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 Avanti 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 Avanti 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 Avanti 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 Avanti 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 Avanti 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 Avanti 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 Avanti 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 Avanti 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 Avanti 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 Avanti 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 Avanti 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.
Iron buy keeper from Hemel Hempstead
The Club have completed the signing of Hemel Hempstead Town goalkeeper Jamie Butler for an undisclosed fee. Jamie started his career at Met Police before moving on to Concord Rangers in 2014. Such was his form on the Island, that he was included in the England C squad two years ago. The 24-year old then spent last season at Hemel, where he spectacularly scored from a drop kick in the game at home to Sutton in February!
Iron Manager Jamie Day was pleased to secure the service of such a promising young keeper: "I've long been impressed with Jamie and he has done really well over the last couple of years. Stepping up to the National League level will be a great opportunity for him. He'll be an important part of the spine of our side."
Can we beat the clay?
It is hoped that the first phase of pitch draining works will be completed by contractors this week. Pictured above, we are advised that the installation of grid drainage system will help alleviate the pitch problems the Club has encountered in recent seasons. Can we beat the Braintree clay? - Time will tell!
Braintree Town XI to play on a Thursday evening
A Braintree Town XI will entertain Ryman League Division One (North) side Maldon & Tiptree in a pre-season friendly match at the Avanti Stadium on Thursday, 21st July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. Admission to all parts of the ground for this match will be just £5 for adults, £3 concessions and free to all under 18s. Proceeds for this match will go towards supporting our successful reserve side in the Thurlow Nunn League next season.
Three more agree terms
Iron manager Jamie Day has continued to make progress with his squad building, reaching agreements with three more players to join the Iron squad for next season.
Joining the club from Welling United is 21-year old midfielder Harry Lee. Harry came through the ranks at League Two side Leyton Orient, signing professional contracts on April 2013 and made his O's debut at the end of 2012-13. He went on to make six further appearances for the Brisbane Road club before two loan spells saw him play 23 games for the Park View Road club on loan before making the switch permanent in January.
The Club have signed a defender from a Football League Two side who's details will be released once his contract of employment is completed.
Jamie Day has also agreed terms with a goalkeeper, with a transfer fee agreed between his former club and Braintree Town - more details on that when the transfer paperwork is completed.
Prices announced and big discounts on offer
Ticket prices for the forthcoming pre-season friendly matches at the Avanti Stadium have been agreed.
Jamie Day's new-look Iron side welcome League One side Southend United on Saturday, 16th July, with kick-off at 1pm. This is followed by the visit of League One side Gillingham on Tuesday, 19th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. Iron complete their home pre-season schedule with the visit of League Two neighbours Cambridge United on Saturday, 30th July, with kick-off at 3pm.
Prices for both the terraces and seats will be the same for all three matches.
Admission will be just 10 pounds for adults, 7 pounds for concessions and free for under 18s.
The Club are also offering a 'THREE for TWO' ticket for all three matches, which can be purchased at the Southend United match. This will cost 20 pounds for adults and 14 pounds for concessions and will provide admission for all three home pre-season matches.
Day strengthen's Iron squad
Iron Manager Jamie Day continued his squad building with three further signings at the Avanti Stadium on Tuesday evening. Joining the Club are a striker, a left sided midfield player and a centre-half.
Coming to the Club from League Two side Crawley Town is 31-year old forward Lee Barnard. Lee started his career as a youngster at Tottenham Hotspur, graduating through the White Hart Lane reserves before making his Premier League debut at home to Manchester United in 2006!
An Essex lad, he then spent two years at our county neighbours Southend United, making 75 appearances and scoring 37 goals, before moving on for four years at Southampton, where he scored 23 goals in 62 matches.
Lee then returned to Southend for a further season in the summer of 2014 before spending last season at Crawley. Has played a total of 246 games in the Premier and Football League.
Jamie Day was pleased with his signing: "Lee's got bags of experience, played plenty of League football and scored nearly 80 goals at that level. He'll be a great addition to the squad and I'm looking forward to working with him."
Chairman Lee Harding also wanted to thank Braintree Legend Alex Revell for his part in recommending both Braintree to Lee and Lee to Braintree: "I got a call from Alex three weeks back, he asked if we were looking for another striker and said that Lee was available after spending last season at Crawley. Al said he was a great lad, couldn't recommend him highly enough to us and said that he'd encouraged Lee to talk to us. We got in touch and he signed last night. Alex has signed for Northampton this week, but said he never forgets the role Braintree played in getting him going again and I'm sure our paths will cross again in the not too distant future!"
The second signing last night was 27-year old left-sided player Craig Braham-Barrett who joins the Club from fellow Vanarama National League side Dover Athletic.
A Londoner, Craig started his career at Charlton before spells with Peterborough United and a season in the then Conference with Macclesfield.
