Braintree hit their pre-season target as boss Cowley looks to ‘redefine’ goals

Braintree manager Danny Cowley

Braintree manager Danny Cowley - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Braintree Town boss Dan Cowley has spoken of his delight after his battling squad of part-timers hit their pre-season target of 50 points – and said the club may have to ‘redefine’ their goals.

The Iron secured a well-earned point in a 1-1 draw at Southport on Saturday to reach their half century.

They deservedly took a 30th minute lead through Dan Sparkes, who picked up a fine through pass from Matt Fry to dart in between defenders and advancing home keeper Max Crocombe to slide the ball into the net, after which they went on to miss other chances to have easily added to their lead.

But the Iron were pegged back for long periods of the second half by a rejuvenated home side who equalised on 57 minutes when Louis Almond picked out a low right wing cross from Paul Rutherford to drive the ball low into the Iron net, giving on-loan Ipswich Town keeper Michael Crowe no chance.

But on a pudding of a pitch which made playing football difficult for both sides, Iron manager Cowley was still delighted with his side’s overall effort and energy.

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They now sit sixth in the National League, just two points off the play-off spots but with at least two games in hand on the teams above them. Indeed, if they win at home to Boreham Wood tonight (7.45pm), they will move into the play-off zone.

The remarkable side, part-timers in a league of full-time teams, are now unbeaten in four games.

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Cowley said after Saturday’s game: “It was a real slog as conditions were tough but we deservedly picked up the point we needed for our original target. Everyone at the club is delighted and now we have to redefine our goals for the rest of the season.

“I know we have a tightly knitted group of players that work hard for each other particularly when the chips are down, and now we have the foundations to push on and who knows.”

He added: “It was a tough game which is what we expected and we have to remember that our part-time players were up at 5.30am today to catch the team coach to set off for the game on a long journey which is a tall order for them. But they never moan or let us down and nobody complains because they just get on with the job against another full-time team.”

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