"Let's go to work!"
Braintree Town have appointed Hakan Hayrettin as their new first team manager. After a successful playing career in both the Football League and in senior non-League football, Hakan managed for ten years at Waltham Forest, Thurrock and Grays Athletic.
In the summer of 2013 he was invited to join John Still at Luton Town and was part of the successful management team that secured the Conference title and promotion back to the Football League in 2014 (despite losing 3-2 at home to Braintree Town in front of 10,000 at Kenilworth Road!) He remained at Luton in the Football League until leaving with John Still last December.
He met with the Braintree players this evening and will take training this week before Saturday's trip to Lincoln City.
Hakan was delighted to join the Club: "I won't promise miracles, but we'll all be working very hard to turn our fortunes around and that started tonight. As I said to the lads earlier: Let's go to work!"
"He's given it everything!"
First team manager Jamie Day has left the Club by mutual agreement. Jamie joined Braintree Town in difficult circumstances during the summer and over-saw the re-building of the first team squad. However, results have not been as good as both the Club and Jamie would have hoped, with just two wins from the first twelve games of the season. The Club's Board met on Saturday evening and decided that it was time for a change and Chairman Lee Harding spoke with Jamie on Sunday morning and reached an agreement.
Harding was disappointed: "It's a real shame for both the Club and Jamie, because he's given the job everything he can. Over the past few months we've spoken almost daily and I know how hard Jamie has worked to bring in players to make us competitive. But we're all in the results business and the league table does not lie. The view of the Board was that change now allows sufficient time for fresh ideas and a fresh approach to turn our season around. We intend to move quickly and hope to have a new manager in place as soon as possible."
As ever, more news when we have it!
Forest Green hold on to first half lead
A penalty miss from midfielder Chez Isaac seventeen minutes from the end proved a costly mistake for the Iron as they went down to another one goal defeat at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium on Saturday.
Isaac had won the spot kick himself when he was hauled down in the area on his way through to goal but his low spot shot was saved by visiting keeper Sam Russell and with it when the chance of a home point for the Iron.
It left manager Jamie Day again frustrated by his players not taking their goal scoring chances in the second half, exactly a replica of the previous Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Chester where the Iron dominated the second period.
"It's disappointing to have not picked up at least a point because I felt in the second half we played much better, were stronger of the two sides and created chances we should have taken," he said. "Had we scored the penalty we had all the momentum going forward at that stage and again we worked hard to create further chances but simply couldn't finish them off."
Day, who was forced to give a debut to on-loan keeper Will Puddy from Bristol Rovers replacing the injured Sam Beasant, went on: "We set our stall out from the off to contain them and frustrate their strong attack which we did excellently until we conceded a poor goal on 38 minutes.
"That was disappointing too because the players had done the job required in the first half to contain them and I was hoping to be on level terms at half time," he explained. "They are obviously good team with far more financial resources than we have but out players were up for it and worked their socks off."
He added: "We know we have got to start picking up points and we will because the recent performances have been so much better despite missing key players with injuries."
It was almost one-way traffic for the visitors in the first half as they dominated the game with midfielder Liam Noble literally running the game and with the Iron stringing five across the middle of the park it left Michael Cheek up front as the sole striker.
The visitors broke the deadlock on 38 minutes when former Barnet striker Keanu Marsh-Brown was given time and room to fire a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the Iron net.
Keeper Puddy said he was disappointed at conceding the goal but his vision was blocked by two players adding: "As a result I saw it so late that I couldn't get down quick enough to parry it.
"But I think we played much better in the second half, defended better and we should have taken something from the game," he added.
After such a poor first half and then a severe talking to by Day during the interval the Iron came out in a more attacking mode with players showing more aggression and commitment than they had in the first period.
The impressive loanee midfielder Sam Matthews sent an early curling shot just over the bar and twice Simeon Akinola, who caused problems for the visiting rearguard whenever he had the ball, came close to grabbing an equaliser.
Shortly before the Iron were awarded their penalty it was Cheek who forced a great save from Russell and seconds later Matthews again, Isaac and then again Akinola all created half chances with the visitors' defence put under severe pressure.
Even when the Iron failed from the penalty spot they still kept forcing the visitors into making mistakes and home fans were just hoping for a slice of luck to see their side equalise.
But despite all the huffing and puffing the equaliser never came and the Iron were left to rue not only the penalty miss but several other good chances in the second half.
Braintree Town: Puddy; Braham-Barrett, Okimo, Goodman, Cowgill; Lee, Matthews (Goodship 73), Isaac, Corne; Cheek, Akinola. Unused subs: Gayle, Williams, Barnard, Maybanks. Attendance: 621. Referee: Dean Treleaven
Next up for the Iron is an away trip to Lincoln City this coming Saturday, 1st October.
Puddy joins from Bristol Rovers
Braintree Town Manager Jamie Day has added Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Will Puddy on loan prior to tomorrow's Vanarama National League fixture at home to Forest Green Rovers. The 28 year old custodian was part of Bristol Rovers 2015 Conference winning side and has made nineteen appearances for the League One side.
Plenty of possession, but no goals
Iron manager Jamie Day was again left a bitterly disappointed man after seeing his side lose again despite having created goal scoring chances that were wasted whilst dominating much of the second half at Chester on Saturday.
"We simply have to be more ruthless in front of goal because we are creating chances but simply not taking them," he declared. "Whilst we looked stronger at the back we again gave away a sloppy goal and in the end paid the price."
He went on: "We had a shaky first 20 minutes when players were trying to find themselves and it was perhaps because of the long journey up to the game but again that's no real excuse.
"Once we had conceded such a poor goal on the quarter hour we began to work better together and again created chances and in the second half we dominated and I felt they weren't really in the game," he continued. "But we cannot seem to score and we have to put that right quickly and also be more consistent in our overall play for the whole 90 minutes.
"We should have taken at least a point from the game and there were positives we can take moving forward but we have to start picking up points when we can, like in this kind of game," Day said. "We will working on things this week because we have two really tough games coming up, against Forest Green Rovers and Lincoln City, and I want to put right some of the things we are not doing so at the moment - we must get points on the board now."
The one bright spot for Day was the debut of on loan central defender Jack Cowgill from Barnsley who came in at the back because of an injury to Jake Goodman and a one match suspension for Ian Gayle and had an outstanding game.
"I had been to watch him play earlier in the week for Barnsley and was impressed with what I saw and today he didn't disappoint and I think he will be a big asset to the side during his month's stay," he added.
The Iron started the game well with another loanee - Brandon Goodship from Bournemouth - forcing a fantastic one-handed save by home keeper Liam Roberts who managed to tip his first time shot on the turn over the bar.
Two minutes later it was Simeon Akinola who almost scored when he jinked his way inside from the right wing only to see his low, left-foot curling shot hit the foot of the far post before being cleared.
But two minutes later the Iron were behind when they gave away a terrible goal when the ball should have been cleared.
