Early mistakes prove decisive
Iron fail to break down ten men
Four minutes of poor defending early in the first half cost Iron the chance of returning home with the point which overall they deserved on the day against their promotion chasing hosts at the Silverlake Stadium on Saturday.
It was all down to two identical set pieces created from left wing corners by ex-Colchester United's Mark Yeates who whipped both crosses into the area on 13 and 17 minutes where Paul McCallum pulled away from his marker to twice head the ball into the top corner of the net.
It was poor defending which the Iron defence should have dealt with and it left manager Danny Searle annoyed with his defenders for not stopping at least the second goal and he added: "I know what McCallum is capable of and had warned the players to be aware of their set pieces from corners.
"To concede two easy and soft goals in that manner so early on did cost us dearly although we fought back well and should have been level at the interval," he continued. "We missed a penalty and then another goal chance when Sam Kelly was through and one on one with their keeper but he failed to hit the target.
"I felt we deserved at least a point from the game because in the second half we pressurised them so much but just couldn't find that crucial equaliser," he said. "It means this coming Saturday's home game against fellow strugglers Aldershot is a must win game, it's really a six-pointer."
After conceding those two early goals, Iron came back strongly and on 25 minutes should have scored from the penalty spot after Korrey Henry had been fouled but young striker Callum Morton saw his spot kick spectacularly saved by home keeper Luke Southwood.
On 36 minutes Kelly skipped clear of all defenders but with Southwood advancing on him he scuffed his shot just wide of a post when he really should have done better.
Iron did pull a goal back on 42 minutes when a Ricky Gabriel left wing corner to the far edge of the home area was brilliantly volleyed low into the net by Cameron James and then a minute later Morton was clean through and looked certain to score but, again, Southwood pulled off a fine save to deny the Iron striker.
The second half saw Iron continue to push hard for that leveller again only for Southwood to deny them and their cause was helped on 62 minutes when home substitute Cavaghn Miley was shown a second yellow card and sent off for fouling Henry.
The Iron tried hard to make their one-man advantage count and put tremendous pressure on the home rearguard. It took an 80th minute goal line clearance by Andrew Boyce to deny the Iron's Rob Atkinson with his fierce header and three minutes late substitute Oscar Borg raced to the edge of the home area only to see his fierce shot go narrowly over the bar.
Korrey then saw his shot hit the home bar and go over and the dying moments Morton look to have been hauled down in the area for a penalty but appeals were waved away by referee Sam Allison before both Kelly and Borg saw their goalbound shots charged down by defenders who were only too grateful to kick the ball out for throw-ins.
Despite all their pressure Iron failed to find that equaliser against 10 men and pick up what would have been at least a deserved point but all was lost on the day.
Braintree Town: Killip; Eleftheriou, Lyons-Foster, Atkinson, Gabriel (89 Della-Verde); Richards (79 Borg), Kelly, James, Iffy Allen (79 Luke Allen); Henry,Morton. Unused subs: Sogaf, Matsuzaka. Attendance: 2000

Match Preview - Sat 16 February 2018
Eastleigh v Braintree Town
Eastleigh are currently 9th in the Vanarama National League 52 points. Their home record this season is P 15 W 6 D 5 L 4 GF 18 GA 17 Pts 23. Their last 4 home League results this season: Won 3-2 v Sutton U, Won 2-1 v Havant & W, Won 2-1 v Harrogate T, Drew 2-2 v Dover A. Top scorers this season: Paul McCallum (1p) - 16, Ben Williamson - 6, Johua Hare - 5
Braintree T are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 25 points. Braintree T away record this season: P 16 W 3 D 4 L 9 GF 15 GA 24 Pts 13. Braintree T last 4 away League results this season: Lost 2-1 v Hartlepool U, Drew 0-0 v FC Halifax T, Won 0-1 v Maidenhead U, Lost 4-2 v Ebbsfleet U. Braintree T scorers this season: Callum Morton - (2p) - 5, Lyle Della-Verde - 4, Amaluzor - 3.
Braintree's last visit to Eastleigh was on 14 February 2017 when goals in either half from Michael Cheek brought the three points back home to Essex. Earlier this season on 6 October 2018, Eastleigh won 2-1 at Cressing Road. In the first half; top scorer McCallum put them ahead, before Chris Zebroski doubled their lead on 37 minutes. Mo Bettamer reduced the deficit with 18 minutes to play heading home a Luke Allen cross. That game was the last game in which Andy Hessenthaler was to be in charge as he left the Spitfires to take over the reins at Dover Athletic. He was replaced as first team manager by former player and assistant manager, Ben Strevens. After a poor start to the season, Eastleigh now find themselves in play-off contention, having won five of their last six matches. Danny Searle picked up his first victory as manager with an impressive performance last time out at home to Salford City. Iron have taken ten points from their last six league matches and are starting to display the sort of form that will be necessary to realise their goal of staying in the top flight of non-league football.

Talking to Robert Atkinson
looking to be at Braintree legend
DOB: 13/7/98 (20) Born: Chesterfield
Previous clubs: Cannes (Academy), Met Police, Basingstoke T, Fulham (U23 - on loan from)
Position: Left back/centre back/centre midfield
Q. Who do you support?
A. Fulham
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Lionel Messi
Q. Who is your favourite TV show?
A. Breaking Bad
Q. What is your favourite holiday destination?
A. South of France
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Only Facebook
Q. Growing up, were you always a defender?
A. No, I was a striker, scored loads, then centre mid, then centre back
Q. How did you get your move from Basingstoke to Fulham?
A. By playing well for Basingstoke, we won Hampshire Cup and I was player of the season
Q. What were your thoughts on the loan move to Braintree?
A. I was desperate to play men's football again. I didn't want to be playing academy football at 21
Q. What are your strengths?
A. Tackling, aerial ability, reading the game, dribbling, strength
Q. Who has been the best manager you've worked with?
A. Terry Brown at Basingstoke, he believed in me and gave me the opportunity to play men's football. He took a risk with me.
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. Villa Park
Q. How have you found the transition from U21 football to VNL Premier?
A. Seamless, having played adult football already
Q. What are your aspirations for the next few years?
A. To become a Braintree legend
Q. Who have been the best players you've played with?
A. The lads from Fulham - Steven Humphries, Matt O@Riley, George Williams, Steven Sessegnon, Aron Davies, Scott Armsworth
Q. Who do you turn to for footballing advice/what's the best bit of advice you've been given?
A. My old man (he played for Dulwich H) - never give up
Q. Who is the toughest opponent you've had to mark here in training?
A. Justin Amaluzor, because of his pace and trrickery
Q. How do you pass your time on long away trips?
A. Sleep, or watch films on my phone
Q. Which player has the worst dress sense?
A. Ben Killip
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. 20th

