FOR the second time in three matches, Braintree Town let slip a lead they had been good value for in the National League South on Tuesday, writes RON FOSKER.

Despite battering away at the Oxford City goal for almost the whole of the second half, it was the visitors who emerged on the right end of a 2-1 scoreline.

It means that Iron have now dropped 14 points from winning positions in their 14 matches this season, the three disappearing here added to the defeats by Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Chelmsford and the draw against Welling.

Unlike the more cultured approach adopted by Dartford on Saturday, Oxford were cut from the same cloth as their hosts, quick to the ball and quicker when they had lost it – and not afraid to try the long pass.

Iron stuck to their game plan of pressuring their opponents but when the high ball stuff did not work, they lacked the wit or finesse to try a more ground-based approach.

In the second period they rained in crosses from all directions but lacked the height or the athleticism to take advantage of them.

Correy Davidson had given Iron the lead after ten minutes when his shot from the wing appeared to take a deflection.

Oxford hit back with two goals in ten minutes towards the end of the first half.

The first was down to the sheer speed of their front players as James Roberts outpaced the defence on the right before Nana Owusu galloped through the middle, got ahead of the cover and netted a simple goal.

The second goal was a classy 20-yard strike from Lewis Coyle.

The goals came in the middle of a sustained spell of Oxford pressure where other shots passed narrowly over the bar, passes just missed an onrushing forward or were cleared by desperate last-ditch defending.

The second half was a different story, and that will give the management team heart.

There was no repeat of the Chelmsford disintegration but a storming effort all over the field to grab the equaliser.

But the finish or the final ball let them down and the Oxford fortress held firm.

Braintree: Samuel Jackson; Ryan Henshaw, Taofiq Olomowewe, Sam Robbins, Nathan Smith; Johnville Renee, Percy Kiangbeni, Matt Johnson, Jack Thomas, Correy Davidson; Tom Derry