It stemmed from a high left wing corner from Elliott Durrell which Iron keeper Sam Beasant should have dealt better with and punched the ball clear but he came and missed it and in the ensuing goalmouth melee the ball dropped kindly straight at the feet of Sam Hughes who stabbed it into the net.
It was a body blow to the Iron and for a brief spell they were on the backfoot and to the credit of Beasant he pulled off a fine save at the expense of a corner shortly afterwards and twice later in the second he was alert enough to deny the home side a possible second goal.
The Iron cause had not been helped either by the loss of the impressive young Sam Matthews two minutes before the home side scored after he had crudely been elbowed in the mouth by a home defender, forcing him to be substituted.
Unfortunately referee Ryan Johnson failed to take any action over the offence leaving Matthews to go off to see the home club doctor and receive three stitches in a mouth wound.
The second half was overall a better one than the first for the Iron with the players working hard and trying to cause a few problems for the home defence which they did but again their failure in front of goal was to cost them dear.
Twice Akinola saw his shots charged down, Chez Isaac and Michael Cheek just missed their timings with that final delivery while both Goodship and Craig Braham-Barratt saw their efforts go wide of the target.
The longer the game went on the more likely the Iron seemed as though they would at least grab an equaliser but in the end they ran out of time leaving it a frustrating afternoon for Day and the loyal band of supporters who had made the long trek up north.
"We've got work to do in the week ready for the visit of Forest Green Rovers on Saturday and I do feel we are getting things right," added Day who will have both the suspended Gayle and injured Goodman back for that game while Joe Midson says he is prepared to have pain-killing injections to get him back into contention too. Braintree Town: Beasant; Okimo, Ashton, Cowgill, Braham-Barratt; Matthews (Barnard 14), Isaac, Corne, Goodship; Cheek (Maybanks 78), Akinola. Unused subs were Williams, Lee, Strizovic. Attendance: 1,590.
Barnsley centre-half joins on loan
Braintree Town manager Jamie Day has strengthened his defensive options prior to Saturday's Vanarama National League trip to Chester with the loan signing of 19 year old centre half Jack Cowgill from Sky Bet Championship side Barnsley. Cowgill began his career with the Yorkshire club, progressing through the club's academy and signed a professional contract in August 2014. He made his Football League debut on 13 December 2014 in a 3-1 defeat against Walsall and has played two games for the Oakwell first team to date.
Late goal in each half secure three points
Braintree Town made the short journey around the M25 to visit Sutton United on Tuesday evening and came home with three points following a 2-1 victory. The home side looked the better of the two sides early on and took the lead on 35 minutes when Kevin Amankwaah was fouled on the edge of the 18 yard box, but earned his side a penalty which was converted by Nicky Bailey.
Iron were level just before the break when Chez Isaac levelled from the spot after Michael Cheek was denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity in the home penalty area.
After the break Iron had arguably the better of the exchanges with Sim Akinola best placed to score before Isaac added his second late into time added on.
On the break, the ball was swept wide to Chez who took a touch before rifling his effort for 25-yards into the far right corner.
The three points keeps Braintree just a point adrift of twentieth place. Next up for Iron is another trip, this time to Chester, next Saturday, 17th September with kick-off at 3pm.
Cheeky gets us back into the game but ...
Iron lost their second successive home Vanarama National League match on Saturday, going down by four goals to one to visitors Gateshead. Braintree had arguably the better of the early exchanges and had a reasonable shout of a penalty, but fell behind mid-way through the first half when Reece Styche chased down Pat McLaughlin's pass before steering his shot past the exposed Sam Beasant.
Styche added a second seven minutes after the re-start when he tucked Mitch Brundle's pass past Beasant. Michael Cheek pulled a goal back for Braintree on 57 minutes when he reacted quickly to score after Jake Goodman's attempt had hit the woodwork. But hopes of securing a point faded when McLaughlin added Gateshead's third on 70 minutes and ended when Wes York scored the visitors fourth with eight minutes remaining.
After the game Iron Manager Jamie Day was disappointed: "I thought we started well enough, but too many defensive errors have cost us today. We got back into the game at 2-1, but the nature of the third and fourth goals have killed it for us. All of the lads have had a fair chance now and it is obvious that more changes will have to be made in the weeks ahead."
Next up for Braintree is a trip to Sutton United this coming Tuesday evening, 13th September, with kick-off at 7.45pm
Iron keeper moves on
Braintree Town Manager Jamie Day has agreed with goalkeeper Jamie Butler for his contract with the Club to be terminated and for him to move on to another club. Jamie Butler made six first team appearances and kept two clean sheets during his time with the Iron. All at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium wish him well for the future.
Iron share goal-less draw in the Yorkshire rain
Iron made the long journey up the A1 to visit a rain-sodden Guiseley on Saturday and came home with a point from a dour goal-less draw. With debutant keeper Sam Beasant in for Jamie Butler and loanee striker Brandon Goodship in for the injured Michael Cheek, Iron struggled to come to terms with a hard-working home side still in search of their first points of the season during the first half.
The best chance of the opening 45 minutes came as the interval approached. Guiseley's Jordan Preston tried his luck with a low drive from the right which new Braintree keeper Beasant did well to steer onto his upright and away to safety.
After the break Iron had more of the possession, but chances were few and far between, with both sides set on retaining their clean sheet. Probably the best effort during the second half came late on to Chez Isaac who saw his effort dip just wide of the target.
After the game Iron boss Jamie Day was pragmatic: "It was difficult in the rain and not a great game. But we've kept a clean sheet and that's something for us to build on."
Former Cambridge custodian joins Iron
Iron manager Jamie Day has continued his adjustments to the first team squad by bringing in last season's Cambridge United goalkeeper Sam Beasant. The 28 year old 'keeper started his career in Cyprus before spells at Maidenhead United, Billericay Town and Woking, where he played 32 games during 2013-14. The summer of 2014 saw the 6'5" custodian move to Football League side Stevenage, playing 11 games, before signing a one-year deal last summer at Cambridge United where he made 19 appearances.
Matthews & Goodship join on long-term loan
Braintree Town have signed 19-year old midfielder Sam Matthews and 22-year old Brandon Goodship on long-term loan from FA Premier Leaguers AFC Bournemouth.
IronmongeryDirect join the family
Braintree Town are pleased to unveil new Stadium and Shirt Sponsors.
After a summer of ifs and buts from our previous sponsors, we had an opportunity to bring another company into the family at Cressing Road and early negotiations went exceptionally went well. Following the previous sponsors confirming that they would be pulling out of the three season agreement that they had signed after just one season, we are delighted to welcome and introduce to you our friends and the staff from IronmongeryDirect.
IronmongeryDirect are the UK's largest specialist ironmongery supplier, supplying architectural ironmongery to builders, joiners and shop fitters for over 40 years. They have over 15,500 quality products in stock and ready for next day delivery, all of which have low locked down prices which are reviewed regularly to guarantee exceptional value for money.