Stoppage time winner sinks Salford
Morton grabs the winner
Callum Morton scored a crucial stoppage time goal to defeat the much fancied Salford City at Cressing Road on Saturday.
It was his predatory persistence that earned him his goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time which gave Iron a much needed win and three valuable points in their bid to escape the relegation zone in a what was a close fought encounter at Cressing Road.
Just when it looked like the game ending in a stalemate, a twice-taken left wing free-kick from newcomer Sam Kelly, signed hours earlier from Hamilton Academicals, floated into the area and, with the visitors defence all at sea, Morton was quick to latch on to the loose ball and drive it into the roof of the net.
It was no more than Iron deserved after a workmanlike performance under new manager Danny Searle and it was the way they tried to play football throughout the game with some of the best attacking build-ups seen at Cressing Road this season.
Scorer Morton was delighted to snatch a late winner adding: "I had been trying all game to score and even though the chance was late, as soon as it was in the box I knew it was mine.
"I think we deserved the win plus it was also great to now have someone up front with me to help hold the ball and I think we worked together well," he continued. "I was constantly being fouled throughout the game and the referee didn't help to protect me but you have to not moan about it but carry on and get on with the game and work even harder.
Manager Danny Searle praised his players for their response after losing at Hartlepool in what was his first game in charge adding: "I'm thrilled at not just the win but the whole team's performance.
"I think the players showed the kind of resilience we wanted from start to finish and there's clearly a great belief in the dressing room," he said.
"I've brought two players in - Kelly and ex-Yeovil striker Korrey Henry - because I know that will give us more quality both on and off the ball. We defended magnificently when we had to and in midfield we worked hard to control the game while up front Callum and Korrey gave us more strength," he continued.
"The players clearly believe in what I am trying to achieve in the dressing room and out on the field and now we have to maintain that new found belief and consistency."
City manager Graham Alexander was less complimentary about some of his players who he said failed to show up on the day and wasted all the good work and build up to the game during the week adding: "I'm bitterly disappointed and we know football can be so cruel, conceding as we did in the fourth minute of injury time."
He went on: "What is also worrying that this is the third game running we have failed to score from open play and it just won't do - players know that they have to be up for it when you comes to clubs like Braintree who are down the bottom and struggling.
"You have to respect them of course but our players are good enough to have put in a far better performance than they did and that's what's most disappointing," he continued. "We have to get the situation sorted and we will before our next game."
Early first half chances fell to the Iron with Morton and Kelly both going close but up at the other it took a goal line clearance from Rob Atkinson to keep the scores level at the break and then, moments later, keeper Ben Killip pulled off a fine save to deny Carl Piergianni.
Early in the second half the visitors did clip the home crossbar but it was the home side who came close to scoring on 70 minutes when Henry found himself in the area unmarked but his first time shot was somehow pushed away by the foot of keeper Chris Neal.
The end to end action continued and the Iron almost broke the deadlock on 81 minutes when Cameron James unleashed a first-time shot that forced Neal into a flying save tipping the ball round for a corner.
But it all came good in added time when Morton grabbed a winning goal much to the delight of the home fans in the 765 crowd.
Braintree Town (4-4-2): Killip; Eleftheriou, Atkinson, Lyons-Foster, Gabriel; Henry (73 Iffy Allen), James, Kelly, Richards; Morton, Amaluzar. Subs unused Luke Allen, Sogaf, Matsucaka, Borg. Attendance: 765 (83 visitors) Referee: Paul Howard.
Next up for the Iron is another league match away to Eastleigh on Saturday next, kick off 3pm.

Searle adds Sam Kelly
25-year old moves south
Braintree Town Manager Danny Searle has added winger and/or attacking midfielder Sam Kelly to his squad from Scottish Premiership side Hamilton Academicals this morning. Sam signed for the Club on Thursday and his international clearance was granted this (Saturday) morning. The 25 year old was attached to Cambridge United, Norwich City and Everton, before he found regular first team League football with Port Vale during both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 campaigns. He then joined Grimsby Town in May 2017 and stayed with the club last season, before switching to Scottish Premiership side Hamilton Academicals last June.
Leaving the Club are Marcel Barrington, who has joined Hampton & Richmond, and Jon Muleba, who has been released. We wish both players the best for the future.

Match Preview - Sat 9 February 2019
Braintree T v Salford C
Salford C are currently 2nd in the Vanarama National League on 57 points. Their away record this season is P 17 W 6 D 6 L 5 GF 24 GA 18 Pts 24. Their last 4 away results this season: Drew 0-0 v FC Halifax T, Won 0-3 v L Orient, Lost 3-2 v Barrow, Lost 5-1 v Wrexham. Top scorers this season: Adam Rooney - 19, Rory Gaffney - 12, Carl Piergianni - 6.
Braintree T are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 22 points. Braintree T home record this season: P 15 W 2 D 3 L 10 GF 15 GA 31 Pts 9. Braintree T last 4 home results this season: Won 4-0 v Barnet, Lost 0-4 v Ebbsfleet U, Drew 1-1 v Boreham Wood, Lost 0-2 v Barrow. Braintree T scorers this season: Della-Verde, Morton (3p) - 4, Amaluzor - 3
City have added 2 midfielders to their squad this month - former Manchester U youngster Devonte Redmond and former Swindon T player Amine Linganzi. They also announced a new shareholder in January 2019 with former England captain David Beckham taking a 10% stake in the club, joining his class of '92 team mates, Gary & Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.
The two sides first met on 13 October 2018 with Hakan in charge for his first game as caretaker manager. The Iron produced a performance that belied their league position. They fell behind in the first minute to a Rory Gaffney goal, before Mo Bettamer equalised on the stroke of half time. On 74 minutes, Bettamer struck again only for Gaffney to double his tally for the day in the 90th minute.
It will be a testing home debut for new Iron manager Danny Searle against the League's top scorers. Danny has signed one of his former West Ham Academy boys - Korrey Henry, whose last club was Yeovil Town. A performance like the one back in October could well cause a further dent to Salford's automatic promotion hopes.

