Vanarama National League South

Having suffered defeats in their first three Vanarama National League South games, Braintree Town have had a week to remember.

After conceding nine goals in a testing opening trio, a 5-0 win against Eastbourne Borough completed a rewarding few days as the Iron won their second game in a row with a second clean sheet.

Braintree had secured their first win under manager Glen Driver when beating St Albans City 3-0 in midweek and they were clearly buoyant on the back of that display.

They hit the ground running against Borough and impressed going forward from the first whistle, with Adam Mills, on the back of scoring his first goal for the club at St Albans, proving a particular handful down the Iron’s left.

And it was Mills who opened the scoring, before Tom Richardson doubled the lead soon after to put them 2-0 up at the break.

Eastbourne pressed after the restart, but a superb long-distance strike from Jason Banton, a wonderfully crafted second from Mills and a deserved strike by Femi Akinwande capped a very rewarding few days for Braintree Town.

The only change for the Iron from Tuesday's starting line-up for the 3-0 win at St Albans City was that Banton returned from injury as Charley Barker dropped to the bench.

Braintree were looking to build on the performance and result from midweek and looked to make a positive opening as they got on the front foot.

Clear-cut chances weren’t in abundance, but some searching balls forward and good industry from Adam Mills down the Iron’s left gave the hosts their most potent openings.

One ball into the centre by Mills had to be hastily cleared from under the Borough crossbar and the home side were frustrated when another cross into the middle saw Tom Richardson bundled over as he tried to get to the ball.

Richardson was involved again on ten minutes when a ball over the top into the right-hand channel found the Braintree striker but he was off balance as he hit his shot and it went wide.

Eastbourne also looked to be positive, though, and also looked to get on the front foot in the tight opening spell.

However, they also struggled to create much in the way of clear-cut opportunities and it was Braintree who eventually opened the scoring on 26 minutes.

A few minutes earlier, Mills had raced through on goal after a lovely piece of inter-play down the left, but he pulled the ball square rather than take on the shot allowing the Eastbourne defence to make the clearance.

The Iron winger obviously learned quickly, though, as, handed another chance from a ball over the top into the left-hand channel, he went for goal this time and drilled the ball past Borough keeper Tom Hadler.

It was a lead that was merited and one they added to six minutes later with more good play from the left.

This time it was great persistence by Femi Akinwande that saw him get past a challenge and unselfishly square the ball to Richardson, who set himself before burying the ball into the back of the Borough net to put the hosts in the driving seat.

They held on to that two-goal lead at half-time, but it soon became apparent after the break that Borough were eager to get back into the game as they looked to get forward.

Braintree, meanwhile, didn’t really help themselves with some sloppy play in the opening period after the restart with possession squandered on more than one occasion.

However, Eastbourne didn’t have the clinical edge to take advantage of the pressure that was created and the home defence stayed resolute to keep the lead at two.

And that became three in spectacular fashion on 65 minutes when Braintree showed the cutting edge that was needed in front of goal.

It was Banton who demonstrated how to find the back of the net on this occasion as he picked the ball up in the centre of the pitch and unleashed an unstoppable shot from 30 yards that flew past a diving Hadler and nestled in the top corner.

It was Banton’s last piece of action as he was immediately replaced by Tyler Christian-Law, but his contribution had been crucial as Borough were now facing a considerable task to get back in the game.

That became even greater with ten minutes remaining as the Iron put the result beyond doubt with an eye-catching piece of counter-attacking football.

The fourth goal came with an excellent break from their own penalty area after a free-kick for Eastbourne as Akinwande broke down the right and placed an inch-perfect pass into the path of Mills, who strode forward and flicked the ball past Hadler.

And Akinwande got the goal his performance had deserved in the 90th minute when he made it 5-0 to the home side.

Persistent play by Richardson saw him pressure Hadler in the Borough box and Akinwande fired home the loose ball to wrap up a very pleasant few days for Braintree Town.

Braintree Town: Michael Johnson, Josh Urquhart, Ollie Saunders, Sergio Manesio, Jake Hutchings, Michael Clark, Ade Cole (Jayden Gipson 84), Jason Banton (Tyler Christian-Law 66), Tom Richardson, Femi Akinwande, Adam Mills (Trey Charles 82).

Subs not used: Charley Barker, Sean Bonnett-Johnson.

Referee: Dale Wootton.