Their huge range includes door furniture, door handles, hinges, cabinet hardware, door closers and much more. They also offer a wide selection of popular finishes such as brass, chrome, pewter and stainless steel, ensuring that they will have the item of ironmongery you are looking for to complete any job. For added convenience they offer free 30 day returns on all purchases, and trade customers can also open a 60-day interest free trade account.
We have agreed a partnership initially spanning over a two-year period, with options to work on other projects during that time, and also to restart planning early in 2018 to start working towards to where the partnership goes next.
This is very much a club sponsorship which will see our Academy and our Reserve sides all wearing the same kit as our First Team squad both home and away, and on top of that IronmongeryDirect have also sponsored the Community Iron Apprenticeship Program which will allow former students to go out into the Braintree and Witham District's coaching in local schools and clubs to give them a pathway into Braintree Town Football Club.
We would like to thank the Staff, Managers, and Directors of IronmongeryDirect, we are delighted to have you on board and we are very much looking to what this partnership will bring, thanks again for the numbers of your staff that turned up on Saturday in uniform to fill the stands with colour and great brand awareness.
We would also like to thank at this stage all our new and existing sponsors, player, program and pitch side, our club needs you all and if any of you would be interested in working with us in any way please feel free to give Mark Sansom a call and we can discuss the opportunities we have available.
Day complains about passion and desire
Iron's defensive frailties were again exposed and led to their fourth defeat of the season at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium at Cressing Road on Bank Holiday Monday and there were no complaints over the result at the end from a disappointed manager Jamie Day.
He kept his players locked in the dressing room after the final whistle to let them know what he thought of most of the team in one of the worse Iron performance for a long time.
In their first five seasons at national level the backbone of the Iron's success has been a strong and well drilled defence but that's something Day knows he now needs to work on and he says he won't hesitate to bring new faces in to help.
In this game having conceded a goal through sloppy defending midway through the first half they pulled themselves together and scored a well taken equaliser nine minute later only to then go and give the visitors the lead again with another goal through schoolboy defending three minutes later.
Iron did improve a little after the interval but never really looked like breaking a stout visiting rearguard down before they gave away another goal 15 minutes from time when the visitors' Luke Young strode through, splitting wide open the Iron defence to score a third goal and with it a deserved victory.
A frustrated Day said afterwards: "I've told them a few home truths and the first is that you have to have passion and desire to win a football match and we didn't have that today from far too many players.
"I've made it clear that I will bring in new players because we can't have that and you can't carry players," he continued. "You do that against teams at this level and you get punished which is what happened today."
He went on: "Some of them seem to not want to get stuck in and tackle and also take some responsibility. Half the squad today didn't do that and reaching the levels they are capable of."
With two strikers Michael Cheek and Jack Midson missing through injury, Day was forced to leave Lee Barnard up front on his own with support coming from a four strong midfield but it simply didn't happen and Barnard was left to have a frustrating afternoon with little or not help so it was no surprise that the Iron lacked a cutting edge in front of goal.
"I am really disappointed at the overall team performance barring literally one or two individuals and I won't accept it, and neither will supporters, watching players simply going through the motions," he continued. "It doesn't matter what formation you play and you can try and change as we did today but if you don't have the boys who want to run around and get stuck in and tackle it doesn't matter."
He added: "Unless you have 11 players out there who want to play for the shirt and for me and are willing to put tackles in, wanting to get in the box to scored goals and block shots went needed you aren't going to win any games."
Clearly riled by certain individual performances on the day the manager has made it clear he won't put up with it and Iron fans can expect some changes to be made in the coming days.
"There was no heart or desire there from some and I won't put up with it because you have to be prepared to bust a gut and fight for every ball and some didn't want to," he added. "Every player has to take responsibility but today quite a few failed to do so and I am really disappointed with some individuals."
In reality the visitors are not by quite a way a strong side in the league but the Iron's display made them look like world beaters at time and it was not surprise when they took the lead on 21 minutes when Jamie Reid was allowed so much time and space to score with a low shot into the Iron net.
Just 11 minutes later the Iron gave themselves a lifeline when good work by Simeon Akinola saw the ball chipped to the far post where Craig Braham-Barrett headed home.
But the Iron's joy was short-lived when three minutes later the defence should have cleared the ball and keeper Jamie Butler then flapped at the ball when he should have been stronger and punched it well away.
But the ball ran kindly to Giancarlo Gakkifuoco who somehow managed to squeeze the ball through a static cluster of players in Iron's backline to find the net.
To their credit after the interval, Iron came back more into the game but again there was no cutting edge in attack and long, high hopeful balls up from the Iron defence were meat and drink to the physically strong and tall visiting defence.
The game was effectively settled 15 minutes from time when again poor defending from Iron allowed Young to stroll through and pick his spot to beat the stranded Butler for their third goal.
Overall there can be no complaints from the Iron camp because the visitors deserved their win and three points and their players showed far greater determination and commitment to the cause over the 90 minutes than the Iron players.
Day will need the coming week to sort matters out before the side make the trip to Leeds on Saturday to take on basement side Guiseley where three points for the Iron will be so crucial.
Braintree Town: Butler; Williams, Okimo, Gayle (Goodman 51), Ashton; Corne, Isaac, Lee (Gordon 72), Braham-Barrett (Maybanks 88); Barnard. Unused subs: Fagan, Strizovic. Attendance: 892. Referee: Carl Brook.
Iron see lead slip away
Iron are still searching for their first away win of the season after giving away two goals allowing their hosts to come from behind to snatch all three points with the winning goal arriving just three minutes from the end at the Furness Building Society Stadium on Saturday.
It left manager Jamie Day bitterly disappointed from a game he thought they could have won adding: "We should have taken at least a point from the game and had we taken the clear chances we had in either half we would have won and deservedly so.
"I thought we were well in control for long periods in the game and didn't really feel threatened but we switched off twice and paid the penalty in allowing them to score each time and you can't afford to do that at this level," he continued. "To concede a winning goal so late in the game is really disappointing and after the boys had put in a good shift."
Day went on: "We knew they used a long throw a lot but then for that winning goal we didn't clear our lines properly from it and were punished because we didn't react after the initial shot.
"Having taken the lead in the first half, played well and felt in control we again conceded a poor equaliser late in the first half but even then in the second half I was confident that we would get something from the game," he continued. "We had to dig in at times but we expected that and overall we defended well throughout the game but just switched off twice at crucial times and we paid for it."
He added: "I don't think they once opened us up from open play and we had some decent chances but on reflection we didn't really work their keeper hard enough either. It was a good, solid performance but we have to learn to take our chances when we get them and had we in this game we would be making the long journey back with all three points and smiles on all the faces of the players."
It was the experienced Jack Midson who missed a decent chance in the first half and two easier opportunities to score in the second half as the Iron more than held their own against a side unbeaten at home this season.
They had taken the lead on 21 minutes when Midson was fouled in the area and Chez Isaac coolly slotted home the resultant spot kick and for most of the half the Iron were the better side before they conceded the equaliser on 42 minutes much against the run of play.
