Brilliant Clarets Batter Braintree!

Chelmsford City cemented a second consecutive 3-0 win over Braintree Town, with goals from Callum Watts, Charlie Ruff and Samir Carruthers.

The Essex derby’s early passages of play were controlled by Braintree, an opportunity arose for Lewis Miccio who tried to bend an effort into the top corner, but narrowly missed.

Despite Braintree’s early dominance, a superb move from Charlie Ruff saw the ball fall at the feet of Callum Watts, who smashed the ball past Jack Sims to give City the lead.

No signs of complacency were showing where Henry Gray was concerned, as he pulled off a stunning reaction save to deny Ben Tompkins an equaliser for the visitors.

Gray, who recently joined on loan from Ipswich Town, has been a fine acquisition for Robbie Simpson’s side, and he certainly proved his worth and dominated the box during a flurry of corners for Braintree.

It wouldn’t be a game against the Iron without plenty of drama, and despite the game being played in January, the temperature certainly increased as the first half progressed.

Chelmsford skipper Dave Winfield saw red for what was deemed as a violent challenge on Braintree’s Joe Grimwood.

As Braintree looked to get the game back level, a looped cross met Luke Jenkins who nodded the ball onto the far post where Charlie Ruff arrived on time to tap in a second for the Clarets.

Chelmsford were lethal after the break, Jermaine Francis’ pace was a key asset as he beat his man before winning a penalty with which Samir Carruthers neatly added a third.

Braintree most certainly did not give up, and with both sets of supporters in full voice, an enthralling final ten minutes awaited all within the Melbourne Community Stadium.

Henry Ochieng’s introduction brought a fresh set of legs into the Chelmsford side, and he was involved immediately after he forced an angle for a driven shot which narrowly missed shortly before the full-time whistle.

The second time Chelmsford have beaten Braintree in seven days edges Robbie Simpson’s side closer to cementing a position in the play-offs come the end of the season.

Chelmsford City: Gray; James (86’), Winfield, Jenkins, Castiglione; Barbrook, Watts; Carruthers (73’), Ruff, Francis; Hockey (45’).

Subs: Barnum-Bobb (45’), Brookes (73’), Ochieng (86’), Jones, Wordsworth.

Braintree Town: Sims; Davies, Altintop, Tompkins (50’); Miccio (70’), Davies, Payne, Coulthirst, Lambe, Blackwell, Blair (62’).

Subs: Critchlow (50’), Georgiou (62’), Ward (70’), Aransibia, Watt.

Attendance: 1540

Words by Oli Headington

Cover image by Roger Robinson Photography

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