Braintree Town still four points clear of drop zone, while Chelmsford City rise into the play-offs

Braintree's Monty Patterson bundles the ball into the net, but note the linesman�'s flag: no goal! I

Braintree's Monty Patterson bundles the ball into the net, but note the linesman�'s flag: no goal! Iron drew 0-0 with Maidstone on Saturday. Picture: ALAN STUCKEY - Credit: Archant

Braintree Town stay four points clear of the National League relegation zone, following a dour goalless home draw against strugglers Maidstone United at Cressing Road on Saturday.

The Iron have improved since manager Hakan Hayrettin took over the reins last September, when the club were rooted in the bottom four, and they have stretched their recent run to just three defeats in their last 14 league fixtures.

They began the day four points clear of fourth-from-bottom Maidstone, and that margin has stayed the same following Saturday’s stalemate.

Both sides had a goal disallowed during a nervous encounter, which was played in blustery conditions. The wind was certainly a factor in Iron struggling to deal with the long throws into the box from Stones’ Alex Flisher, especially in the first half, but the hosts stepped up a gear during the second period.

Hayrettin’s men thought they had grabbed the winner in the 75th minute, when Jack Midson swept home the loose ball after keeper Lee Morgan had only half-saved ex-Maidstone winger Reece Hall-Johnson’s effort.

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However, the goal was ruled out of by an assistant referee’s flag.

Braintree travel to Bromley tomorrow evening as the busy run of fixtures continues.

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They are at home to Wrexham this Saturday, before entertaining league leaders Lincoln City, managed by former Iron boss Danny Cowley, next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Chelmsford City powered into the National League South play-off zone after a thrilling 4-3 win over local rivals Concord Rangers at Melbourne Stadium on Saturday.

Colchester United loanee, Dion Sembie-Ferris, gave Concord the lead midway through the first half. The winger latched onto a through ball before curling a left-footer into the roof of the net.

However, the Clarets were level before half-time, through Josh Rees’ overhead kick on 40 minutes. Two goals in two minutes from Shaun Jeffers put City 3-1 up by the 65th minute. Steve Cawley reduced the lead with a lob, but Michael Spillane made it 4-2 on 81 minutes.

The Clarets were reduced to 10 men by Anthony Church’s dismissal (85), and Lyle Della-Verde scored Concord’s third late on, but the hosts held out.

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