The Clarets were on the road again, as a trip to South-West London saw Hampton & Richmond face the Clarets. Robbie’s men would be looking for revenge, after a 2-0 defeat at home to Hampton. A questionable refereeing decision saw the Clarets reduced to ten and go in trailing at the break. Their heads did not drop as they took the game to Hampton for the majority of the second half. A penalty miss for either side and some world-class goalkeeping from both keepers brought an action-filled second half. A late Hampton goal secured them the 3 points after they survived a late comeback scare due to Tom Blackwell’s goal. With the whistle blown, the Clarets headed back to Essex empty-handed.
After an emphatic 5-1 win for the Clarets, Robbie was reluctant to change as he opted for the same starting eleven. On the bench, there was a returning face as Adebola Oluwo was included in a matchday squad for the first time since he came off injury away to Bath, on November 1st. Another return from injury saw Reece Grant return after he was injured in our last Essex Senior cup tie. Alongside them, our latest recruit Giovanni McGregor was named in the squad after he joined on loan from Wealdstone. He has actually featured against the Clarets this season, in the FA Trophy tie which saw us set up a tie away to York. Tom Blackwell and Jazzi Barnum-Bobb were also on the bench.
The game got underway with the Clarets immediately on the offence, winning a corner. Freddie Hockey’s low delivery was flicked goalwards by Michael Folivi, but wide of the goal. Another corner failed to create any anger, seeing Hampton clear. After 7 minutes, the first yellow was produced, as Adrian Clifton got through and was dragged to the ground, as Dave Winfield pulled at him. The resulting free kick was rolled by Gray to Wishart whose effort was straight at Krasniqi and blocked. Another corner was one for the Clarets, just after the 10-minute mark. Hockey was once again across and played back to Krasniqi who found James. Cameron’s delivery was cleared but only to Ody Alfa whose effort was flicked goalwards by Folivi but saved well. The ball returned to Alfa, and the birthday boy Alan Julian was once again down to save it. Just before we ticked over 20 minutes, there was a massive moment. Dave Winfield rose for a header against Adrian Clifton and won it. Clifton fell to the ground as Winfield had challenged with him in the air. After multiple shouts from the Hampton players, the referee brandished a second yellow and sent Dave Winfield off. Adebola Oluwo was brought on, seeing an early, unexpected return for the defender. With the man advantage, the hosts look to make it count. Adrian Clifton managed to wriggle his way into some space, allowing him to get a yard and have a shot on goal. It was deflected and cleared by Krasniqi, posing no danger.
A great chance fell for the hosts, after a free kick was delivered into the box and not cleared well enough. The experienced Clifton watched the ball down and struck a great volley goalwards, seeing it deflected out and sent back in, only for Beach to save well. With just 5 minutes to go of the first half, Chelmsford’s defence was broken. A cross by Jenkins was not cleared, allowing Whittingham to pounce on the rebound and get it under Beach, to make it 1-0. Chelmsford looked to respond, getting a corner after Ben Brookes’ delivery was cleared. The corner was delivered, and Cameron
James was hauled to the ground but only for the referee to wave it away, leaving many puzzled. The Clarets continued to pile the pressure on, as some good work by Tyreke Johnson saw him brought down to win a free kick. Hockey and Brookes stood over it and the latter delivered towards Cameron James, who got up above everyone but could only head over the bar. A total of 2 minutes were added on, where no real chances arose for either side, seeing the hosts go into the break in the lead.