Talking to Oscar Borg
playing against Messi, Aguero & Di Maria
DOB: 5/9/97 (21) Born: London
Previous clubs: West Ham U (Academy/Youth) Aston Villa (Youth)
Position: Full back/Midfield
Q. Do you have another job?
A. No, I still train full time
Q. Who do you support?
A. Chelsea, my uncle Colin Pates used to play for them
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Zinedane Zidane & Gareth Bale
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. I like to listen to everything, all kinds of genres
Q. What is your favourite film?
A. Shawshank Redemption, White Chicks, Step Brothers
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strengths - Athleticism, getting up and down, my versatility, getting in crosses and helping out defensively, I like to play wing back. Weakness - I need to improve my heading as it's more physical in this League
Q. At West Ham you were dubbed the new "Gareth Bale"; who gave you that title and what did it mean to you?
A. A few team mates called me that. There'd been an article in the Daily Mail https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2701830/West-Hams-young-wing-wizard-Oscar-Borg-trial-Manchester-United-start-Red-Devils-Under-18-side.html I felt privileged to be likened to him, but I want to make a name for myself.
Q. You were released by Villa this season after joining them in 2016, whose decision was it to release you and what options became available to you?
A. There were a few academy players released by the academy manger, they were looking for older, more experienced defenders. Eddie Howe invited me to Bournemouth, but then signed Diego Rico.
Q. You had a few injuries at Villa, what were they?
A. That was a few years ago, I did both my hamstrings
Q. How did you end up at Braintree?
A. I knew Danny Searle from my time at West Ham. I'd congratulated him on getting the job at Braintree; he asked me what I was doing and invited me down
Q. How have you found the football at this level so far?
A. I've been pleasantly surprised. U23's football is more technical. In training the boys play good football
Q. Is it difficult to adapt to this level of football?
A. Growing up I trained and played with older players, so I'm used to the physical side, so have adapted quite well
Q. Where do you envisage yourself playing in 3 years' time?
A. Playing at the highest level that I possibly can
Q. Who has been the best coach you worked for?
A. I've learned a lot from all my coaches including Steve Cox & Teddy Sheringham at West Ham and Mark Delaney at Villa
Q. Chance to name drop, who have you played alongside?
A. When I was at West Ham we had the Argentinian national side over, so I played against Messi, Aguero and Di Maria. I've played with Declan Rice and Reece Oxford at West Ham and Callum O'Hare at Villa
Q. How do you pass your time on away trips?
A. Everyone is so sociable, so we chat and have a bit of banter. If it's a long trip, I try and get some sleep in
Q. Who is the team wind up merchant?
A. Luke Allen is a bit of a joker
Q. Which player would be a good contestant on I'm a celebrity…?
A. Luke Allen, just for the way he acts
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. Outside the relegation zone


Searle adds Yeovil forward
Former Hammer switches to Cressing Road
Braintree Town Manager Danny Searle has strengthened his squad with the arrival of forward Korrey Henry from League Two side Yeovil Town. The nineteen year old started his career at West Ham United before signing a years' contract with the Somerset club last July - making his Football League debut for Yeovil as a substitute in their 2-2 draw against Mansfield Town in August. He made four further appearances before joining Braintree Town on Saturday.


National League Sponsor Rebrand
Motorama National League from next season
The National League is pleased to announce a rebranding of its title sponsorship from the Vanarama National League to the Motorama National League from next season.
In doing so, the new agreement adds a further three seasons to a sponsorship arrangement with the Autorama Group which has enjoyed great success for both parties over the past five seasons.
Motorama - sister brand of Vanarama - is a personal car leasing broker and the latest arm of the Autorama Group.
The involvement of Motorama with The National League will see the introduction of a brand new affiliation scheme, which will provide supporters with an opportunity to earn money for their Club with every vehicle leased.
Michael Tattersall, Chief Executive Officer of The National League, said: "Following five seasons as the Vanarama National League, we are delighted to be signing up for a further three seasons as the Motorama National League.
"Our relationship with the Autorama Group goes from strength to strength, and is a classic case of football sponsorship delivering value and helping to create a leading consumer brand."
Title sponsorship of The National League propelled Vanarama into the homes of millions of people around the UK, driving huge engagement with the brand and the wider football community.
The Motorama National League will receive incredible exposure with BT Sport regularly broadcasting live matches and highlights from the competition.
CEO of Autorama Group, Andy Alderson added: "We're delighted to be continuing our relationship with The National League.
"It will allow Motorama to enjoy the prestige of being title sponsor of one of the UK's most popular football leagues and get its message that people CAN lease the cars they want - rather than settle for something they can find on a used dealer's forecourt - to an engaged audience of enthusiastic fans."

