Braintree Town boss Bradley Quinton delighted at his side’s 4-0 win over East Thurrock

PUBLISHED: 10:18 07 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:18 07 January 2018

Billy Crook opens the scoring for Braintree at home to East Thurrock on Saturday. Photos; JON WEAVER

Billy Crook opens the scoring for Braintree at home to East Thurrock on Saturday. Photos; JON WEAVER

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Braintree Tn 4 East Thurrock 0

Reece Grant rushes to thank the provider of Iron's fourth goal, Phil Roberts (9). Photos: JON WEAVER Reece Grant rushes to thank the provider of Iron's fourth goal, Phil Roberts (9). Photos: JON WEAVER

This was a much improved Iron performance with an all-round display of their passing and movement style of football and in the end they ran out deserved 4-1 winners over East Thurrock, with a victory that moves them back up into second place in National League South, writes David Ward.

It could have been a different story though had the visitors taken their chances in the first 10 minutes with Sam Higgins (twice) and Max Cornhill with some wayward finishing and an excellent fourth minute save by Iron keeper Nathan McDonald.

The visitors were to rue these opportunities as Iron settled down to take control of the game scoring three times before the interval and effectively ending the match as a contest.

Iron manager Brad Quinton though was pleased his side kept a clean sheet for the first time in a month: “It was a terrific performance from the boys who showed the right attitude, created a hatful of chances and defensively we stopped giving away sloppy balls that have let to goals against us,” he said.

“The second half was scrappy and we needed that fourth goal to really see them off and I had a go at them at half-time that just because we were three goals up it was far from over.

“It clearly worked and full marks to them for responding in the right way.”

Quinton was particularly pleased with the performance of fit again midfielder Luke Allen and the contributions from both Roman Michael-Percil and goal scorer Reece Grant adding: “It’s good to see confidence returning throughout the side but again I warned them not to be over confident because that’s when silly mistakes happen.”

“We’ve missed Luke linking up with Billy Crook in midfield so it was great to see us stronger there while both Roman and Reece played their part in the win,” he said.

Rocks’ boss John Coventry was disappointed with his side’s display: “I know we had some players out through injury but that’s no excuse and had we taken those early chances to score I think we would have gone on to win,” he said.

The Iron took the lead on 25 minutes with a superb half volley from Crook on the edge of the area that gave Rocks’ keeper Lidakevicius no chance.

They then took complete control of the game with two quick goals - the first on 37 minutes when Crook crossed the ball back across the goalmouth for Grant to tuck away and the second 45 seconds later when Phil Roberts worked his way down the right wing before crossing into the penalty box where the unmarked Allen stroked the ball into the net.

The Iron wrapped the game up on 71 minutes when again Crook was the goal maker with an accurate cross to the far post for Grant to slide the ball home and before the final whistle the youngster could have had his first club hat-trick but twice he found the side netting when well positioned.

Late Iron chances also went begging, with Marcel Barrington, Ricky Gabriel and Roberts just missing the target when clean through on goal with the by then ragged visitors’ defence all over the place.

Next up for the Iron is on Saturday when they make the trip to Wiltshire to take on Chippenham Town, kick off 3pm.

Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Gabriel (Baxter 84), Ellul, Okoye; Barrington, Allen (Bettache 73), Crook, Michael-Percil (Wyatt 66); Roberts, Grant. Unused subs: Oliyide, Bihmountine.

Attendance: 445

Referee: Ryan T Atkin

Man of the Match: Reece Grant (Braintree Town)

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