March Town 1, Braintree Res 1
THE HARES came agonisingly close to doing the double over the Braintree side who equalised in the injury time at the GER on Saturday in the Thurlow Nunn Division One.
Paul Crosbie’s side had triumphed 3-1 at Braintree but since then the Essex side have won their last two games and adopted a real attacking plan in this clash.
They decided to take on March’s back three with four forwards this time and dominated the early exchanges but without forcing a decent save from Marc Hipwell.
But once March weathered this onslaught they came into their own and after 16 minutes took the lead. A corner was swung in and the referee spotted a foul off the ball and Lewis Thompson converted the penalty in style.
The goal signalled a good period from March and they had chances to increase their lead when James McDonough missed a good chance and Robbie Masters was one on one with the keeper who saved well. At the other end Braintree saw a goal bound effort cleared off the line before the break.
In the second half March did have some dogged defending to do as Braintree looked for an equaliser but March also came close to a second goal.
Masters crossed the ball and Stu Anderson attacked the ball with a good header across the goal but the goalkeeper pulled off a tremendous save to push the ball round the post.
Just when it looked although March had held out they were hit with an injury time goal that some referees may have ruled out.
Twice Hipwell was clattered by Braintree players but when the ball ran loose for the second time it was despatched into the net to make it 1-1.
There was however just time for substitute Sam Darlow to cross but Anderson failed to take the chance of a winner.
Crosbie said: “It is very frustrating to concede such a late equaliser. They will no doubt feel they should have won the game but I felt a draw was a fair result.
“We have now taken four points off Braintree this season and would have gone above them into fourth place had we held on for the win.
“I do not think we really played our game today but we should have had a penalty when Anderson was rugby tackled.
“Not many people would have thought we would take a win and a draw against Braintree at the start of the season which shows how far we have come already this season.”
March: Marc Hipwell, Stu Porter, Max Mattless, Adam Sutton; James McDonough, Aidan Hollis, Scott Welcher, Lewis Thompson, Ash Spendelow; Robbie masters,Stu Anderson. Subs used: Jack Saunders, Sam Darlow, Shaun White.