Wed 23
First Team
Braintree Town
Clarets Impress Against Local Rivals

Clarets Impress Against Local Rivals

By Adam May
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Goals from Mark Hughes, Luke Callander and Michael Cheek were enough for the Clarets to come out on top over local rivals Braintree Town.

Jordan Cox did pull one back before half-time but the damage had already been done by Mark Hawkes' side.

The Clarets made an impressive start to the match and found themselves one goal to the good following Rob Girdlestone's outstanding cross, which found the head of an unmarked Mark Hughes who made no error in burying home at the back post.

Just a single minute had passed before the City skipper had the hosts leading their local rivals, although Irons looked to immediately get themselves back into the match through Dan Walker, only to be denied by Rob Girdlestone’s timely interception.

Conference Premier outfit Braintree looked rattled and could have quite easily found themselves chasing a two-goal deficit within seven minutes. Lee Sawyer’s inventive reverse pass granted Luke Callander permission to aim a cross into the near post where Alan Massey hacked the ball into the hands of ‘keeper Nick Hamaan.

But that chance was to no avail as Michael Cheek scored a thunderous goal as he saw his shot dip just beneath the crossbar.

The hosts took control and were soon cruising after Luke Callander netted a sublime third. He was brought down around 25 yards from goal and sent the resulting free-kick into the far corner with great aplomb.

City goalkeeper Nicky Eyre was then called upon for the first time in the match, somewhat 23-minutes into play, and pulled a fine save to prevent Frankie Merrifield’s powerful strike from nestling into the bottom corner.

Eyre was helpless soon after when Sam Habergham’s teasing cross found Kenny Davis, but the skipper instead found the side-netting from all of three-yards.

They soon pulled one back through Jordan Cox as he tucked away following some untidy defending from the home side as Irons began to gain some control.

The second-half was somewhat settled compared to the preceding half as both defences stood resolute, with the majority of the play coming through the middle of the park.

Mark Hughes, in typical workman-like fashion, orchestrated the City midfield while Glen Southam and Lee Sawyer took it upon themselves to provide the creative spark to feed the lively Michael Cheek, who looked in fine fettle throughout the match, until he was replaced with twenty-minutes remaining.

Braintree improved greatly come the second-half and looked more assured in their defensive duties, although still lacked ideas in the final third, with ‘keeper Nicky Eyre not having too much to do in terms of making saves.

Nonetheless, the Clarets will be justifiably pleased with their performance which should stand them in good stead with Saturday’s trip to Needham Market of the Ishmian Division One North fast approaching.

By Adam May

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Match details

Match date

Wed 23, Jul 2014