Havant and Braintree battle it out on a heavy pitch as Iron now drop to seventh in National South

Iron's Mark Okoye seems to be impeded in the penalty area at Havant. Photo: JON WEAVER

Iron's Mark Okoye seems to be impeded in the penalty area at Havant. Photo: JON WEAVER - Credit: Archant

Havant & Waterlooville 0 Braintree Town 0

Braintree's Luke Allen gets a cross in for Iron at Havant. Photo: JON WEAVER

Braintree's Luke Allen gets a cross in for Iron at Havant. Photo: JON WEAVER - Credit: Archant

The pitch was declared playable following an early morning pitch inspection but needed further attention throughout the morning and was very heavy, writes Jon Weaver.

Braintree made three changes from the team that lost 3-0 at Welling. Ben Wyatt came in at left back for the suspended Ricky Gabriel, and new arrivals Patrick Webber and Josh Hill replaced Christian Frimpong and the outgoing Joe Ellul. Loanee Connor McKendry took his place on the bench.

Iron started the game kicking up the hill and immediately took the game to their opponents. As the pitch cut up badly Iron were knocking the ball about with purpose but gave Miles in the Havant goal little to do. At the other end McDonald was comfortably holding crosses and Havant’s wayward shooting caused him little concern.

As the second half opened Havant grew into the game and had several chances to win take the lead.


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Iron, for all their endeavour, failed to register a shot on target.

The closest they came was when Marcel Barrington raced through but as he entered the penalty area the ball bobbled and Miles was able to get there first.

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Havant’s Matt Tubbs struck the crossbar from 15 yards as his side stepped up the pressure and then in time added-on McDonald came to Iron’s rescue to thwart the same player at point-blank range.

Matt Baxter plays in Phil Roberts as Braintree set up an attack. Photos: JON WEAVER

Matt Baxter plays in Phil Roberts as Braintree set up an attack. Photos: JON WEAVER - Credit: Archant

Defeat at that stage would have been unjust, but the well-earned point extends Iron’s recent run to one win in ten games and Braintree have dropped to seventh, the final play-off position.

Both newcomers Hill and Webber had solid games and will benefit from this gruelling workout.

Referee Lloyd Wood meanwhile, had a game to forget, overlooking a number of questionable challenges as he appeared to be making too much allowance for the conditions.

Iron’s Crook, Wyatt and substitute McKendry all received yellow cards.

Next up for Iron is a return to the IronmongeryDirect Stadium this coming Saturday, when Bath City visit for another Vanarama National League match, kick-off 3pm

Braintree: McDonald, Muleba, Wyatt, Hill, Okoye, Webber, Allen, Crook (Frimpong), Roberts, Grant (Baxter), Barrington (McKendry). Unused subs: Michael-Percil & Battache.

Attendance: 500

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