Full time: Eastbourne Borough 0-3 Chelmsford City

George Alexander’s first Chelmsford City goal sparked a flurry of second half strikes at Priory Lane, allowing the Clarets to run out 3-0 winners against Eastbourne.

Robbie Simpson’s side suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Havant & Waterlooville last time out on the road, but proved why they are the National League South’s strongest away team following a clinical second half showing against the Sports.

17 minutes after Alexander’s 52nd minute opener, Charlie Ruff scored his 10th league goal of the season to put the Clarets in control of proceedings in Sussex. Anthony Wordsworth fired home a sweetly struck volley in added time to add City’s third of the afternoon.

The Clarets’ three-goal second half showing came after an uneventful opening 45 minutes, in which Eastbourne came closest to opening the scoring. An early opportunity in the opening 5 minutes of proceedings fell the way of forward Jake Hutchinson, who found himself bearing down on goal after a long ball from Bradley Barry fell his way. Hutchinson, under pressure from the retreating Dave Winfield, unleashed a shot which was straight down the throat of the onrushing Henry Gray.

The Clarets struggled to carve out any clear-cut opportunities for themselves in the first half, but responded well by taking the lead early in the second period. Josh Castiglione cut inside from the left-hand-side before picking out the run of George Alexander behind the Sports’ defence. Alexander kept his composure in front of goal and fired above Ben Dudzinski from close range, scoring his first goal since signing for the club earlier this month.

Charlie Ruff hit double figures for goals in the league this season when he doubled his side’s lead in the 69th minute. After a flurry of City crosses and shots were blocked by the Eastbourne backline, a deflection eventually fell the way of Jermaine Francis, who laid the ball into Ruff’s path before he applied the clinical finish.

Things went from bad to worse for the hosts in added time, when returning defender Alex Finney was handed a straight red card after pulling substitute Ody Alfa down on the edge of the penalty box. Samir Carruthers stood over the subsequent free kick and elected to chip the ball over the Eastbourne wall. Wordsworth was then on hand as the next Clarets substitute to contribute, by impressively volleying Carruthers’ delivery past Dudzinski.

City’s return to winning ways on the road marks back-to-back league wins for the club after beating Weymouth at Melbourne Community Stadium last week. The Clarets remain in 3rd place in the National League South table with 57 points, ahead of a return to action on Tuesday night away against Hemel Hempstead.

Eastbourne Borough XI: Dudzinski (GK), Barry, Quick (Ballard-McBride 74’), Finney, Ligendza (Sheriff 62’), Clarke (Uche 62’), Hutchinson, Bendle, Beard, Diarra, Bird.

Unused substitutes: Gravita, Sesay.

Yellow cards: Diarra, Barry, Uche

Red cards: Finney

Chelmsford City XI: Gray (GK); Barnum-Bobb, Barbrook, Winfield ©, Brookes; Ochieng, Watts; Francis, Ruff (Carruthers 79’), Castiglione (Alfa 73’); Alexander (Wordsworth 90+2’).

Unused substitutes: Jones, Hockey.

Yellow cards: None.

Attendance: 1409

Report by Jake Dixon

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