Iron denied at Hartlepool
First half advantage slips away
Iron came close to taking something from their trip to Victoria Park on Saturday and making it a positive start to new boss Danny Searle, but a lack of concentration in a seven minute spell just after half time in the end cost them.
Having played the better football, Iron were well worth their half time lead thanks to a 40th minute strike by Justin Amaluzar and but for the woodwork and some desperate last ditch defending by the home side they could have scored more.
Both Luke Allen and Rob Atkinson all went so close to scoring in the first period as did Amaluzar who saw his early shot cannon of the foot of a post as the pace and movement of the visitors caused all sorts of problems for the home defence.
Iron skipper keeper Ben Killip pulled off a smart save from Luke Molyneux half way through the first half but it was mainly Iron that kept up their pressing game and they could have come in at the interval at least two or three goals to the good.
The second half saw the home side change their tactics, adding another player into midfield to stifle the rampant Iron pushing forward, and it worked while some poor Iron work down the home side's left wing on 52 minutes allowed a cross to come in from there giving Nicke Kabamba the chance to nip in between two Iron defenders to head the ball home.
With their tails now up the home side, backed by a vocal crowd of 2,769, pushed forward again and seven minutes later confusion in the Iron area again from another left wing cross saw home substitute Luke James scamper into the area and he appeared to fall over himself but referee Rebecca Welch adjudged it a foul, leaving Josh Hawkes to score from the penalty spot.
Iron eventually regained some of their first half composure and they did create a few chances with Callum Morton and Cameron James both going close.
Ten minutes from the end Morton looked to have weaved his way through the home defence before going down claiming a penalty when the youngster, perhaps with a little more experience, could have taken another step forward and been in a good shooting position and possibly have scored.
The penalty appeal though was waved away by the referee and although the Iron caused panic in the home defence with pressure in the dying moments the home side managed to somehow hold on when Iron could have at least shared the points for all their hard work and endeavour over the 90 minutes.
Braintree Town: Killip; Eleftheriou, Atkinson, Lyons-Foster, Gabriel; Luke Allen, Rowe (Barrington 74), James, Richards (Della-Verde 61); Morton, Amaluzar. Subs unused: Sagaf, Iffy Allen, Matzusaka. Attendance: 2,769 (25 Braintree supporters). Referee: Rebecca Welch.

Match Preview - Sat 26 January 2018
Hartlepool U v Braintree Town
Hartlepool U are currently 15th in the Vanarama National League 36 points. Their home record this season is P 15 W 4 D 5 L 6 GF 18 GA 20 Pts 17. Their last 4 home League results this season: Lost 1-2 v Maidstone U, Won 2-1 v Gateshead, Drew 1-1 v Havant & W, Lost 1-2 v Dagenham & R. Top scorers this season: Liam Noble - 12 (5p), Niko Muir-Merchant & Nicke Kabamba (on loan from H&W) - 5, Nicky Featherstone - 3.
Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 22 points. Braintree Town away record this season: P 15 W 3 D 4 L 8 GF 14 GA 22 Pts 13. Braintree Town last 4 away League results this season: Drew 0-0 v FC Halifax T, Won 0-1 v Maidenhead U, Lost 4-2 v Ebbsfleet U, Lost 2-1 v Havant & W. Braintree Town scorers this season: Della-Verde & Morton (2p) - 4, Amaluzor - 2.
The two clubs come together in the week in which both clubs see a change of manager. Pools have moved former manager Richard Money in to the role of overseeing football matters strategically. He is replaced as manager by coach Craig Hignett who had a spell as caretaker manager earlier in the season. Hignett's playing career started at Crewe Alexandra in 1988 before he made the move to Middlesbrough where he made 155 appearances, scoring 33 goals as an attacking midfield player. His other clubs include Aberdeen, Barnsley, Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City. He was assistant to former Nottingham Forest defender Colin Cooper in 2013 at Pools, before moving to Middlesbrough a year later in March 2014. He left his post at Boro in December 2014. He took over the top job at Pools when Ronnie Moore departed in February 2016 and lasted until January 2017 before being sacked. He returned the following year as Director of Football before he was appointed as caretaker manager in November 2018 prior to Money's appointment.
Braintree meanwhile have seen the departure of Hakan Hayrettin who has once again paired up with John Still to take the reins at Maidstone U. Danny Searle now steps into the breech.
The two teams met for their first ever League meeting at Cressing Road on 14 August 2018. It's fair to say that Pool's would have been disappointed to be only one goal to the good at half time courtesy of a Muir-Merchant strike. Their attempts to increase their lead were constantly thwarted by Ben Killip who also saved a penalty in the opening 45 minutes. Braintree attained their first home point of the season when Mo Bettamer scored in the 95th minute.
Pool's form of late has been indifferent with more defeats than victories. Braintree had a much needed morale boosting 4-0 victory over Barnet last time out and a third clean sheet in four games. How will the players of both clubs respond to their respective new charges?

Talking to Courtney Richards
focus on the things we do well and try and do them better
DOB: 22/11/93 (25) Born: St Catherines, Jamaica
Previous Clubs: Coventry C (Academy), Brighton & HA (U21), Whitehawk (L), Torquay U, Macclesfield T, Solihull M (L), Nuneaton B
Position: Midfield
Q. Who do you support?
A. Manchester U
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Christiano Ronaldo because of his work ethic
Q. Who is your favourite band/singer?
A. J. Cole
Q. What is your favourite TV programme?
A. Breaking Bad
Q. Which social media do you use?
A. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for my mum
Q. Who were you playing for before you went to Coventry C?
A. I wasn't playing for anyone, I was at college in Stratford and the coach there was a scout for Coventry C
Q. Were you always a midfielder?
A. No, I was on a scholarship and a striker at Coventry C, scored goals, but when I went to Brighton, they had too many strikers, so I played midfield there
Q. Who did you play alongside in your time at Brighton?
A. Lua Lua, Agustein and Rodriguez
Q. Who has had the biggest impact on your career so far?
A. Luke Williams at Brighton and Lee Carsley at Coventry C
Q. Who has been the most motivational manager you have played for?
A. Luke Williams at U21 level, Kevin Nicholson at Torquay U - he could identify players who could do a good job at interacting with players
Q. How did your move to Braintree come about?
A. Hakan contacted Nuneaton because he needed an experienced midfielder?
Q. Have you played against Braintree before, or any of the squad?
A. Yes played against Braintree for Torquay, including the season they did the double over us. Dan Sparkes scored a hat-trick in the game at Plainmoor
Q. What have you made of the club so far?
A. Good club, strong passionate fans
Q. There has been a lot of comings and goings this season, how does that affect the squad?
A. Not much really, it's about retaining information and going out and doing what we are told
Q. We've struggled to win games, how do you deal with this?
A. We try and take the positives out of games, focus on the things we do well and try and do them better
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. The Amex, Brighton
Q. Who is the best passer in the team?
A. Ben Killip, he has good distribution
Q. Who is the best tackler?
A. Me
Q. Who is the quietest?
A. Callum Morton
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. Above the bottom four!

