Injury continued to keep out Joel Colbran, with Cam Tutt (concussion) and Reece Myles-Meekums (illness) joining him in a watching brief. Dan Bowry was also missing from the squad, while last week’s goalscorer Javaun Splatt started as a substitute alongside Mo Jammeh and the fit again Conrad Honore. Cal Kealy, Joe Rye and Sammie McLeod all regained their spots and latest signing Ibby Akanbi made his full debut.
Despite Lamar Reynolds drawing a save out of Harrison Male four minutes after kick-off, Worthing actually got proceedings underway in fine fashion, carving out two good opportunities inside the first ten minutes.
James Beresford took a throw-in on the left to Ikanbi who found Ollie Pearce on the right, his low shot kept out by ‘keeper Damian Niemczycki.
Chance number two found the back of the net, after Kealy had been played in behind and squared to Lewis White. His deflected shot producing a corner. Aarran Racine nodded down Kane Wills’ subsequent set-piece for Pearce to duck and guide in off his own noggin to put the visitors in front.
The hosts responded through a flag-kick of their own that the travelling team struggled to clear, until Harrison Male’s punch landed at the feet of home Captain John White, who turned over the top from fractionally outside the penalty area.
A similar set-up conjured up the equaliser shortly afterwards, Kyron Farrell, the Iron’s man for everything dead ball, sent one into the mixer that, eventually, Matt Rush smashed in from close range.
This though occurred in a postliminary fashion; Male having to turn aside the danger emanating via the left-back’s goal bound intentions seconds earlier.
Around the half-hour mark a promising looking counter-attack saw Kealy lead the charge into Town territory and send White scampering away towards the eighteen yard box, only for the winger to elect to shoot and comfortably locate the hands of Niemczycki.
However, a short while later Chris Regis spun neatly in the area to shake off the shackles of McLeod, only to curl narrowly above the opposite angle.
McLeod was also involved in Braintree’s next chance when his pass aimed at Male went straight to Rush instead; Racine’s sliding block denying the striker a second of the afternoon before Alfie Payne bent the ball inches past the far post.
The Cressing Road Collective had been forced into an early change with Lamar Reynolds limping off just five minutes in and Willie Clemons replacing him. Another swap at half-time resulted in Joe Boachie entering the action for his maiden appearance since signing from Potters Bar Town.
In fact, a Clemons cross created further uncertainty amongst the Reds’ rearguard that ended in a Farrell effort being beaten away by Male and Regis finally firing the wrong side of the bar.
That came following a decent opening for White, who latched onto a ball over the backline by Racine but a low stop from Niemczycki kept the winger and his teammates at bay.
Benton’s brilliance then nearly produced a match-defining second for the Towners as debutant Jon whipped in a delivery off the left that kissed the front of the back stick.
A dominant home side tested their guest’s nerves once more, thanks to Clemons seeing his header blocked by a blue shirt and his follow-up attempt flash across the face of goal.
Third and final sub Alfie Matthews almost made an instant impact when he gave fellow replacement Boachie a sniff at opening his account; an effort that missed the target by the tightest of margins.
Matthews, fittingly, had a hand in the winning strike that arrived a mere three minutes from time.
His shot into a packed penalty box was handled by Racine and duly converted twelve yards out by the same player.
Sadly, that wouldn’t be our Skippers’ last involvement of the day; needlessly getting mixed up in a tussle with Rush that ended in Red for Racine, closely succeeded by a yellow for Male as the danger of events spilling over increased.