Match Data 2011/2012
Chelmsford City 3
Jon McDonald (Braham-Barrett, 81)
Perry Ryan (Palmer, 55)
Kezie Ibe (Akurang, 80)
Max Cornhill (Osborn, 70)
Ishmael Welsh (Modeste, 62)
Only a 94th minute goal by Scott Jones could spare the Hawks’ blushes as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat at promotion contenders Chelmsford City. The two sides battled torrential rain and driving winds, but it was the hosts who got to grips with the slippery surface first and they went ahead after twenty minutes when Justin Miller’s shot found the net from a corner.
The hosts then increased their lead in the 68th minute when Ricky Modeste fired past Lyall Beasely after Kezie Ibe forced the ball through the middle, and the side made their win emphatic on the edge of injury time when Cliff Akurang was left free to head home Aiden Palmer’s cross.
Sammy Igoe and Sam Pearce were given places ahead of Ollie Palmer and Craig Braham-Barrett from Tuesday night’s friendly with Wimbledon, and Ryan Woodford retained his spot in place of Chris Holland to make his first league start since December 3rd.
Wind dominated the first half as much as rain did the second, and Chelmsford’s intent to pass quickly along the deck was hampered by a difficult surface. Never-the-less, the hosts were quicker coming forward and Ben Nunn’s early rising shot was tipped over the bar by Beasely for the first of many City corners.
The Hawks meanwhile were making some headway up the wings, but playing in a 4-5-1 formation could rarely find anyone in the box to take receipt of the few crosses that made it that far.
City took the lead in the 20th minute when a corner dropped into a tangle of players inside the box and MILLER fired a shot through the legs of a teammate with Beasely blinded.
Steve Ramsey lifted a free kick into the box from five yards outside soon after, and Jones’ diving header sent the ball wide of the back post - but the chance was a rare one for the Hawks.
More corners kept the ball at the other end, and when Ishmael Welsh sent one back into the six yard box it was a foul on Beasely that denied the hosts another chance to strike.
Chelmsford City 1
Havant and Waterlooville 0
The start of the second half was greeted by rain of epic proportions that made an already muddy pitch even more treacherous to play on. Making a quick start, Igoe got the ball into the box with a low cross and Jake Newton almost managed to sweep it home.
Another corner from Palmer at the other end was headed wide by Kenny Clark, and Max Cornhill tried from range with a vicious shot that was equally off target.
The Hawks almost snatched an unlikely equaliser when Palmer’s attempt to clear came back off another Claret shirt, giving Igoe the ball in front of goal. His effort to force it home though was blocked on the line.
Sam Corcoran was next to shoot for the hosts, into the side netting, and although their next chance went awry too when Cornhill made a mess of connecting with a Palmer free kick, Chelmsford remained comfortably in control of proceedings.
The hosts eventually doubled their lead in the 68th minute when they came through the middle and Ibe did enough for substitute MODESTE, on for just six minutes, to fire past Beasely from the edge of the box.
Alex Osborn, also having just arrived, should have added a third in the minutes that followed when Jon McDonald slipped and let him through, but one on one with Beasely he fired his shot over the bar.
It was an incredible miss and seconds later Osborn had a chance to atone for the mistake when chasing down a long ball, but Beasely raced out to snatch it away from him.
The Hawks next managed to create a chance in the 75th minute when Clark cleared the ball over his own bar. Chris Arthur curled in the corner, and Ramsey met it at the near post to send a header spinning onto the bar.
The two chances they had had though were not enough to bring the Hawks back into the game with any purpose, and on the edge of injury time the hosts made their win emphatic with a simple but perfectly executed move. Palmer’s cross picked out David Rainford on the far side of the box, and he popped a header back for AKURANG to turn home into an open net.
With the game won however, Chelmsford relaxed a little too much through four minutes of added time, and seconds from the whistle JONES broke on the left and cut in to slot the ball past the otherwise untroubled keeper Stuart Searle for a consolation goal.