Hakan Hayrettin steps down
Danny Searle takes over
Hakan Hayrettin has stepped down from his role as First Team Manager at Braintree Town with immediate effect to join (we have been told) new manager John Still as his number two at Maidstone United. The Board will discuss the matter tomorrow night. In the interim, we have asked Assistant Manager Danny Searle to take on the First Team Manager role and he has kindly agreed to help us.
Chairman Lee Harding thanked Hakan for his second spell at the Club: "When Hakan offered to help in October, we'd won only once in fifteen matches and then, with the same players, immediately picked up seven points from the next three games.
Sadly, with some players not secured on contract, it was then easy for other clubs to tempt some away, and results then suffered. Recently we've seen the benefits of the re-building work that both Hakan and Danny have been putting in place and results over the past month or so have started to improve. We wish Hakan all the best for the future.
Looking forward, we have sixteen cup finals and forty-eight points up for grabs. Personally, I believe we still have something to play for this season and so ask you all to get behind Danny and the lads - starting at Hartlepool on Saturday. Come on you Iron!"


Iron impress in four-goal win
Ten men Barnet swept aside
It was the best birthday present any promising young striker would crave for hitting his first ever senior football hat-trick and helping his side to a crucial but fully deserved win at Cressing Road on Saturday and when in reality they should have won by a bigger margin.
Nineteen year-old birthday boy Callum Morton not only took his three goal superbly but also his all round running off the ball and pace caused problems all afternoon for the visiting Barnet defence.
Morton, on loan from WBA, said: "It all went so great today on my birthday and I can't really believe it scoring my first ever hat-trick at senior level and I felt I should have scored a couple more.
"I've already got the match ball in my bag to take home and I shall cherish it and remember the game for a long time," he added. "I'm really enjoying my football here and the new lads who have just come in have made all the difference," he added. "I'm now here to the end of the season and our aim is to keep in this division."
Iron manager Hakan Hayrettin, delighted with his side's win, was also full of praise for the youngster adding: "He's work really hard up front for us since arriving and got his just reward today but I was also pleased with the whole team's performance. They were excellent playing the attacking football I always want and every player fought for every ball and never gave up.
"We now need to keep up this consistency and I believe we can now start picking up points to get us away from the foot of the table," he added.
Bees' boss Darren Currie was scathing of all his players adding: "We were crap, simple as that - a total embarrassment to me and the club and I am totally shocked at the way we failed to show any fight, any determination and any hint of playing the type of football we have been showing."
Barnet's cause was not helped by the third minute sending off of their goalkeeper Mark Cousins for hauling down Morton after the youngster had chased him down, harried him into losing the ball and escaped to slide the ball towards an empty goal. Despite the ball ending in the Barnet goal, the match referee disallowed the goal, awarded a penalty and Morton showed tremendous composure to get to his feet and convert the resultant spot kick.
"It was a disgraceful piece of football by our player but it wasn't the reason we lost this game because that was down to all the players out there - they were pathetic and the home side should have scored double their goals as we were so bad in the second half they had the freedom of the park with four clear cut goal chances," Currie added.
This morale booster for Iron was fully deserved as time and time again they split the Bees' defence wide open with the best attacking display of football seen at Cressing Road for a long time.
On 33 minutes they duly added a second from a superb through ball by Courtney Richards into the path of Morton who took two touches to drill a great shot into the net off the underside of the bar.
The Iron had other first half chances with Danny Rowe, Justin Amaluzar and Luke Allen all missing the target by inches and on 19 minutes Cameron James saw his header come back of the crossbar and that rebound also clipped the woodwork again before being hoofed clear.
Other Iron chances went begging with Amaluzar desperately unlucky not score right on half time when his thunderous first-time shot was acrobatically saved by Barnet substitute keeper Rihards Matrevics.
The second half was a repeat of the first with Iron totally dominant and they added a third on 59 minutes when a high ball into the Bees' area was brilliantly controlled on by Morton on his chest only to be unceremoniously bundled over by Craig Robson, leaving the confident youngster to drill home the spot kick to complete his hat-trick.
Iron kept up the constant attacking pressure and added a fourth on 83 minutes when substitute debutant Iffy Allen picked up a nicely weighted through ball from Morton and easily slotted it home past the exposed Matrevics.
Just as pleasing as the goals for Iron was the clean sheet. With newcomers Andrew Eleftheriou and Rob Atkinson coming into the Iron defence, they have made all the difference alongside Kodi Lyons-Foster, who had another outstanding game, and Ricky Gabriel with the the backline looking as strong as it has all season.
The win still keeps the Iron at the foot of the table but Hayrettin added: "We must keep playing as we have in recent league games, keeping clean sheets. If we do, we give ourselves a chance."
Braintree Town: (4-4-2); Killip; Eleftherious, Atkinson, Lyons-Foster, Gabriel; Luke Allen, James, Rowe (75 Iffy Allen), Richards (84 Sogaf); Morton, Amaluzar. Subs unused: Curran, Della-Verde, Borg. Attendance: 700. Referee: Carl Brook. Next up is a trip up the A1 to visit Hartlepool United this coming Saturday, 26th January, with kick-off at 3pm.

