The Clarets were back at the Melbourne Stadium, after some recent trips on the road. 2 wins in the previous 3 set the Clarets up for a good tie with Worthing, who were sitting in 5th place going into the game. The Clarets ran out 3-1 winners in the reverse fixture, with Robbie hoping that his side could emulate that performance today. They did not emulate that performance, but they better it. A top-drawer performance from the Clarets saw them come from behind twice to win. 2 out of the blue goals from Worthing might have raised question marks but 4 fantastic goals kept the points in Essex.
Chelmsford were forced into one change as well as reintroducing a new signing. Dave Winfield’s suspension started today, meaning that he was ineligible to play today. He is also suspended for next weekend’s visit to Dartford. In his place came Adebola Oluwo, who made his first start today since the 1-0 win away to Bath, in November. He got 70 minutes off the bench at Hampton but was rested midweek against Concord. The other change saw Frankie Terry make his first start since rejoining the Clarets on loan, as he replaced Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, who dropped to the bench. Jazzi was joined by the returning Simeon Jackson, who had been out with injury. Callum Jones and Freddie Hockey were also amongst the substitutes being joined by Chelmsford’s latest signing, James Blanchfield who joined from Concord in the week.
The Clarets got us underway, immediately coming forward and winning an early throw. Worthing managed to deal with it, despite some relentless pressing from Tom Blackwell. Some more great pressing brought the Clarets their first chance. Tom Blackwell caught Aarran Racine sleeping and nicked the ball, setting up Michael Folivi. He took a quick shot, which was well saved by Harrison Male and Worthing managed to clear the danger. The visitors’ keeper was called into action once again, after some good play by the Clarets. Ody Alfa beat 2 men and managed to cross, with Tyreke Johnson heading back to Ben Brookes. Ben took aim and fizzed a great effort at goal, taking a slight deflection before Male was down well to produce a fantastic save. The Clarets had a corner, which came to nothing as it missed everyone and went all the way through. Chelmsford kept up the tempo, with Folivi causing trouble once again. Brookes played the ball into him, and he span his man letting the ball through his and the defender’s legs before he latched onto it. He ran at goal, beating another player before only managing a tame effort at goal. Worthing then got their first chance of the game. Trotter was disposed in the middle of the park, and the visitors flurried forward. The ball was played out to Liam Vincent, and he found space on the left. He then put a ball across the box, where Oliver Pearce slid in and made it 1-0, grabbing his 18th goal of the season. Not long after, there was almost a second for Worthing, as Pearce got another chance. Male’s long kick bounced down, seeing Joel Colbran have time to cross. Pearce touched it through, and managed a shot which was blocked by a combination of Eddie Beach and Adebola Oluwo.
Looking for a response, the Clarets needed to put the pressure on and get themselves back into the game. Some good work from Alfa did this, as the Worthing defenders were tested. Johnson’s shot caused no danger but did give Worthing something to think about. Blackwell failed to reroute the effort, as Worthing cleaned up. The game failed to bring much excitement, as the rain hammered down continuously. Worthing managed to get forward, just after the half-an-hour mark, and won a
corner. It was taken sort, but rather easily dealt with by the Chelmsford defenders. Another Worthing attack was dealt with well, seeing Chelmsford counter. Folivi rouletted past 2 Worthing players and sent Alfa on his way. Ody’s mazy run saw him take on plenty of players, before winning a corner. The corner was delivered in, dropping in the box and allowing Tyreke Johnson to fire a low effort. His shot rocketed in but was well blocked allowing Worthing to clear. The Clarets kept the pressure up and once again, Alfa had acres of space on the right. He crossed well and it fell beautifully to the arriving Liam Trotter, who put it past Harrison Male to score yet another goal for the Clarets. Chelmsford’s captain for the day made a great darting run, deep in the box and finished fantastically.
With confidence high, City were looking to take the game to Worthing and try to get another. A low cross from Giovanni McGregor was sliced by the Worthing defender, seeing Ben Brookes have another corner to take. It was whipped in delightfully and dipped just under the bar, only for Joel Colbran to be on the line, and able to clear. Intentional or not, it sure caused panic for Worthing as the Clarets had not only grown into the game but taken it by the scruff of the neck. With the full 45 played, 3 minutes were added on, and the Rebel had a chance as McGregor gave away a soft free kick. 3 Worthing players stood over the ball, and it was Pearce who struck, sending his effort fly way over Eddie Beach’s bar. But, with 10 seconds to play, Pearce got another chance and made no mistake this time. Worthing once again attacked down the left, and Pearce managed to poke his effort past Beach and into the net, as the last play of the half gave the game its third goal.
