National League South Sat 15 October The Dunmow Group Stadium
  • Rush (19')
  • Matthews (87')
  • Pearce (11')

Adam Hinshelwood made four changes to the eleven that lost 2-1 at home to Farnborough last time out. Joe Rye, Sammie McLeod and Callum Kealy returned to the side while new signing Ibby Akanbi made his Rebels debut. Cameron Tutt, Daniel Bowry, Javaun Splatt and Mo Jammeh were the four replaced.

The Iron also came into this one off the back of a recent defeat after losing 3-1 away at Dover last Saturday.

The first chance came in the fourth minute for the hosts as Lamar Reynolds found space on the Braintree right before striking from inside the area and forcing a good save from Harrison Male, parrying around the post.

Worthing then had a confident spell in possession. Lewis White’s cross from the left found Ollie Pearce in space inside the area on the eight-minute mark. Pearce brought the ball down in front of him and looked destined to score but was denied well Niemczycki who saved.

Then, a brilliant move by the Rebels, playing out from defence. Kealy was sent in behind the Braintree defence on the right, before squaring to White whose shot was blocked and deflected out for a corner.

The resulting corner was floated into skipper Aarran Racine who headed into the ground powerfully in a crowded six-yard box where Pearce guided it past Niemczycki to put us in front.

Braintree, looking to bounce back quickly, had a strong ten-minute spell, causing problems for the Rebels’ defence. Kyron Farrell’s chance on the 18th minute was tipped around the post by Harrison Male.

It wasn’t long before the Iron did get the equaliser, though and it came through Matt Rush who converted after Worthing failed to clear a goalmouth scramble from a Braintree corner.

A Worthing counter-attack on the half-hour mark saw Kealy break through the centre before passing left to White who cut inside, just outside the penalty box, before curling his shot straight at Niemczycki.

Two minutes later, Braintree had the ball in the net again through Benton, but it was ruled out for offside. Braintree won the ball back from the free-kick and created another opportunity where Chris Regis aimed towards to top corner with an audacious effort but missed just over the bar.

Beresford and White linked up to create a half chance for the Rebels with some five minutes left in the first half, with White’s effort missing the target from the edge of the box.

On the stroke of half-time, Braintree had the ball in the net for a third time after a deep free kick was floated into the area towards Regis who thought he had put the home side in front. Worthing’s offside trap worked, and the Iron had another chalked off.

After the break, Hinshelwood’s side started brightly. A long ball over the Braintree defence by Racine sent White in on goal from a tight angle, where his low shot was denied by Niemczicky’s feet.

20 minutes into the half, a Worthing corner was cleared away as far as White who delivered a dangerous ball into Rye who couldn’t quite control in time to get his shot off before the keeper collected and the Rebels struggled to find their rhythm.

The hosts then started to take control. A double chance saw Farrell fire powerfully towards goal from the edge of the area, forcing a good save by Harrison Male, before Regis struck the rebound into Male’s arms from a similar distance.

Hinshelwood rolled the dice by replacing Kane Wills and Kealy for Adam Adam and Conrad Honore on 72 minutes as he looked to change the momentum.

Seven minutes later, Rush came up with a moment of brilliance to beat the Worthing defence and create a chance for himself on the right side of the box. His left-footed effort struck the far post as the Iron started to look more threatening.

There was another half-chance for Braintree on 82 minutes as substitute Willie Clemons found the ball in space on the right side of the box after a deep corner, with his effort narrowly missing the target at the far post.

White linked up with Ankabi soon after down the Worthing left, Akanbi’s effort was comfortably collected by Niemczicky.

Splatt replaced Akanbi with five minutes to go as Hinshelwood used the last of his substitutions.

The hosts kept threatening and Levi Amantchi had a chance from the edge of the box after a nice passing move which he fired over.

Then, Alfie Matthews’ effort from outside the box was adjudged to have been blocked by a Worthing arm inside the area and a penalty was given with four minutes to go. Matthews stepped up and converted, slotting it to Male’s left and the Rebels suffered late heartbreak for the second week running.

The drama didn’t end there. Captain Racine was given a red card in added time after an incident with Rush. It seemed that Racine was trying to lift Rush back up off the floor after a tackle. Rush’s resistance, and the scene caused by the Braintree players, convinced referee Michael Robertson-Trent to reach for his back pocket.

It’s onto next week for Hinshelwood’s side where they will look to end a run of five games without a win in all competitions as they host Taunton Town at The Crucial Environmental Stadium.