Hak strengthens Iron squad
Two added plus loan extension
Iron Manager Hakan Hayrettin continues to improve his squad with two additions today. Joining the Club are a 21-year old defender and a 24 winger/striker.
Centre-half Daniel Lewis Matsuzaka joins the Club from J3 League side Kataller Toyama FC. The 21-year old defender has been training with Iron for a few days prior to signing for the Club today after receiving his International Clearance from The FA.
Also joining the Club is Ifeanyi "Iffy" Allen from National League South side Dulwich Hamlet. 24-year old Allen began his career at Fulham and Reading, before joining Barnet in 2011 where he signed a contract in 2013. Following his release from Barnet signed for League Two side Yeovil Town in 2015, moving on to Torquay United in February 2016. The following season saw him sign for both Aldershot and Wrexham before spending last season with Bromley and then joined Dulwich Hamlet last September.
The loan of midfielder Cameran James from Colchester United has also been extended into February.

Match Preview - Sat January 19 2019
Braintree Town v Barnet
Barnet are currently 15th in the Vanarama National League on 35 points. Their away record this season is P 12 W 6 D 1 L 5 GF 11 GA 10 Pts 21. Their last 4 away results this season: Won 0-1 v Dagenham & R, Lost 1-0 v Boreham Wood, Lost 1-0 v Ebbsfleet U, Won 1-3 v Hartlepool U. Top scorers this season: Wes Fonguck & Shaquile Coulthirst (2p) - 7, Manny Duku - 4. Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 19 points. Braintree Town home record this season: P 14 W 1 D 3 L 10 GF 11 GA 31 Pts 6. Braintree Town last 4 home results this season: Lost 0-4 v Ebbsfleet U, Drew 1-1 v Boreham Wood, Lost 0-2 v Barrow, Drew 2-2 v Sutton U. Braintree Town scorers this season that remain with the Club are: Della-Verde - 4, Amaluzor - 2
This will be the third meeting between the two clubs this season with the Iron already having travelled twice to the Hive. The League game back in August saw the Iron earn a creditable 1-1 draw; the meeting in the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup saw the Bees triumph 4-2 after the Iron had pulled it back to 2-2, having been two down at the break.
Since that October cup meeting, the Bees have progressed in to the 4th Round proper disposing of EFL2 Bristol Rovers, Stockport County and Championship side Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, courtesy of a Coulthirst penalty. The reward for their endeavours is a home tie against the other Bees - Brentford.
The Bees have also progressed in the FA Trophy beating Bath City and Dorchester Town. They have been drawn away to Carshalton Athletic in the Third Round, a draw that would've seen them meet up with the Iron had we progressed to the same stage. All these cup games mean that Barnet are now playing catch up with the rest in the VNL, with 3 or 4 games in hand, which could propel them in to play-off contention. Since our last meeting, manager John Still has retired from his post and has been replaced by former Bees legend and Still's assistant, Darren Currie, who is currently unbeaten in all competitions.
They also added our former player Mo Bettamer to their squad in addition to former Iron men Dan Sparkes and Simeon Akinola; the latter now getting playing time after a long injury lay-off.
The Iron meanwhile have had time off and Hakan has been looking at more players to boost the relegation battle. Already added are defenders Rob Atkinson, Andrew Elefthiriou and Ross Marshall and re-joining the club is striker Danny Rowe.
With a decent following from Barnet, the Iron faithful need to get behind the boys in their quest for a vital three points.

Talking to Henry Ochieng
taking Kenya forward!
DOB: 11/11/98 (20) Redbridge, Ilford
Previous Clubs: West Ham U (Yth) & Leyton Orient
Position: Midfield
Q. Do you have another job?
A. No
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal
Q. Who has been/is your favourite player?
A. Ngolo Kante (Chelsea)
Q. What is your favourite film?
A. Interstellar
Q. Which social media did you use?
A. Twitter
Q. Who discovered you for West Ham?
A. I was at Buckhurst Hill from Jan and played striker, scoring 28 goals in 3 months when a West Ham scout asked me to go there
Q. Who did you play with in West Ham's Youth team?
A. Declan Rice and Grady Diangana
Q. Who has had the biggest influence on your career so far?
A. Richard Thomas youth development manager. He integrated me into Leyton Orient first team
Q. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A. Strength - passing range. Weakness - aerial duals
Q. You've played for Kenya U23's in Africa U23 Cup of Nations, what are your chances of qualifying?
A. We'll go far. I'm also in the full squad for next year
Q. Who else is in that squad?
A. Victor Wanyama (Spurs)
Q. How did you end up at Braintree?
A. I was released from Orient, went to a few U23's, but they weren't for me, Errol got me back to play in VNL Premier
Q. What have you made of your time here so far?
A. Great lads, great atmosphere, good family club
Q. What is the best ground you've played at?
A. Elland Road, Leeds
Q. Which player has been your hardest opponent?
A. Marcus Edwards at Spurs
Q. How different is football in the VNL compared to U23 football?
A. U23 is all played on the floor, I've had to adapt
Q. Who is the most skilful player in the squad?
Q. How do you pass your time on long away trips?
A. Watching Netflix
Q. Which player has the best singing voice?
A. Marcel Barrington
Q. Where will Braintree finish this season?
A. We'll get out of relegation

New date for Chesterfield visit
Trophy progress for visitors sees date delayed
Following Chesterfield's victory in the FA Trophy on Saturday, their visit to the Cressing Road Stadium for a Vanarama National League match, scheduled for Saturday 2nd February, has been postponed. The match has now been re-arranged for Tuesday, 5th March, with kick-off at 7.45pm.
Next up for Braintree is the visit of Barnet this coming Saturday, 19th January, with kick-off at 3pm.