It came from a long throw into the Iron area where the ball was headed over keeper Jamie Butler by Byron Harrison and came back off the underside of the Iron bar and with defenders hesitating Richard Bennett simply stabbed the ball home.
It was a bad time for the Iron to give away and an equaliser but to their credit they came out strongly in the second and again created chances while up at the other end when the home side did threaten young keeper Butler pulled off two fine saves to keep his side in the game.
The Iron continued to push forward for that crucial winning goal and twice Midson wasted chances to have scored before again a moment's lack of concentration at the back, from another long throw-in, saw them concede a goal to their hosts.
A lapse in the Iron defence allowed Alex-Ray Harvey to shoot and when his effort came back off the foot of a post it was left to the unmarked Harrison to tap the ball into the net for the winning goal.
It was a bitter blow to the Iron who had over the 90 minutes done more than enough to have at least come away with a point and had they taken their chances they could have had all three points.
Iron's cause was not help by the enforced early second half substitution of Michael Cheek with a calf injury that makes him doubtful for Bank Holiday Monday's home game against Torquay.
"We'll have to see how it goes but he must a big doubt for that game while injuries to both Chez Isaac (knee) and Simeon Akinola (ankle) will make them doubtful too," said Day. "But we will be ready to go and even more determined to make it another home win."
Braintree Town: Butler; Williams, Okimo, Ashton, Goodman; Corne, Isaac, Lee, Akinola; Cheek (Braham-Barrett 48), Midson. Unused subs: Gayle, Fagan, Gordon. Attendance: 966.
Next game for the Iron is on Bank Holiday Monday at home to Torquay Utd with a 3pm kick off.
Goodman & Akinola secure 2-0 win
Iron picked up their first league win of the new season with a competent and workmanlike performance against an in-form Aldershot side at the Cressing Road Stadium on Saturday.
A fine headed goal by defender Jake Goodman from an accurate Harry Lee corner after only eight minutes gave the Iron the best possible start and although the visitors pressurised the home defence in the early part of the second half, it was a fine individual goal by Simeon Akinola on 76 minutes that sealed the points.
With his first win as Iron boss Jamie Day was delighted at the way his side worked hard and showed more consistency than in any previous games so far this season adding: "Everyone put a good shift in and I emphasised to the players before the game not to concede an early goal.
"I wanted to try and keep us on the front foot from the off and we did that which helped us to a crucial early goal with Jake's brilliant header," he continued. "We knew it was going to be tough because they are a good side and they did come at us strongly at times but I thought defensively we were strong and coped with the danger.
"Obviously a win gives all the players confidence which has been a bit missing so far but we're up and running although there's still a lot of work to do in re-building this side," he went on.
Day made four changes from the midweek Maidstone defeat with keeper Jamie Butler back in goal after his suspension, Goodman coming into central defence for the suspended Jon Ashton and Michael Cheek starting up front and in midfield Chez Isaac returned from injury after missing the last three games.
It was Isaac's return that proved the most productive as he gave the midfield more authority for the Iron than in recent games and linked up well with newcomer Harry Lee.
"Chez is experienced at this level and I think working alongside Harry gave us a better midfield performance and again something for us to work on for our next game," said Day.
Young Butler also made an improved return in goal pulling off two crucial saves, one in the first half from Callum Reynolds and one from Matt McClure in the second half when the visitors looked more of a threat.
"He did well for us throughout the game and I know for him keeping a clean sheet will again do his confidence so much," said Day.
Certainly the Iron survived odd periods of pressure from the visitors who often let themselves down when they reach the Iron area but full marks to the home defence in which Goodman and Ian Gayle were outstanding.
Goodman said: "I've known and played with Ian a long time so I think we worked well together quite easily."
On his early goal he said: "I like to come up from the back and score goals when I can and I had told Harry where to put the ball over from corners and he did just that and I was able to score my second goal for the club.
"I felt we were always in control even though we sat back a bit in the early part of the second half and invited them on us but we coped well and I think this win will make all the difference with the team's confidence," said Goodman. "You have to be dogged at times and I think at times in this game we did just that and everyone was determined to get into the winning habit."
It was certainly an overall much improved performance from the Iron and they only let themselves occasionally with some sloppy play, like not making accurate passes to one another.
"Again that's something we are working on and players are now beginning to understand how each of them play and there was certainly more cohesion in the side in this game," added Day.
With the Iron 1-0 up the interval they badly needed that vital second goal to give them some breathing space but home fans had to wait until the 76th minute before it came and what a superbly taken one it was by Akinola.
The Iron counter-attacked strongly and the ball was swept out to Cheek just over the half way line on the right wing and he sprinted clear before delivering a pin-point pass to the on-rushing Akinola who half volleyed home a first time shot into the far corner of the visitors' net giving keeper Mark Smith no chance. The initial gap in midfield had been provided by the experienced Lee Barnard who pulled his marker away allowing Cheek a free run.
The goal effectively ended any further real threat from the visitors and the Iron shut up shop with their two-goal lead to run out deserved winners.
Braintree Town: Butler; Williams, Okimo, Gayle, Goodman; Midson (Corne 72), Isaac (Gordon 72), Lee, Akinola (Braham-Barrett 84); Cheek, Barnard. Unused subs: Fagan, Maybanks. Attendance: 677. Referee: Dean Treleaven.
Next up for the Iron is the long trip this Saturday to Barrow with the players and manager journeying up Friday to stay overnight and fresh for the game kicking off at 3pm.
Captain's dismissal compounds a difficult evening
Iron are still searching for their first win of the season after this defeat on their first ever visit to the Gallagher Stadium on Tuesday evening and, for the second game in succession, they ended with ten men on the field.
Going behind after only four minutes from a close range shot by Bobby-Joe Taylor meant the Iron had their backs to the wall from the start and this was further exacerbate on the half hour when the same player added a controversial second goal despite clearly being in an offside position before scoring.
After weathering the early pressure from a rampant home side, urged on by a 2.242 crowd, the Iron did come into the game more and should have had a penalty 15 minutes from time when Ian Gayle was unceremoniously hauled down in the home penalty area.
The one bright spot was the impressive sole Iron goal on 93 minutes from young substitute Joe Maybanks who drove the ball low into the home net from just inside the area.
The black spot though was the 80th minute sending off by referee Chris O'Donnell of Iron skipper Jon Ashton who was caught out with a long through ball from the home defence forcing him to haul down Alex Fisher to prevent a goal scoring opportunity.
Iron manager Jamie Day though remained upbeat at the end although admitted the side still had a lot of basic groundwork to do to become an effective cohesive unit and he was disappointed at their overall performance.
"We conceded an early goal that naturally put us on the back foot as they came out of the blocks strongly and caught us unaware," he said. "We gradually managed to get ourselves back in the game and then we concede an offside goal that should clearly not have been allowed.
"But things like that happen in football and you need a little bit of luck along the way and that was in short supply this evening," he continued. "I know it will come right and obviously a win will give so much confidence to all the players."
