Heartbreak for Braintree Town as last minute defeat puts them in drop-zone

Michael Cheek scored for Braintree against Dover

Michael Cheek scored for Braintree against Dover - Credit: Archant

National League Braintree Town 1 Dover Athletic 2 The Iron camp were left shell-shocked after the visitors from Kent did a smash and grab at Cressing Road on Saturday with their top scorer Ricky Miller heading home the winner in the very last minute.

Sam Corne hurls himself at a cross for Braintree

Sam Corne hurls himself at a cross for Braintree - Credit: Archant

It kept his side in the hunt for a play-off spot while for the Iron it was their four successive defeat and means they drop into the relegation zone.

It was a battling performance by the home side who for long periods of the game and they were in the lead until midway through the second half when the game was turned on its head with three minutes.

They had seemed well in control having taken the lead on seven minutes with Michael Cheek heading home a Sean Clohessy right wing cross.

With the home defender keeping a tight control on hot shot Miller for most of the afternoon there were few goal chances at either end although Cheek, Jack Midson and Craig Braham-Barrett all failed to find the target when given opportunities after their side had taken the lead.

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The Iron were to pay for these misses because the visitors equalised on 64 minutes when the unmarked Connor Essam was given so much space at the far post to head the ball past stranded home keeper Sam Beasant.

But the turning point of the game three minutes later when a rash challenge in midfield by Braham-Barrett saw him given a straight red card by referee Alan Young and from then on the Iron were forced to defend gallantly which they did to try and hold on to at least a point.

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With 10 minutes to go they almost snatched a second goal but Sam Corne’s header failed to beat keeper Mitch Walker.

And five minutes later when Walker was beaten the visitors’ defenders managed to scramble the ball away off the goal line from a Cheek shot.

But in the final minute of the game, slack Iron marking at the back post saw the unmarked Miller, watched again by several Football League scouts, take his chance with a fine header to give his side all three points.

It was heartbreak for the Iron who had battled so hard to get something from the game and overall deserved to while a relieved Dover team knew the three points keeps them up in the play-off positions.

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