Cheshunt travelled to Braintree Town a team 12 places above them in the league seeking to ensure there was no repeat of the home fixture when Braintree raced into an unassailable 3-0 lead in 12 minutes and ran out 5-0 winners.
The first half saw the Ambers reproducing the type of performance that cost them all three points against Slough Town the week end before, and they can consider themselves fortunate to reach half time at 0-0. Braintree had the better of the first half, but good build up play fizzled out in the final third and when they did get through Blair failed to pull the trigger on several occasions. Boachie was prominent and caused a few concerns with his runs, but Preston Edwards smothered his low crosses in comfortably. Braintree re organised after losing captain White to a head injury, but the Ambers offered little to cheer the away support.
Manager Edwards had seen enough in the first half & bought on Fraser Alexander in a central midfield role & gave a debut to Kendall Gyamfi to partner Ken Charles up front. The impact was immediate and Cheshunt looked to be forcing Braintree onto their back foot, but against the run of play & with an assist from the Cheshunt defence Aaron Blair pounced on a poor back pass to slide the ball under keeper Preston Edwards.
Alexander’s presence in midfield drove the Ambers forward at every opportunity as he glided into the space in front of him each time he took possession, advancing the whole team into more dangerous territory. Gyamfi’s movement off the ball gave Braintree plenty to think about and bought opportunity for Ken Charles to run at the home defence, each time his shots after a cut inside were desperately blocked. One Charles shot did get through, Braintree keeper Sims blocked but into the path of Gyamfi, incredibly as the Cheshunt debutant shot, Sims launched himself into a double save that drew applause from both sets of supporters, this action felt like it may be the defining moment of the match, especially with the home players going down & staying down at every opportunity following the directive of the broken record in their dugout screaming ‘game management’ on repeat.
Re & Maja had shots go close, Tyrelle Newton looked good for a goal when put through, but was crowded out as he delayed the shot, at the other end a rare excursion won a dangerous free kick that beat the Cheshunt wall but was just the wrong side of the post.
With only 4 added minutes Cheshunt forced corners but still couldn’t score, then with no need to commit the foul, the home side gave away a free kick just inside the Braintree half, Cheshunt loaded the Braintree box for one last go at breaching the home defence, a delivery from the left just beyond the penalty spot was met by centre half Raul Da Silva with a thunderous header to send the away support delirious and leave the home bench contemplate their time wasting, and karma.