BRAINTREE Town fell to a 2-1 defeat at Taunton Town in their National League South opener, writes DAVID WARD.

Iron players can have no complaints about the scoreline at the Cygnet Stadium, following a poor second-half performance.

They were hassled and bullied out of their stride after half-time by a more robust and direct home side, in severe windy conditions.

With six new and young players making their National League debuts in the side it was always going to be a tall order for the Iron to come away from Somerset with anything.


But after such a promising first-half performance, it was a disappointing second-half showing where they simply lost their way and were easily out-muscled from the home side.

Braintree manager Angelo Harrop said: "I'm disappointed with our overall performance and at the end it was tough to take.

"But their are no excuses and we didn't deserve to take anything from the game when you look at in the cold light of day.

"We have such a young side and it will take a few games for them to find themselves at this high level.

"We know it's a tough league and they will learn and learn quickly what this level is all about.

"Set pieces are so crucial too at this level and that's what caught us out in this game so we know we have plenty of work to do in these areas during the week before our first home game on Saturday."


Braintree had new signing Tom Blackwell in the starting line-up and he produced two superb shots late on that almost snatched a draw.

But over the 90 minutes, the Iron really didn't do or show enough as a cohesive unit to come away with a point, following a five-hour journey to the game due to holiday traffic.

"Our other new striker Will Davies was not available for this match but he will be back for our second game and I think he will also make a difference," Harrop added.

"We've plenty to work on and I know we are on going along on the right lines.

"It was disappointing to have scored in the first few minutes and then not build on it and then allow the home side to equalise in the fourth minute of added first time when the referee had clearly said he was only adding two minutes.


"But these things happen and there's nothing we can do about and it was a bad time to concede a goal right on half time.

"We were then caught out again and all stemming from a set piece in the second when we should have done better but the younger players will learn and I believe we have a better nucleus of a side than what we started with last season."

Braintree took the lead on just five minutes when Nnamdi Nwachuku chased down the home keeper as he rolled the ball along the ground to kick upfield and it rebounded off the striker's body to roll into the empty net.

The Iron played some neat, attractive football in the first half and when they pressurised the home defence looked quiet threatening.


They seemed to cope better with the severe cross wind on the pitch and should have added to their early goal.

However they simply didn't apply the same strategy in the second half allowing them to be hassled off the ball all too often.

To their credit, Braintree kept plugging away and with a little more patience on the ball, could have possibly scored.

So it was a rude awakening for the younger Iron players at least but there were some positives to be had, with Harrop praising the travelling Iron fans at the game.

He said: "It was a long, difficult journey for them to make at holiday time but all the players appreciate their vocal support even when we went behind and I'm sure many more will be with us on Saturday when we entertain Truro City at home."