RICKY Gabriel says he has learned an important lesson from the red card he received at Welling United.

It was a long four weeks for the Braintree Town full-back between a lack of discipline saw him getting sent off at the Wings and making his comback in the 1-0 win against Poole Town last weekend.

He admitted that no football for almost a month was tough to take, but he also recognised the impact that his three-match ban had on the team and felt he had come back a wiser player.

Gabriel said: “I have kept my head all season, but on that day I just lost it.

“It was a mistake and I regret it.

“I feel I’ve learned from it, though.

“I know I let the team down that day so I know I have to keep my head in a game and we can push on together.”

Braintree had been due to head to Weston-Super-Mare in Vanarama National League South on Saturday but that has been postponed because of the weather and they will have to wait to build on their win against Poole Town.

It was an impressive return from the 27-year-old former Enfield Town and Dover Athletic man in the Iron's game last weekend, but aside from his own performance, it was the team success that pleased Gabriel most.

He added: “It was good to be back after four long weeks out and it felt good to keep a clean sheet and get the win.

“I got a couple off the line and had a couple of last-ditch tackles, but winning was the main thing for the team.

“We needed that, but hopefully we can push on from here.

“It was very important to get back to winning ways.

“Everyone is knocking on the door and there are teams below us with games in hand so it was vital to get that win to keep us pushing for the play-offs.

“If we can keep it going over the next few games and have a run then it will be a lot clearer about who is really in with a chance.

"Maybe we can still keep pushing to win the league, but the focus has to be on pushing hard in every game and taking one at a time.

“We have to keep grinding out results.

“We did that against Poole when it was tough, but it was a 1-0 win. Maybe we could have had another couple of goals, but we defended well and kept the clean sheet.

“We know that anyone around us can slip up, so that three points is so important.

“It keeps us on other people’s toes and we have to keep that winning mentality.”