Debutant goal in vain as Iron edge out City

Despite a goal from debutant Ephraim Yeboah, City suffered a 2-1 defeat to play-off rivals Braintree Town at Twerton Park this evening. The teenager raced clear to put City in front after 16 minutes but the Iron returned to Essex with the points thanks to two second half goals.

The visitors came into the game on the back of six straight wins but, apart from an early chance that Blair blazed over, they were second best for most of the first half. Jordan Dyer saw a 7th minute shot bounce over the bar but nine minutes later Scott Wilson sent Yeboah clear and he showed great composure to knock the ball past keeper Sims before rolling it into the net. City were now totally in control of the game, Sims saving well from Hayfield’s free-kick then a great knock-down header from Cody Cooke saw the same player shoot narrowly wide. A scramble in the Braintree box almost ended with Dyer turning the ball home and Danny Greenslade then saw his shot kept out by Sims. City’s pressure appeared to finally tell on 37 minutes when Sims failed to hold Yeboah’s shot and Ewan Clark tapped home the loose ball but an offside flag saved the visitors. Having shown almost nothing as an attacking threat Braintree almost levelled in first half stoppage time, Josey Casa-Grande saving brilliantly from Blair’s close range shot then Kieran Parselle producing an even better block on the line from Coulthirst follow-up effort.

The second half started in a cagey fashion with neither side able to get on top. Just before the hour mark Braintree spurned a great chance to level when Blair somehow diverted the ball over after City failed to deal with a corner. Five minutes later City should have doubled their lead after Clark set up Hayfield but Sims turned his shot over the bar. And within three minutes the visitors levelled when Blair’s shot through a crowded box found the corner of the net. Both sides pressed for a winner but it was Braintree’s more direct approach that paid off with six minutes left. Coulthirst reached a long ball forward ahead of Casa-Grande and went to ground. After a moments hesitation the referee pointed to the spot from where Coulthirst  made no mistake.