Day admitted he had no qualms about Ashton's sending off "because he was caught out with one ball over the top and the player was too quickly on to the ball."
He added: "It means our captain will now be suspended but I have Jake Goodman as a ready made stand-in for this Saturday's home game against Aldershot and hopefully too midfielder Chez Isaac should be fit to resume."
Day had already been forced into finding a suitable stand-in goalkeeper for this game after Jamie Butler's sending off on Saturday and 22 year-old Ross Fitzsimmons did well after a shaky start pulling off some fine saves in the second half.
Day added: "It's early days and I'm not panicking because we have to build a completely new side and it takes time for players at this level to adjust to one another and we'll dust ourselves down, train hard on Thursday and work a few more things out and be ready for Saturday.
One delightful face at the end of the game was understandably Maybanks who scored his first senior competitive goal for the club and added: "I've been itching to get off the bench and on the field of play to have a go and show what I can do.
"I was pleased with my goal although it was disappointing to lose the game after we came back well from going two goals down," he added.
Although the home side, a clearly well-knitted unit having come up together through last season's promotion, showed plenty of pace and cohesion going forward when the Iron did put pressure on the back four it caused them all kinds of problems.
In what was a high tempo game with end to end football and a more even second half it was the Iron who almost equalised on 11 minutes when a Harry Lee free-kick was frantically snatched at the last moment by home keeper Lee Worgan.
From another Iron corner - they had 12 corners to United's five all evening - it was Lee's cross that caused the home defence jitters with the ball finally kissing the angle of the right hand post.
Lee Barnard than went close with a fine header and just before the interval Simeon Akinola twice had goal efforts cleared away by the home defence.
The second half saw the Iron come more into the game and twice again Akinola went close before on the hour Jack Midson created a good opening only to see his final shot charged down by a defender with keeper Worgan nowhere to be seen.
Despite Ashton's sending off the Iron kept pressing for a goal and it finally came in stoppage time from young Maybanks but it was a case of too little too late.
Had the home's side controversial second goal been disallowed, which it should have been, and the second half blatant foul on Gayle resulted in a penalty then the outcome could well have been different.
Braintree Town: Fitzsimmons; Williams, Okimo, Gayle, Ashton; Midson, Corne, Lee, Gordon (Maybanks 74); Barnard (Cheek 68), Akinola. Unused subs: Fagan, Goodman, Rees.
The Iron are at home to Aldershot Town on Saturday, kick off 3pm.
Fitzsimons joins from Bolton
Braintree Town Manager Jamie Day has moved quickly to fill the goalkeeping spot following Jamie Butler's suspension. Joining the club is 22-year old goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons, who started his career as a youngster at Crystal Palace before moving on to Bolton Wanderers two years ago. Ross also spent time last season on loan at Bishop's Stortford and will be eligible to play tomorrow evening at Maidstone United.
Day looking for response on Tuesday
Iron can have no complaints at losing their first game of the new season when one of their bogey sides - Macclesfield - again proved too strong with a more workmanlike performance from a well organised side with pace and organisation.
The game was effectively over by half time because the visitors had controlled much of the first 45 minutes and on chances alone could have been three or four goals ahead as the Iron floundered with few taking responsibility, particularly in midfield, and little apparent cohesion and poor passing throughout the side.
Despite going two goals down by the interval, Iron did improved slightly in the second half, helped by the double 56th substitution of Zach Fagan and Michael Cheek for debutants Sam Corne and Rohdell Gordon, but the visitors grabbed a superbly taken third goal on 73rd minute to win comfortably.
To their credit the Iron did rally better late on and Lee Barnard netted an 81st minute penalty after defender Mitchell Hancox had handled but it was no more than a consolation goal and the visitors deserved their victory.
It left Iron manager Jamie Day upset at his side's overall performance, particularly in the first half when he admitted they were outplayed adding: "We were second best, no excuses and we gave away two very poor goals and they could have a couple more goals ahead.
"Our work-rate was poor and so was our passing and we were second best in the first half," he declared. "It was simply not good enough and it has to be sorted out."
He went on: "Our midfield was poor and we weren't really aggressive enough throughout the side certainly in that first half and I know we did noticeably improve in the second half by then the game for us had gone.
"We have to learn from it and learn quickly and look forward to a complete improvement across the whole team on Tuesday when we go to Maidstone," he continued.
For that game the Iron boss will be looking to bring in a goalkeeper on emergency loan because regular custodian Jamie Butler was sent off in the third minute of added time at the end for bringing down a Macclesfield player having rushed almost to the half way line to try and stop a visitors' attack.
"He does play a high line and is always coming out of his goal to clear his lines, much like an additional sweeper at the back, but he was too far out this time and brought their player down so it was a straight red," said Day.
With no reserve keeper on the Iron bench and the other keeper Sam Cowler injured, it meant a couple of minutes in goal for newcomer Corne but by then the game was lost for the home side.
Day added: "We have to learn from this game, dust ourselves down and show more determination all round, better cohesion and organisation and make sure we bounce back on Tuesday."
The Iron though were certainly second best for most of the game and it showed in the body language of some of the players after the side went two goals down and there was really no 'general' in what was a fairly non-existent midfield all afternoon, while the visitors had Danny Whitaker and Danny Rowe who excelled all over the park and really controlled the game from start to finish.
It was Rowe who opened the scoring on 10 minutes when a bad mistake by Iron full-back Jerome Okimo allowed him time and space to cut inside from the right wing and fire home a low shot beyond the reach of Butler.
The visitors continued to dominate the game and could have at least a couple of more goals before they finally added a second on 31 minutes when Chris Holroyd was able to sneak in front of the home side's rearguard and slot the quick ball in from the left wing over the stranded Butler from close range.
The Iron did improve in the second half when the double substitution was made and twice Simeon Akinola and Barnard went close while Jack Midson, moved into attack replacing Cheek, also twice came close to possibly scoring.
But it always seemed the visitors had that extra yard of pace and were far more assured in their passing to one another so it was no surprise when they added a third on 73 minutes when Jack Sampson was simply allowed to run free from the halfway line before looking up and placing a perfect lob shot over Butler into the top of the Iron net.
Even very late on when the visitors were reduced to 10 men with Hancox's second yellow card for a foul the Iron briefly rallied but in the dying moments any hope for a great, late escaped disappeared with Butler's foul leaving referee Anthony Serrano with no alternative but to show the youngster a straight red card.
Day is confident his side will pick themselves up for the next game away to Maidstone United on Tuesday, kick off 7.45pm before returning home for another league game on Saturday against Aldershot, kick off 3pm. Braintree: Butler; Williams, Okimo, Gayle, Ashton; Midson, Fagan (Corne 56), Lee, Akinola; Cheek (Gordon 56), Barnard. Unused subs: Maybanks, Rees, Goodman. Attendance 703. Referee: Anthony Serrano.
Midfielder switches to Cressing Road
Braintree Town Manager Jamie Day has continued to bolster his first team squad with the addition of Sam Corne from Welling United. The former Cambridge United midfielder, who will be twenty in November, was included in the England C squad last September and joins the Club for an undisclosed fee.