Iron 'giant-killed' in FA Trophy
FA Trophy 1st Round - Salisbury C v Braintree Town
Iron were the victims of a FA Trophy 'giant-killing', bowing out of the competition at the First Round stage in the twice-rearranged tie at Salisbury on Tuesday evening.
With just twelve players for manager Hakan Hayrettin to choose from following recent squad re-organisations, departures and absenteeism, the home side took a 25th minute lead through Darren Mullings's deflected effort. However, Iron responded positively with Luke Allen cracking a sweet drive off the post from 25 yard on the half-hour.
Salisbury started the second half the better of the two sides and scored what proved to be the winner when the ball was crossed into the Iron 18-yard box for Mullings to sweep the ball into the bottom right corner for his second on 68 minutes.
Iron took the game to the home side late on with both Justin Amaluzar and Callum Morton creating chances but couldn't net a second leveller.
Braintree: Killip, Borg, Lyons-Foster, Gabriel, Curran, Allen, Richard (Barrington 60), Ochieng, Sogaf, Morton and Amaluzar. Un-used subs: Wray, Lamb, Iyayi and Bailey.
No game for Iron this Saturday, with our next fixture on Saturday 19th January, when Braintree entertain Barnet.

Match Preview - Tues 8 January 2018
FA Trophy 1st Round - Salisbury C v Braintree Town
Salisbury F.C are currently 3rd in the Evostik League South on 45 points. Their home record this season is P 12 W 9 D 2 L 1 GF 29 GA 15 Pts 29. Their last 4 home League results this season: Won 1-0 v Frome T, Won 2-1 v Beaconsfield T, Won 4-3 v Wimbourne T, Drew 1-1 v Met Police. Top scorers this season: Tom Whelan & Luke Hopper - 12, Zack Katwica, Lewis Benson & Dan Fitchett - 8.
Braintree T are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 19 points. Braintree T away record this season: P 15 W 3 D 4 L 8 GF 14 GA 22 Pts 13. Braintree T last 4 away League results this season: Drew 0-0 v FC Halifax T, Won 0-1 v Maidenhead U, Lost 4-2 v Ebbsfleet U, Lost 2-1 v Havant & W. Braintree T scorers this season: Della-Verde - 4, Amaluzor - 2.
Since the postponement of the original meeting and subsequent scheduled replay, Salisbury F.C have won three and drawn two of their last five games. They have only been beaten five times all season and their only home League defeat came in their first home fixture back in August. Braintree meanwhile have had mixed fortunes over the same period with five points from five games. There has been progress for Hakan who will be pleased to have kept a clean sheet at Halifax last Saturday. Replay next Saturday 12th - if needed!

Iron re-focus on the Trophy
Third attempt to visit Wiltshire
Following Iron's draw at FC Halifax Town on Saturday, Iron have a fortnight away from Vanarama National League action and can now re-focus on the FA Trophy for a third attempt at a trip to Wiltshire on Tuesday, 8th January, to play their twice postponed First Round tie.
If there is a definite result over 90 minutes on Tuesday evening, the winners will play a Second Round tie at Carshalton Athletic on Saturday.
If Tuesday's match ends as a draw at 90 minutes, the replay (weather permitting) will be on Saturday, 12th January at Cressing Road, with the replay winners then set to visit Carshalton a week on Tuesday, 15th January.

Iron battle for a point in Yorkshire
New look side secure second successive away clean-sheet
Braintree made the long journey up the A1 to visit Yorkshire side FC Halifax Town and came home with a point from a goal-less draw.
Iron were arguably the better of the two sides during a cagey first forty-five minutes with Justin Amaluzar's effort coming closest to breaking the early deadlock, while a miss-placed clearance from Halifax's Joe Skarz could have ended in his own net!
After the interval the home side took the initiative but the new look Iron defence held firm. Braintree weathered that early second half pressure and forced their way into the game and it was to Amaluzar again who nearly opened the scoring when his effort from the edge of the 18-yard box skimmed the far upright.
But defences proved to be on top and Iron had to settle for a point.
Braintree: Killip, Eleftheriou, Allen (Della-Verde 80), Atkinson, Gabriel, Lyons-Foster, Barrington (Rowe 73), James, Richards, Morton, Amaluzor. Un-used subs: Blackmore, Curran, Borg.

Four join Iron squad
Three defenders and a striker
Hakan Hayrettin has added four players to his squad. Joining the Club are:
20 year old defender Robert Atkinson from Fulham - a left-footed central defender with good technique and size, he likes to play with the ball at his feet and has settled in well at the heart of the Fulham Under-23s'. Previous non-League experience with Basingstoke Town.
21-year old defender Andrew Eleftheriou from Watford on a long-term loan for the remainder of the season; and
19-year old defender Ross Marshall from Ipswich Town on work experience.
Also rejoining the Club from Boston United is 22-year old forward Danny Rowe.

Match Preview - Sat 5 January 2019
F.C. Halifax T v Braintree Town
F.C. Halifax T U are currently 17th in the Vanarama National League on 32 points. Their home record this season is P 13 W 5 D 5 L 3 GF 14 GA 9 Pts 20. Their last 4 home results this season: Drew 1-1 v Harrogate T, Lost 0-1 v Sutton U, Drew 1-1 v Boreham Wood, Won 1-0 v Dover A. Top scorers this season: Dayle Southwell - 7 (2p), Nathan Clarke & Matty Kosylo - 5, Jordan Preston - 4. Braintree T are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League on 18 points.
Braintree T away record this season: P 13 W 2 D 3 L 8 GF 13 GA 22 Pts 9. Braintree T last 4 away results this season: Won 0-1 v Maidenhead U, Lost 4-2 v Ebbsfleet U, Lost 2-1 v Havant & W, Lost 3-1 v Harrogate T. Braintree T scorers this season: Della-Verde - 4, Amaluzor - 2.
F.C. Halifax T made a good start to the season with 5 wins out of their opening 7 fixtures in August. They opened their campaign against the Iron with a comfortable two-nil victory playing a very direct style of football. During this spell they had a brief stay at the top of the VNL Premier table. Since those heady days they have only mustered two victories which have seen them slip down to seventeenth.
They are joint fifth lowest scorers (26 goals) in the League and second in the number of draws they have achieved - eleven. They made it to the second round of the F.A. Cup, overcoming Warrington and Morecombe, before being eliminated at home to AFC Wimbledon.
It was a poor start for 2019 for the Iron with a 4-0 defeat to in-form Ebbsfleet United. With goals at a premium for both sides a single goal may be enough to take all three points. Something the Iron did last time out on the road at Maidenhead!

