for a long throw and were caught out on the break.

Four black and white shirts were faced by two orange ones and Alex Fletcher made the numbers count to end any hopes of a Braintree comeback.

Braintree: Preston Edwards; Ezra Ikebuasi, Kyran Clements, Luke Pennell, Jay Porter (Melos Ajvazi 79); Gianni Crichlow (Luke Holness 45), Arjan Krasniqi (Harry Hope 63), Matt Johnson, Alfie Payne, Correy Davidson; Femi Akinwande