For consecutive weeks, Chelmsford have a home game on Monday. After triumphing last week against Slough, a draw followed away to Dover. Tonight, Tonbridge travel up from Kent to face the Clarets.
With another new signing through the door, there were changes to the starting line-up. Michael Folivi joined the Clarets earlier today, with experience at clubs such as Colchester, AFC Wimbledon and Boreham Wood. Elsewhere, Cameron James returned to the starting squad, after suspension. Jazzi Barnum-Bobb fell to the bench along with Simeon Jackson and Khale Da Costa, whole all played down at Dover. Callum Jones, Tom Blackwell and Jamie Yila were all called into the started squad, with some rotation needed due to a heavy fixture list. Both scoring their first Chelmsford goal last Monday, Arjanit Krasniqi and Frankie Terry maintained their places and looked to continue their good form.
Under the lights at the Melbourne Stadium, the game got underway as Chelmsford looked for revenge after the 1-0 defeat at the Longmead Stadium in October. The Clarets looked to start brightly with Jamie Yila getting involved early on. A great chance went the way of the Clarets after just 5 minutes. Cameron James swung a cross in and Callum Jones got across his man and produced a diving header. His header was not too powerful and could not get goalwards, as it trickled out for a goal kick. A good passage of possession for the Clarets saw Callum Jones play a cross field pass to Jamie Yila who beat his man and managed to deliver. Jones had continued his run and was on the end of the cross, but sent his header over the crossbar. After Dave Winfield was down for a lengthy period of time, Tonbridge came pilling forward, with Winfield rushing back. Liam Trotter, filling in for Winfield, got across and put the ball behind for a corner where the Chelmsford defenders dealt with accordingly. Just before the half-an-hour mark, Tonbridge somehow did not take the lead. A great ball put in at the back post was headed wide by Tommie Fagg, where it would have been harder for him to miss; he still did.
Chelmsford continued to promise as they came forward, with some good linkup between Jamie Yila and Ben Brookes seeing yet another chance come the way of the Clarets. Yet again, it was not guided goalwards. After a mistake from Callum Jones, the Angels came forward and Joseph Turner managed to clip a ball back post to Jordan Greenidge who managed to brandish a half attempt at a bicycle kick, only to send the ball behind into the stand. One of the 2 former Clarets in the Tonbridge line-up then had a good chance. Devonte Aransibia twisted and turned, outwitting 2 Clarets defenders before firing a low effort at goal, where Beach saved and held well. Yet again, Tonbridge came close. A free kick was delivered in and flicked on, seeing Eddie Beach forced into a close-knit reaction save as he just about deny the visitors with his left foot. With just minutes to go in the first half, Chelmsford got a shot on target but failed to threaten Jonathan Henley. Cameron James intercepted a lazy wayward pass from Scott Wagstaff and drove towards goal. His effort was straight at Henly, allowing for a routine save. The referee indicated 5 minutes to be added on and the Clarets looked to continue their push for the opening goal. A great chance almost amassed for the Clarets as Ben Brookes played a beautiful ball to Callum Jones who found Jamie Yila. Yila delivered an excellent
ball which whistled just over the head of Michael Folivi and into Henly’s hands. Then, referee Abigail Bryne brought the first half to an end.
HALF TIME: CCFC 0-0 TAFC
Tonbridge got the second half underway and immediately gave the ball back to Chelmsford. The first 10 minutes played into Tonbridge’s hands with the ball spending a lot of time in the air. Just after the 10-minute mark, Chelmsford got a free kick for a foul on Jamie Yila, just on the edge of the box. Tom Blackwell stepped up and his effort deflected off the wall and out for a corner to City. The corner came to nothing and still left Chelmsford in search of a goal. Just before the hour mark, a defensive error gave Michael Folivi some space to drive into and he got enough time for a shot but dragged his effort wide and in no danger of the Tonbridge goal. After some build up from deep, Tom Blackwell drove at Turner, beating him before winning a corner. The corner, deep from Brookes saw Chelmsford return all the way back to the halfway line, with Tonbridge’s defence staying strong. Tonbridge, with one of their first chances of the half came close. Jamie Fielding delivered and just missed Jordan Greenidge seeing Beach catch. It was somewhat a heart in mouth moment for the Clarets as Beach seemingly dropped the ball but managed to recover.
Robbie then turned to the bench for his second sub, after Jackson replaced Folivi 10 minutes earlier, seeing Yila replaced by Da Costa, after a good return from injury by the winger. With 15 minutes to go, Aransibia’s eyes lit up as, from 25 yards out, he fired an effort high over the bar. Chelmsford were next to have a chance, as Tom Blackwell’s deep corner was headed wide of the goal by Dave Winfield, after he tussled with his marker in the box. Again, the Clarets came forward and went agonisingly close. Arjanit Krasniqi got into a bit of space and fired low and hard, with his right, weaker foot. Jonathan Henly was routed to the spot as he and his defenders watched the effort go whiskers past the post. With seconds of normal time to go, penalty shouts came from every Chelmsford fan in the ground. Ben Brookes delivered to the back post and Khale Da Costa was hauled to the ground, seeing Abigail Byrne wave it away, leaving many in disbelief. With a minute of the 3 added time to go, Freddie Hockey was victim of a horror tackle, seeing the Tonbridge defender fly in knee high and hack down the striker. Luckily, Freddie Hockey was okay, but somehow Ben Swift evaded an obvious red card. With all added time up, the free kick was the late play. Ben Brookes took quickly to Arjanit Krasniqi who delivered and seemingly it was all done. Up stepped Liam Trotter, the Rolls-Royce midfielder. Pandemonium was coming. Trotter rifled a volley into the bottom left corner, scoring his first of the season. Every single Chelmsford fan rushed over as Liam Trotter was mauled by every Chelmsford player and staff member. For 90 minutes, Chelmsford got unlucky and deserved to win, with Trotter stepping up to be the hero. Chelmsford City 1 Tonbridge 0 a well fought result. Once all the celebrations died down, the game got back underway and less than 30 seconds later, the whistle was blown. Chelmsford had the 3 points, after an eventful end to the game to say the least.
FULL TIME: CCFC 1-0 TAFC
Beach (GK), James, Trotter, Winfield (C), Folivi (Jackson 62’), Blackwell, Jones (Hockey 86’), Brookes, Terry, Yila (Da Costa 72’), Krasniqi
Unused subs: Marsden (GK), Barnum-Bobb
Goals: Trotter 90+6’
Cautions: Da Costa 90+3’
Henly (GK), Fielding, Braham-Barrett, Parkinson, Miles (C), Swift, Greenidge, Turner, Aransibia (Gard 85’), Wagstaff, Fagg
Unused subs: Gibb (GK), Gard, Wood, Soares-Junior, Gurung
Cautions: Parkinson 26’, Henley 90+3’, Swift 90+3
Words By Josh Lowe