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Barrington grabs a leveller as Braintree draw at leaders

PUBLISHED: 10:39 24 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:40 24 December 2017

Braintree's Marcel Barrington scored the Iron's equaliser at Dartford.

Braintree's Marcel Barrington scored the Iron's equaliser at Dartford.


National League South

Dartford 1 Braintree Town 1

This top of the table clash may have ended up as a draw at Prince’s Park on Saturday, but Iron manager Brad Quinton was more than delighted with both the result and a much-improved performance.

The Iron were dumped out of the FA Trophy by Brackley Town on Tuesday night but claimed a draw at league-leaders Dartford, thanks to Marcel Barrington’s equaliser just before the break.

Quinton was pleased with the way his side attacked from the kick off, showing far more composure, cohesion and commitment than in the previous game and they really took the game to their league-leading hosts.

“Overall it was a good team performance with all the players working for one another and I felt we did enough to have come home with three points instead of one,” he said.

“We were far better organised as a unit and the players showed far more aggression and commitment and we were the better side for long periods of the game sticking to our game plan,” he said.

“We looked far more dangerous in attack and had we scored once in the second half we would have gone on to win the game.”

The Iron had one or two early chances to score, notably a Barrington header that went over the bar, and it was surprise when the hosts took the lead on 16 minutes but again it was another mistake in defence, an all too common occurrence this season, that allowed Andy Pugh time and space to plant the ball past keeper Nathan McDonald.

Shortly afterwards on 21 minutes it was McDonald who stopped the home side from adding a second with a great save with his legs as the Iron briefly lost their composure before they soon forced their way back into the game.

Deservedly the equaliser came a minute before half-time when a fine low, left wing cross from Ricky Gabriel fell to Barrington in the area and he made no mistake firing the ball into the net.

Iron started the second half in the same frame of mind as the first and took the game to their hosts and they always looked the more likely side to score again and grab a winner.

The chances certainly came but Barrington headed over from a Phil Roberts cross before Billy Crook’s effort went close and then on 71 minutes Grant looked almost certain to score but his header went over.

Three minutes from the end substitute Michael-Percil almost snatched a late winner for the Iron but his spectacular overhead kick was just off target while overall a draw was perhaps a fair result but key for Iron fans was their side’s vastly improved performance over the 90 minutes.

Next up for the Iron is the local derby game at the IronmongeryDirect Stadium against Chelmsford City, kick off 3pm.

Braintree Town: McDonald; Muleba, Ellul, Okoye, Gabriel; Bihmoutine, Frimpong, Cook (Allen 83), Reece; Roberts 0- Baxter), Barrington (73 Michael-Percil). Unused Subs: Obamwonyi, Oliyide.

Attendance: 936

Two Ipswich Town stars will be looking to take a big step towards this summer’s World Cup over the next week while a host of younger players look to further their international careers.

Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has been impressed by Ipswich stopper Bartosz Bialkowski following his first call-up to the Polish national team.

Luton boss Nathan Jones is disappointed to lose the services of midfielder Flynn Downes due to international duty but is pleased to see the Ipswich Town youngster continue his development with England Under 19s.

Fighting for a place in England’s World Cup squad might be tough work for Burnley’s Nick Pope but it beats riding a milk float in the early hours of the morning.

Ipswich Town goalkeeper Michael Crowe was taken by surprise when he found out he had been called up for international duty, but is determined to learn as much as he can while away with the Wales squad.

Ipswich Town fans want to see young defender Josh Emmanuel given his chance in the first team next season.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says Josh Emmanuel may be sent out on loan again next season.

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers hopes striker David McGoldrick has not played his last game for the club.

Season ticket prices, whether we’ll hear from owner Marcus Evans and manager Mick McCarthy’s future are the three big questions as Ipswich Town head into a two-week international break.

Did you hear about the Mick McCarthy press conference? He walked into the room, sat down, and apologised profusely to the loyal fans of Ipswich Town, writes Northstander Terry Hunt.

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