Talking to Marcel Barrington
all about beating the odds of gaining promotion
DOB: 28/8/95 (23) Born: London
Previous clubs (L=Loan): Stoke C, Harrow B (L), Leicester C, Nuneaton T (L), Bishops S (L), Walton Casuals, Tooting & Mitcham (x2), Margate, Grays A (L), Hendon
Position: Striker
Q. What is your job?
A. Sports Coach
Q. Who do you support?
A. Arsenal & Juventus
Q. Who is your favourite current Arsenal player?
A. Torreira
Q. What are you listening to in the car at the moment?
A. One Acen
Q. What was the last film you saw?
A. Creed 2
Q. You've played in a few different forward positions, which do you prefer?
A. I don't mind as long as I'm contributing to the team
Q. Were there any other offers for you in the summer or were you always going to sign again for Braintree?
A. I had offers from other clubs in the VNL, but I wanted to stay here to build on the success of last season
Q. What do you remember of last season's play-off final?
A. It was kind of a blur, but I remember Dan Thompson beating 4 men to cross for Reece's goal
Q. What are your personal highlights of last season?
A. Beating the odds of gaining promotion, despite finishing 6th
Q. You were injured in pre-season what was the injury?
A. It wasn't an injury; it was surgery on my knee
Q. You were out for quite a while, how did you cope with that?
A. It wasn't too bad, I knew it would be a long recovery, I just kept positive
Q. You mentioned last time that you played alongside Ben Chilwell, are you pleased to see him play for England, have you spoken to him about it?
A. Yes very pleased for him. I wished him well, he's a good player and I told him to keep doing what he's done
Q. What is the best worst ground you've played at?
A. Havant, maybe down the bad weather on the day
Q. Which players from last season would you like to have seen stay?
A. Marc Okoye, he was a big influence and Reece, but good luck to him going full-time
Q. You represented Guyana playing against French Guyana in November; there are quite a few VNL players in that squad, who are your best players?
A. Neil Danns (Bury), Sam Cox (Hampton & RB), Emery Welshman (F C Cincinnati)
Q. What differences have you noticed under Danny Searle's coaching?
A. A lot more shot sessions. There's more purpose and you know what's required of you.
Q. Which of the new players has impressed you and why?
A. Mo Sagaf - he's tidy and competent, Justin Amaluzor - he's very direct and a threat
Q. Who is in charge of the dressing room music?
A. It's shared, usually whoever gets in first
Q. Who has the best and worst dance moves?
A. Best - Mo Sagaf, worst - Christian Frimpong
Q. Where will Braintree finish?
A. NOT IN RELEGATION PLACES!


Promotion Final Early Bird Ticket Offer
Saturday 11th May 2019 at Wembley Stadium
The Vanarama National League has released details of the opportunity for ALL football fans to purchase Early Bird tickets for their Promotion Final on Saturday 11th May 2019 at Wembley Stadium connected by EE.
Tickets are now on sale and will remain available as outlined below direct from Wembley Stadium Ticketing Portal. This offer is only available on-line.
There is also an option for 'Print at Home' (PAH)
EARLY BIRD offer - up to and including 28th February 2019:
Adults: £20
Seniors (Over 60): £10
Under 16: FREE **
(** 1 free U16 ticket can be ordered for each ticket sold at Adult or Senior price).
Additional tickets for Under 16 over the above allowance can be purchased at £5 each.
Early Bird sales are made even more attractive as no booking fee is charged.
Please be advised no ticket is refundable once purchased through the Early Bird option.
Disabled seated allocation is available directly through Wembley Stadium and details are also available on-line.
WEMBLEY TICKET PORTAL: https://ticketingcontent.thefa.com//Vanarama%202019
Notes:
General Admission Ticket prices for the Promotion Final will be announced in April.
Early Bird tickets will NOT be forwarded to purchasers until the two competing finalist clubs are confirmed. This will allow for ticket allocation to be made in blocks for any group of supporters of a neutral club wishing to be in the same area. Initial purchase therefore will be placed into holding blocks for the time being.
In order for this to be offered, each purchaser will be required to nominate which National League member club they align themselves to or they may indicate a 'No Preference' neutral option.
Supporters of the two clubs who do reach the Promotion Final and who purchase Early Bird tickets will be allocated their tickets for the correct area of the stadium when allotted to each finalist club.

Iron beaten on New Year's Day
Contentious penalty ends game as a contest
Braintree Town started 2019 with a disappointing four-goal home defeat by Ebbsfleet United on New Year's Day.
From the previous Saturday's winning team at Maidenhead, Joe Ellul left the Club to take up a year-long full time contract in New Zealand and his place in the side was taken by Ejiro Okosieme. Courtney Richards took over as captain.
Iron conceded after just three minutes when Cody McDonald headed home from a corner.
A second came mid-way through the first half, with another corner being headed past Killip by former Iron striker Michael Cheek.
After the break Iron took the game to the Kent side, with both Oscar Borg and Callum Morton having chances.
But the game as a contest effectively ended on the hour when a challenge by Ricky Gabriel two yards outside the box was judged to be inside the area by referee Josh Smith. Cheek converted from the spot for 3-0.
Ebbsfleet added a fourth with 11 minutes remaining when Corey Whitely beat Killip from a tight angle.
Braintree Town: Killip, Muleba, Okosieme, Gabriel, Lyons-Foster (Curran 79), Borg (Barrington 55), James, Richards, Della-Verde (Clayton-Phillips 66), Morton, Amaluzor. Un-used subs: Allen and Sagaf. Referee: Josh Smith. Gate: 752.




FORTHCOMING GAMES
Saturday 23 February, 3pm
ALDERSHOT TOWN (HOME)
Saturday 2 March, 3pm
Dover Athletic (Away)
Tuesday 5 March, 7.45pm
CHESTERFIELD (HOME)
Saturday 9 March, 3pm
HARROGATE TOWN (HOME)

HOW WE STAND