Toothless Beavers suffer second defeat
Hampton's penalty box blues continue as plenty of set piece chances go begging...
Neither keeper really had a save to make in the first half, although the hosts made the first real opening on 13 minutes, breaking forward quickly, before the Beavers defence got back to cover.
Hampton were getting to the box and winning free kicks, but they couldn't seem to make McDonald in the Iron goal do much; Christian Jolley fired a shot over midway through the half and Roberts nearly had a chance a couple of minutes later but massed orange shirts crowded him out.
10 minutes before the break, some indecision between the Iron keeper and his defenders almost let Ryan Moss in, but his contact on the ball saw the shot dribble wide of the post.
Charlie Wassmer was getting forward at set pieces and he had a couple of chances before the halftime break, but the headers were easily taken by McDonald.
Right on half time though, the Beavers went behind. Billy Crook took advantage of a lapse in midfield, his cross into the box was met by Luke Allen, who netted past Sam Howes to deal the boys a body blow.
Just a few minutes had gone in the second half when the Beavers went a second goal behind. The ball was lost on the edge of the Braintree penalty area, and the home team counter-attacked rapidly; the only player fast enough and able to get back to make a challenge was Shaun McAuley, but in making the challenge on Luke Allan, brought down the player right in the far corner of the box by the goal line.
Billy Crook stepped up and gave Howes no chance from 12 yards and Hampton were left with a tough task to get back into the game.
It got even harder some 10 minutes later, as Jack Cook was caught on the wrong side of Dernell Wynter, and in trying to get back, tugged on the strikers shirt as the player got free on goal, just outside the box. The referee deemed it a clear goal-scoring opportunity, showing Cook
the red card and he had to forlornly trudge off to the dressing room.
The home side, despite having the advantage, didn't really look like they would breach what appeared to be a 3 man defence but it nearly went all wrong in added time, as in making a clearance, Sam Howes trod on the ball, allowing the Iron to steal possession; thankfully the massed ranks of blue and white managed to protect the goal.
A late consolation came with seconds left of the 5 minutes additional time as Wassmer managed to get his head on the ball and loop it into the net, after a scramble in the Braintree box following McDonald's missed catch, but it was scant reward as the team had had plenty of set piece opportunities throughout the game.
Speaking after the game, Dowse was unhappy about the performance, picking out the senior players in the team:
"They committed absolute schoolboy errors and they need to take a long hard look at themselves and their performances today - the youngsters didn't let me down at all.
"It was always going to be difficult going a man down but in the first half I felt we more than matched them and we could have scored first with the couple of chances we had," he said. "I don't think it was a penalty because their lad was in an offside position in the first place."