Goals in either half from HRBFC saw the Clarets fall to their third defeat of the season as the fixtures keep on piling up.
Luis Fernandez’s first half goal and Tommy Block’s second half penalty meant that the Beavers collected all three points at The Melbourne Community Stadium.
The first chance of the day fell to the hosts with Ovie Ejeheri being called into action as a cross fell to Shroll, despite having already been covering his near post, he flew across his goal to make the save. The Clarets really struggled to get into the game in the first 10 minutes with the only opportunity to come forward through Lodovica as he carried the ball forward from halfway. Inman matched him all the way and won the visitors a free kick. An exchange with Da Costa on the far side saw Lodovica with space in the box, he opened out and curled an effort towards the goal, forcing Fernandez into a block.
The Clarets first corner of the game saw them continue to apply pressure on The Beavers as City started to ask questions of their defence. The visitor’s clearance was picked up by James on the left who crossed in and caused the ball to be sent high instead of away. James picked up the ball again but couldn’t get the ball out of his feet and after a tussle for possession with Kurran-Browne, both went to ground, and the referee awarded a free kick to HRBFC. James was the first to test the hands of Walsh, in the 21st minute, as he picked up the ball on half-way and drove forward. Hampton gave him the space and he wound up a strike from the edge of the area forcing Walsh down into a low save.
The visitors fashioned an opportunity on the half-hour mark. A foul by Vaz gave Gray the opportunity to put the ball in the box, his cross found Inman who with an unchallenged header couldn’t direct his effort on target.
Just two-minutes later the Clarets came forward with Lodovica and Da Costa linking up. The latter carried the ball into the box and went down under the challenge of Fernandez in the area. The referee waved the claims away and awarded the free kick against Da Costa.
The Beavers fashioned a chance of their own through Gray as his cross found Wood, who’s headed effort went narrowly wide of Ejeheri’s goal. Just a minute later, Fernandez gave The Beavers the lead on 37 minutes as he picked up the ball inside the Clarets box in space and slotted his effort into the bottom corner past Ejeheri. It all came from a long throw from Block on the near side which bounced around in the box before it found its way to Fernandez who slotted home.
Straight from kick-off the Clarets had shouts for another penalty, the ball was hit long from the off and found Da Costa, he drove into the box and went down in a heap on the challenge. The referee uninterested and Da Costa needed treatment. That would end up being Da Costa’s last involvement in the game as he was withdrawn 5 minutes later after trying to continue.
HALF TIME: CHELMSFORD CITY FC 0-1 HRBFC
A change at the break from the Clarets saw Yila be replaced by Jackson, with Yila walking a tightrope following his earlier booking. Jackson took to the pitch with the armband to kick off the second half.
A Clarets corner cleared by the first man fell out to Barnum-Bobb who was caught in two minds on what to do and as a result caught in possession. Ochieng on a recovery run managed to get back and get round to make a fantastic sliding challenge to halt the progress of Whittingham.
The Clarets had the first chance of the second after 52 minutes. A Barnum-Bobb throw found the feet of Lodovica. The number 9 got the ball out his feet and crossed, Blackwell got a toe to it at the near post to flick on which went just out of the reach of Jackson, who was running in at the back post.
Hampton started to grow into the second half as they created opportunities that they couldn’t quite capitalise on. The first a cross in from the far side which couldn’t find either of the visitor’s men waiting in the box allowing City to clear. The second with Vincent in space on the edge of the box he was able to strike at goal, but despite the space was unable to keep his strike down.
Just on the hour mark it was the Clarets defence who kept the score at 0-1. Gray pulled a low cross back to Whittingham just inside the box, he hit his shot well and forced Ejeheri to make a save. The Clarets keeper couldn’t hold it and it fell to Kurran-Browne who with most of the goal to aim at, wound up his shot. A fantastic last ditch sliding tackle from Trotter prevented Kurran-Browne from doubling the Beavers’ lead.
On 73 minutes the visitors were given the chance to double their lead from the spot after a foul by Terry just inside the penalty area. The Clarets were caught in possession and Kurran-Browne led the visitors counter attack. He was supported well and offloaded the ball to Ilic who went down under the challenge of Terry. Block converted the penalty, he sent Ejeheri the wrong way and gave the Clarets a mountain to climb if they were to get anything from the game.
Ruff had a golden chance to give the Clarets a chance heading into the final ten minutes, Jackson and Ruff got goal side of the Hampton defence after a bouncing ball caused problems. It broke more favourably to Ruff who stabbed his effort past Walsh but just past the post. Some excellent defending from The Beavers keeping City out as we headed into the final 5 minutes. A succession of crosses asking questions of the visitors, but some solid defensive work prevented the Clarets attack from having a sniff.
City had the ball in the net on 86 minutes, a James cross from the nearside found Jackson at the back who turned it home. The linesman’s flag went up and saved the visitors from a tense end to the tie. There were Clarets lining up in the box the linesman flagged early so he deemed they were all played offside by the Hampton defence.
That would be the last real chance for the Clarets as the referee’s whistle drew the game to a close. A tough day in the office for City as it didn’t quite click, the visitors took their chances and defended well. City made chances of their own, and although it didn’t quite swing their way this afternoon, but Clarets stay 4th in the Vanarama National League South table. All focus now firmly on our FA Cup replay against Barnet on Monday 14th November (KO 7.30pm) as we look to bounce back in front of a bumper crowd.
FULL TIME: CHELMSFORD CITY FC 0-2 HRBFC
CHELMSFORD CITY FC: Ejeheri (GK), James, Barnum-Bobb (Ruff 66’), Trotter (C), Yearn, Lodovica, Da Costa (Blackwell 43’), Ochieng, Vaz, Terry, Yila (Jackson 45’)
Unused Subs: Winfield, Dunne
Cautions: Yila (26’), Barnum-Bobb (48’)
HRBFC: Walsh (GK), Block, Inman (C), Fernandez, Whittingham, Wood, Gray (Davis 90+1’), Ilic (Babalola 89’), Kurran-Browne (Sablier 74’), Vincent, Shroll
Unused Subs: George, Omari
Cautions: Whittingham (47’), Ilic (89’)
Goals: Fernandez 37’, Block p. 73’