Braintree Town stung by late sucker punch against Hemel Hempstead, leaving boss Quinton so frustrated
- Credit: Archant
Braintree Town 1 Hemel Hempstead 2
The Iron fell to a sucker punch three minutes into added-on time at the end of this feisty affair at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium when the visitors grabbed a win and all three points through substitute Ebby Nelson-Abby, writes David Ward.
It came after the home side bombarded the visitors’ goal in the final 10 minutes only for Hemel Hempstead to breakaway when the Iron gave away an unnecessary free-kick out on the left wing resulting in the ball floating over to the far post where EbbyNelson-Abby was left completely unmarked to stab the ball home for the winner.
It left Iron boss Brad Quinton frustrated and unhappy with his players adding: “They were naïve in giving the free-kick away in the first place and then not defending properly.
“They are a young side still learning but they should have done better and earlier having gone a goal up we had enough chances to have scored more goals and wrapped the game up.
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“It’s a setback but we’ll go again in training this next week and have a sort out but we must cut out individual mistakes,
“I felt we were the better side and created chances, always looked good going forward and solid at the back in what were really difficult playing conditions
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”There’s a long way to go and we will work hard to get back to regular winning ways.”
Hemel manager Dean Brennan was delighted to have won saying: “It doesn’t matter when the winning goal comes they all count and I felt particularly in the second half we had more control of the game and were the better side.
“I was down to the bare bones with only really 14 fit players but I’m proud of them because they stuck to the game plan and never gave up.
“After last week’s disappointment losing the way we did against Hungerford it was a great response from the lads to put in a shift today in difficult conditions against one of the best sides in the league.”
Because of heavy morning rain referee Wayne Cartmel only gave the go-ahead just an hour before kick off after home volunteers had managed to clear the pitch off surface water.
The home side start the brighter and deservedly took the lead on 18 minutes when young Reece Grant slipped the ball down the right for Phil Roberts to chase on to and he chipped keeper Laurie Walker to score.
On the half hour Marcel Barrington should have added a second but keeper Walker did well to smoother his effort and on 33 minutes the keeper again denied Barrington tipping his fierce shot over for a corner.
The visitors retaliated and on 40 minutes were level when a long cross in from the right wing was headed downward by James Kaloczi and diving home keeper Nanthan McDonald could not hold on to the ball and Spencer McCall was on hand to tap it into the net.
The second half was a scrappy affair and on 50 minutes the home side’s Ricky Gabriel was brought down in the area by ex-Iron midfielder Scott Shulton but home fans were amazed referee Wayne Cartmel waved play on.
With both sides tiring in the heavy conditions and tempers fraying, with the game was interrupted by full substitutions from both teams. It looked like a draw was on the cards until the last-gasp effort from Nelson-Abby sealed the points for a delighted visiting team.