The Cards battle back to earn a point against the leagues meanest defence in Braintree Town.

Written By Edward Stokes

Braintree’s goal midway through the first half was cancelled out in the 78th minute, as John Goddard finished off a well worked move down the left hand side, capitalising on a rare moment when the Braintree defence switched off, slotting past the impressive Will Norris in the visitors goal.

Braintree boasted the meanest defence in the Vanarama National League, and have lost once in their last 9 games, including Saturday’s draw against Oxford Utd, so Garry Hill’s men would have been going into this game under no illusions about the tough task facing them.

The form showed in the second half was relatively uneventful. The first twenty minutes, the game came as Mitch Brundle broke down the right hand side, beating Chris Arthur, to cross for Sean Marks to volley home from inside the six yard box, scoring his first league goal of the season, giving Braintree Town the lead.

The Cards responded well after the disappointing conceded goal, keeping possession well, getting in good positions and putting a lot of crosses in to the box, but with no real end product. Braintree were resolute in their defence, showing everyone what a solid outfit they are, and restricted Woking’s good play by not allowing them to play inside their final third.

Things looked comfortable for Braintree at half time, with Woking restricted to half chances and looking dangerous on the break. The visitors went into the break happier.

Within minutes of the restart both teams had chances to score. Miles shooting over and Szmodics shooting a tame shot straight at Jake Cole in the Woking goal when he was clean through. At the other end Kadell Daniel fired a vicious shot from the left hand side of the area, which flew just over the bar.

Woking celebrating equalizer

Fifty three minutes in and Braintree had their best chance to double their lead with that man Szmodics finding himself clean through again, this time on the left hand side, he tried an audacious lob, which would have come off, but for a fabulous save from Woking stopper Jake Cole. Braintree will rue that miss, because that moment seemed to spur Woking, restricting Braintree to half chances for the rest of the game, and long periods where The Cards were camped in the Braintree half of the pitch.

Woking kept getting in good positions, dangerous crosses in to the box, neat passing, really taking the game to the visitors, and all their hard work was rewarded after seventy eight minutes, with another fine run down the left from the thorn in the side of full backs throughout the National League, Joey Jones. His cross was only half cleared by the Braintree defence and there was only ever going to be one outcome, John Goddard side footing home the leveller from just inside the penalty area.

The last ten minutes was all Woking, creating may a chance to win the game, and they were unlucky not to win it in the end, but a hard earned draw and a good second half performance will feel like a victory for Gary Hill this evening. Especially taking into account the terrible run of form The Cards have been in, and the quality of opposition. 1-1 draw a fair result in my book.

Attendance: 1,182

Woking: Jake Cole, Chris Arthur, Mark Ricketts (Capt) Brian Saah, Joey Jones, John Goddard, Matthew Robinson (Jimmy Keohane, 65) Kadell Daniel (Bruno Andrade, 65) Daniel Holman, Adam Cunnington, Cameron Norman.

Unused Subs. Giuseppe Sole, Nick Haman, Terell Thomas

Braintree Town: Will Norris, Remy Clerima, Sam Habergham, Matt Payne, Matt Fry, Sammi Szmodics, Taylor Miles (Michael Cheek, 70) Alex Woodyard, Chez Isaac, Mitch Brundle, Sean Marks (Ibra Sekassa, 80)

Unused Subs. Chris Haigh, Elliot List, Anthony Edger.

Radio Woking Man of the Match: Joey Jones