Good Friday rolled round with the Clarets returning home to face playoff rival Farnborough. A busy Easter weekend saw another game on Monday, as a trip to Oxford City awaits. The sun shined on the Melbourne Stadium, with the Clarets looking for the glow on the pitch.
With our last league game just over a fortnight ago, Robbie made a few changes to his starting side. Since the win at Dartford, Eddie Beach had returned from his international expenditure seeing him back in between the sticks. After suffering an injury in the Tolleshunt D’Arcy Memorial Cup, Freddie Hockey was out of the squad and potentially will not return until the end of the season. Tyreke Johnson was the other change, as he dropped to the bench. Coming into the side was Callum Jones as well as Tom Blackwell, who both appeared against Dartford from the bench. On the bench today, Cameron James and Simeon Jackson featured, having both started in the Tolleshunt, on their returns from injury. They were joined by Giovanni McGregor, who scored the late winner against Dartford, as well as Tyreke Johnson and James Blanchfield.
The Clarets got the game underway, with the Clarets looking to apply the early pressure straight from kick-off. An early chance almost arose for the Clarets. Brookes was high on the left, and he set up Frankie Terry to deliver. The ball was aimed for Folivi, before he was bundled down in the box with the referee waving away any potential penalty. Alfa picked the ball up, and he allowed Trotter to send the ball in but only out for a goal kick. Farnborough had sat back for the first few minutes, before a long Jack Turner ball forced Adebola Oluwo to turn behind for a corner. It was dealt with well by the Clarets before the follow up saw the deadlock broken. Jordan Norville-Williams got through and drilled a ball across the box creating problems. Beach came for it but could only get a hand to it, seeing Mason Bloomfield aware and on hand to give Farnborough the lead. The Clarets needed a response but were struggling to find a way through the Farnborough back line. Disaster struck for Chelmsford, with young defender Frankie Terry being forced off, after a tussle with Mason Bloomfield. Terry was replaced by Tyreke Johnson, who made an earlier than expected appearance.
After some good Ody Alfa skill, Ben Brookes was able to come close. Alfa and Trotter set up Krasniqi and his delivered was pounced on by Callum Jones. Jones hooked the ball back into the box, where Ben Brookes struck and fired his effort just wide of the goal. The Clarets were keeping the tempo up, as they maintain the ball well and looked to get their way through. Farnborough were occasionally coming forward, with Ollie Robinson’s long throw being their key danger. The Clarets looked to find their way throw with set pieces. Ben Brookes and Tom Blackwell were delivering well but their was no end product in the middle. Bloomfield was creating the danger for the visitors, finding Tommy Willard as he looked to become the provider. Winfield blocked well and Beach claimed before any rebounds could come. It was Winfield involved again next, this time at the other end. After a flurry of corners, the Clarets did finally find the net. Ben Brookes’ corner dropped in the box, and it was the Chelmsford skipper who was alert, poking home his first goal of the season. The celebrations were short, with Chelmsford straight back and looking to make this game theirs. 4 minutes were added on, with a Chelmsford free kick the first action of the injury time. Blackwell delivered well, seeing it drop back to Ody Alfa on the edge of the box. He clipped it in, where Oluwo rose highest but headed his effort over the crossbar. The game was stopped for 8 minutes after this, with John Oyenuga needing stretching off. A nasty head collision ended his afternoon and all at Chelmsford City wish John well and hope he has a speedy recovery. We got back underway, for a brief few minutes before the half ended, with the scores level.
HALF TIME: CCFC 1-1 FFC
Farnborough got the games underway and were on the offensive immediately. Firstly, Tommy Willard dragged his shot just wide of the post. Next, Dave Winfield battled with Mason Bloomfield and brought him down. Just outside the box, the free kick was clipped into the box, but away from any Farnborough heads and they could not create any danger. Before this, there had been a halftime substitute for the Clarets. Adebola Oluwo was replaced by Cameron James, with Oluwo having collided with Oyenuga in first half added time. The constant threat of Ollie Robinson’s long throws was made evident. Mason Bloomfield brought the ball down in the box, turning and firing in his second of the game. But it was an almost an immediate response. Much like Farnborough’s second goal, it was a turn and shoot in the box. This time Michael Folivi had the quick feet, and he fired past Jack Turner to level the scores. With just 9 minutes played in the second half, there had already been 2 goals and it was shaping up to be some half. Farnborough looked to use their ariel threat, this time from a corner. Norville-Williams won the corner, which saw Freddie Grant rise above everyone but send his effort over Eddie Beach’s crossbar.
Robbie turned to his bench for his first unenforced change with 20 minutes to play. Having only just returned from injury last week, Simeon Jackson was on, and Tom Blackwell was off. The Canadian strike had returned in the Tolleshunt D’Arcy memorial cup, where he scored on his birthday. Besides Bloomfield, Farnborough had been finding joy with Jordan Norville-Williams. This time, he managed to get the right side of Cameron James before his touch let him down and allowed Eddie Beach to be on hand to claim. Next, he was involved at the other end of the field. As Ody Alfa tiptoed past him and 2 other Farnborough defenders before it was 1 touch too many, and the ball was cleared up field. Alfa was at the forefront of the Clarets attack again, this time he and Jackson were 2 on 1 with a defender and Turner, before Alfa took aim and forced Jack Turner into a rather routine save. With the minutes ticking away, Farnborough were awarded a soft free kick. Jonathon Page stepped up and hit his effort straight at Eddie Beach. The ball fell loose, and Simeon Jackson got ahead of the defender, poking the ball through. Michael Folivi was left 1 on 1 with Jack Turner. The bags man kept his cool, despite the ball bouncing up at him, and chipped beautifully over Turner to seal the 3 points. The celebrations were wild, once again as the Clarets made it 4 games in a row where they’d come back to take all 3 points. The wildest of celebrations from Folivi saw him booked as he ripped his shirt off. Everyone calmed down and the final minutes were awaiting. With 4 minutes added on, there were some nerves. However, the Clarets held on and picked up 3 vital points as their fight to reach the playoffs got even stronger.
FULL TIME: CCFC 3-2 FFC
Beach (GK), Trotter, Winfield (C), Oluwo (James 46), Folivi, Blackwell (Jackson 73), Jones, Alfa, Brookes, Terry (Johnson 21), Krasniqi
Unused subs: McGregor, Blanchfield
Goals: Winfield 42’, Folivi 54’, 90+1’
Cautions: Folivi 90+1
Turner (GK), Ball, Robinson, Lokko (C), Page, Saied (Silva 54), Oyenuga (Grant 45+7), Bloomfield, Willard, Norville-Williams, Lovatt
Unused subs: Fearn, Holmes, Saunders
Goals: Bloomfield 9’, 52’
Words by Josh Lowe