Two quick fire goals after the restart sealed the win for Ebbsfleet United at the Kuflink Stadium in the final game of the 2021/22 season.
Goals from Sido Jombati and Rakish Bingham within four minutes of each other confirmed Ebbsfleet’s place in the Vanarama National League South Play-off Semi-Final against Dartford or Chippenham Town next weekend.
The goals came as a shock to Robbie Simpson’s men, who had arguably been the better of the two sides in the first-half.
The Clarets started the game brightly with Deon Moore, Tom Blackwell and Cameron James all coming close in the early stages without fully testing Louie Moulden.
As the first-half wore on, frustrations grew for Ebbsfleet as City continued to graft and make things difficult for the home side, restricting them to few half-chances.
In truth the first real chance for the Fleet fell to Bingham five minutes before the break, as the striker found himself in space in the box, but blazed his shot well over the bar without troubling Kai McKenzie-Lyle.
After the restart the hosts went into another gear as they started with intent, knowing only a win would ensure third place ahead of rivals Dartford.
Their early pressure would pay off as well, as Jombati rose highest in the box to to head the ball home from Ben Chapman’s cross on 49 minutes.
Ebbsfleet soon found themselves two-nil up on 53 minutes as Bingham drove at the City defence, placing the ball past McKenzie-Lyle with a fine finish from outside the box.
The Fleet came close to a third just after the hour mark through Will Wood, who saw his well placed shot saved well by McKenzie-Lyle.
City substitute Freddie Hockey came close to getting his first goal for the Club as he saw his shot in the box brilliantly blocked by Solly as it looked destined to nestle in the bottom corner.
With 20 minutes left of play, captain Charlie Sheringham pulled one back with the striker having the whole goal to his disposal following Dara Dada’s ball across the face of goal, taking ‘keeper Moulden out of the frame.
Despite a late resurgence, the Clarets were unable to capitilise as the hosts held on to see out the game.
Ebbsfleet United: Moulden (GK); Jombati, Solly (C), Wood; Chapman, Tanner (Martin 67′), N’Guessan, Paxman; Romain (Egan 64′), Coulthirst (Poleon (56′), Bingham.
Unused subs: Haigh (GK), Domi.
Chelmsford City: McKenzie-Lyle (GK); James, Oluwo, Vaz; Rush (Dada 67′), Isaac, Dunne, Blackwell (Norton 88′); Moore, Jackson (Hockey 55′), Sheringham (C).
Unused subs: Frimpong, Simpson.