Vanarama National League South

The first half hour of life under new manager Jake Hutchings proved tough to take for Braintree Town as they travelled to Welling United in Vanarama National League South.

Iron captain Hutchings had been appointed as player/manager a few days earlier, but the start of his time in charge won’t have been the one he was hoping for.

Braintree had enjoyed a superb 3-0 success at Hemel Hempstead seven days earlier with arguably their best performance of the season.

However, with 30 minutes of this game gone, they found themselves trailing 4-0 on the way to a disappointing 6-2 defeat.

While the Iron were significantly better in the second half, they paid a high price for the opening 30 minutes.

There was just one change in the Braintree line-up from the one that started at Hemel Hempstead.

That change had been enforced by the departure of Josh Urquhart, who had left to join Billericay Town in the week, as Rhys Murrell-Williamson returned to the side.

Braintree were looking to make a good start to begin Hutchings’ time in charge well, but they soon found themselves under pressure from the home side.

Iron keeper Michael Johnson was called into action when he saved from Theo Widdrington and the Welling threat produced a goal on seven minutes.

The breakthrough came from a free-kick hit deep into the Iron area that was headed into the danger area by Rob Swaine and Widdrington headed in from close range.

Aside from the goal, there was an added blow as Jack James had collided with the post as he tried to make a block and had to be replaced in an early switch as Charley Barker came on.

And things got worse for Braintree on 19 minutes when a former player came back to haunt them as Korrey Henry fired the Wings into a 2-0 lead.

Henry volleyed the ball in after Nathan Green had headed it back across the Braintree goalmouth to put Welling firmly in the driving seat.

That position was strengthened further on 27 minutes when another free-kick caused problems.

This time it was from Anthony Cook and it became 3-0 as the ball somehow found its way under Johnson and into the back of the net.

Braintree’s woes continued two minutes later when Henry scored his second and Welling’s fourth from the edge of the box and it almost became five when Widdrington headed inches wide soon after.

After 31 minutes to forget, a shell-shocked Braintree knew they had to respond and restore some pride and they did get an effort on goal, with Femi Akinwande’s shot cannoning off the post with Welling keeper Daniel Wilks stranded.

That sparked a brighter finish to the half from the visitors and they at least headed into half-time feeling a bit better after a positive final few minutes.

First Jason Banton struck the woodwork again when a free-kick hit the crossbar and Ade Cole then did get the visitors on the scoresheet in the 43rd minute.

It showed the game wasn’t wrapped up for the home side and Banton forced Wilks into a good save with the last piece of action before the break as an action-packed first half ended 4-1 to Welling.

Any hopes of an unlikely comeback were quashed six minutes after the restart, though, when Welling were awarded a penalty and Henry completed his hat-trick from the spot.

The hosts were now back in control, but they were reduced to ten men when Sanchez Ming was sent off following a disputed call from the officials.

Braintree stepped up their play and were able to make the numerical advantage count on 70 minutes when Akinwande fired in a second for the Iron.

Having scored, Braintree then had another good reaction to the goal and Wilks twice had to make good saves to deny Akinwande from closing the gap further.

However, the hosts took advantage of Iron’s pressing as Aaron Cosgrave broke away and laid the ball off to Henry, who netted his fourth of the afternoon to make it 6-2.

And there was just enough time for a miserable afternoon to end with a sending off for Braintree as Tyler Christian-Law was given his marching orders.

Braintree Town: Michael Johnson, Jack James (Charley Barker 7), Cameron Green, Lucas Kirkpatrick, Michael Clark, Jake Hutchings, Tyler Christian-Law, Ade Cole, Femi Akinwande, Rhys Murrell-Williamson (Alfie Cerulli 72), Jason Banton. Subs not used: Tom Richardson, Isaac Skubich.

Referee: Tom Bishop.