Cowley hails best performance of season as Braintree Town win 1-0 at Grimsby Town
PUBLISHED: 09:42 13 April 2016 | UPDATED: 09:42 13 April 2016
Braintree Town pulled off a fantastic win at Blundell Park on Tuesday evening and with it three vital points in keeping them in contention for the play-offs.
It was a thoroughly professional performance by Iron from start to finish with a solid defensive display, creativity in midfield and persistent pressure in attack and they never gave the home side gain a look-in from the first to the last whistle.
The crucial winning goal came on 77 minutes when striker Michael Cheek typified the Iron players’ never-say-die attitude when he chased and hassled two home defenders on the right wing.
He managed though to help squeeze the ball through to Taylor Miles and he raced clear along the byline before calmly sliding the ball between the legs of keeper James McKeown.
The result and performance left manager Dan Cowley a delighted man, describing it about the best performance of the season from his side adding: “It was a great team performance from all the boys who were all excellent.
“We came with a set game plan to be compact with no gaps and to give a cohesive display and forcing them from our defence back into their half and not letting them gain a foothold on the game,” he explained. “We did that for the whole game and the players never gave up.
“We were down to the bare bones of a squad too with both Sim Akinola and Sean Marks unfit with groin injuries but again the players as a group showed what great character and resilience they have.”
The back four was led by the exceptional Mark Phillips and Matt Fry and the midfield controlled proceedings, with Kenny Davis, Mitch Brundle and Alex Woodyard, preventing the home side from all too often breaking out to attack.
“We needed to keep the right balance throughout the side, which we did expertly, and then put them under pressure so as to frustrate them all evening,” Cowley added.
“Yes, it was a good performance but we mustn’t get excited or carried away with it - our focus is now for a repeat performance at Gateshead on Saturday.”
It was not until the third minute of stoppage time that the home side created any real threat when, in a goalmouth scramble, the ball clipped the top of the Iron crossbar before going behind.
Braintree Town: King; Long, Fry, Phillips, Habergham; Isaac (Miles 74), Davis, Woodyard, Sparkes (Edgar 79); Brundle, Cheek. Unused subs: Marks, Haigh, Powell.
Attendance: 3,010 (including 28 Iron supporters).
Referee: Mr P Jones.