Sean Marks scored a first-half brace to help Braintree climb to within a point of fellow strugglers Southport.

Marks got his first from close-range as he slotted home Dan Holman's cross.

He added his second just four minutes later when he swept the ball into the bottom corner following good work on the right from Luke Daley.

Southport failed to muster many chances and the closest they came to a goal was through Shaun Whalley but his effort was cleared by Braintree's Ryan Peters.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Southport manager Liam Watson told BBC Radio Merseyside:

"You can't give teams two-goal starts.

"We haven't troubled them in the 90 minutes. We've had a fair chunk of the second half but they've just sat deep and been comfortable.

"Our passing was all over the place. It was just a really, really bad performance and you can't take any positives from it at all."

Braintree Town manager Alan Devonshire told BBC Essex:

"It was fully deserved, I thought it was a great performance from all the boys.

"It isn't a coincidence that when we've had a two-week break we've had our two worst performances, one at Lincoln and one against Havant. I knew we would step up again.

"It was just a fantastic performance, we could have maybe won the game a little bit easier.

"We've been in a false position and we've got games in hand so we're looking to push on."

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (5)

Southport

  • 01 McMillan
  • 02 Smith
  • 03 Lever
  • 04 Akrigg (Ledsham - 19' )
  • 17 Lynch
  • 07 Whalley
  • 11 Almond
  • 16 Moogan Booked
  • 22 Poku Booked
  • 09 Owens (Chalmers - 45' )
  • 18 Tames (Bakare - 67' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Hibbert
  • 08 Ledsham
  • 12 Benjamin
  • 15 Chalmers
  • 19 Bakare

Braintree Town

  • 22 Naisbitt
  • 02 Peters
  • 03 Habergham
  • 15 Massey
  • 19 Wells Booked
  • 07 Symons Booked
  • 08 Davis
  • 12 Daley Booked (Sparkes - 70' )
  • 17 Mulley
  • 09 Marks
  • 27 Cowan (Holman - 8' )

Substitutes

  • 05 Paine
  • 11 Sparkes
  • 26 Hunt
  • 14 Sheppard
  • 20 Holman
Ref: Ross Joyce
Att: 803

Match Stats

Shots

2 5

On target

1 4

Corners

12 5

Fouls

7 14

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:50 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

86:01

Short corner taken by Kenny Davis from the left by-line.

83:48

Corner taken by Aaron Chalmers from the right by-line, clearance by Dean Wells.

82:02

Daniel Sparkes takes a short corner, Godfrey Poku manages to make a clearance.

79:09

Godfrey Poku concedes a free kick for a foul on Nicky Symons. Danny Naisbitt takes the free kick.

77:35

Foul by Dan Holman on Chris Lynch, free kick awarded. Tony McMillan takes the indirect free kick.

76:57

Danny Naisbitt takes the indirect free kick.

76:57 Booking

Booking Booking for Godfrey Poku for unsporting behaviour.

76:50

Foul by Godfrey Poku on James Mulley, free kick awarded.

76:21

Daniel Sparkes produces a cross, clearance by Chris Lynch.

71:48

Shaun Whalley fouled by Nicky Symons, the ref awards a free kick. Alan Moogan takes the direct free kick.

71:48 Booking

Booking Nicky Symons receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.

70:41

Dan Holman challenges Godfrey Poku unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tony McMillan takes the indirect free kick.

69:29 Substitution

Substitution Daniel Sparkes on for Luke Daley.

65:01

Danny Naisbitt restarts play with the free kick.

65:01 Substitution

Substitution Michael Bakare joins the action as a substitute, replacing Steven Tames.

65:01

Corner taken by Alan Moogan from the right by-line played to the near post, James Mulley manages to make a clearance. Corner taken by Alan Moogan from the right by-line played to the near post, Ryan Peters manages to make a clearance. Corner taken left-footed by Alan Moogan to the near post, Alan Massey makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Shaun Whalley, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Danny Naisbitt by Chris Lynch.

64:05

Shaun Whalley takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Nicky Symons. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Shaun Whalley from the left by-line, Alan Massey makes a clearance.