Iron level up after visitors score
A stirring second half display by the Iron ensured they shared the points with big spending promotion favourites Eastleigh at the Cressing Road Stadium on Tuesday evening and they were only denied a late winner by a goal line clearance by the visitors' Ryan Cresswell.
Overall though a draw was a fair result which left Iron manager Jamie Day pleased with the way his side responded from going a goal down on 64 minutes to score a deserved equaliser seven minutes later through a fine strike from Lee Barnard.
"It was a great team effort, we defended well when we had to and we had a good shape about our play," he said. "I am disappointed that we only played in patches, particularly the first half, and we need to be more adventurous in front of goal and shoot more than we have in the first two games."
Day, who made two changes from the opening game with Zach Fagan and Barney Williams coming in for their debuts replacing the injured Chez Isaac and Craig Braham-Barrett, felt his side's combination play at times was good adding: "It's going to take time to get everything together but we are making progress.
"It was a good game and we know they are a good side too but full marks to all our players for the way we came back so strongly in the second half and we could have snatched all three points at the end," he continued. "The players showed a lot of character coming back from the goal we conceded and young keeper Jamie Butler did exceptionally well with a fine first half save that kept us in the game at half time."
Barnard's debut Iron goal showed why he has a reputation for being a proven goal scorer wherever he plays but he admitted there was an element of luck about the equaliser.
"I saw the chance going forward to shoot which I did and I know the ball swerved in flight which obviously deceived their keeper and perhaps on another day he would have saved it," he explained. "But as a striker you take whatever you can get and I felt we fully deserved to at least draw."
On the all new look Iron side he said: "It was a solid performance in the second half and we have a good, strong team on which to build for the season. We've plenty of attacking players and we are starting to create chances but it will take time for us to all bed in together."
He added: "Coming out of the Football League it's clear that there are some excellent experienced players and teams at this level and it's going to be hard but we are all looking forward to it and I know we are going to do well."
There were few chances for either side in a first half dominated by defences although twice Simeon Akinola went surging into the visitors' area only to be denied by last gasp tackles and Michael Cheek and Barnard worked well to go close on two occasions.
It was young Butler who pulled off the save of the half three minutes from the interval to deny Mikael Mandron a goal with his close range shot.
The second half saw the game open up more and both sides went looking for that all important opening goal.
The visitors grabbed it on 64 minutes with a little bit of fortune because James Constable's high cross-cum-shot from the right wing took a nasty deflection off Ian Gayle to leave the ball sailing over the head of the stranded Butler and into the far corner of the net.
But the Iron were quickly back on the attack with first Akinola and Cheek almost working their way into openings on the edge of the visitors' area only to be denied by excellent defending.
But the pressure paid off on 71 minutes when Barnard turned quickly inside the visitors' half and saw the defence open up and he didn't need a second invitation to go for goal and he drove the ball low and hard that it swerved violently and deceived experienced keeper Ross Flitney, going under his body into the net.
From then on it was all Iron as they surged forward for a possible winner and Cheek, Akinola, Barnard and Jack Midson all went close only to be denied by stout defending.
Then in the final moments of what was an entertaining game it was Eastleigh's new signing Cresswell who came to their rescue by clearing the ball off the goal line.
Braintree Town: Butler; Williams, Okimo, Gayle, Ashton; Midson, Fagan, Lee, Akinola; Cheek, Barnard. Unused subs: Maybanks, Cowler (gk), Rees, Fordon, Goodman. Attendance: 766. Referee: Constantine Hatzidakis.
Next up for the Iron is a home game against Macclesfield in the Vanarama National League on Saturday, kick off 3pm.
Visitors dominate second half
Iron picked up a point in the opening game of a new National League season with this hard earned draw on Humberside on Saturday but new manager Jamie Day felt they did enough in the second half to have won and taken all three points home.
Against one of the league newcomers after an even first 45 minutes, they dominated the second half and missed five chances to have won the game comfortably.
"I'm disappointed we didn't take some of the second half chances but I'm more than pleased with the overall performance," said Day. "We needed to be more on the front foot which were in the second half and although it's early days, with so many new faces in the team, we still had plenty of movement throughout the side and everyone worked hard in what were difficult circumstances with the heat."
Day, who only had three players in the side from last season - Simeon Akinola, Chez Isaac and Michael Cheek - has done a remarkable job in such a short space of time assembling a new, strong Iron squad.
"We knew it was going to be tough but I'm happy at the way things are going," he continued. "We looked solid at the back and with Cheeky and Lee Barnard up front we are going to score goals."
It was a frustrating opening game for Cheek who worked tirelessly in attack and twice early in the second half raced clear only to shoot over and earlier when he had fired in a tremendous shot on goal on 48 minutes home keeper Rory Watson pulled off a fantastic reaction save to deny him the opening goal.
On the hour he had another decent chance, but the fine through ball from Harry Lee was somehow scrambled away by a last gasp piece of home defending. A few minutes later he again escaped his marker but this time put his shot just wide with only the home keeper to beat.
In the first minute of three added injury time minutes at the end of the game he somehow missed a rebounded shot from Lee Barnard and look to be heading the ball home almost on the home goal line but the ball was scrambled away.
Manager Day though understood Cheek's frustration at not scoring an opening day hat-trick adding: "It happens to strikers on some days and on another day Cheeky could have had a hat-trick, but I can't fault his work-rate and commitment to the side and his unselfish running."
Substitute defender Jake Goodman, who came on for the injured Craig Braham-Barrett on 57 minute, was also unlucky not to score on 73 minutes when his header from a Harry Lee free-kick rattled the home crossbar before being cleared.
"Jake did well when he came on and was unlucky to not to have broken the deadlock and he linked up well with Jon Ashton in the heart of the defence too when we had to move Ian Gayle to right-back to replace Craig," said Day.
The Iron certainly looked strong at the back throughout with Ashton outstanding while in midfield both Isaac and newcomer Harry Lee look to be quickly forming an impressive partnership.
New skipper Ashton said: "I think all the lads put in a good shift today in what were hot conditions. We had a game plan and it worked, certainly in the second half where we dominated and Cheeky could have had a hat-trick which on another day I'm sure he would."
He added: "We're all new players with just six weeks of training together and it will take time but I think there's no reason why we can't do as well as the side did last season.
"There's a great team spirit within the squad and we are still getting to know the way each player plays," he continued. "We'll take each game as it comes and I know we will continue to grow stronger as a unit."
In reality over the 90 minutes the Iron were the better side - they had 14 corners to just one for the home side - and the only time the hosts looked like possibly scoring was just before the interval when Curtis Bateson cut inside from the right and took a surprise shot at the Iron goal. With keeper Jamie Butler beaten the ball hit the bar and was cleared but from then on the home side never really threatened the Iron goal.
In the last minute of normal time in the first half the Iron almost snatched the lead when Barnard at the far post knocked the ball down to the unmarked Cheek and his tremendous first time volley was crucially deflected away at the last minute by defender Jake Shelton.
