Braintree Town move level on points with leaders Dartford after home win over Eastbourne Borough

Celebrations following Phil Roberts' second goal, which put Braintree Town 2-1 up against Eastbourne

Celebrations following Phil Roberts' second goal, which put Braintree Town 2-1 up against Eastbourne. Picture: JON WEAVER - Credit: Archant

Braintree Town 3 Eastbourne Borough 2

Phil Roberts drills in Braintree Town's first goal during the 3-2 home win over Eastbourne Borough.

Phil Roberts drills in Braintree Town's first goal during the 3-2 home win over Eastbourne Borough. Picture: JON WEAVER - Credit: Archant

Braintree Town moved level on points with National League South leaders Dartford, following a roller-coaster win over visiting Eastbourne Borough on Saturday.

Essex neighbours Chelmsford City also won, 2-0 away at lowly Gloucester City, to move up to fifth in the table, just two points behind Braintree and with a game in hand.

Dartford’s 1-0 defeat at Hungerford gave Iron the chance to wipe out the Kent club’s three-point advantage at the top, although they had to come from behind to beat Eastbourne.

The Sussex side took the lead in the 14th minute, Shaun Okojie firing home from close range.

Braintree attacker, Phil Roberts, fires in an injury-time shot on Saturday. Roberts scored twice in

Braintree attacker, Phil Roberts, fires in an injury-time shot on Saturday. Roberts scored twice in a 3-2 win. Picture: JON WEAVER - Credit: Archant


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But it took just eight minutes for Brad Quinton’s men to fashion an equaliser. Phil Roberts helped himself to his 13th goal of the season, drilling home following a corner by Billy Crook.

Into the second half and Iron took the lead, after some good pressure, around the hour-mark.

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Roberts was again the marksman, registering his 14th goal of the campaign from close-in after Joe Ellul had headed a free-kick into the danger zone.

Plucky Eastbourne equalised through Kiran Khinda John in the 75th minute, only for Iron to grab the winner from the penalty spot just two minutes later.

Mahrez Bettache, battling for possession during Braintree Town's 3-2 home win over Eastbourne. Pictu

Mahrez Bettache, battling for possession during Braintree Town's 3-2 home win over Eastbourne. Picture: JON WEAVER - Credit: Archant

Roman Michael-Percil was upended by Matt Drage in the box, and Crook converted the ensuing penalty to secure all three points.

This was Iron’s first league double of the season, following an opening day 3-2 win at Eastbourne. They have won 11 of their 21 league games, and scored 42 goals to boot, following relegation last season.

It was also an emotional day at Cressing Road – there was spontaneous applause all around the stadium after four minutes, in recognition of young Iron fan Jacob Jones, who sadly passed away earlier in the day.

BRAINTREE: McDonald, Bettache, Gabriel, Ellul, Okoye, Frimpong, Michael-Percil (sub Muleba 83), Crook, Roberts, Oliyide (sub Barrington 78), Bihmoutine (sub Wyatt 69). Unused subs: Wynter and Baxter.

Attendance: 389.

- Goals from Chris Dickson (16 minutes) and Kundus Oyenuga (83) secured a 2-0 win for Chelmsford at Gloucester.

Dickson headed home a cross by Daniel Green, and Oyenuga successfully converted a late penalty for Rod Stringer’s men.

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