Braintree Town win nine-goal thriller at Southport
- Credit: Archant
A battling performance in this nine-goal thriller saw Braintree Town grab a fantastic win that moved them out of the relegation zone in the National League, and left manager Hakan Hayrettin searching for a stiff drink!
Hayrettin who, with an injury-hit squad, drafted in centre-back Manny Parry to form a new defensive partnership with 19-year-old Danny Rumens, was also grateful for two fine second half saves from goalkeeper Sam Beasant to maintain his side’s lead.
The goal-fest certainly made it an entertaining afternoon for the watching 866 fans, including the loyal 19 Iron fans who made the long day journey north.
Michael Cheek gave Iron an early lead, tapping Sean Clohessy’s right-wing cross home and, five minutes later, he was unlucky not to add a second – home ‘keeper Magnus Norman pulling off a great save.
On 16 minutes the home side drew level when Jack Higgins scrambled the ball home from close range.
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More schoolboy defending by the Iron then saw the home side score twice in two minutes with Josh Thompson left unmarked at the far post to head home on 27 minutes before, from the kick-off, a dreadful back pass by Harry Lee to Beasant, saw the goalkeeper’s attempted clearance ricochet off Andrai Jones and into the net.
However, Braintree fought back and on 30 minutes, Rumens brilliantly headed home a Monty Patterson corner for his first goal for the club.
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Six minutes later, Ollie Muldoon fired home a left-wing free-kick straight into the home net.
The Iron kept up the pressure and right on half time, Cheek netted his second with a tap in.
The home side equalised on 56 minutes when Beasant brought the on-rushing Jones down in the area and Jamie Allen scored from the spot.
But Iron kept going forward and on 64 minutes Jack Midson headed a great ball into the home net from a Patterson corner.
It was no more than the Iron deserved but it took a great save by Beasant on 74 minutes to ensure his side returned home with all three points, and deserved so, in a match which was not for faint-hearted.
“It was a great comeback from being 3-1 down in the first half to go in at the interval 4-3 up, but it was enough to turn me drink! Hayrettin declared.
“We had a great start, taking the lead within 58 seconds of the kick-off, but then basic schoolboy errors saw us concede three goals by the half-hour mark.
“But full marks to the players who showed great character in coming back straight away and it was crucial we were at least level pegging at the interval.
“To regain the lead in stoppage time gave us the platform to go on to win the game and, in the second half, I felt we were in control.”
On Beasant’s performance, Hayrettin added: “He did really well but it was a true team effort and I am proud of all the boys.
“We can now build on this win and we can keep making it step by step as we progress. Obviously another win away from home gives everyone an added confidence.”