Phil Roberts bags a brace as Braintree Town soar to the top of the table

Braintree Town marksman Phil Roberts is on target at Gloucester City. Roberts celebrated a brace of

Braintree Town marksman Phil Roberts is on target at Gloucester City. Roberts celebrated a brace of goals in a 3-1 away win.Picture: JON WEAVER - Credit: Archant

Gloucester City 1 Braintree Town 3

Karl Oliyide sweeps home the third goal in Braintree Town's 3-1 victory at Gloucester City. Picture:

Karl Oliyide sweeps home the third goal in Braintree Town's 3-1 victory at Gloucester City. Picture: JON WEAVER - Credit: Archant

A stirring second-half display from Braintree Town saw them rally from a goal down to run out easy winners at the Jubilee Stadium on Saturday and so move to the top of the National League South table for the first time.

It did take a severe half-time team-talk from manager Brad Quinton to completely change the game, with the Iron showing far more tempo and playing with much more pace after the interval. In reality, they should have beaten Gloucester by a bigger margin.

“I was certainly not happy with their first-half performance and told them so in no uncertain terms at half time,” said Quinton.

“But credit to them all because they came back out with the right attitude and commitment, playing the football I know they can play.

Braintree's Billy Crook on the ball against Gloucester City, Crook set up the Iron's third goal in

Braintree's Billy Crook on the ball against Gloucester City, Crook set up the Iron's third goal in a 3-1 win. Picture: JON WEAVER - Credit: Archant

“We upped the tempo and dominated across the park and were in total control and really should have scored five or six goals. The response was excellent, but they should have done that in the first half,” added Quinton.

Jon Muleba was out injured, allowing Mahrez Bettache to make his full debut, while Quinton also dropped Osa Obanwonyi, Taylor Campbell and Roman Michael-Percil to the bench. In came Christian Frimpong, Samir Bihmoutine and Karl Oliyide.

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The Iron started well but it all went to pieces on 18 minutes when an uncharacteristic schoolboy error at the back by skipper Marc Okoye gifted the ball straight to the feet of Karnell Chambers, who didn’t hesitate to skip free and drive the ball past stranded keeper Nathan McDonald.

With their ears burning from Quinton’s half-time team-talk, the Iron came out for the second half a totally different team.

And they were level on 47 minutes. Phil Roberts was given a superb through ball by Oliyide and Iron’s leading scorer strode clear to strike the ball into the net.

Four minutes later the Iron were in front when Roberts volleyed home a first-time shot, having been well set up by Okoye.

On 54 minutes, with the Iron quite rampant and looking dangerous every time they crossed the half-way line, the game was effectively over as a contest.

They broke clear to escape the home defence and, from a Billy Crook flick-on, Oliyide’s quick, first-time shot hit the inside of the home side’s post to almost break the net with its force.

BRAINTREE: McDonald, Bettache, Gabriel, Frimpong, Okoye, Mugabe (sub Michael-Percil, 45), Crook, Allen, Bihmoutine (sub Campbell, 77), Oliyide, Roberts (sub Wynter, 81). Unused subs: Grant, Obanwonyi.

Attendance: 324

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