Paul Doswell’s side made two changes from last week’s home clash against Maidstone United. Josh Passley returned from a slight knock, and Leon Chambers-Parillon started for the first time since our FA Cup 1st Round at Charlton. The starting 11 lined up in a 4-3-3 formation. Benny Read was named on the bench after fully recovering from his long term injury.
Braintree lined up in a 5-3-2 formation.
Hawks were close to taking the lead in the 16th minute but it was straight off the post. The Hawks had a number of chances in first half to make it 1-0, with Baggie, Roberts and Wright all doming close. The goal finally came when Wright smashed it home from outside the box in the 41st minute.
Braintree almost equalised just before the half time whistle when Clements’ head was met at a corner but it was well saved by Will Mannion. McCarthy had the first chance of the second half when his free-kick was tipped over the bar.
It was almost all Hawks in the first 25 minutes of the second half, with Braintree not causing too much threat in the away box. The threat continued when Tommy Wright doubled his tally; he darted through and slotted the ball past the ‘keeper to make it 2-0.
The final 15 minutes of the game was quiet, and the Hawks secured three points away from home, and their third clean sheet in a row.
Hawks had a corner within the first minute, but it was claimed comfortably by goalkeeper Johnson. Roberts had the first chance for the Hawks in the 16th minute as he was played through on goal, but his curved effort smacked the far post. Bertram-Cooper’s poor challenge on Newton saw him booked, before Baggie’s shot was well saved by Johnson. Roberts’ rebound was too high.
Wright came close just a moments later in the 27th minute as Newton played the forward through on goal, but the low effort was just wide of the post. Da Costa whipped in a Braintree corner in the 30th minute but it was met by the head of Joe Newton. Five minutes later he had a free-kick on the edge of the area, but it was shot over the bar and out of the ground.
Wright received the ball from outside the box and shot the ball low past the Braintree ‘keeper to make it 1-0. Both teams came close to adding to the score line in stoppage time as McCarthy’s header was straight at Will Mannion.
Braintree’s Derry met the corner with a great header which called the Hawks’ shot stopper into action to tip the ball over the bar, their best chance of the half.
Half Time – Braintree 0, Hawks 1
McCarthy had the first chance of the half when his freekick was tipped over the bar, before Roberts came close when he drove the ball across Johnson who pushed it wide. The first change of the half was for Braintree, Davidson replaced Porter. Wright came close in the 64th minute when his header was saved from a Passley cross.
The second Braintree sub was a minute later, Akinwande replaced Derry. Baggie was taken down on the edge of the area, but the free-kick was straight off the wall. Braintree’s final change saw Holness come on for Bertram-Cooper.
In the 74th minute, McCarthy’s long-range effort was wide. A minute later, Hawks doubled their lead. Tommy Wright darts through the Braintree defence and bends the ball calmly round the keeper into the top corner, his second of the game.
A quiet 10 minutes from both teams, before Baggie’s cross is almost converted by Wright but he just missed the ball. Benny Read returned from injury and came on in the 87th minute, replacing Baggie. Wright nicked the ball high up the pitch and crossed it into Roberts who couldn’t quite control it.
Final score – Braintree Town 0, Hawks 2
Hawks XI: Mannion (GK), Passley, Oastler ©, McCarthy, Rooney, Baggie, Newton, Gobern, Wright, Roberts, Chambers-Parillon
Hawks Subs: Searle (GK), Green, Read, Bailey, Widdrington
Braintree XI: Johnson (GK), Johnson-Schuster, Porter, Johnson, Bertram-Cooper, Clements, Pennell, Payne, Derry, Da Costa, Krasniqi
Braintree Subs: Hope, Davidson, Holness, Akinwande, Anderson
Written by: Adam Nixon