Dean Keates takes his side to Braintree looking to follow up his first away win as manager, at Solihull Moors last Saturday. If he can repeat the feat it’ll be the first time we won back-to-back away games since December 2015 when the 4-2 win at Tranmere was actually our fourth in succession on the road.
After a decent start, our record at Braintree has deteriorated pretty spectacularly. Our first trip there, in November 2011, ended goalless although we were the stronger side and would have won if Danny Wright had not missed an easy late chance.
He made some amends the following season though, scoring twice as we ran out 5-1 winners, with Brett Ormerod, Nick Rushton and Adrian Cieslewicz getting the others. Ormerod and Rushton’s goals each made it onto the shortlist for goal of the season that year.
Since then we’ve totally failed to make an impact at Cressing Road, losing our three subsequent matches without hitting the net. The worst of those defeats was in March 2014 when we collapsed to a 3-0 loss under caretaker boss Billy Barr.
Last season we lost 1-0 at Braintree in front of a crowd of just 484, which is the 5th lowest crowd we’ve attracted to a National League match. In total 44 of our 401 National League matches have been played out in front of a crowd of less than a thousand, whereas out of 3,556 Football League games, only 8 attracted a sub-four figure crowd.
All those crowds below a thousand in the National League were played away from home, of course. The smallest crowd we’ve attracted for a National League match at The Racecourse was 1,808 against Forest Green Rovers in December 2009.
Jordan White will be looking to bring a landmark up tomorrow as his next appearance will be his 200th league match.
This is my column from last week’s Leader. It forms part of the paper’s comprehensive pre-match coverage every Friday, featuring interviews, an in-depth look at the opposition and lots of statistical analysis. All content in the column (c) www.leaderlive.co.uk.