Chelmsford City’s FA Cup journey came to an end on Tuesday night after the Clarets fell to a disappointing 3-1 defeat at the hands of Whitby Town in the North-East.

Goals from Jacob Gratton and Junior Mondal capped off a strong first half performance from the Seasiders, allowing them to take a 2-0 lead into half time. City were not able to produce a second half comeback display like they did on Saturday to force a replay, despite Mo Bettamer finding the net for the third game in a row. A late, added-time strike from Mondal to make it 3-1 ensured Bettamer’s effort proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal.

Little separated both sides in the opening half an hour at the Towbar Express Stadium at the Turnbull Ground, with Alfie Doherty’s volley, which was easily saved by Josh Oluwayemi, being the only effort of note early on in the game.

The hosts grew stronger into the game though and put themselves ahead in the 34th minute after Junior Mondal set-up Jacob Gratton to open the scoring, with the duo combining again against the Clarets defence after linking up during Saturday’s game as well.

A long ball from Whitby over the top of the Chelmsford backline fell to Mondal down the right hand-side, whose cut back found Gratton. Gratton kept his composure in front of goal and finished powerfully past Josh Oluwayemi from around 12-yards out, putting the Seasiders ahead.

Nathan Haslam’s side doubled their advantage around five minutes later, with Gratton turning from scorer to provider and returning the favour for Mondal. City calls for a foul on Anthony Wordsworth in the build-up to Whitby’s second were waved away by the referee, helping Gratton to break down the right hand-side and cross into Mondal, who tapped-in from close range.

Clarets boss Robbie Simpson made a double substitution at half time as he looked to replicate Saturday’s second half comeback against the Seasiders, with Cameron James and Mo Dabre replacing Anthony Wordsworth and Charlie Ruff. With no sign of a City goal, Simpson made his final change of the night in the 73rd minute, bringing on Mohammed Bettamer for Ody Alfa.

Bettamer made an almost instant impact less than five minutes after being introduced. The forward tapped in from close range after good work from Carruthers and Jones down the left channel allowed the latter of the two to slide the ball into the path of Bettamer, who finished from close range.

Despite enjoying the majority of the game’s possession in the final stages of proceedings at the Towbar Express Stadium at the Turnbull Ground, City were unable to come from two goals behind again against the Seasiders and instead conceded a third in added time. Whitby keeper Shane Bland’s goal kick was flicked on by substitute Connor Simpson into the path of Junior Mondal, whose first-time volley beat Josh Oluwayemi to secure the Seasiders’ place in the First Round proper of the FA Cup.

Whitby starting line-up: Bland (GK), Smith, Shepherd, Griffiths (Hawkins 78), Rowe ©, Beeden, Doherty, Gell, Greaves (Simpson 81), Gratton, Mondal.

Booked: Shepherd, Greaves, Bell (backroom staff).

Chelmsford City starting line-up: Oluwayemi, Barnum-Bobb ©, Jenkins, Brookes, Ebouzme, Wordsworth (James 46’), Ruff (Dabre 46), Carruthers, Francis, Alfa (Bettamer 73), Jones.

Booked: Carruthers.

Words By Jake Dixon

Cover image by Roger Robinson Photography

Attendance: 943


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