Iron score four but still lose!
Kidderminster Harriers 5 Braintree Town 4
BRAINTREE Town were desperately unlucky to lose a nine-goal thriller at Aggborough last night, eventually undone by a twice-taken penalty.
Having led 1-0 and 2-1, and then rallying from 4-2 down to level the issue at 4-4, the battling Iron looked good value for a point.
But they were denied even this in controversial fashion when keeper Nathan McDonald, who had himself conceded a 76th-minute penalty, pulled off a terrific save from Kyle Storer’s spot-kick.
However, in a replica of the home game against Ebbsfleet (3-2 defeat), from late August, when McDonald saved a penalty but was adjudged to have moved off his line before the spot-kick was taken, so the same decision was made against the Iron keeper last night.
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It was the assistant referee who made the call, ruling that McDonald had encroached before Storer had struck the ball. After heated protests from the visitors, Kidderminster were given a second bite at the cherry.
This time Nick Wright decided to take on the responsibility with the retaken penalty, and he sent McDonald the wrong way to poach all three points for the Worcestershire hosts .
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It was a cruel way to lose a game, especially one as dramatic as this.
Since losing their opening fixture 1-0 at Darlington, free-scoring Braintree had scored in every game.
And they made it 16 in a row when Sean Marks tucked home his sixth goal of the season in the 26th minute, after keeper Dean Lyness had struggled to keep out Ben Wright’s free-kick.
Kidderminster took just 60 seconds to equalise. Nick Wright burst through on goal and rifled a low shot into the far corner of the net.
Braintree regained the lead with the third goal of a breathless seven-minute spell, thanks to the goal of the game on 33 minutes.
Teenage winger Dominic Vose, on loan from West Ham, engineered a quick breakaway from inside his own half. Marks helped on for his strike-force partner Ben Wright, who calmly side-footed home from 16 yards out.
Nursing a 2-1 lead at half-time, Braintree experienced a rollercoaster of emotions during a crazy second period.
James Vincent scored twice for the Harriers, on 51 and 54 minutes, and Callum Gittings then lashed home an unstoppable shot to open up a 4-2 lead for the Worcestershire hosts in the 57th minute.
Despite conceding three goals in a desperate six-minute spell, the Iron responded in terrific fashion.
Left-back Aswad Thomas crashed home a spectacular low drive, from just inside the box, to reduce the arrears to 4-3 in the 63rd minute.
And remarkably Braintree were back on level terms just four minutes later, thanks to Ben Wright’s second goal of the game, and his sixth of the season.
Thomas was chopped down in the box by Tom Sharpe, allowing Wright to convert the ensuing penalty with ease.
But having hauled themselves back to 4-4, the Iron suffered the anguish of a controversial winner.
BRAINTREE: McDonald, Peters, Paine, Bailey-Dennis, Thomas, Vose (sub Quinton, 64), Symons (sub Johnson, 64), Davis, Reason (sub McCammon, 86), Marks, Wright.