Braintree Town targeting first away win of the season, at Chester

Braintree Town

Braintree Town - Credit: Archant

Fresh from recording their first away win of the season, at Sutton United on Tuesday night, lowly Braintree Town will be gunning for back-to-back successes on the road at Chester this afternoon.

The Iron remain in the National League Premier relegation zone, despite the 2-1 win at Gander Green Lane in midweek, due to fellow strugglers North Ferriby, Chester, Bromley and Woking also winning.

But Jamie Day’s side will be guaranteed to exit the bottom four, if they can record only their third win of the season at the Deva Stadium today – they would leapfrog hosts Chester with a victory.

“The boys showed what they are capable of doing at Sutton and so deserve some praise, just as they deserved a rollicking after the Gateshead (4-1 home) defeat,” explained manager Day.

“But we are not getting carried away. We need to get two or three wins on the bounce and we need to start climbing the table.

“Up until now, we’ve played one or two good games, and then let ourselves down in one or two.

“Yes, it is a new team, and yes, there are probably excuses we can use, but I don’t want to do that and we as a team don’t want to do that.

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“We must make sure that we don’t get carried away, and that the Sutton win was not a one-off.

“We need to make sure that we don’t go three steps back at Chester. We need to be full steam ahead.”

Chester secured only their third win of the campaign, with a 2-0 home victory over basement dwellers Guiseley on Tuesday night, while Chez Isaac was busy earning Iron all three points at Sutton, with his first-half stoppage-time penalty, and then his stunning injury-time winner.

Day will have to make at least one change to his starting line-up, due to centre-half Ian Gayle’s 85th minute red card. It was 1-1 at the time.

Jon Ashton is likely to come in for the suspended Gayle, alongside Jake Goodman at the heart of defence.

“It shows the character of the players that we have got, that we managed to go on and win the game with just 10 men, but we’ve got to be consistent with it,” Day added. “That’s my job, to make sure we are consistent, although of course there will be ups and downs along the way.

“I thought the team held its shape on Tuesday, whereas last Saturday (against Gateshead) we collapsed – we were far too open.

“We changed it a little bit at Sutton, the way we pressed and some players keeping their shape a little bit more. We were more disciplined.

“It worked, and hopefully we can put in the same level of performance at Chester.

“Ian Gayle took one for the team at Sutton. It was the one time he got caught out, and I think he had to do it (make the foul), because the lad was through on goal.

“To be fair to Gayley, he did what he had to do, and we got away with it.

“The desire to go on and get the winner, with 10 men, was excellent.

“I’m still actively looking for new players, because in the nine or 10 games so far we have not done as well as we wanted. But I won’t have to keep looking if they keep performing like they did at Sutton.

“Hopefully, we are making progress.”

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