A stoppage time goal from Matt Rush earned City a deserved draw against Concord Rangers in the National League South.


The striker’s headed goal in stoppage time at EMG Inspire Stadium ensured that the Clarets did not finish their final home game of the season with defeat.

In a first-half of few chances, it was Concord Rangers who lead at the break due to James Blanchfield’s fine finish four minutes before half-time.

The visitors started the brightest with Temi Babalola forcing Kai McKenzie-Lyle into a smart save to deny the attacker with just three minutes played.

City’s best chance of the half arguably fell to Dara Dada just before the half-hour mark as the attacking midfielder’s driving header in the box was well saved Ciaran Gordon-Stearn.

With the half looking likely to end in a stalemate, Blanchfield gave the visitors the lead.

A Concord corner was not fully cleared and the midfielder was on hand to take a touch and fire a fizzing shot past McKenzie-Lyle.

The Clarets started the second-half on the front foot, but despite their efforts, they were unable to fully test Gordon-Stearn in the early stages.

Things then went from bad to worse for Robbie Simpson’s men as Louis Dunne was shown a straight red card for dissent with just over 20 minutes left of play.

Despite having a man less, and very much like the Slough Town game, the red card kicked City into life as they pressed for an equalising goal.

As Chelmsford pressed, Concord came close to doubling their lead late on through former-Claret Lamar Reynolds.

The striker broke on the counter attack for the Beach Boys, cutting onto his left before seeing his fierce shot brilliantly tipped around the post by McKenzie-Lyle.

As the game entered additional time and five minutes added on, a series of corners allowed City to keep up the pressure, with ‘keeper McKenzie-Lyle even coming forward to cause trouble in the box.

The pressure then told as substitute Rush found himself unmarked at the back-post from a Tom Blackwell corner and the Southend United loanee calmly headed the ball over the line.

McKenzie-Lyle was again up for another corner as the Clarets sought after a winner, but neither side were able to find another breakthrough as the game ended in a draw.

Chelmsford City: McKenzie-Lyle (GK); Hockey (Moore 71′), Oluwo, James, Vaz; Frimpong, Isaac, Dunne, Dada (Rush 63′); Jackson (C) (Sheringham 63′), Blackwell.

Unused subs: Norton, Simpson.

Concord Rangers: Gordon-Stearn (GK); Popo, Jobe, Randell, Kazeem; Blackman, Blanchfield (Scott 82′); Babalola (Reynolds 79′), Green (C), Hernandez (Search 77′); Williams.

Unused subs: Ramsay, Payne.