HALF TIME: CCFC 1-2 WFC
The second half got underway, with the rain finally coming to an end and the sun poking through. After a frustratingly late goal in the first half, the Clarets looked for a fast start. That they did. Tom Blackwell and Michael Folivi worked well, seeing them 2 on 1 and baring down on goal. Tom found Michael, who cut inside and beat 2 backtracking Worthing defenders, before he slammed past Harrison Male. Michael continued his golden goalscoring form, making it 4 goals in his last 5 games. With a rain drenched full of half time, the sun was finally shining through, and it was the Clarets who were shinning on the pitch. Alfa performed some great skill and control, getting away down the right. He was able to deliver and find McGregor, only for him to miskick the ball completely. The game was end to end, as Worthing had a superb chance to regain the lead. The ball evaded Claret’s defenders, and Mohammed Dabre looked destine to score. Eddie Beach made himself big and performed a great save. From the save, Chelmsford were straight up the other end, as once again Alfa was causing problems. Beresford brought him down, and a free kick was won. Blackwell delivered superbly, and Folivi was on hand to smash his header in. However, the celebrations were cut short as the linesman’s flag was raised and seemingly fairly so.
It was chance after chance, with the Clarets then thinking they had scored. Tom Blackwell’s corner was headed across by Terry before Oluwo swung at it. The ball went all the way back out to Blackwell, who smashed the ball straight back into the box. It then bounced back up, allowing Trotter to hit it goalwards, where it looked to have gone over the line, only for the officials to disagree. As we just ticked over the hour mark, the game looked to have calmed down, after an electric 15 minutes. Worthing were very much camped into their half, with Chelmsford on top. Another chance came for the Clarets, as Folivi found himself having his effort saved at point blank. Harrison Male pulled off an outstanding save to deny Folivi his second of the game. Michael was involved once again, as Tyreke won the ball back and it fell to him. Bowry came across and took him out, resulting in a Clarets free kick. It was Brookes and McGregor who stepped up over the free kick, with the latter sending his free kick way over Harrison Male’s crossbar. Worthing had got themselves
up the pitch as Mohammed Dabre looked to deliver. He snatched at it, and his poor cross went straight to Arjanit Krasniqi, who was able to clear.
With just under 10 minutes to go, Robbie turned to the bench, making 2 changes. Freddie Hockey replaced Tom Blackwell and Callum Jones was on for Giovanni McGregor. The Claret domination continued as Johnson was causing trouble, before there was another big moment. Freddie Hockey was waiting in the box as Jones chipped the ball in but did not make it as he was bundled down. The referee did not hesitate to point to the spot and Arjanit Krasniqi was the man faced with the challenge. The Kosovan made no mistake and put a splendid penalty away, sending Male the wrong way. He stepped up and with a hop, skip and a jump cooly converted an excellent penalty, to give the Clarets the lead with just 7 minutes to play. Before the game restarted, Robbie made a final change, as Michael Folivi came off, and Jazzi Barnum-Bobb was on to help with the defending of the soon to come Worthing onslaught. A Worthing throw was cleared, and Freddie Hockey and Callum Jones were away, a carbon copy of the second goal. This time, there was no pass as Hockey took it alone, crashing ti against the sole Worthing defender, and giving them back possession. Despite being in the lead, it was all Chelmsford. Ody Alfa was played in and looked to send his effort to the top corner, seeing it just whistle inches away from goal and out for a goal kick. With seconds of normal time left, it was game set match. Alfa did brilliantly and won the ball back, sparking another attack. He played the ball to Callum Jones who put in an out of this world, trevalla cross towards Freddie Hockey, who was all alone and turned in for Chelmsford’s 4 and his first ever league goal for the Clarets. With the points in the bag, City had to play out the added 5 but keep up the good performance and not lose complacency. A late chance came to Worthing as Pearce won them a corner. 20 players were in the box but it was Eddie Beach who won the ball, and held well. The final 5 were up, and Ross Martin blew his whistle. An emphatic 4-2 win for the Clarets sees them up to 4th in the league.
FULL TIME: CCFC 4-2 WFC
Beach (GK), Trotter (C), Oluwo, Johnson, Folivi (Barnum-Bobb 85), Blackwell (Hockey 80), McGregor (Jones 80), Alfa, Brookes, Terry, Krasniqi
Unused subs: Barnum-Bobb, Jackson, Blanchfield
Goals: Trotter 37, Folivi 49, Krasniqi (Pen) 83, Hockey 89
Cautions: Trotter 16, Oluwo 27
Male (GK), Colbran, Barker, Racine (C), Bowry, Chambers, Pearce, Vincent (Rodari 56), Jae-Lee (Thompson 68), Beresford (Akanbi 90)_, Dabre
Unused subs: Livesey-Austin, Myles-Meekums
Goals: Pearce 11, 45+3
Cautions: Bowry 73
Words by Josh Lowe