Essex round-up: Braintree, Chelmsford, Witham, Heybridge Swifts, and Maldon & Tiptree all in action

Iron's Charlie Strutton, who has joined Maidenhead United on a one-month loan deal

Iron's Charlie Strutton, who has joined Maidenhead United on a one-month loan deal - Credit: contributed

Sixteenth-placed Braintree Town can go a long way to hitting manager Alan Devonshire’s 50-point safety target at Cressing Road, today.

Iron host struggling Alfreton Town in the Vanarama Premier, the Derbyshire side in the relegation zone on goal difference.

Braintree could hand a debut to 20-year-old striker Bernard Mensah, who signed on-loan from Championship side Watford until the end of the season this week.

Mensah, who is under contract at Vicarage Road until next summer, scored twice in nine games during a similar spell with the Essex side last season.

Mensah joined Braintree’s Conference rivals Barnet on a two-month loan in November, playing nine times and scoring once.

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In Vanarama South, Chelmsford City travel to Maidenhead United, who have signed Braintree striker Charlie Strutton on loan.

The Clarets were losers last time out, going down 2-1 in the derby clash at Concord Rangers on Tuesday night.

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City’s Mark Hughes cancelled out Steve King’s opener before Taylor Miles’ long-range strike secured the points for the hosts.

Witham Town, in the Ryman Premier relegation zone, travel to league leaders Maidstone United today, hoping to put a dent in the hosts’ promotion aspirations and give their own survival chances a boost.

Garry Kimble’s men picked up what could prove to be a crucial point in midweek, John Watson scoring in the final minute to rescue a point against Canvey Island and cancel out George Sykes’ opener at Spa Road.

Witham have lost eight of their last dozen league games and are a point outside the relegation zone ahead of today’s game.

In Ryman North, 18th-placed Heybridge Swifts, managed by Cliff Akurang, host Cheshunt in 19th position and are without a win in three.

Elsewhere, Maldon & Tiptree Town, unbeaten in three games, go to Soham Town Rangers.

They held Needham Market, 1-1, at home, a fortnight ago.

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