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Braintree Midfielder Paine Believes Practice Paid Off

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BRAINTREE Town midfielder Matt Paine believed it was imperative his side got back to winning ways on their return to the Conference Premier after a month without a league encounter.

Town had only played two league matches in 2015 until Saturday, thanks to games being postponed and their FA Trophy commitments, but they put that behind them by beating relegation-threatened Alfreton Town 2-1 at home.

During the break Paine admitted manager Alan Devonshire had got the team working hard in training and believes that's what ultimately got them the three points at the weekend.

"It was great to be back in league action, it's been a while since we last played and, to top it off with a win was very good," said Paine.

"We got another three points and it's nice to get back to playing for points as we've had commitments in the FA Trophy.

"It was just another game for us, we go into every game aiming to win so I think our mind-set was pretty similar to any other game.

"In the break we've trained hard, there were four or five sessions where we did a lot of running to work on our fitness and some ball work and I think Saturday was just the final piece."

Nine of the past 15 fixtures for Braintree are away from home, starting with Halifax Town this Saturday, but Paine feels his team will be more than capable of finishing the season strongly.

"The gaffer has made it quite clear that our target is to reach 50 points as soon as we can and then whatever happens from there will be a bonus really," said Paine.

"As a group of players we thought this year we could have matched what we did last year but we've been unfortunate with injuries, matched with a bit of bad luck here and there.

"On the plus side, we've had a pretty decent FA Trophy run so it's something the players can be proud of.

"Away from home we seem to play a little bit better.

"Our away record is second to none in the league and probably on the away form guide we'd be in the top half of the league.

"We'll go to the game on Saturday against Halifax Town and face it like any other game. We went to Halifax last year and ground out a 1-1 draw on a Thursday night and that was after travelling to Southport on the Tuesday.

"Hopefully we can press on this year and maybe take the three points instead of just the one."

Read more: http://www.essexchronicle.co.uk/

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