Iron now face two home games with Eastleigh coming to the Cressing Road Stadium on Tuesday (kick off 7.45pm) and Maccesfield visit on Saturday for another league game, kick off 3pm.
Braintree Town: Butler; Braham-Barrett (Goodman 57), Gayle, Ashton, Okima; Midson, Isaac, Lee, Akinola; Cheek, Barnard. Unused subs: Maybanks, Fagan, Rhodell-Gordon, Cowler. Attendance: 557. Referee: Tom Bramwell.
Limited supply available again
The Club will once again be offering a limited supply of Car Park Season Tickets for the parking at the Cressing Road Stadium. As with last season, these are prices at just £40, which offers a £6 discount for the home Vanarama National League games and all cup ties free of charge. To secure your Car Park Season Tickets speak to either Chairman Lee Harding or Safety officer Kevin Christmas on Tuesday when they will be available for purchase and collection.
Supporters advised to note
We have been advised by our hosts tomorrow - North Ferriby United - that turnstiles for entry into their stadium will not be open until 1.30pm. Iron supporters are advised that their clubhouse, which is located inside the ground, will not be available until the stadium is opened.
In the post and ready for collection
Those supporters who provided a stamped addressed envelope with their application should receive their season ticket within the next few days - as these were posted on Friday. Those wishing to collect their season tickets can do so on either Tuesday or Thursday evening from the Clubhouse between 7.30pm and 9pm. Uncollected season tickets will then be available for collection from Gates 5&6 when we play Eastleigh on Tuesday, 9th August and Macclesfield Town on Saturday, 13th August.
victories at Concord and Stortford
Braintree Town completed their pre-season schedule with two victories.
On Wednesday evening, Iron eased past Vanarama National League South side Concord Rangers. Goals from Sim Akinola and Michael Cheek put Braintree ahead before the Canvey Island side reduced the arrears. After the break Lee Barnard's well struck penalty restored the two-goal advantage as Iron won 3-1.
Braintree then recorded a second two-goal victory at neighbours Bishop's Stortford on Saturday.
Iron wrapped up their pre-season campaign with a comfortable win against their Vanarama National League South near neighbours.
It left new Iron manager Jamie Day satisfied with his side's overall performance and he feels the players are finally gelling and playing some neat passing football while creating chances in front of goal.
"I knew it would be a really hard job to literally start from scratch but the new players have come in, worked hard in training and we have improved as a team ever friendly game we have played," he said. "There's still a lot of work to do but it's taking shape, players are helping each other and we're getting more cohesion together but we all know these things take time.
"What has pleased me in the last two games is how we are coping with set pieces from the opposition and working more as a team from defence, to midfield and in attack," he continued. "We've now free week in which to work on various things ahead of next Saturday's opening game and everyone is looking forward to it."
Day has faced a mammoth task of completely rebuilding an Iron squad left with just three players from last season's play-off finals - Simeon Akinola, Michael Cheek, Chez Isacc - but he is confident that his basic 18-man squad is now in place and ready for the kick off.
"We know what to expect at this level and I think we have a good blend of experienced players and younger, ambitious players who can adapt to this level," he added.
In this final friendly it took the Iron only five minutes to take the lead when a fine work move down the left saw Cheek cut and from the edge of the area drive a low shot into the right hand corner of the net.
And early in the second half it was Cheek, clearly enjoying his partnership with new fellow striker Lee Barnard up front, who created the second goal beating off two home defenders to pull the ball square from the left into the penalty box where the experienced Barnard quickly slotted it into the net.
The Iron created further chances particularly in the second half and they certainly looked more potent in attack than last season with the experienced striker Jack Midson, a former Stortford player, playing a deeper role down the right-hand side and on the left flank former Dover Athletic winger Craig Braham-Barrett causing problems with his speed and crossing down that side for the home defence.
A few times in the first half the Iron defence were put under pressure and were clearly missing the experience influence of new central defender Jon Ashton, the ex-Crawley Town defender, who was rested for this game having picked up a knock in the midweek game at Concord Rangers.
The Iron's two new full-backs, former Welling Utd's Barney Williams at right-back and Joshua Okimo, who was at Stevenage last season, playing at left-back both gave solid enough performances against Stortford.
With Isaac and newcomer Harry Lee setting up a formidable midfield partnership the Iron always had that bit too much for the opposition to never gain control of midfield.
Braintree Town (first half): Butler; Williams, Okimo, Gayle, Fagan; Midson, Isaac, Lee, Braham-Barrett; Barnard, Cheek. Among the second half substitutes were: Sim Akinola, Jake Goodman, Luke Mallett, Isaac Galliford, Jamie Stephens. Attendance: 212. Referee: Steve Bates.
Iron open their Vanarama National League season with an away game at North Ferriby United on Saturday, kick off 3pm, followed by their first home game on Tuesday, August 9 against Eastleigh.
Iron off down the A120
Following the cancellation of the friendly at home to Cambridge United, Braintree Town will now send the first team squad to local neighbours Bishop's Stortford for a replacement friendly this Saturday, 30th July, with kick-off at 3pm.
Pitch reinstatement not completed
Saturday's pre-season friendly match at home to Cambridge United has been postponed. Representatives of our opponents inspected the progress made with the reinstatement of the Cressing Road Stadium pitch following recent drainage works and, despite improvement over recent days, both clubs have agreed that the pitch is not yet ready. Watch for announcements over the next few days about a possible replacement fixture.
Two wins and a draw in five days
Iron continued their pre-season build-up with a 3-1 victory at Lowestoft Town on Saturday. Having fallen behind early on, Harry Lee's 25-yarder levelled things up for Iron just before the break. The second half saw Braintree in control and finally overcome the home side's resistance seven minutes before the end when Jack Midson converted a cross from the left. This was followed four minutes later when Isaac Galliford steered the ball home from close range.
The win at Love Road completed an encouraging week for Iron who had drawn 2-2 at Maldon & Tiptree on Thursday night, 48 hours after winning 5-0 at Thurrock.
At Maldon, Sim Akinola in the first half and Jack Midson after the break scored for Iron to level things up at both 1-1 and 2-2. At Thurrock Braintree's goals came from Ian Gayle, Chez Isaac, Lee Barnard, Sim Akinola and Michael Cheek.
Next up for Iron is a trip to Concord Rangers on Wednesday, 27th July, followed by the visit of Cambridge United on Saturday, 30th July, to the Cressing Road Stadium, with kick-off at 3pm.
First team travel to Maldon
The first team will now take the friendly against Maldon & Tiptree, which has now been switched to Maldon & Tiptree's Park Drive ground in Maldon (postcode: CM9 5JQ, Tel: 01621 853762). At the same time a Braintree Town XI will also play a match at Scraley Road, against Heybridge Swifts reserves.
