AT almost precisely 5pm on Saturday an unfamiliar, almost forgotten emotion gripped Braintree Town supporters: relief and joy that the referee had blown the final whistle, writes RON FOSKER.

They had just witnessed Iron’s first home win since January 9, only their second win of the season and their first for ten matches.

The 1-0 victory over Tonbridge was well earned. They were genuinely the better team, fought harder in all areas of the pitch and but for some profligate finishing could have won by a higher score.

Their latest line-up of five at the back held the visitors at bay until late in the match. Indeed they did not have a single shot during the first 45 minutes.

And the new double prong in attack resulted in far greater menace to the opposition goal.

The need to have someone to feed off Tom Derry’s ability to win the ball in the air has seemed obvious since he returned to the side.

In his first few matches, his flick-ons or nod-backs were gobbled up by the defence.

Now with Femi Akinwande moved over from his wing berth, there is greater cohesion at the point of attack.

It was a header that brought about Braintree’s winner, not from Derry this time, but Myles Anderson, who rose to meet Arjan Krasniqi’s free kick and head towards goal.

It may or may not have been going in but Kyran Clements was on hand to ensure it did.

After that, promising new signing Khale Da Costa, a former Tonbridge player on loan from Dover, twice called keeper Jonathan Henly into action, as did Akinwande, and later a Clements header passed narrowly off target.

It seemed almost inevitable that the visitors would at some point stage a comeback and the Iron defence gradually became more panicky and started kicking balls away aimlessly.

But the closest they came to scoring was when Billy Johnson brought off a superb save, arching backwards to keep out a header from Aaron Smith-Joseph.

The ball ran loose but fortune smiled and the defence were able to clear.

As Tonbridge pushed more men forward, Braintree twice had the chance to score on the break.

In the first instance Harry Hope, Krasniqi and Akinwande were closed down in turn by a desperate defence.

Minutes later Hope was through on his own but took too long on the ball and was robbed before he had a chance to shoot.

But the deed had been done. Iron rise two places off the bottom and will hopefully take some confidence from the way they dominated the majority of this game.

Braintree: Billy Johnson; Marcus Johnson-Schuster, Kyran Clements, Luke Pennell, Nathan Cooper, Jay Porter (Correy Davidson 69); Arjan Krasniqi, Myles Anderson, Khale Da Costa (Harry Hope 77); Tom Derry (Gianni Crichlow 88), Femi Akinwande.