In-form Iron are eight without defeat

Worthing v Braintree Town – Vanarama National League South – Sussex Community Transport Stadium – Report

Worthing 0-1 Braintree Town 

Aaron Blair’s twenty-ninth-minute strike saw in-form Braintree Town scoop the points in a 1-0 win over Worthing at the Sussex Community Transport Stadium. The victory, their sixth in succession, extends the Iron’s unbeaten run to eight matches and moves them up to fifth place in the table.      

Following the 1-0 win over Tonbridge Angels on Tuesday, Angelo Harrop made one change to his starting line-up, handing new signing Dom Odusanya his first-team debut in place of suspended Alfie Pavey.

With Worthing sitting in second place and the leading goal scorers in Vanarama National League South with seventy-seven from their thirty-four games played, the match presented an intriguing prospect with the resolute Iron defence not having been breached in their previous four matches with only thirty-three goals having been conceded to date throughout the season.

Both keepers were in action early in the game, with Worthing’s Ollie Wright doing well to keep out Tom Blackwell’s effort with his boot before Danny Cashman found his way through the Braintree defence before firing straight at Jack Sims.

Southampton loanee Wright denied Shaq Coulthirst twice in succession, only for the goalkeeper to then collide with defender Alfie Young on the edge of the box just before the half-hour mark to leave Blair the simple task of tapping the ball home into the unguarded net to put Iron one up.

With Braintree in the ascendency for the remainder of the first half, Odusanya – signed from Welling United earlier in the week fired straight at Wright, who was also forced into spectacular action to deny Reggie Lambe twice just after the hour mark.

Worthing had a fine opportunity to equalise in stoppage time only for leading league goal scorer Ollie Pearce, with eighteen goals from his last twelve matches, to nod Cashman’s cross over the crossbar.  

The miss proved to be the Rebel’s final chance of the contest as Iron, who recorded a 4-0 victory at Cressing Road earlier in the season completed the double over their opponents and their eighth win in the last fifteen meetings between the two sides.

Next up for Braintree in the Vanarama National League South is a trip to Twerton Park on Tuesday to play fourth-placed Bath City (7.45pm).

Worthing: Wright, Felix, Young, Rye, Wills, Wadham, Klass (Robinson 90+2’) Dolaghan (Luer 55’) Fage (Tutt 65’) Cashman, Pearce. Subs not used: O Starkey, Jeanes

Braintree Town: Sims, Davies, Altintop (Capt) Grimwood, Tompkins, Blackwell (Davis 83’) Payne, Blair, Coulthirst (Roberts 90+5’) Lambe, Odusanya (Miccio 90+3’) Sub not used: Brothers

Referee: Eugene Robinson

Assistants: Louis Dawson and Joshua Langley-Fineing

Attendance: 1,341