East Thurrock United 5 Braintree Town 3 match report - Iron melted by poor defending

Billy Crook was on target for Braintree, but it wasn't enough. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Billy Crook was on target for Braintree, but it wasn't enough. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Vanarama South East Thurrock United 5 Braintree Town 3 Kamikaze second half defending cost the Iron any chance of returning from the Rookery with anything on Tuesday evening.

This Iron defence at present simply cannot cope with high balls to the far post and the Rocks quickly discovered this and subsequently scored three of their goals from that position as did Dartford against the Iron on Saturday.

Up front the Iron clearly still need a strong player who can hold the ball up, as the Rocks’ experienced striker Sam Higgins did and who helped himself during the evening to two fine goals in the process.

The visitors had taken the lead on eight minutes when a lack of understanding in the Iron defence allowed Higgins to saunter through and round keeper Nathan McDonald to score.

On 16 minutes the Iron equalised with a well taken goal, thanks to an accurate through ball by Billy Crook allowing Phil Roberts to race through and lob the ball into the net.

The hosts though were quickly back in front three minutes later when Lewis Smith was left completely unmarked at the far post to head home a Reece Harris free-kick.

Five minutes later Crook hit the home bar and the ball scrambled clear but on 32 minutes he scored from the penalty spot after Karl Olyide had been hauled down by George Allen, who was booked for his troubles.

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Right on half-time McDonald pulled off a great save to deny Higgins who had again crept in at the post unmarked.

The second half though certainly belonged to the home side as the game lacked the earlier fluency after the change of keeper and the Iron lost their way in midfield for the first time this season.

Higgins headed home unmarked at the far post on 71 minutes and then home substitute Femi Akinwande scored after the Iron’s Ricky Gabriel had gifted the ball to Smith.

It went from bad to worse for the Iron on 88 minutes when Montel Agyemang fired home a 20 yard shot past McDonald.

Four minutes into the nine minutes of added time, Iron substitute Dernell Wynter raced through to fire home but by then it was all too late.

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