After the New Year victory over local rivals Nuneaton, Marcus Law's side welcomed Braintree to The Lamb going in search of another three points. Law welcomed a number of players back to the squad after suspension, so the team had three changes to that which ran out in midweek although Regan did not feature.
Almost exactly 12 months previously, The Lambs had run out against Everton in the FA Cup but it was Braintree who got the game underway, kicking towards the Castle End. On 5, Oji was unable to turn effectively to get a shot away but Kelly won a corner which Till played short and Marshall hit a snap shot which was blocked before Kerry crossed long as The Lambs enjoyed some early pressure at the Meadow Street end. A stray arm from Wright caught Braintree defender Wells and earned the Lambs striker a booking while the player remained on the floor having treatment. Tait was then floored by Marks on the right wing and Kelly stepped up for the dead ball which he struck right footed and although it was cleared Courtney's long throw caused problems as Hendrie's shot bobbled around for McDonald to smother. A 7th freekick for a similar misdemeanour came Kerry's way on 15 but Braintree were able to clear and pushed down field, however The Lambs countered and Tait's ball into the box was headed away. But in the seventeenth minute Davis sent the ball into the area through the middle and Holman held off the challenge of Oji and slotted home to give the visitors the lead (0-1, 17 mins) And the scoreline was doubled on 20 when Paine's low shot squirmed past Breeden and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal (0-2, 20 mins) It was almost three on 23 when Breeden was forced to leave his area and head away the bouncing ball before Holman followed up and fired it wide right of the woodwork with Breeden seemingly static and beaten. As the half hour came and went Tamworth continued to find it harder and harder to break through the final third of the Iron defence while the referee had a long chat with Marks but showed no card. Mulley and Holman forced a corner with a deflected shot off the Lambs defence and Holman did get shown a card on 35 when the ball came in, for a foul on Breeden. In a rare move forward Kelly's ball into the area found the head of Wright and although his effort forced McDonald to watch it closely it was always dropping over the bar. On 41 Hendrie followed up a dummy move from Kerry with a right footed drive past the right hand post from the 20 yards out while Kerry tried a similar shot from a more central position but angled it past the right hand post as well. 2 minutes added time was shown at the end of the first half which ended without further incident.
HT: Tamworth 02 Braintree Town
Braintree's 19 - Wells - played the second half with a new shirt following the incident in the first half as Tamworth reorganised their formation to be more attacking and restarted proceedings towards the Castle End and Kelly fired an early freekick into the box but it was hoofed out. Courtney picked up a booking for a challenge on Mulley on 48 and Davis fired the dead ball in for Marshall to head it clear. Confusion / hilarity over foul throws amused the Shed on 51 and there was further confusion about Braintree a freekick which no one seemed to want to take on 55. Cunnington entered play on 57 replacing Kelly while Wright took a knock on 59 unseen by the officials, but incensing the home faithful. And a foul by Hendrie by the right hand corner on the hour allowed Braintree to put the ball into the box, and when Holman drove it back into the area Daley finished from close range through a crowded box. (0-3, 60 mins) There were shouts for handball when Cunnington and then Tait tried to drive a shot on goal from 12 yards out on 65 and from the corner Marshall's header was tipped over the bar by McDonald under the corner of bar and post. A push on Cunnington by Peters in the area handed the leading scorer a penalty which McDonald initially saved, but he followed up the rebound to reduce the areas (1-3, 70 mins) A good header from Wright saw McDonald tip it out for a corner on 74 but nothing could be made of the flagkick while at the other end, Breeden prevented Marks from hitting his sides fourth with a body block after Oji had been beaten. Breeden then prevented Davis' header with a flying tipi over the bar on 75 as the game opened up somewhat. After Tamworth made a change on the field, Barrow and Holman were both booked for a clash by the main stand on 79 and Peters and Davis picked up a card each on 82 as well. Braintree won a corner on 86 through Marks blocked effort down the right channel and Tait's challenge on Davis set up the Braintree captain with a spotkick on 88 and Breeden was sent the wrong way for the visitors 4th of the afternoon (1-4, 88 mins) Three minutes added time were shown at the end of the game and although Tamworth won a late corner which fell to Hendrie his low shot went low and wide left of the mark. Braintree finished the game with an even later flag kick on the right which ended proceedings.
BREEDEN (GK), Richard TAIT (c), Marcus KELLY (Adam CUNNINGTON 57), Tom MARSHALL, Lee HENDRIE, Tommy WRIGHT, Lloyd KERRY, Duane COURTNEY, Peter TILL (Connor GUDGER 77), Scott BARROW, Sam OJI Subs: James WREN (GK), Connor ROBERTS-NURSE, Elliott TURNER
Braintree Town Team:
Nathan McDONALD (GK), Ryan PETERS, Matt PAINE, Kenny DAVIS (c), Sean MARKS, Luke DALEY (Kane SHEPPARD 90), Alan MASSEY, James MULLEY, Dean WELLS, Ryan WATTS, Dan HOLMAN (Declan HUNT 83) Subs: Nicky SYMONS, Daniel SPARKES, Bradley DACK