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Braintree Town v Dartford

Braintree Town v Dartford



Dartford’s miserable away form continued, as in-form Braintree Town condemned them to a twelfth defeat of the season on the road.

The writing appeared to be already on the wall, after the Iron made a blistering start to the game. Their swift passing play and pacey attack was causing no end of trouble for the Dartford defence, even with the arrival of centre-half Ronny Nelson, who’d arrived from EFL League Two outfit Colchester United on a month’s loan.

But, together with Manny Adebowale, Tommy Block, and Tom Clifford, the defensive unit managed to hold strong against the fluid Braintree attack. That being said though, the hosts did create three glorious opportunities to open the scoring within the first fifteen minutes.

Ex-Dart Baris Altintop and new Iron signing, Freddie Sears, failed to test Billy Terrell, before Manny Adebowale made a superb block to prevent Sears for scoring in the 11th minute.

However, the hosts were soon rewarded for their efforts when Shaq Coulthirst got on the end of Tom Blackwell’s corner (their seventh!) to send a header across the box and into the back of the net (22).

Billy Terrell then got down to save the excellent Blackwell’s low strike (31), before the equally excellent Altintop pulled off a brilliant block to prevent Jordan Greenidge from troubling Jack Sims with his strike at the other end (32).

The Darts did begin to get themselves back into the contest on the pitch at least, but opportunities were few and far between. But they came close in the 43rd minute after Reggie Lambe went in late on Tommy Block. Luke Coulson whipped the free-kick into the Braintree box, where the ball eventually fell to Jack Smith on the edge… only for his sweetly struck drive fly narrowly wide of Sim’s upright.

The start of the second-half saw Dartford boss, Adrian Pennock, move quickly to swap Tommy Block with Maxwell Statham in the 49th minute. That would be followed by Brandon Barzey coming on for Ibby Akanbi (57), before Alex Wall replaced Jack Smith with six minutes remaining.

The hosts, meanwhile, swapped Lewis Miccio with Leon Davies (77), Freddie Sears with Charlie Wakefield (83), and Reggie Lambe with Alfie Payne (86).

As we return to the action, clear-cut goalscoring opportunities were in scarce supply during the second forty-five, as both defences remained resolute. However, in fairness, it was the hosts that looked the more threatening when going forward.

Shaq Coulthirst should have added a second in the 64th minute, but he shot straight at Billy Terrell. Then Tom Blackwell failed to convert a wonderful opportunity two minutes later.

The Dartford defence then stepped up to put bodies on the line, literally, as Coulthirst saw two good opportunities blocked in quick succession (74), before debutante Nelson stepped up to thwart Aaron Blair twice in quick succession as well (84)!

At the other end meanwhile, having only just entered the field, Alex Wall made his presence felt with a strong run into the Iron’s box. But, whilst being forced wide by a defender, he couldn’t keep his shot on goal down (85).

As the visitors began pushing forward in search of an equaliser, their chances were all but ended when Jordan Greenidge challenged Jack Sims for a fifty-fifty ball. The Dartford striker was a tad late and, having been previously booked in the 39th minute, received his marching orders when the referee (Mr Jack Bloxham) presented a second yellow then red card (89).

Braintree then secured the points deep into stoppage time, after Wakefield found Blackwell with a neat pass, and the latter duly fired into the bottom corner (90+5).

The result means that Dartford now drop into the bottom four of the National League South table, but there’s still plenty of points to play for.


BRAINTREE TOWN: Jack Sims, Lewis Miccio, Baris Altintop (c), Joe Grimwood, Ben Tompkins, Tom Blackwell, Aaron Blair, Shaq Coulthirst, Freddie Sears, Reggie Lambe, Dominic Odusanya.
SUBSTITUTES: Leon Davies, Alfie Payne, Jayden Davis, Charlie Wakefield, Jack Roberts.

DARTFORD: Billy Terrell, Tommy Block, Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Jack Smith, Luke Coulson (c), Ibby Akanbi, Manny Adebowale, Fumnaya Shomotun, Jordan Greenidge, Tom Clifford, Ronny Nelson.
SUBSTITUTES: Alex Wall, Maxwell Statham, Tom Wray, Brandon Barzey, Joash Nembhard.


Date Time League Season Full Time
March 12, 2024 7:45 pm National League South 2023/24 0'


The Avanti Stadium
Braintree CM7 3RD, UK


Braintree Town2Win


22Billy Terrell Goalkeeper
27Tom Clifford Defender
28Ronny Nelson Defender
14Manny Adebowale Defender
4Tommy Block 12 Defender
7Luke Coulson Midfielder
6Jack Smith 9 Midfielder
5Tyrell Miller-Rodney Midfielder
18Fumnaya Shomotun Forward
11Ibby Akanbi 17 Forward
23Jordan Greenidge Forward
9Alex Wall 6 Forward
12Maxwell Statham 4 Defender
13Tom Wray Goalkeeper
17Brandon Barzey 11 Forward
20Joash Nembhard Defender