Chelmsford City 0-1 Worthing

Jack Wadham’s wonder goal earned Worthing a Monday night victory over Chelmsford City.

Bournemouth loanee Wadham’s outstanding 88th minute volley allowed the visitors to leave Melbourne Community Stadium with a late win following an end-to-end affair between the teams sitting 2nd and 3rd place in the National League South.

Rebels shot stopper Ollie Wright made a number of pivotal stops to keep Simpson’s Clarets at bay, while Worthing squandered a number of presentable opportunities throughout the evening up until Wadham’s strike.

City thought they had grabbed a late equaliser when Luke Jenkins guided a header towards goal in added time, but the defender’s effort agonisingly ricocheted off the post.

From the offset in Essex, there proved to be chances galore for both teams, with early opportunities for Jack Spong and Callum Watts setting the tone. Debutant Spong’s effort from outside the penalty box in the second minute whiskered wide of the post, while Watts forced Wright into a seventh minute save after combining well with Jermaine Francis.

National League South top goalscorer Ollie Pearce continued to be an influential presence for his side going forward, setting up teammates Danny Cashman and Joe Felix in the first half, with Cashman’s effort from close range going over the crossbar and a shot by Felix from a tight angle being saved by the feet of Henry Gray.

City ended the opening forty-five minutes strongly when George Alexander latched on to a lofted pass behind the Worthing backline, but Wright was able to make himself big enough to deny Alexander one-against-one.

The first clear chance of the second half fell the way of Rebels dangerman Pearce, when Joe Felix fizzed a delivery across the face of goal which fell into the path of Pearce, who was unable to divert Felix’s pass on target. Another glaring opportunity fell the way of Cashman in the 57th minute, but the forward was unable to find the target yet again after he connected with Greg Lure’s cross.

Simpson’s side grew into the second half with the help of Jermaine Francis, who forced Ollie Wright into the save of the game in the 69th minute. In the aftermath of a City corner, Francis was able to unleash a sweetly struck volley towards the bottom corner of Wright’s goal, but the Rebels shot-stopper was able to get down to his right at lightning speed to impressively tip Francis’ effort around the post. Francis then combined well with George Alexander twelve minutes later, after picking out the forward in space on the edge of the Worthing penalty area. Alexander’s effort aimed for the top corner went inches wide of goal, denying City a potential late winner.

Instead, it was the visitors who were able to secure a late victory, when Jack Wadham scored a goal of the season contender in the 88th minute. A Worthing corner cleared by the Clarets quickly fell towards the feet of Wadham who was situated outside the penalty area. Wadham hit a cleanly struck first-time volley back towards goal, and the midfielder’s effort proved to be a sublime one as it found the top left corner of the Clarets’ goal.

Deep into added time, City came excruciatingly close to levelling the scoreline when Luke Jenkins guided Josh Castiglione’s free kick towards goal. Jenkins’ header was the first Clarets effort of the night which got the beating of Ollie Wright who remained rooted to the middle of the goal line, but agonisingly for City, the header bounced off the post and away from danger.

City still remain 2nd in the league table after falling to their first league defeat in over a month, however Worthing have closed the gap on the Clarets to two points after securing their first win of the post-Adam Hinshelwood era.

Next up for Simpson’s side is an away clash against Truro City on Saturday.

Chelmsford City XI: Gray (GK); Barnum-Bobb, Jenkins, Winfield ©, Castiglione; Watts (Ochieng 86’), Barbrook; Francis, Ruff (Hockey 80’), Carruthers (Alfa 62’); Alexander.

Unused substitutes: James, Brookes.

Yellow cards: Barnum-Bobb, Jenkins, Barbrook, Alfa.

Worthing XI: Wright (GK); Colbran ©, Tutt (Fage 58’), Rye, Luer (Robinson 58’), Pearce, Spong (Wills 73’), Wadham, Felix, Young, Cashman.

Unused substitutes: Starkey, Dolaghan.

Yellow cards: Pearce, Tutt, Robinson.

Match Officials: Constantine Hatzidakis (Referee), Jake Woodman (1st Assistant), Joe Wright (2nd Assistant).

Attendance: 738

Report by Jake Dixon

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