BRAINTREE Town's promotion dream was ended after they lost 2-1 at Worthing, writes DAVID WARD.

The Iron's dream of making it to the National League for the third time came crashing down at Woodside on Wednesday evening when they lost their first play-off tie, in front of a bumper 2,674 crowd.

It was a fairly even encounter, with both sides missing several goalscoring chances.

Despite giving away a dreadful goal after only two minutes, the Iron were level within seven minutes and continued to go head-to-head with the home side.

But as so often in these tight games, the difference between winning and losing is so minimal, as Angelo Harrop's side lost out.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Had Zac Bradshaw's 47th-minute close-range drive not been scrambled away by desperate defenders, Pavey's 54th-minute header not come back off the woodwork, Baris Altintop's 82nd-minute fierce shot blocked almost on the goal-line, Kyran Clements' 84th-minute header brushed the top of the home crossbar and then a final blockbuster Pavey 88th-minute shot been on target, it would have been a different outcome.

At the other end, Braintree lived dangerously at times, as sides do in these do-or-die games.

And after being at fault for the home side's early goal, goalkeeper Jack Sims more than made up for as he later on pulled off four excellent saves to deny Worthing.

After conceding that shock opening goal, which resembled some Sunday morning park football defending by the Iron, they quickly silenced the huge home crowd when Lamar Reynolds whipped a close-range shot into the home net on nine minutes.

Braintree and Witham Times:

The contest continued with end to end action with both sides fiercely attacking every time they had a chance.

For Braintree, noticeably in the second half, a lack of midfield control showed all too frequently and the hosts' quick, nippy forwards put the Iron defence under immense pressure at times.

What turned out to the winning goal on 56 minutes officially went down to keeper Sims but the Iron back-line were all basically at fault.

They allowed Worthing's forwards too much space and time to build up their attack and in effect, it cost them the game.

Braintree and Witham Times:

There was bitter disappointment for all the Iron players and backroom team at the final whistle, plus the huge number of their fans who had made the long midweek trip to the Sussex coast.

But they had put up a tremendous performance not just in this game but for the whole season.

Having started the season with practically no team - just two players from the previous campaign - manager Angelo Harrop and his cohort Steve Pitt have done a remarkable job in building a new, good side and then getting into the play-offs which is no mean feat.

Full credit must go to them, despite failing at that final hurdle.

Worthing now play Oxford City on Sunday in their next play-off tie.