Defensive blunders in six-minute period cost Braintree Town all three points

Braintree Town players celebrate a goal at Hemel Hempstead, but poor defending was to prove their do

Braintree Town players celebrate a goal at Hemel Hempstead, but poor defending was to prove their downfall. Picture: ALAN STUCKEY - Credit: Archant

Hemel Hempstead 4 Braintree Town 3

Billy Croook runs forward on a Braintree Town attack during Saturday's 4-3 defeat at Hemel Hempstea

Billy Croook runs forward on a Braintree Town attack during Saturday's 4-3 defeat at Hemel Hempstead. Picture: ALAN STUCKEY - Credit: Archant

A kamikaze six minute spell of early second-half defending by Braintree Town cost them any chance of returning from Vauxhall Road with any points in almost a replica of last month’s away defeat at East Thurrock.

The Iron were comfortably 2-1 up, well in control of the game and playing all the attacking football with again chances going begging before disaster occurred at the opposite end.

First, on 59 minutes, a total misunderstanding between Iron defenders and keeper Nathan McDonald allowed home striker Rowan Liburd to run clear and simply round McDonald to slide the ball into an empty net for the softest of equalisers.

Three minutes later, another dreadful piece of defending saw McDonald fail to collect a Jordan Parkes free-kick, which allowed James Kaloczi to scoop the ball over his head into the net. And three minutes later it went from bad to worse for the Iron, as home skipper Parkes was given too much room down the left. His low shot beat McDonald and went in off the post to make it 4-2.

Scott Shulton celebrates putting Iron 2-1 up in Saturday's 4-3 reverse at Hemel Hempstead. Picture:

Scott Shulton celebrates putting Iron 2-1 up in Saturday's 4-3 reverse at Hemel Hempstead. Picture: ALAN STUCKEY - Credit: Archant


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Despite a fine individual goal by Phil Roberts on 75 minutes, Iron could not then find an equaliser.

“I am so shocked at what happened because that was very unlike us,” said manager Brad Quinton. “We had so much control and command of the game until that dizzy spell when we should have been three or four goals to the good.

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“When they equalised through our own mistake at the back we should have simply been experienced enough to shut down for 10 minutes, and not keep giving the ball away, which we did.

“But what happened? We shot ourselves in the foot and have only ourselves to blame. From my viewpoint is was frustrating and totally unacceptable.”

Much against the run of play, the hosts had taken the lead on 21 minutes when Charlie Sheringham slid the ball in at the near post from a low cross.

Iron equalised in the 26th minute. A fierce Billy Crook shot came off ex-Iron player Taylor Miles en route into the net.

Two minutes before the interval, midfielder Scott Shulton fired home a 25-yarder to put Iron ahead, and they should have added more goals before defensive errors cost them.

BRAINTREE: McDonald, Muleba, Wyatt (sub Gabriel, 78), Frimpong, Okoye, Shulton, Allen, Crook, Campbell (sub Michael-Percil, 85);,Roberts, Oliyide (sub Wynter, 67).

Attendance: 469

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