About Match

Alfie Rutherford’s 89th minute strike proved to be in vain as a stoppage time leveller saw the Hawks draw 3-3 at Braintree Town.

The Hawks lead twice at Cressing Road in the closing stages of the game before Rhys Murrell Williamson struck twice late on to secure the point for the Iron.

The result leaves the Hawks eight points behind Wealdstone at the top with a game in hand.

Paul Doswell named an unchanged team from the side which lost late on against Chelmsford City last week with Wes Fogden and Andy Drury playing their second games back from injury.

The game saw an early stoppage as the linesman on the right hand side went down injured with a 10 minute stoppage incurred before a qualified assistant from the crowd was summoned to stand in on the line.

Minutes after the game restarted Braintree took the lead when Murrell Williamson used his lightning quick pace to burst down the left hand side before playing the ball across to Alfie Cerulli from six yards out at the back post who slotted the ball past Ross Worner.

Not long after the goal, the Hawks response was quick as within two minutes of that setback a corner from the right side came in Beckwith six yards out who rose highest but would see his effort rise over the bar.

Another corner just after the half hour mark saw this time Ayunga reach highest for the ball but his header skimmed over the bar.

But, three minutes later the Hawks got themselves level when Jonah Ayunga created space for himself inside the penalty area before having a shot on goal which buoyed the bottom left corner.

With just over five minutes of the first half remaining Taylor won the ball before playing it to his feet inside the area and crossing the ball across the face of goal into the path of Ayunga who’s effort was cleared off the line.

The Hawks started to dominate the game as the first half came to a close and good build up saw Drury flick the ball into Ayunga’s oath before firing inside the box but his effort would be blocked from close range.

Midway through the ten minutes stoppage time Sam Magri had an effort from 30 yards out which forced Brzozowski in the Iron goal to parry the ball away.

With seconds of the opening period remaining Drury again slipped through Ayunga again with another vital block by the Braintree backline stopping him from bagging a second.

HALF-TIME – Braintree Town 1-1 Hawks

Benny Read came on at the start of the second period for Craig Robson who picked up a knock in the first half.

Following a quiet restart where both sides enjoyed their fair share of possession, the Hawks has the first chance on the second half.

Drury down the right side played the ball across the box into Magri who rose highest for the header but fell into Brzozowski’s arms.

And those crosses kept coming in and the Braintree backline pressed to their pressure point but stood firm.

But, the Hawks would get themselves in front for the first time when Josh Taylor netted in some style with just over 25 minutes to play.

Kedwell picked the ball up in the middle of the park before playing it into his path on the edge of the box and Taylor would strike a well hit, low drilled effort into the bottom right hand corner.

Three minutes later Drury’s corner down the left side found Fogden who’s effort was blocked on the line.

With a quarter of an hour of the game remaining the Hawks has two major opportunities to make it 3-1 and possibly kill the game.

Drury with another corner down the right side found Rutherford who flicked the ball on but narrowly avoided the lurking Beckwith at the back post.

Then Chris Paul, who came on minutes earlier, played through Kedwell who looked in goal and as he went for the killer blow his strike took a minor deflection which saw it go for a corner.

Ten minutes from time as the Hawks continued to create chances another key one came when Rutherford found Taylor in an acute position inside the box before firing his effort into the side netting.

With four minutes of normal time left to play the Iron struck back and got their leveller when Murrell Williamson made a brilliant darting run before smashing the ball into the bottom left corner.

Havant struck back with seconds of normal time left when it seemed Alfie Rutherford would score yet another late winner against Braintree.

The ball broke to him inside the area before smashing the ball home from close range.

But for the second week in succession it was late heartbreak for the Hawks when in the 95th minute the Iron were rewarded a free kick from 25 yards out.

Murrell Williamson again proved to be the thorn in the Hawks’ side striking an unstoppable free kick into the top left corner, leaving Ross Worner with no chance, rescuing a point for the Iron.

FULL-TIME: Braintree Town 3-3 Hawks

Starting XI: Worner, Straker, Beckwith, Magri, Fogden, Drury, Kedwell (c), Ayunga, Bailey, Robson, Taylor

Subs on: Read, Rutherford, Paul

Subs not used: Walton, Tarbuck

By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)