National League South Sat 15 April The Crucial Environmental Stadium
  • Chambers (36')
  • Meekums (71')
  • Bradshaw (14')

The Reds dominated the opening exchange – Davide Rodari was guilty of wasting three opportunities inside the first ten minutes.

The sucker punch came in the fifteenth minute when the visitors took the lead against the run of play. Following a counter attack from a Worthing corner, Zak Bradshaw slid the ball beneath the unfortunate Harrison Male, who initially denied Bradshaw with a strong wrist.

The away side were lifted after taking the lead and almost doubled their advantage ten minutes later.

Striker Alfie Pavey was left frustrated shortly afterwards – set up by Aaron Blair his cute effort beat Male but rolled narrowly wide of the far post.

Adam Hinshelwood’s side continued to create chances and the breakthrough eventually came eight minutes before the break.

A beautiful pass from Ollie Pearce down the right flank found Meekums who skilfully flicked the ball over the defender before laying off to Josh Chambers to fire a fierce effort beyond Jack Sims to bring the sides level.

Both sides had opportunities to steal the lead before the break, however a sharp save from Male in the 44th minute ensured that the score would remain level heading into half-time.

Hinshelwood’s men moved into the second half full of confidence after their equaliser and took the game firmly by the scruff of the neck.

Chambers had a penalty appeal quickly waved away by the referee on the hour mark.

The hosts continued to probe and created a big chance minutes later when Meekums forced Sims into a save with his feet from a tight angle.

Sims could do nothing to deny Meekums in the 71st minute though as the Reds edged in front.

In similar fashion to the equaliser, Joel Colbran and Pearce linked up on the right flank before the ball eventually fell to Meekums who beat Sims at his front post.

The Rebels had opportunities to put the game out of Braintree’s sight late on, however their main objective was to hold on to their advantage.

It wasn’t to be for Rodari in front of goal, as he missed another golden chance late on; heading a deflected effort wide from a corner.

Fortunately for Rodari and the Rebels, they weren’t made to pay late on but only thanks to Harrison Male who produced a stunning save minutes from time when he sprung to his left to deny Pavey.

In the end the Reds held on to earn a vital win in their bid to finish in the play-off places, the three points bringing them within a point of their opponents in sixth place with two games in hand.