Braintree Town 1 Poole Town 0

East Anglian Daily Times: Dan Thompson, by the back post, with the ball in the net as Braintree beat Poole. Photo: JON WEAVER.Dan Thompson, by the back post, with the ball in the net as Braintree beat Poole. Photo: JON WEAVER. (Image: Archant)

The Iron ended their six games without a win by overcoming a hard working visiting Poole side much to the relief of home manager Brad Quinton who praised his players for their resilience and strength of character, writes David Ward.

“It’s good to get back to winning ways and keep a clean sheet while it was a much all round improved performance,” he declared.

“It was the response I wanted after two really hard training sessions this week.

“They are a good side and in a false position in the league and had chances in the first half but I felt we were much stronger and dominant in the second half and deserved our win.

“You always need that second goal to give you a bit of breathing space and I felt we could have had in that second half when obviously the cold conditions and sticky pitch made for tired legs but we kept our discipline and commitment.”

Visiting manager Tom Killick felt they should have been three or four goals up at half time adding: “I’m disappointed because we had five chances to their two in the first half and but for poor finishing and some incredible last-ditch defending we should have been comfortably leading at the break.

“It was certainly not a bad performance from us and it’s frustrating to come away with nothing but that’s unfortunately football at times,” he added.

Quinton made five changes from the previous week, with Christian Frimpong, Mahrez Bettache and Roman Michael-Percil coming in plus the return from suspension of defender Ricky Gabriel while new striker signing Dan Thompson also made the starting line-up.

The all-important goal came on 31 minutes on his Iron debut for ex-Tonbridge Angels’ striker Thompson who was left unmarked at the far post to head home from a left wing cross by Ben Wyatt.

The Iron though rode their luck at times in the first half as new Poole striker, the vastly experienced John Constable, forced a great save by home keeper Nathan McDonald to push the ball over the bar on seven minutes and on 18 minutes Marvin Brooks’ shot was save by McDonald with his legs before Steve Devin saw his right-wing cross come shot come back off the woodwork.

The visitors also had two shots cleared off the line in the busy first period while up at the other end Thompson headed over when well place and Christian Frimpong’s header grazed the visiting bar.

The second half was evenly matched with play becoming scrappy and legs tired as the home side began to dominate more as the half progressed looking for that all-important second goal which failed to come but in the end ran out comfortable winners after all the first half drama.

“It wasn’t pretty at times but you have to work extra and grind out a result and that’s what we did,” added Quinton.

Braintree Town: (4-4-2): McDonald; Bettache, Gabriel, Hill, Frimpong; Muleba, Allen, Crook (82 McKendry), Wyatt; Thompson (79 Grant), Michael-Percil(69 Barrington). Unused subs: Curtis, Nesbitt.

Attendance: 368

Referee: Will Finnie (Luton).