BRAINTREE Town returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Weston super Mare, writes DAVID WARD.

The Iron claimed a much-needed victory in their National League South game, at the Rare Breed Meat Company Stadium.

They produced a much-improved second-half performance that saw them overcome a tough and vastly experienced visiting outfit, for what was a fully deserved victory.

With skipper John White restored to the back line, midfielder Reggie Lambe back from international duty plus a start for speedy winger Gio Critchlow on his return to the club, this was a much more accomplished and concerted team performance and was much needed after the dreadful FA Cup defeat against Chesham United.

Braintree boss Angelo Harrop said: "I wanted the right response from the players from the disastrous cup defeat which was certainly my worse and lowest moments in my managerial career and I am really pleased with the way they played.

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"I felt again in the first half in this game we should have scored because we did create the chances and I had a go at them at half time telling them to keep pressing, working hard, don't sit back like they did in the latter stages of the cup defeat.

"They took it on the chin and responded with a tremendous second half display where I felt we dominated the game and when the visitors did threaten our defence remained strong and assertive.

"The visitors are a well organised and experienced side so even when we finally took the lead I knew they would keep pushing us hard and it took good defending and good saves from our young keeper to deny them.

"We have a lot of young players in our side with the average age of the team around 21 so we know it's going to be difficult for them as they are still learning the game.

"With the experience of skipper John White back in defence that helps these youngsters and I thought the way we played, passed the ball better than in midweek and we were better co-ordinated.

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"We obviously needed the win because that gives players confidence and will help as we prepare for two more tough away games coming up - at Hemel Hempstead on Tuesday and then at Yeovil on Saturday.

"Again the supporters got behind us which does mean a lot to the players and once in front I knew we wanted at least a second goal to give us some breathing space because they would keep pressing us which they did.

"Every game at this level is a tough, hard one because you're up against quite experienced sides but this win will do everyone the world of good and now we must prepare for these two next big challenges."

With the nippy Crichlow adding more pace and power in attack, it was appropriate that he had a big hand in Braintree's opener on 56 minutes when he knocked the ball through to Aaron Blair.

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Blair outpaced the visitors' defence to fire home from inside the area, crashing the ball high into the net after giving visiting keeper Harrison Lee no chance.

Spurred on by the breakthrough, Braintree continued to cause all kinds of problems for the Seagulls' rearguard when keeping the ball on the ground, moving it swiftly from side to side rather then hoofing high balls forward as they did in both cup games which proved to be a disadvantage.

The second goal came on 70 minutes when an Iron player was hauled down in the area from a corner and spotted by alert referee Ayrton Hursey, who pointed to the penalty spot.

Unlike his wasted spot-kick against Chesham, this time Will Davies drilled a great shot low into the net.

Blair, Davies and substitute Tom Blackwell all went so close to added a third goal for Braintree, late on.