He then enjoyed two years in the League with Cheltenham Town, where he played 88 games. Last season saw him start at Ebbsfleet before loan spell at Woking and Whitehawk were followed by the final two months of the season at fifth-placed Dover.
Jamie Day was also delighted with securing Craig's signature: "Craig's played a lot of his football on the left in defensive roles, but I do see him pushing further forward for us. He has great pace and is a very direct player. He knows this level well and League Two and is a player with a bit of a point to prove. He certainly has the hunger I'm looking for."
The third signing is a twenty-two year old centre-half who joins Braintree from a Championship club and more details will be released when his employment with that club is completed in July.
Jamie was pleased with this addition: "He's a very good size for a centre-half, I've worked with him before and technically very good. He's played at our level and in the League. He's certainly one for the future and I'm confident he will progress - the sort of player we want at the Club."
Good news from League AGM
The National League announced at the formal meeting of Clubs who assembled at their Annual Congress at Celtic Manor on Saturday 11th June the following.
Vanarama have extended their existing Title Sponsorship deal.
The new deal will be a 12 month rolling contract which in the first instance will see them continue at least for a fourth year up to June 2018. This was excellent news for clubs to receive when announced to the meeting.
Andy Alderson MD said: "The rebrand exercise taken hby The National League 12 months ago has in part helped our own brand image grow in and outside our industry. Our profile and recognition has risen beyond our expectations. We look forward to continuing to work closely with everyone connected with the League and our early decision to extend to 2018 validates how partnerships can flourish if the mix is right".
Charlie Clapham, Vice Chairman of the League commented: "Since Vanarama joined with us two seasons ago our partnership; and above all else our friendship, has grown and this news was a massive boost to everyone present at Congress. Thanks to Andy and all his wonderful staff".
Offer extended for an amazing fourth season
With the support of both BTFC Youth and Community Iron helping the Club secure record-breaking sales of discounted season tickets for adults and concessions, our attention now switches to looking after our younger supporters - the under 18s! Again because of the support of BTFC Youth and Community Iron, we are able to extend the FREE season ticket deal for the under 18s for an amazing fourth season!
So, if you are under 18, in full time education, and would like to order a free season ticket for the forthcoming 2016/2017 season, please e-mail your request to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. To be eligible, your e-mail must include the following information:
- your name;
- your address;
- your date of birth; and
- your place of education
BTFC takes its responsibility for the storage of your data under the Data Protection Act very seriously. Once your season ticket application has been checked and approved, your details will be deleted from our systems. That said, the Club are about to launch a monthly e-newsletter and you will be eligible to receive a copy of this newsletter - unless you ask us not to retain your e-mail address for this purpose.
We hope to have the free Under 18s season tickets available for collection on Saturday 30 July.
Chairman appointed at Saturday's League AGM
At Saturday's National League Annual General Meeting, Braintree Town FC Chairman Lee Harding was elected to the National League's Board of Directors. He joins representatives from Aldershot Town, Bishop's Stortford, Dagenham & Redbridge, Dover Athletic, Maidstone United, Southport and Worcester City as club representatives on the Board.
Barney joins Braintree
Braintree Town manager Jamie Day has continued his re-building programme with the addition of 21-year old right back Barney Williams from Welling United. Jamie knows all about Barney, having introduced him as a seventeen year old into the first team when he was Welling manager at Park View Road.
The paperwork was completed last night at the Club and Jamie was pleased with his latest addition: "Barney is a tenacious full back, that typifies what we're looking for at Braintree. I know our fans will quickly take to him and I can see him playing at a higher level in the future."
Two Thursday evening squad games agreed
Iron manager Jamie Day has agreed two more pre-season games for his squad as the build-up to the 2016/2017 campaign continues.
On Thursday, 14th July, a Braintree Town XI will visit Thurlow-Nunn League side Stanway Rovers, with kick-off at 7.45pm. A fortnight later on Thursday, 28th July, a Braintree Town XI will visit Thurlow-Nunn League side Long Melford, with kick-off also at 7.45pm.
Clock is ticking folks
There's just three days to take advantage of the Iron Reaper season ticket discounts. Tickets at less than half price!
Adult seat season tickets have been reduced to just £160 - that's less than £7 per game! While adult ground season tickets have also been cut, to just £150, or £6.50 a game!
Concessions get whopping great big discounts too! A concession seat season ticket has been halved to just £110 - less than £4.80 a game, while the ground concession season ticket has been slashed to just £100 - or £4.35 a game.
But you need to get in quick! This limited offer expires this Saturday, 11th June!
If you would like to reap the benefit of this sensational price, e-mail your interest to email@example.com NOW.
Details for those under 18s wishing to secure their FREE season tickets will be announced next Monday, 13th June.
Iron season tickets hit record levels