Vanarama National League South

There aren’t too many better ways to start a match than scoring a goal after just 20 seconds and it was a dream opening that teed up a return to winning ways for Braintree Town.

Having been disappointed to lose in controversial fashion to Havant and Waterlooville a week before, Dernell Wynter’s second Iron goal was the perfect riposte to that frustration.

A hat-trick of penalties had been their downfall in the previous game, but Wynter fired home a lovely strike after 20 seconds of the game to banish the memories of that disappointment.

Bognor, who arrived at Braintree sitting third from bottom in the Vanarama National League South table, posed a threat going forward that their position may not have suggested, but goals in the second half from Karl Oliyide and Marcel Barrington saw the hosts finish as worthy winners.

Braintree made three changes from the side that started the 3-1 defeat by Havant and Waterlooville a week before.

Coming out were Jon Muleba and Luke Allen, who had not recovered from knocks picked up in that game, while Ricky Gabriel dropped to the bench, with Wynter, Smir Bihmoutine and Marc-Anthony Okoye returning to the starting line-up.

And it was an explosive opening from Wynter as, within 20 seconds of the Iron having kicked the game off, he had put his team in the lead.

The ball was worked up to him in the Bognor penalty area and the Braintree striker turned before unleashing an unstoppable drive past Bognor keeper Dan Lincoln and into the corner of the visitors’ net.

It was the perfect start for the hosts and gave them a platform to build from and confidence to run with the ball at their opponents.

Braintree boss Brad Quinton had employed a changed formation, with three central defenders – Osa Obamwonyi, Okoye and Christian Frimpong – flanked by Samir Bihmoutine and Mahrez Bettache in wing-back roles and Ben Wyatt and Billy Crook working the middle of the pitch.

That left Phil Roberts, Karl Oliyide and Wynter to form a three-pronged attacking unit.

That allowed some good play going forward and Oliyide, who was prepared to carry the ball up the pitch with pace and skill, having one effort that flashed past the post in the 19th minute.

However, despite the early setback and their relatively low position in the league, Bognor were a threat themselves in an open and entertaining game.

They were lively down both flanks and teasing crosses set home pulses racing on more than one occasion in the opening spell.

Braintree lived dangerously at times, but the visitors were unable to force a breakthrough or cause Nathan McDonald too much trouble in the home goal.

The Iron keeper did have to be alert on 45 minutes, though, when Bognor’s Ollie Pearce got free and fired in a shot from an acute angle that was deflected off a Braintree foot and McDonald had to tip the ball over the bar.

It meant the first half finished with Braintree’s lead intact and they had the early pressure after the break, but Bognor were soon belying their lowly league placing again and looking a threat going forward.

It was a touch of class at the other end that put Braintree further in front, though.

With 53 minutes gone, Crook played a great ball out wide to Bihmoutine, who looked up and placed a pinpoint cross to where Oliyide could show strength to get in front of Lincoln and put the ball in off the post.

It was another moment of real quality from the home side and, like the first in the opening minute, deserved to be capped by a goal.

With their two-goal lead in place, Braintree put a stranglehold on the game and made a couple of changes, one of which was Marcel Barrington coming on for Oliyide up front.

The striker had scored against Havant and Waterlooville the week before and almost made an immediate impact by drilling a low effort across the face of the Bognor goal.

And he was presented with a gilt-edged opportunity in the 76th minute when the ball broke and Barrington took advantage of a slip by Bognor defender Chad Field to stride clear to go one-on-one with Lincoln.

However, the Bognor keeper closed the angles down well and made a smart save from the Iron striker.

Barrington was not to be denied, though.

In the third of seven minutes added on at the end, he got clear again after a lovely through ball from Matt Baxter, but this time, gave Lincoln no chance as he rammed a powerful shot into the roof of the net to send the majority of the 497 in the crowd home very happy indeed.

Braintree Town: Nathan McDonald, Christian Frimpong, Marc-Anthony Okoye, Osa Obamwonyi, Samir Bihmoutine (Tyler Campbell 66), Ben Wyatt, Billy Crook, Mahrez Bettache, Dernell Wynter, Karl Oliyide (Marcel Barrington 72), Philip Roberts (Matt Baxter 88).

Subs not used: Ricky Gabriel, Roman Michael-Percil.

Referee: Wayne Cartmel.