Full time: Chelmsford City 2-0 Torquay United

A fast start from the Clarets saw them race into the lead against Gary Johnson’s side. To go with that, a brilliantly taken strike late on wrapped up the points as Robbie Simpson gifted the Clarets fan an early Christmas present.

The game was 3 minutes young when Chelmsford took the lead, rewarding their fast start. A quick attack was broken down by Ross Marshall, but he could only concede a corner. A beautiful delivery from Samir Carruthers was met by the head of Luke Jenkins, who powered home his header.

Less than 5 minutes later, it could have been game, set, match. Once again, Carruthers was involved as he flicked the ball round his man and to Charlie Ruff. Freddie Hockey was set through and placed an almost perfect effort over Mark Halstead, but the number 19 was devastated when his effort crashed back off the bar.

The attacks did not stop there as more drama ensued from a corner. Once again, Carruthers delivered, and Winfield met the cross. His header across fell to Francis who saw his effort goal bound, but blocked before he could see the net bulge.

The game did calm down after this, as neither side looked all too threatening. However, the referee was feeling rather Christmassy as he was handing cards out left, right and centre.

A half chance came for the visitors just after the halfway point in the half, as Theo Williams was played in over the top. Winfield and Jenkins just about did enough, as Williams shanked his effort over the bar.

Chelmsford were certainly enjoying themselves, as Charlie Ruff showed his quality. He beat one, two, three men before entertaining Halstead. A good save saw him parry, before he jumped on the ball to deny any rebounds.

5 minutes were added on at the end of the half, giving room for just 1 more chance. Once again, Charlie Ruff looked to pick out Freddie Hockey and did so perfectly. This time, Halstead pulled off a save, as the half came to an end.

The Clarets started fast once again, as they had the first chance. The ball fell kindly to Charlie Ruff, who tested Halstead with a more audacious shot, as the Torquay keeper saved well.

With not much happening, a rattle of the crossbar was a huge chance for the visitors to level. Osman Foyo was crowded out and the ball made its way across to Dillon De Silva. His first effort was blocked by Castiglione, who could not react to the second. On the half turn, De Silva sent his effort at goal, just clipping the crossbar and going out, luckily for the Clarets.

With some what of a near miss out the way, it was the Clarets’ turn to come close. Josh Castiglione combined with Charlie Ruff to give himself an opening. Castiglione struck it beautifully, seeing it whilst past the far post of Halstead’s goal, much to his relief.

However, just 5 minutes from time there was no more worry, as the game was put to bed. Freddie Hockey pulled the ball across the box, where Charlie Ruff could only give it to Callum Watts. Watts was crowded and put it on a plate for Finley Barbrok, who took aim. His effort beat Halstead and commenced wild celebrations.

The Clarets saw the remainder of the game out and took the 3 points. Torquay’s winning streak came to an end, while Chelmsford grabbed their first home league win since August.

A massive boost for the Clarets, as the head into their Boxing Day clash with Braintree Town, next.

Chelmsford City XI: Gray (GK), James, Winfield (C), Carruthers (Alfa 76’), Barbrook, Jenkins, Francis (Brookes 80’), Ruff (Ochieng 88’), Hockey, Watts, Castiglione

Unused subs: Jones, Barnum-Bobb

Goals: Jenkins 3’, Barbrook 85’

Assists: Carruthers 3’, Watts 85’

Yellow cards: Barbrook 5’, Jenkins 17’, Carruthers 36’, Winfield 39’, Ruff 61’, Francis 62’, Gray 78’, Simpson 90+5’

Torquay United: Halstead (GK), Marshall, Hanson (Crowe 81’), Collins, De Silva, Williams, Moxey (C), Tomlinson, Harris (Martin 64’), Archer, Foyo

Unused substitutes: Lovett (GK), Thomas, Chastey

Yellow cards: Foyo 13’, Harris 58’, Moxey 63’

Attendance: 791

Report by Josh Lowe

Cover image by Roger Robinson Photography

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