Bill Robinson reports from the Cressing Road Stadium
Thurrock had the opportunity to reach their highest ever league position in their history, top of the Blue Square South league.
With the two teams above them losing the chance was there but unfortunately the spark had gone out of Thurrock’s play and they suffered their second league defeat and the second consecutive defeat in four days, perhaps saturdays cup defeat had taken its toll on the players.
Hakan Hayrettin was disappointed with the performance but was still very upbeat about the next game at Home on Saturday to Staines Town.
Braintree on the other hand were certainly up for the match and controlled the greater part.
It was poor defending by Thurrock that let Braintree open the scoring in the 27th minute when Jacob Mingle raced onto a loose ball in the six yard box and fired home, leaving the defenders looking on.
Braintree extended their lead just before the break when a corner was poorly cleared, the ball was sent back into the box and this time it was Lynvall Duncan’s right foot that beat the Thurrock defenders and blasted the ball into the top of the net.
Half Time 2-0
In the second period Braintree continued their dominance leaving Thurrocks strikers Bryant and McKenzie frustrated and out played and never testing ex Thurrock keeper David Blackmore.
Braintree extended there lead when a controversial penalty was awarded, the linesman had raised his flag for offside but the referee awarded a penalty for hand ball, much to the displeasure of the Thurrock defence, stating that the player offside was not taking part in the play at the time of the hand ball.
Sean Marks stepped up to take the penalty kick and made no mistake in making it 3-0.
Thurrock immediately made all three substitutions replacing Andrews Paine and Lalite, with Flynn, Judge and Knight, to try and rectify the situation, but without much noticeable difference.
Finally in the 85th minute David Bryant was rewarded with a goal for all his hard work, he was put through by Leon McKenzie and took the ball wide on the right, he rounded the keeper and managed to slot the ball home from an acute angle into the far corner of the net.
The goal spurred Thurrock into a last minute flurry of activity, all too late, but David Knight had a shot well saved. With only seconds remaining Braintree broke away and eluded the Thurrock defence and it was left to Lee Flynn to stop Marks from scoring which he did illegally and was subsequently shown a red card for his trouble.
The resulting free kick on the edge of the Thurrock penalty area was well saved by Keeper Joe Woolley, which resulted in the last action of the night.