National League
Braintree1Cambridge0

Braintree Town 1-0 Cambridge United

Daniel Sparkes earned Braintree victory in their first home game since December with the only goal against high-flying Cambridge United.

Bernard Mensah fired the best first-half chance across goal for the Iron.

Ryan Bird poked narrowly wide for the visitors before substitute Sparkes side-footed the winner after some good work by Mensah.

Liam Hughes curled a corner kick onto the bar for the U's and James Mulley hit the post for Braintree late on.

Richard Money

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Angry Money fumes at Cambridge

The match was originally planned for New Year's Day but, after a 55-day wait, the Iron finally managed to host Cambridge at the third attempt.

Braintree's last match at the Amlin Stadium was a 2-0 win against Tamworth on 28 December.

While they have played just 27 games so far this term, the Essex side move to 16th place in the Conference Premier, equal on points with Woking who have played seven games more.

Cambridge remain second despite their winless run extending to five league matches, but they slip 14 points behind Luton after the leaders beat Wrexham 5-0.

Cambridge United boss Richard Money told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire:

"I think for the first time this season I need to apologise to every single Cambridge supporter.

"That wasn't good enough. And it wasn't good enough by quite a long way. Worryingly so.

"I'm looking at people talking about the play-offs. We ain't in the play-offs. We're a mile away from being in the play-offs.

"We need 24 more points to be in the play-offs. That's a long, long way.

"As a club we have to get our act together very quickly otherwise a good season is going to go down the drain."

Line-ups

Braintree

  • 20Hamann
  • 5PaineBooked at 35mins
  • 19Wells
  • 15Massey
  • 3HaberghamBooked at 82mins
  • 2PetersBooked at 82mins
  • 23Laurent
  • 26Mulley
  • 8DavisSubstituted forSparkesat 46'minutes
  • 17MensahBooked at 90mins
  • 9MarksBooked at 88mins

Substitutes

  • 10Holman
  • 11Sparkes
  • 12Daley
  • 1McDonald
  • 7Long

Cambridge

  • 13Norris
  • 5BonnerBooked at 87mins
  • 2Roberts
  • 4Coulson
  • 3Taylor
  • 8Champion
  • 18BerrySubstituted forGilliesat 57'minutes
  • 15PughSubstituted forChambersat 51'minutes
  • 39Barnes-HomerSubstituted forArnoldat 65'minutes
  • 17L Hughes
  • 25Bird

Substitutes

  • 14Tait
  • 29Gillies
  • 23Chambers
  • 24Arnold
  • 1Sullivan
Referee:
Dean Treleaven
Attendance:
1,016

Match Stats

Home TeamBraintreeAway TeamCambridge
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home9
Away4
Shots on Target
Home3
Away0
Corners
Home0
Away0
Fouls
Home12
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Braintree Town 1, Cambridge United 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Braintree Town 1, Cambridge United 0.

Booking

Bernard Mensah (Braintree Town) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Attempt missed. Sean Marks (Braintree Town) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left.

Foul by Tom Bonner (Cambridge United).

Matthew Paine (Braintree Town) wins a free kick.

Corner, Cambridge United.

Foul by Liam Hughes (Cambridge United).

Matthew Paine (Braintree Town) wins a free kick.

Attempt saved. Bernard Mensah (Braintree Town) left footed shot from outside the box is saved.

Corner, Braintree Town.

Attempt saved. James Mulley (Braintree Town) header from the right side of the box is saved. Assisted by Daniel Sparkes.

Corner, Braintree Town.

Booking

Sean Marks (Braintree Town) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Booking

Tom Bonner (Cambridge United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Tom Bonner (Cambridge United).

Sean Marks (Braintree Town) wins a free kick.

Corner, Cambridge United.

Booking

Ryan Peters (Braintree Town) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ryan Peters (Braintree Town).

Ryan Bird (Cambridge United) wins a free kick.

Booking

Samuel Habergham (Braintree Town) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Tom Champion (Cambridge United).

James Mulley (Braintree Town) wins a free kick.

Foul by Nathan Arnold (Cambridge United).

Matthew Paine (Braintree Town) wins a free kick.

Foul by Ryan Bird (Cambridge United).

James Mulley (Braintree Town) wins a free kick.

Corner, Cambridge United.

Goal!

Goal! Braintree Town 1, Cambridge United 0. Daniel Sparkes (Braintree Town) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Bernard Mensah.

Substitution

Substitution, Cambridge United. Nathan Arnold replaces Matthew Barnes-Homer.

Foul by Tom Bonner (Cambridge United).

Sean Marks (Braintree Town) wins a free kick.

Foul by Matthew Paine (Braintree Town).

Ashley Chambers (Cambridge United) wins a free kick.

Foul by Tom Bonner (Cambridge United).

Matthew Paine (Braintree Town) wins a free kick.

Foul by Kevin Roberts (Cambridge United).

Daniel Sparkes (Braintree Town) wins a free kick.

Substitution

Substitution, Cambridge United. Josh Gillies replaces Luke Berry.

goal

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