Iron now travel to Thurrock
We have spoken with Gillingham today and they have inspected the Cressing Road stadium pitch. As a result of that (and despite the progress of recent days) Tuesday evening's friendly match a home to Gillingham has now been postponed. Braintree will now send a side to visit Ryman League side Thurrock on Tuesday evening, with kick-off at 7.45pm.
Replacement game for tomorrow
Just to confirm - we are grateful to our friends at Stanway Rovers for hastily arranging a pre-season friendly for us at their Hawthorns ground - tomorrow afternoon - with kick-off at 1pm. The match will include the full first team squad.
Club to review pitch prior to Tuesday
Saturday's pre-season friendly match at home to Southend United has been postponed. Representatives of our opponents were invited to inspect the progress made with the reinstatement of the Cressing Road Stadium pitch following recent drainage works and they decided not to play the fixture. We will review the pitch prior to next Tuesday evening's friendly match with Gillingham.
Bury beat Braintree 3-1
Braintree Town made the short journey to Bury Town on Tuesday evening and came home beaten by three goals to one. With the first team squad and a number of trialists split into two sides for each half, Iron looked lively before the break, but conceded against the run of play mid-way through the half. Two further goals after the break put the home side 3-0 ahead before a late deflected own-goal gave Iron a late consolation.
Barnard brace & Maybanks shot see Braintree prevail
Braintree Town made the short journey to face Ryman League Division One (North) side Heybridge Swifts in their first pre-season fixture under the guidance of new manager Jamie Day on Saturday.
With two complete Braintree XIs seeing a mix of both signed players and trialists, Iron powered to a first half three-goal advantage, which remained unchanged at the final whistle.
Lee Barnard gave Braintree the lead within the first minute, sweeping the ball home from close range after the Swifts keeper had done well to deny Michael Cheek's header at the far post.
Joe Maybanks added the second after nine minutes, steering his shot into the bottom right corner from the edge of the 18-yard box.
The third goal on 37 minutes was a mirror copy of the first with the predatory Barnard adding his second from close range, from another Cheek header.
Next up for Iron is the short journey up to Ram Meadow to visit another Ryman League side - Bury Town - for our second pre-season match on Tuesday, 12th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm.
at last season's North Division Runners up & Play-off Winners
Braintree Town start their 2016/2017 Vanarama National League campaign with a trip to Yorkshire to visit newly promoted North Ferriby United on the opening Saturday of the season - 6th August. The Grange Lane club finished as runners-up in last season's competitive Vanarama North Division and secured promotion after their 2-1 victory over third-placed AFC Fylde in the North Promotion Final. Details for travel to North Ferriby United are as follows: Address: Eon Visual Media Stadium, Grange Lane, Church Road, North Ferriby, East Yorkshire HU14 3AB. Telephone: 01482 634601.
The first Vanarama National League games at the Cressing Road Stadium follow on Tuesday 9th August, when Iron entertain Eastleigh, and on Saturday 13th August, when Macclesfield Town are the visitors.
Other Vanarama National League games of note are home and away fixtures over the Christmas and New Year period with Dagenham & Redbridge. The Victoria Road club, relegated from the Football League at the end of last season, visit the Cressing Road Stadium on Boxing Day, Monday 26th December, with the return scheduled for New Year's Day.
The National League have set a full list of fixtures on the Good Friday at Easter, 14th April, when Iron entertain Guiseley. This will be closely followed by an Easter Monday trip to Torquay United on 17th April.
Braintree Town's last Vanarama National League game of the coming season at the Cressing Road Stadium will be against Barrow on the penultimate Saturday of the season, 22nd April, followed by the last game of the season away at Aldershot Town on Saturday, 29th April.
In the FA competitions, Braintree Town once again benefit from exemption until the Fourth and final Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, which will take place on Saturday, 15th October, with the draw scheduled to be made on Monday 3rd October. In the FA Trophy, Iron are exempt until the First Round Proper which will take place on Saturday 10th December, 10th, with the draw scheduled to be made on Monday 28th November.
Finally, the opening day's Vanarama National League fixtures are as follows:
Barrow v. Aldershot Town
Boreham Wood v. Forest Green Rovers
Bromley v. Tranmere Rovers
Dagenham and Redbridge v. Southport
Eastleigh v. Guiseley
Gateshead v. Chester
Macclesfield Town v. Torquay United
Maidstone United v. York City
North Ferriby United v. Braintree Town
Sutton United v. Solihull Moors
Woking v. Lincoln City
Wrexham v. Dover Athletic
Who, when, what and where at 1pm
Braintree Town's National League fixtures for the forthcoming 2016/2017 season will be announced at 1pm on this coming Wednesday afternoon, 6th July. We hope to have all the matches for next season on the 'Games' link above, together with a quick overview of any interesting fixtures right here!
to cover 68 National League clubs
Agreement extended until 2020
The BBC Local Radio stations across England and Wales have signed an agreement with the National League to provide coverage of the leagues' matches until 2020.
The National League has 68 member clubs in three divisions, known as the National League, National League North and the National League South.
Welcoming today's announcement Jason Horton, BBC Head of Sport for England said: "Today's deal with the National League demonstrates the BBC local radio stations commitment to bring sports fans across England and Wales all the sporting action from their area. So whether you're tuning in to BBC Radio Lincolnshire's coverage of Lincoln City, listening to BBC Radio Solent reporting on Eastleigh or following one of the other 66 clubs across The National League we'll be bringing you the latest action."
Brian Barwick, Chairman at The National League said: "The National League is pleased to confirm our existing partnership has been extended until 2020. This will permit continuing stadium access with match commentary, thus complementing the excellent support given generally by BBC Local Radio stations covering all 68 member clubs and their local communities."
Midson joins Jamie's re-built Iron squad
Iron Manager Jamie Day has continued his squad re-building by signing striker Jack Midson from National League side Eastleigh at the Club last night.
The 32-year old front man started his career as a youngster at Stevenage and many Iron fans will remember him from his three years that followed at our neighbours Bishop's Stortford in the mid-noughties. Jack then enjoyed a successful season and a half at Histon, where his 25 goals in 67 games played an important part in the Bridge Road side that reached the then Conference Premier play-offs.
Five years followed in the Football League, the first two seasons at Oxford United the next three at AFC Wimbledon, where Jack scored 38 goals in 126 games, before spending the past two years at Eastleigh.
Jamie Day was pleased with his latest addition: "Jack has a proven pedigree at this level and above. I think he got a bit frustrated last season but I know he's raring to go and will do really well for us."
Day added: The lads are working hard in training, but I've still got a bit of work to finish over the next few days when I hope to add two or three more players to the squad."
Iron to visit the Island on the Wednesday
Braintree Town's pre-season friendly match at Concord Rangers has been re-arranged for a new date. Originally scheduled for Tuesday, 26th July, the game has now been delayed by 24 hours to the following day - Wednesday, 27th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm.
Can Roy's boys make the last eight?
England's Euro 2016 Round of 16 match against Iceland will be on the live screens at The Iron clubhouse tomorrow (Monday) evening, with the game kicking off at 8pm. The Clubhouse will be opening at 7pm.