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Tonbridge Angels 0
2 Braintree Town
Renee (51'), Derry (70')

Home Blues for the Blues

Braintree Town arrived at the Halcyon Wealth Longmead Stadium as the basement club in National South but with their second successive victory hauled themselves deservedly off the foot.  This was however no lucky win as they outplayed a strangely sluggish Tonbridge Angels who after a bright start never really got going again. Too many of their players seemed quite simply off the pace. 

With Jack Parter starting his suspension following his red card a week ago, Kristian Campbell slotted into the left back position.  Tom Beere was restored to the centre of midfield while Alex Akrofi partnered Tommy Wood up front. 

Tonbridge started very strongly with in the first few minutes the ball pinging around the Braintree goal area and an effort from Tommy Wood that was saved.  The visitors somehow survived that early onslaught and Brantree's Jason Banton forced a good save from Jonny Henly.  At the other end on 9 minutes it was Joe Turner who warmed the hands of Braintree keeper Patrick Ohmar and five minutes later it was Turner again this time with a free header from Khale Da Costa's cross but there was no genuine power in his attempt.

By now Braintree were gaining a foothold in the game with chances falling for skipper Matthew Johnson, Banton and ex Angel Tom Derry.  The visitors ended the half with some sustained attacking and were definitely looking the better side.

Angels started the half with a chance from a corner but Derry was back defending and took a knock for his troubles.  Five minutes later Braintree took the lead with a goal that you have to say had been coming.  An attack down the right flank was not properly defended and Johnville Renee took his chance well to put his team very much in the driving seat.  

One might have expected The Iron to sit on their lead but instead they continued to take the initiative and put under Tonbridge under pressure.  On 64 minutes Henly was required to make a fine double save to keep his team in the game but all the good work was undone when he rushed out to a through ball that he was never going to reach.  Derry jinked round him and placed the ball into an empty net. 

Even with the two goal advantage, Braintree looked the likelier to add to the goals tally and it was only in the last five minutes that they sat back and invited Tonbridge on to them, but by then it was too late for the hosts to save the game and Braintree ran out comfortable winners.  

Afterwards, Angels Boss Steve McKimm said: "There are no excuses for tonight's poor performance, I'm very disappointed.  Full credit to Braintree who played very well but we just didn't do enough.  We will have an intensive training session Thursday and prepare ourselves for the visit of Hemel Hempstead on Saturday."       

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Published Wednesday 25th November 2020