Braintree pull Iron out of the fire
Visitors win puts Magpies in relegation mire
The Magpies went into this fixture with fresh confidence after finding victory against Aldershot Town on Boxing Day, writes Grace Scott. Visitors Braintree Town meanwhile sit bottom of the National League table and they came to York Road in search of a win to raise their own confidence levels.
Applying pressure from the whistle, a chance came the way of Owusu inside the first minute of the game. The ball fell into a crowded box where he couldn’t quite find a finishing touch. Continuous pressure on the ball in the opening ten minutes allowed an opportunity for unmarked Kelly to run at goal; he tucked the ball away nicely only to be denied by the offside flag.
Alan Devonshire was forced in to making a change when Owusu suffered a nasty looking eye-injury in an accidental penalty box collision. After a lengthy stoppagea Owusu was replaced by Alves in midfield. The Maidenhead defence stood strong to deny the visitors an opening goal on the half hour mark with an outstanding block to deny a goalbound effort. The ball was cleared and found Kelly on the counter-attack who was once again denied by the linesman’s flag. There was more frustration for the Magpie as Alves hooked a corner into the box which Clerima got his head to with the ball brushing over the crossbar. The Iron were denied in the final moments of the half as Morton was denied by determined defensive play from Massey and Kilgour combined.
Early in the second period, Amalazor went down in the box for the visitors under a strong challenge but the referee waved away any appeal for a penalty. Morton tested Pentney and Obileye failed to hit the target from openings provided by Clerima and Alves before the crucial moment of the game which came in the 68th minute. James met an in-swinging Della Verde corner in the box with a clinical headed finish to put the visitors into the lead. Following the goal, Maidenhead pushed desperately for an equaliser. Steer's effort from range went over the top of Killip's goal and then Iron 'keeper stunningly denied substitute Tarpey yards from the goal at the far post following a cross-shot from fellow substitute Bird. The Magpies pressure was in vain as the visitors deservedly held out for the three points.
MAGPIES: Pentney, Clerima, Steer, Odametey, Obileye (Sub Bird 74), Kilgour, Kelly (Sub Tarpey 63), Twumasi, Clifton, Owusu (Sub Alves 26), Massey.
Subs not used: Akintunde, Cole.
IRON: Killip, Muleba, Ellul, Gabriel, Lyons-Foster, Borg (Sub Barrington 85), James, Richards, Della-Verde (Sub Allen 79), Morton, Amaluzor (Sub Sagaf 90).
Subs not used: Clayton-Phillips, Curran
GOAL: James (68)