After a 4-0 home defeat to Harrogate, Braintree Town manager Danny Searle publicly admitted his players owe the fans a massive apology for such a performance which practically dooms his side to Vanarama National League relegation.

“The players have let everyone down and some have stood up in the dressing room afterwards and openly admitted it,” he said. “You cannot give cheap goals away, which they did today, at any level of the game and we certainly paid the price in this match.

“Players made the wrong decisions and no amount of planning in training sessions can accommodate eradicating them. We also lacked cohesion and our passing at times was terrible.”

The Iron found themselves a goal down in the second minute when Jack Emmett waltzed unmarked through the home defence to score, and on 10 minutes, Mark Beck repeated the act with the Iron defence nowhere to add a second for the visitors. Harrogate added a third goal on 37 minutes when the unmarked George Thomson strode through to score, and before half-time, the Iron would have been even further behind but for two exceptional save from Iron keeper Ben Killip.

That third goal effectively ended the match as a contest. On 56 minutes, Beck duly grabbed his second goal and he twice should have completed his hat-trick; but for the brave saves by Killip the Iron would have been on the end of hiding. Iron’s performance, their fifth successive defeat, is best summed up by the fact that their only shot on goal came on 81 minutes making it a quiet afternoon for visiting keeper James Belshaw.

The only bright spot for Iron was the 67th minute debut of young reserve forward Jayden Gipson who impressed, with manager Searle adding: “I think he did well and is one for the future and I intend to bring in other youngsters if I think they can cope with game at this level – it has to be the way forward.”


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