Big weekend for Braintree Town and Brightlingsea Regent, for contrasting reasons
Braintree Town face a crunch relegation battle at home to Maidstone United tomorrow afternoon, although manager Hakan Hayrettin is not treating the game as “a six-pointer.”
Maidstone currently occupy the fouryth and last relegation slot in the National League, on 33 points, while The Iron are in 16th spot, four points better off than their Kent visitors.
Despite last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Macclesfield, The Iron are on a good run of results, having only lost three of their last 12 league matches, hardly relegation form!
Hayrettin insisted: “I don’t think this is a six pointer. I’m trying to keep the pressure off my players.”
This week, Maidstone revealed that they had extended the contract of their manager, Jay Saunders, who has been with the club since March, 2011. The Stones are planning to go full-time next season.
Meanwhile, it’s another big weekend in Ryman North, with Maldon & Tiptree and Brightlingsea Regent resuming their dogfight for the coveted title, and automatic promotion to Ryman Premier. They are locked together on 75 points, although Regent do have a game in hand,
While the Jammers travel to out-of-sorts Bury Town, who have lost their last six games, Brightlingsea are also on the road at Ware.
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The R’s will be quietly confident of completing a quickfire double over the Hertfordshire club tomorrow, after thrashing them 5-0 at North Road on Tuesday evening.
Ex-Stanway Rovers striker Billy Hunt marked his R’s debut with a hat-trick in this win, while Tom Richardson and substitute Phil Kelly were also on target. It was Kelly’s 99th goal for the Essex club.
James Webster’s men are unbeaten in 2017, having won 10 and drawn the other two of their last 12 fixtures. They have won five on the trot.
Elsewhere, Heybridge Swifts, who are a healthy eight points clear of the bottom three, entertain promotoion-chasing AFC Hornchurch, a top-four side, at Scraley Road tomorrow afternoon.
And Witham Town, fresh from their impressive 3-0 win at VCD Athletic in midweek, are away at Phoenix Sports.
In National League South, play-off chasing Chelmsford City entertain Concord Rangers.