9-man Brentwood Town sustain fourth in an entertaining 4-2 victory over relegation sufferers Burnham Ramblers at the Brentwood Arena.
Sherwin Stanley gave Brentwood the lead early in the first half, Sam Bantick doubled their lead after just 30 minutes. Burnham replied after a free-kick from Ricky Evans was not held by Ollie Bowles.
Before the break Alex Akrofi was given a straight red for violent conduct- in added time Tom Richardson headed Brentwood into a 3-1 lead at the break.
Burnham got back to within one in the second half after Lee Pleasance was brought and Bradley Nobbs turned in the penalty.
As two minutes remained Ryan O’Rawe was given a second yellow for a high elbow leaving Brentwood down to nine men. Brentwood’s young substitute Andy Freeman scored the clincher in injury time with a superb finish.
It only took Brentwood eight minutes to break the Burnham defence after a poor goal kick, Stanley burst through the back line and slotted it in from close range.
A free-kick on the edge of the box should have doubled Brentwood’s lead as Bantick’s strike deflected into the path of Akrofi but could not direct it goal wards.
Brentwood doubled their lead on the half hour mark from a great flick on by Stanley- chased down by Richardson to back heel it for Bantick to tuck home from close range.
Burnham responded four minutes later as a free-kick by Evans was straight at Bowles but he spilled the ball into his own net, despite retrieving the ball the referee confirmed it crossed the line.
Brentwood went down to ten men with four minutes to the break as Alex Akrofi reacted to a tackle and was given a straight red for violent conduct.
In added time of the first half Brentwood got their third as a corner by Jack Gardner was headed back across goal by Richardson into the top corner.
Burnham got back into the game after Christian Mbulu brought down Lee Pleasance in the box which the referee pointed straight to the spot. Nobbs stepped up and sent Bowles the wrong way to bring the visitors back into the game.
With two minutes to play Ryan O’Rawe was given a second yellow for a leading elbow to reduce Brentwood to nine men for the remaining few minutes.
In injury time Brentwood regained their two goal lead as substitute Andy Freeman linked up well with Richardson on the counter-attack and bend his shot round Sam Tregakes, to seal the three points.
Brentwood Lineup: Ollie Bowles, Jack Gardner, Louis Baucutt, Christian Mbulu, Ryan O’Rawe ©, James Love, Sam Bantick (54), Robbie Rees (84), Sherwin Stanley, Tom Richardson, Alex Akrofi
Substitutes: Martyn Stokes, Shad Ngandu (54), Andrew Freeman (84), Michael Osei, Adam Flanagan
Burnham Ramblers: Sam Tregaskes, Ryan Boswell, Bobby Bird, Ricky Evans, Kye Jude, Jack Long, Tom Anderson (60), Stuart Judd ©, Charlie Burns, Lee Pleasance (68), Bradley Nobbs
Substitutes: Brandon Scorey (60), Nigel Mukundu (69), Jeffrey Best, Luke Francis, Bertie Brayley