Rare away league defeat for Braintree Town

PUBLISHED: 14:33 19 February 2017

Kris Twardek, who missed out on Braintree's 2-0 defeat at Macclesfield. He was away on international duty with Canada. Picture: ALAN STUCKEY

Kris Twardek, who missed out on Braintree's 2-0 defeat at Macclesfield. He was away on international duty with Canada. Picture: ALAN STUCKEY

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Macclesfield Town 2 Braintree Town 0

It was not a good weekend for Braintree Town, who saw the gap between themselves and the National League relegation zone cut from seven to four points.

Macclesfield were always going to be tough hosts to crack, and so it proved as the ninth-placed Silkmen eased to a league double over The Iron, having won 3-1 at Cressing Road last September.

However, this was only Braintree’s second defeat in their last nine league games on the road, an impressive record stretching back to October, and they remain in a strong position to retain their non-league top tier status.

A quickfire second-half double saw Macclesfield to victory, although Hakan Hayrettin’s travellers played well for three-quarters of the game to keep the scoreline blank.

Connor Jennings finally broke the deadlock for John Askey’s Silkmen in the 71st minute, latching onto Mitch Hancox’s through ball to score.

Just two minutes later and some hesitancy in The Iron defence allowed leading scorer Chris Holroyd to slot home the second with a left-footed finish.

Braintree, who were without Millwall loanee Kris Twardek – the winger was away on international duty with Canada over the weekend – now turn their attention to a key home match against lowly rivals Maidstone next Saturday.

The Kent club currently sit in the fourth and final relegation spot, four points behind The Iron.

Braintree remain in 16th spot, although many of the teams below them made up ground, with victories for the lowly duo of Maidstone and Guiseley, and draws for York, Torquay, Woking and Southport.

BRAINTREE: Beasant, Clohessy, Parry, Goodman (sub Gayle, 42), Okimo, Hall-Johnson (sub Henshall, 67), Farrell (sub Dias, 75), Issac, Patterson, Cheek, Barnard. Unused subs: Maybanks, Corne. Attendance: 1,267.

Meanwhile, Chelmsford City gave their National League South play-off hopes a big boost by winning 1-0 away at promotion-chasing rivals Dartford on Saturday.

Skipper Anthony Church obliged with the only goal in the 71st minute, stabbing home from close range beyond keeper Darren Ibrahim. The Clarets are just one point adrift of the play-offs.

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