BRAINTREE Town played out a 1-1 draw at Slough Town in their final regular National League South match of the season, writes DAVID WARD.

But how the Iron failed to come away from Arbour Park without a win will probably still mystify their big contingent of their own fans in the bumper 1,163 crowd, because they pummelled the hosts' defence throughout the second half but only managed an equalising goal.

With their promotion play-off place already secured, the Braintree management chose to initially rest some of their first teamers carrying knocks, to avoid the possibility of them missing the next crucial game.

But even with a reshaped line-up, they still had more than enough quality and for long periods, were by far the more dominant side.

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Playing some neat, attractive football from the back, through the middle to their forwards, the Iron always looked the more dangerous going forward and pulverised the home side rearguard.

The one big stumbling block was home keeper Will Dennis, currently third-choice stopper at Bournemouth, who had one of those afternoons that goalkeepers always pray for.

Everything the Iron threw at him he managed to save and then when he wasn't around, the home defenders seem to find a way of kicking clearing their box, during several goalmouth scrambles.

Iron manager Angelo Harrop said: "We really should have sewn the game up in the second half when we had so many goalscoring opportunities.

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"But full credit to my players; they never gave up and I am sure on any other day we would have won the game comfortably.

"But we didn't lose and now we prepare for the midweek trip to Worthing and we will be looking to win the game and make up for our recent narrow league defeat down there."

Billy Johnson started in goal and although he did well there was not the same confidence in the Iron defence, particularly with skipper John White also missing.

There was nothing Johnson could do though about Slough's opener on nine minutes.

The Braintree defence was caught napping on a quick through ball and George Alexander lobbed over the head of the advancing Johnson.

Undeterred, the Iron came back strongly and it took some fine saves from Dennis to prevent an equaliser and it was same situation too, throughout the second half.

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Braintree sent on the cavalry on 55 minutes with Alfie Pavey, Alfie Payne and Aaron Blair strengthening their game plan going forward and the chances kept coming but sadly kept going begging.

Iron finally levelled on 65 minutes from another goalmouth scramble, with Baris Altintop finally ramming the ball into the net.

Hard though the Iron tried and with the increasing number of goalscoring chances that went begging, plus the superb handling of keeper Dennis, they were denied the victory they fully deserved on the day.

Braintree fans will be hoping their forwards find their shooting boots at Worthing on Wednesday in the first play-off game - kick-off 7.45pm.