63:49

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Alan Moogan played to the near post, clearance made by Ryan Peters.

63:28

Shaun Whalley takes a shot. Ryan Peters makes a clearance.

62:40

Shaun Whalley restarts play with the free kick.

62:40 Booking

Booking Booking for Luke Daley for unsporting behaviour.

62:36

Luke Daley concedes a free kick for a foul on Shaun Whalley.

62:21

Kenny Davis gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Karl Ledsham. Free kick taken by Godfrey Poku.

61:32

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Shaun Whalley by Luke Daley. Direct free kick taken by Shaun Whalley.

60:43

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Shaun Whalley, Danny Naisbitt makes a save.

58:18

The official flags Dan Holman offside. Tony McMillan takes the free kick.

50:42

Sean Marks concedes a free kick for a foul on James Smith. James Smith takes the indirect free kick.

49:23

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Shaun Whalley from the left by-line, Danny Naisbitt makes a comfortable save.

48:31

The assistant referee signals for offside against Dan Holman. Free kick taken by Tony McMillan.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +4:21 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

45:00 +3:38

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Shaun Whalley by James Mulley. Free kick taken by Alan Moogan.

45:00 +2:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Sean Marks on Godfrey Poku. Direct free kick taken by Godfrey Poku.

45:00 +1:05

Godfrey Poku gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Mulley. Strike comes in from Kenny Davis from the free kick, blocked by Godfrey Poku.

44:24 Substitution

Substitution Aaron Chalmers is brought on as a substitute for Andy Owens.

43:47

Chris Lynch produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.

43:26

Nicky Symons gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alan Moogan. Alan Moogan takes the direct free kick.

37:43

Inswinging corner taken by Alan Moogan from the right by-line, Sam Habergham makes a clearance.

34:59

Luke Daley is caught offside. Tony McMillan takes the indirect free kick.

33:28

A cross is delivered by Luke Daley, clearance made by Steven Tames.

33:03

Corner taken by Luke Daley from the right by-line, clearance made by Karl Ledsham.

32:17 Booking

Booking The referee books Dean Wells for unsporting behaviour.

31:50 Booking

Booking Alan Moogan booked for unsporting behaviour.

30:22

The ball is crossed by Shaun Whalley, clearance by Ryan Peters.

27:41

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Lever by Sean Marks. Tony McMillan takes the indirect free kick.

21:32

Shaun Whalley takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Kenny Davis.

21:05

Free kick awarded for a foul by Sean Marks on Chris Lever. Tony McMillan takes the free kick.

19:43

Assist on the goal came from Luke Daley.

19:43 Goal scored

Goal! - Sean Marks - Southport 0 - 2 Braintree Sean Marks finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Southport 0-2 Braintree Town.

18:44 Substitution

Substitution Karl Ledsham is brought on as a substitute for Steve Akrigg.

15:14

Dan Holman provided the assist for the goal.

15:14 Goal scored

Goal! - Sean Marks - Southport 0 - 1 Braintree Sean Marks scores a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Southport 0-1 Braintree Town.

13:00

Unfair challenge on Shaun Whalley by Dan Holman results in a free kick. Alan Moogan restarts play with the free kick.

11:22

Dean Wells produces a right-footed shot from long range that goes over the bar.

10:56

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James Mulley by Shaun Whalley. Dean Wells restarts play with the free kick.

10:14

Nicky Symons challenges Shaun Whalley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Alan Moogan.

9:47

Dean Wells takes a shot. Save made by Tony McMillan.

9:23

Luke Daley decides to take a short corner.

8:29

James Smith challenges James Mulley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Danny Naisbitt.

7:29 Substitution

Substitution (Braintree Town) makes a substitution, with Dan Holman coming on for Don Cowan.

6:59

Steven Tames is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Danny Naisbitt restarts play with the free kick.

6:38

The ball is swung over by James Smith, clearance by Alan Massey.

1:05

Corner taken right-footed by Luke Daley, save made by Tony McMillan.

0:10

Shaun Whalley challenges Kenny Davis unfairly and gives away a free kick. Dean Wells takes the free kick.

0:00

The referee starts the match.

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