BRAINTREE Town deservedly came away with a well-earned point after drawing 1-1 at Maidstone United at a windswept Gallagher Stadium, writes DAVID WARD.

Despite dominating the majority of the second half, it was that lack of a killer instinct in front of goal that cost them a much-needed morale boosting win.

Having not played a match for 16 days the Iron were a little 'ring rusty' particularly in the first half but nonetheless, they never let their hosts run the game and at times produced some excellent approach work in difficult conditions, with such a strong wind blowing throughout the evening.

With both Joe Grimwood and Ben Tomkins outstanding in the heart of the Iron defence, they more than coped with Maidstone's lively attack and they were a little unfortunate to go in at half-time a goal behind, after allowing the home side to score in the 45th minute.

It all came from a really unnecessary foul on the edge of the Iron area by Reggie Lambe with the ball eventually falling to Mo Faal, who found a little space to slot the ball into the net past the stranded keeper Jack Sims.

Iron manager Angelo Harrop said he was disappointed with the way they conceded the goal.

He said: "It's such a fine margin at this level but you can't be that sloppy and give free-kicks away like that and we were punished for it."

Harrop admits that he gave his players a half-time rollicking because they conceded after having done so well in the first period coping playing against the strong wind and repeatedly snuffing out the lively home forwards.

He said: "I had a few choice words to say them are giving the goal away.

"I'm pleased they all responded in the right way all through the second half and we certainly had the upper hand and created goal chances but we still have to learn to have that killer instinct in the home area.

"We know we can more than hold our own at this level because I feel we now have an excellent squad of players, many still young and learning.

"I thought it was an enjoyable game of football to watch too despite the difficult windy conditions. 

"I know we haven't played a competitive match for over two weeks but the players have trained hard three times a week and they all look fit and were eager to get going and get us a win. 

"It's a credit to the players to come here and play against a promotion-chasing full time team and we more than competed against them on the evening and we now need to keep this tempo going."

During the second-half several goal chances were missed by Lambe, Shaquille Coulhirst, Aaron Blair and a thunderous free-kick from Alfie Pavey almost clinched the winner whilst at the other end a crucial save by Sims on 72 minutes kept the scores level.

Braintree deservedly grabbed their equaliser on 52 minutes when a corner from Tom Blackwell was superbly met at the far post by Grimwood who headed in a great goal.

It is little wonder there's a posse of top National League sides closely monitoring his continued progress at the level having only moved up from lower league side AFC Sudbury during the summer.

Harrop said: "Now we can hopefully get back into the playing mode after our enforced break due to the weather and carry on all the good work we've done in training.

"I also want to again thank our fans tonight for their vocal support in this game - they were probably only about 50 in numbers in a total crowd of 1,593 - because they could be heard all evening giving the players their support and I know it's really appreciated."

Up next for the Iron is the away trip to Plymouth on Saturday where Truro City currently play their games.

Truro's home game on Tuesday evening was again called off because of a flooded pitch and with more rain from another storm due in the next couple of days, it must mean there is doubt over whether the pitch will be fit.

"We hope it's on and all the players are going down to stay the night before because it's such a long so they are not tired and be ready for a Truro side that are one of the in-form teams at present," added Harrop.

"But we'll be fully prepared and hope the game goes ahead."