BRAINTREE Town assistant manager Steve Pitt admitted he was 'thoroughly disappointed' with their performance in their 1-0 friendly defeat at Needham Market, writes DAVID WARD.

It was a serious wake-up call for the Iron players, who deservedly lost for the first time in pre-season at Bloomfields against a much more organised and determined home side.

Braintree lacked initiative, cohesion and any form of teamwork against a home side that were clearly not only up for the task but showed far more determination, commitment and they passed the ball quicker and more accurately than the visitors' players did all afternoon.

Admittedly in such games bringing on triallists any side loses momentum and co-ordination to a degree but there can be no excuse for what was generally a slipshod overall performance and the team's poorest showing so far, in these pre-season friendlies.

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It also has to be said but for acrobatics and outstanding saves by Iron keeper Jack Sims - two in the first half and three in the second - Needham would have clearly won by a bigger margin and deservedly so taking into account their far superior performance.

Pitt said: "We really didn't get going for some reason from start to finish and we have to improve and improve quickly.

"We lacked co-ordination and didn't do the simple things first which we have been doing, "Obviously bringing triallists on doesn't help in this respect but then that is what these games are all to have a look at potentially new players but nonetheless we should have performed better in this game.

"We certainly didn't play to out full potential as we have done so in other pre-season games and we have to learn and learn quickly from these kind of games."

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Pitt confirmed that Chris Regis, who has done well in pre-season games, has been retained and signed on for another season.

He said: "He's shown up well in pre-season games and again will provide a useful role for us and he can be utilised in various positions too."

Braintree have two proposed young players coming in on loan - one from a newly-promoted Premier League side and the other from a division one side - as they continue to plan to bolster their comparatively small squad.

The only surprise was that it took Needham 19 minutes to break the deadlock when Jacob Lay was fortunate to see a deflected shot run towards him and slid the ball home at the far post.

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The Iron did try to respond but in reality it was sloppy play and they never looked like scoring.

They did improve in the second half but it was clear to the rain-sodden spectators watching that too many players were not at their best.

Next up for Braintree is a friendly at Hornchurch on Tuesday evening where they will be looking for revenge against the side that knocked them out of last season's FA Cup - kick off is 7.45pm.