HEED ARE HAPLESS AS IRON BAG FIRST WIN
BATTLING Braintree recorded their first win of the season and kept a clean sheet in the bargain as Gateshead hit the buffers.
As hapless as the Heed were in comfortably their worst display of the season, you could not deny the Iron their moment in the sun.
The Essex outfit came out on top in a dour affair on Tyneside, centre-back Joe Ellul’s 55th-minute header decisive.
“I’m over the moon with the players,” said delighted Braintree boss Brad Quinton. “We travelled up on the day and got a great result.
“We were superb today. We were strong and looked solid and I was proud of them.
“As the game went on confidence builds. No team is going to come here, put on a performance like that and get away with it.
“Gateshead were running out of ideas towards the end and the boys dealt with everything that was thrown at them.”
It was a bad omen for what was to come when the Heed lost on loan Sunderland wide man Luke Molyneux through injury in the warm-up.
It was his replacement, Cameron Salkeld, who shot over the bar on the turn from the edge of the box in the first threat on goal.
Steven Rigg, found by Greg Olley, was also off target from a similar distance as both sides searched for some rhythm.
Elliot Forbes’s header was easily dealt on a day when Gateshead were toothless, managing only two efforts on target all afternoon. Braintree fared little better and lost the corner count 11-0, but they got the all-important goal that lifted them off the foot of the table on goal difference. Greg Olley’s ball into Rigg saw the former Carlisle man shoot high and wide from just outside the box. Rigg then headed over the bar under pressure before a rare move of quality almost saw Olley break the deadlock. Rigg found Salkeld on the right, whose inside ball picked out Olley, the midfielder’s angled 25yard drive flying past the far post. The second half was better without reaching mediocrity, the Heed at last getting on the front foot with JJ O’Donnell probing down the left. An inability to deal with a set-play into the box cost Gateshead once again, Ellul heading home Billy Crook’s delivery at the back post. Rigg’s close range header was blocked by Iron keeper Ben killip, the Tynesiders huffing and puffing without finding an equaliser. “I was very disappointed with the result,” said Gateshead manager Steve Watson. “We weren’t brilliant today and it’s the mistakes again.”
STAR MAN: Joe Ellul (Braintree) ATT: 578 ENTERTAINMENT: ★★★★★ REFEREE: Tom Davies 7/10