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Braintree Preview

Town return to action at The CNG Stadium for the first time in three weeks due to an extended break, courtesy of international fixtures.


 
Town will be looking to carry on their impressive form which sees them fifth in the table, six points shy of top spot having been beaten only twice in 19 games.

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Simon Weaver’s men have netted 38 times in their first ever 19 outings at National League level, averaging two goals per game.
 
Since the Chesterfield game Simon Weaver hasn’t rested on his laurels and has rewarded and refreshed the team, handing Joe Leesley a new two-year contract extension and announcing the permanent signing of midfielder Michael Woods from Hartlepool, who is returning for his second spell at The CNG Stadium.

Town’s opponents this Saturday, Braintree, won promotion the hard way from the National League South last season.
 
Having suffered relegation in 2016/17, The Iron set their aim on an instant return to the fifth tier but had to go through a gruelling play-off campaign to achieve that goal.
 
A one-point deduction for inadvertently fielding an ineligible player left them three points outside the play-off zone with just four games to play.
 
However, ten points from twelve saw them finish sixth and they saw off Hemel Hempstead on penalties, won 1-0 at Dartford and overcame Hampton & Richmond in the Play-Off Final shootout to seal promotion.  
 
A return to the National League this season certainly hasn’t been plain sailing either with The Iron currently 23rd place with 13 points having won three, drawn four and fallen to defeat in the rest of their fixtures.
 
The Essex club are managed by Hakan Hayrettin, who is in charge for his second spell following his resignation in 2017 after relegation to the National League South.

The fixture on 24th November will be the first time that Harrogate Town and Braintree Town have faced off in a competitive fixture.
 
The Town defence will have to weary of striker Reece Grant, who has already scored five times in the league this season.
 
Preview by Isaac Martin