BRAINTREE Town opened their pre-season friendly campaign with a 1-0 win at newly-promoted National League North side Needham Market at Bloomfields, writes DAVID WARD.

The Iron grabbed their winner through new signing Inih Effiong two minutes from time, in what was a highly entertaining encounter.

Manager Angelo Harrop, who played two entirely different sides in each half, said he was pleased with the workout as they prepare for the new National League season.

It was the first time many of the Iron players had been together and included a fair sprinkling of triallists, too.


Harrop said: “It’s always nice to win any game of football and also to keep a clean sheet, too.

“Obviously it’s very early days because we’re now almost full-time and we’ve only had four daily training sessions, so we’ve not been able to work out shapes and what players can fit in where.

“We know there’s still a great deal of work to do before the big kick-off what with reaching fitness levels and the like as we’ve moved up a level which everyone knows is going to be harder.

“I was very proud of the boys in last season’s promotion-winning side but I know we have to move upwards in terms of getting real quality players into the club.


“I think the signings so far clearly show out intent and we’ve some genuine and better quality in the squad and several too with the experience we will need at this level.

“There was a good tempo to our first game and everyone knows that with triallists coming in it’s always difficult for them to become accustomed to how we want to play.”

Braintree’s next friendly is an away trip to Leiston, next Tuesday.

Braintree will discover their National League programme for the 2024-25 season at 1pm today when the fixtures are released.