Honours even between Braintree Town and Chelmsford City

Braintree's Marcel Barrington scored the Iron's equaliser at Dartford.

Braintree's Marcel Barrington scored the Iron's equaliser at Dartford. - Credit: Archant

National League South Braintree Town 2 Chelmsford City 2 A dramatic 90th minute equaliser by Iron substitute Marcel Barrington ensured the first local derby between these two sides for seven years ended in stalemate and bragging rights were shared, writes David Ward.

Watched by a bumper Boxing Day crowd of 1,465 the game had a cracking start with City taking the lead on seven minutes when Chris Smith’s free-kick dropped to the far corner of the Iron penalty box where the unmarked Michael Spillane fried home a tremendous volley.

The delight of the 400-odd City fans in the crowd was short-lived though when on 10 minutes the Iron’s Roman Michael-Percil skipped clear down the right wing before pulling the ball back into the area where Phil Roberts drove it low into the far corner.

There were chances at both ends for the remainder of the half with first Iron keeper Nathan McDonald pulling off a great save on the half hour to deny Kudud Oyenega and seven minutes later at the other the Iron should have taken the lead when Roberts set up Reece Grant but with the goal at his mercy he fluffed his shot.

The start of the second half saw City come out with far more determination and they forced Braintree onto the back foot before regaining the lead as the Iron giving away a poor penalty.

Oyenega appeared to go down all too easily in the Iron area from a faint challenge from Mark Okoye. Despite strong protests from the Iron players referee Robert Massey-Ellis was unmoved and awarded a penalty which Oyenega picked himself up to score from the spot.

With boss Brad Quinton bringing on two bigger strikers - Karl Oliyide and Barrington - just past the hour it gave a new impetus to the Iron and as the game progressed City sat deeper and deeper allowing the new duo to run at their back line, causing all kinds of problems.

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The breakthrough for the Iron came in the first of four minutes added on time when Roberts again broke clear down the right pulling the ball back to the on rushing Barrington who made sure by drilling a fierce shot low into the corner of the net.

The sides have a rematch at Chelmsford on New Year’s Day.

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