BRENTWOOD maintained their belief that they can still make a serious challenge for promotion as they gained an impressive win against opponents that currently occupy a play-off position in the Ryman North table.

Brentwood had goalkeeper Reece Ottley, previously with Colchester, Cardiff, Bishop’s Stortford and Billericay Town, making his debut and he made two outstanding saves in the second half when his team were under pressure.

It was a quiet opening to the game with Heybridge’s Luke Callander having the first shot on goal in the tenth minute. Brentwood then began to create some chances.

Abs Thompson broke out on the right and switched the play with a good pass to Steve Butterworth who cut in and forced Swifts keeper Nick Eyre to come out and block.

Alex Read then shot just past a post from a free kick and as Brentwood began to get on top another exchange of passes between Thompson and Butterworth saw the latter display some good skill before setting up Abs Seymour for a shot that was deflected over the top of the goal.

Brentwood continued to put together some good moves and a shot from Lewis Frost was also deflected over the bar. They capitalised from Doyle’s corner with Seymour emphatically shooting home a loose ball from 12 yards.

Heybridge put the Brentwood defence under pressure at the start of the second half, forcing a number of corners. But Brentwood looked dangerous on the counter-attack.

It was the prolific Read who put his team 2-0 up in the 56th minute. A long cross from the right by Thompson appeared to be drifting out of play but Seymour hooked the ball back in and as the defence hesitated, Read was the only one to react and scored with a simple header.

Heybridge then had their best spell and got back in the game when Ben Newson back-heeled in after a goalmouth scramble to make it 1-2 in the 70th minute.

Three minutes later, Heybridge had a great chance to equalise when Ted Llewellyn clipped Cheek in the area and a penalty was awarded, but Cheek’s effort from the spot was way off target, sailing high and wide towards the clubhouse.

Brentwood’s attack was reinvigorated by the introduction of Sam Bantick and he was unlucky not to score himself before he set up Read for the striker’s second goal in the 82nd minute, a typically accomplished finish by Brentwood’s leading scorer.

Almost immediately, Butterworth got clear off the home defence but could not get past goalkeeper Eyre and on the follow up, Read could not quite convert the loose ball.

Daryl was then desperately unlucky not to score in the 89th minute when his left foot shot from 20 yards hit the underside of the home side’s crossbar.

The result moves Brentwood up to 13th in Ryman North. Next league fixture is away to Cheshunt on Saturday, December 22.

Before then they were due to meet Colchester United in the Essex Senior Cup at the Brentwood Arena on Tuesday (December 18) – that tie has previously been postponed three times due to bad weather.

Brentwood Town: Ottley, Doyle, Llewellyn, Frost (Bantick 77), Blewitt, West, Thompson (Cohen 71), Robson, Read, Butterworth, Seymour. Unused subs: Witherspoon, Stokes, Hayes.