BRAINTREE Town boss Brad Quinton was delighted to see hard work on the training ground pay off as his new-look back line shut out Vanarama National League South promotion rivals Havant & Waterlooville.

Having seen his defence have to be reordered after the departure of Joe Ellul last week, Quinton was pleased to see his team keep only their second clean sheet in the league since November as they drew 0-0 at a side sitting one place above them in the table.

Braintree will hope to go one better on Saturday when they host Bath City at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium and return to winning ways.

Following Ellul’s move to Bostik League division north side Maldon & Tiptree and Karl Oliyide heading to Hemel Hempstead, Quinton had strengthened his squad with the signings of former Wealdstone and Boreham Wood defender Josh Hill and midfielder Jack Curtis from Coggeshall Town.

He also brought in Ipswich Town youngsters Patrick Webber and Conor McKendry on initial one-month loan deals and although Quinton decided the boggy Havant pitch wouldn’t suit Curtis’ play, he did employ the other three and was pleased with what he saw.

“We are always looking - whether we are on a good run or not,” said Quinton.

“I have scouts who keep pestering me to look at players and that’s good - it’s what we want and they are doing a good job for us.

“It always has to be right and the right type of player, but we are always looking as we have to keep the players here on their toes.

“We were pleased to get two over the line last week with Josh Hill and Jack Curtis coming in and Ipswich Town did us a favour with the two lads coming in on loan.

“Jack is one who we know has to sharpen up his fitness, but we took him to Havant with us as it was good for him to travel with the team and suss out how the dressing room works.

“It wasn’t an ideal game for him anyway as the pitch was like a farmyard at Havant and Waterlooville.

“It was probably the worst pitch that I have seen and the players said the same thing; you couldn’t control the ball on it at all, but it was one of those things that you just have to get on with.

“Josh Hill had been training with us for a while and I was pleased to get him in as he has a good pedigree.

“We brought Conor McKendry on later in the game as it wasn’t really his type of pitch, but with Josh and Patrick stepping in and also Marc (Okoye) coming back in after illness, we had three across the back and it worked really well.

“I was very pleased with our tactical play and our game management.

“Clean sheets are something that we strive hard to get and if you are keeping them, that is promotion and title form.

“It’s something we work hard on in training and we have been drilling into the lads to be tight against crosses and balls in behind down the channels.

“I was also pleased for Nathan (McDonald) as he made some good saves to make sure we kept that clean sheet.”

Quinton said he had no problem with Oliyide and Ellul’s decisions to move on as he was fully focused on working with the players who did want to be with the Iron and didn’t rule out further new additions.

He added: “Karl (Oliyide) has gone to Hemel and I think we’re becoming something of a feeder club for them.

“He was offered silly money to go and Joe (Ellul) has also left.

“I can’t make anyone’s mind up about where they want to play and we won’t stand in players’ ways if they want to go as we have a job to do for ourselves.

“We wish them well and I don’t bear grudges.

“My focus is on us and what we are doing.

“We are still looking at new players and if something comes up that is right for us then we will do it, but we’re not going to break the bank to bring people in.”