HALF TIME: HRFC 1-0 CCFC
The home side got the second half underway and straight away looked to be on the offense. Chelmsford managed to withstand their early chances, and regained the hold on the game. A scuffed Cameron James cross caused some confusion, as Inman’s clearance went back on himself and nearly gave away a cheap corner. They managed to prevent this, and send the ball up the pitch. After Fernandez’s poor clearance, Brookes managed to work it out to James and find Trotter. He span and clipped a beautiful ball in to a dangerous area, but an area without any Chelmsford attackers. A somewhat sigh of relief came for Chelmsford, as Hampton’s goalscorer pulled up whilst pressing Oluwo, meaning he had to be replaced by Connor Kurran-Browne. Chelmsford continued to be on top, with Alfa putting in a great ball which was met by Johnson. His looping header landed on the roof of the net but did have Alan Julian worried for a second. Robbie turned to his bench again, with 30 minutes left on the clock. Freddie Hockey, who had played well, was replaced by the new boy Giovanni McGregor. He was involved straight away, after some good play by Tyreke Johnson gave him a chance. He opened up and had a shot, which flew wide of the post.
The domination continued, with Alan Julian seeing rather a lot of the ball. Hampton managed to get themselves a great chance, as Jordan Thomas was played through, after a crossfield switch. Thomas was in on goal but tried to catch Eddie Beach out by taking it early, only for the keeper to be up to the task and make a rather routine save. Hampton then had another good chance, from a corner. The good delivery was whipped in and headed way over the bar. The game had seemingly turned, as yet again the home side came forward. The ball was clipped into the box towards Jake Gray, whose touch saw the ball go straight out of play, and back to Chelmsford. With 15 to go, a penalty was given to Hampton after Oluwo got the wrong side of Kurran-Browne and could not make up for it. Jake Gray stepped up and fired a great penalty toward the bottom left, only for Eddie Beach to produce a fantastic save and deny him. Chelmsford were then straight up the other end with Ody Alfa leading the counterattack. The ball was played back to Krasniqi, on the edge of the box, who had a great shot saved by Alan Julian. A good save at either end. The first corner saw McGregor’s delivery cleared for another. Then, the second corner brought Chelmsford a penalty as Oluwo was tripped after a wonderful Julian save. Callum Jones stepped up and sent it low, but yet again Julian made another save, seeing a second penalty missed in 5 minutes.
The intense nature of the game looked like it was to continue, with Chelmsford in search of a goal and winning yet another corner. McGregor delivered but was cleared rather easily. A final Clarets sub was made as Cameron James went off and Tom Blackwell was on, seeing Robbie’s side take an attacking approach at the end of the game. Despite the sub, it was Hampton with a chance as Jake Gray fired a great effort from the edge of the box, forcing Eddie Beach into another amazing save. The icing was on the cake just seconds later, as Gray worked his way into the box and found Jordan Thomas, who prodded home with just 5 minutes to go. With nothing to lose, Chelmsford yet again went forward. Another great chance went missing, as a Tom Blackwell corner was flicked across goal by Liam Trotter and nodded goalwards by Callum Jones. Sam Deadfield was on the line to clear, and keep the host’s clean sheet intact. 4 extra minutes were added on, and Chelmsford did get their goal. Tom Blackwell turned in a rebound, after Ody Alfa’s deflected shot bounced back off the post. With a real lack of time left, the ball was sent long, only for Jake Gray to fall to the floor after the slightest touch from Johnson. Samuel Read then brought a close to the game as the Clarets fell to defeat on the road.
FULL TIME: HRFC 2-1 CCFC
Beach (GK), James (Blackwell 83), Trotter, Winfield (C), Johnson, Folivi (Oluwo 21), Jones, Alfa, Brookes, Hockey (McGregor 61), A.Krasniqi
Unused subs: Barnum-Bobb, Blackwell, Grant
Goals: Blackwell (90+3)
Cautions: Winfield 7, 19
Red Cards: Winfield 19
Hampton & Richmond:
Julian (GK) (C), Jenkins (Donaldson 70), Inman, Fernandez, Whittingham (Kurran-Browne 53), Gray, Wishart, Deadfield, Davis (Thomas 61’), Clifton, Dunne
Unused subs: Johnson (GK), Comley
Goals: Whittingham 40, Thomas 85
Cautions: Thomas 74
Words by Josh Lowe