Braintree 2, Harriers 0

HARRIERS endured a miserable trip to Essex as they came back empty-handed on Saturday.

A goal in each half for the home side saw them condemn the Reds to a second defeat of the season to continue their away woes, with manager Gary Whild admitting the day’s second goal was crucial.

“We deserved maybe to get a goal and get something out of the game but their second goal, for me, has killed us a little bit,” he commented.

“It was too easy and there was no sign of that in the first five or six games when we were looking solid at the back.

“The guy has stooped down in our six-yard box and that’s unacceptable.”

Keen to get a response after a disappointing defeat at Southport earlier in the week, Whild made two changes to his starting line-up, drafting in Nathan Blissett at the expense of Craig Reid, while Aman Verma replaced Jamie Grimes in midfield.

Blissett’s strike partner Reece Styche etched out the first chance of the game with less than six minutes on the clock, as he edged an effort narrowly wide of the foot of the far post.

The hosts, however, took the lead shortly after the quarter-hour mark, when James Mulley’s attempted shot across goal gathered pace with the wind and continued to rise, all the way past the defenders and goalkeeper Danny Lewis and into the top of the net.

Braintree continued to create chances and just short of the half-hour mark Jordan Cox headed over from close range.

Harriers hit back, with Styche and Jack Byrne seeing shots blocked, while Kyle Storer clipped an effort off target.

Byrne had their best chance but was denied by the legs of ‘keeper Nick Hamman on the stroke of half time But their fell 2-0 down three minutes after the break when the unmarked Kenny Davis finished simply at the far post.

BRAINTREE: Hamann, Peters, Habergham, Brundle, Massey, Mulley, Davis, Sparks (Smith 76), Isaac, Akinola (Case 90), Cox (Bakare 55). Subs not used: Walker, Pentney.

HARRIERS: Lewis, Hodgkiss, Dunkley, Gowling, Nicholson, Byrne, Verma (Obeng 62), Storer, Johnson, Blissett (Gash 56), Styche (Reid 73). Subs not used: Grimes, Singh. Attendance: 751. Referee: Justin Amey.