WEYMOUTH were held to a 0-0 draw at ten-man Braintree Town as the Terras collected another Vanarama National League South point.

Going into the game, Braintree were unbeaten in 18 league home games and proved why with a determined defensive effort.

Alfie Pavey’s horrible lunge from behind on Tom Blair caused their numerical disadvantage, but Weymouth had a good chance before that as Blair was denied in a one-on-one.

And Braintree had a late free-kick saved by Zaki Oualah as Weymouth took a point few would have given them prior to kick-off.

Weymouth’s starting XI and bench were completely unchanged from the 1-0 loss to Chippenham on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Braintree Town 0-0 Weymouth - how it happened

Weymouth had not beaten Braintree away in the past three attempts.

The Terras lost 3-2 in 2009, 5-3 in the FA Cup nine years ago and drawing 1-1 thanks to an 80th-minute Yemi Odubade equaliser back in February 2020.

Weymouth enjoyed the better of play in the first half as they defied the 19-place gap between the sides.

Ahkeem Rose headed over after good work from Brad Ash and Tom Blair, before Brendan Willson followed suit in clearing the bar with his own header after Harry Kyprianou’s shot was blocked for a corner.

At the other end, Braintree added to the list of headers flying over when Pavey’s looping effort landed onto the roof of the net from Kyron Farrell’s free-kick.

Weymouth then began to carve out some big chances, notably for Blair in the 18th minute.

Rose was the creator, slipping a well-weighted through ball for the winger to chase, only for Iron keeper Jack Sims to make a crucial intervention, with Tom Bearwish’s follow-up going behind.

Dorset Echo: Tom Blair, left, is denied by Jack Sims in a one-on-one chanceTom Blair, left, is denied by Jack Sims in a one-on-one chance (Image: MARK PROBIN)

Braintree’s Chris Regis was then called upon to block Blair’s delayed effort after the ex-Eastleigh man was allowed to travel across the box on a marauding run.

Braintree managed to stem Weymouth’s advances without troubling Zaki Oualah at the other end but the Terras still carried the greater threat.

Kyprianou found Bearwish after a surging run down the left, only for the Terras’ captain to curl over from 25 yards in the 37th minute.

Dorset Echo: Tom Bearwish, left, went close with two efforts during the goalless drawTom Bearwish, left, went close with two efforts during the goalless draw (Image: MARK PROBIN)

And there was still time for Harvey Slade, chasing his first Weymouth goal, to see a deflected effort skip behind for a corner that came to nothing.

Braintree reacted by bringing off Regis for Alfie Matthews at half-time and the Iron went desperately close to the opener a matter of seconds after half-time.

Pavey fizzed a low cross from the right towards Aaron Blair, the winger’s effort beating Oualah but travelling just wide of goal.

Pavey was in the thick of the action for the wrong reasons on 53 minutes when his nasty two-footed challenge into the back of Tom Blair’s legs earned him a deserved straight red card.

Looking to capitalise on the numerical advantage, Wilkinson waited until the 63rd minute to bring on Keelan O’Connell for Slade, switching Tom Blair to the right flank.

Braintree probed Weymouth’s defence with a long-ball strategy to unlock the pace of Aaron Blair but Brendan Willson enjoyed a commanding game, winning everything in the air.

Weymouth then turned to Ben Thomson at the expense of Ash with 19 minutes to go, before Tom Blair was booked for kicking the ball away, shooting after Thomson was flagged offside.

Bearwish won Weymouth a corner when his 18-yarder took a deflection but, when Braintree hooked clear, the Terras were caught with a two-on-two before a heavy touch from sub Lemar Reynolds ruined the break.

Braintree’s threat on the transition was ever-present as Weymouth mixed pressing for a winner with caution over the counter.

The hosts defended well when needed but in the 87th minute they were given a scare when Sims spilled Tom Blair’s free-kick, only for Alfie Payne to react quickest and hook away.

Weymouth then had a fright of their own five minutes later when Jack Turner was flattened on the edge of the box.

Dorset Echo: Zaki Oualah, top right, claims a late Braintree free-kickZaki Oualah, top right, claims a late Braintree free-kick (Image: MARK PROBIN)

Matthews stepped up for the free-kick but he sent his effort straight at Oualah, both sides having to settle for a point.

With Chippenham and Dulwich Hamlet winning, the Terras remain 22nd but are now five points off safety going into Tuesday’s mega home clash with new bottom side Hungerford, 4-0 losers at Slough.

Braintree: Sims, Regis (Matthews 46), Farrell, Altintop, Davies, Clements, Turner, Payne, Pavey, Rush (Reynolds 71), A Blair (Njoku 87). Subs not used: Kennedy, White.

Terras: Oualah, Sesay, Carlyle, Willson, Kyprianou, Bearwish, McBurnie, T Blair, Slade (O’Connell 63), Rose, Ash (Thomson 71). Subs not used: Buse, Procter, Rees.

Referee: Jack Bloxham