A long, 5-and-a-half-hour trip for the Clarets brought them down to the Bob Lucas Stadium to face Weymouth. After late drama last season, Robbie was looking for the 3 points again, as the Clarets looked to prolong the unbeaten start to the season. A belated birthday strike lit up the first half, before the Terras were blown away. Barnum-Bobb brilliance doubled the tally, before a Jones penalty put the icing on the cake. An unbelievable Clarets performance brought the 3 points back from Dorset, for a happy coach trip home.
Robbie decided to make 5 changes following on from the draw at home to Havant & Waterlooville. The now suspended Frankie Terry dropped out to start his ban with Ben Brookes being recalled to the starting side. Mo Dabre and Samir Carruthers dropped to the bench, along with Callum Jones and Adam Mills. In came Freddie Hockey, who after his 18th birthday 2 weeks ago, made his first league start of the season. Making a first league start too was Callum Watts, who was into the side along with Jazzi Barnum-Bobb. Finally, it was Mo Bettamer in to lead the line, after he scored from the bench last time out. Along with the 4 dropping to the bench from last weekend, Jacob Marsden was waiting in reserve, his first inclusion for the 23/24 season.
It was the Terras who kicked the game off, sending the ball long and out of play straight away. After dealing with an early Weymouth flourish, the Clarets looked to create chances of their own. Some good play after a long ball from Dave Winfield saw Charlie Ruff almost find Freddie Hockey with a neat flick, before there was a Weymouth defender to sweep the ball up. The Terras were looking dangerous, with Leo Hamblin getting forward from full back. A deep corner was delivered and headed goalwards, where Josh Oluwayemi held well with a rather easy save. The Clarets looked to turn defence into attack as they went forward, and Jermaine Francis was found. Some good work saw him spread the ball wide to Barnum-Bobb, who delivered. Charlie Ruff ran across the front post and flicked an effort but just over the Weymouth crossbar.
As Weymouth came forward, they were looking dangerous. Some good play saw Luke Jenkins have to go to ground, as he gave away a foul and was booked. Brandon Goodship stood over the ball and struck a tame effort. However, with the Clarets was peeling, a gap was formed, and the effort looked destined to find the bottom left corner, before deflecting off the post and out, much to Josh Oluwayemi’s relief. The Clarets got themselves a free kick of their own as we ticked over the 20 minutes mark. It was 30 yards out from goal and Mo Bettamer took charge. It was struck well, up and over the wall but just a few yards wide of Gerard Benfield’s goal.
The Clarets were keeping pressure up, causing problems for the Weymouth defenders. Jermaine Francis was using his twists and turns before teeing up Ben Brookes who delivered deep into the Weymouth box. Mo Bettamer was the winner at the back post but could only head into the side netting from an acute angle. However, reaching the half an hour mark, the Clarets took the lead. Some great recycling saw Ebuozeme pick the ball up and drive into the Weymouth half. Finding Watts, he went further before Ruff looked to dictate the play from the edge of the box. Looking up, he picked out a brilliant ball to Freddie Hockey, who only needed 2 touches. 1 touch saw him send the Weymouth defender the wrong way, before his second sent the keeper the wrong way, and the 18-year-old had a, few weeks late, birthday present. First start of the season and Freddie had a goal to go with it.
Ben Brookes trooped across to the right-hand side again, with the Clarets being given another free kick. However, Brookes rushed it and the Terras regained possession. A long ball exploited the space, with Brookes out of position and Weymouth looked to be in. It was knocked across the box to Dan Roberts who, with his back to goal, played it to Tom Bearwish. Weymouth’s captain struck an effort, taking a deflection before Josh Oluwayemi made a superb save as he sprung back across the goal to keep it out. The ball bounced back into the box and Joel Rollinson, who played against the Clarets for Hungerford Town last season, looked to shoot but an excellent Callum Watts tackle blocked any chance of danger for Josh Oluwayemi. The home fans were up on their feet, with a corner to come. It did so and the delivery was good, making the penalty spot where a high header looped way over the crossbar, causing no danger and going behind for a goal kick.
With the Clarets still leading, 4 minutes were added on. It was some great possession play by Chelmsford, not needing to rush as Weymouth stayed incredibly deep. Ruff and Ebuozeme put passes together like they were playing FIFA street, and the end result was almost there as Ebuozeme’s ball into the box saw Bettamer’s header blocked. With no other chances coming for either side, the Clarets took the lead back to the dressing room, as they looked for more of the same in the second half.
HALF TIME: WFC 0-1 CCFC
In the white and blue away strip, Charlie Ruff got the second half underway. It was more of the same by the Clarets as they started fast and got up against Weymouth. Some good pressing saw Brookes win possession back and Hockey was then fouled. Just on the edge of the box, Bettamer and Brookes stood over the free kick. Bettamer wound up low and hard and a jumping wall was able to make a good block from a disappointing free kick. The good linkup play was once again coming from Ruff as he played delightful with Ben Brookes. It was returned to Ruff on the edge who looked to bend an effort into the far corner. A vital deflection sent it just wide, incredibly close from Ruff. The resulting corner found that man again, but Charlie’s effort was rather simple for Gerard Benfield, who held well. Oluwayemi did exactly the same a few minutes later. Ebuozeme gave away the corner and the effort was straight at Josh, who held the effort.
With the hour mark approaching, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb almost found his first ever Chelmsford goal. Some outrageous skill from Jermaine Francis ruined 2 Weymouth players as he flicked it through to Ben Brookes. His delivery was straight to Bettamer who unselfishly flicked it back into the box where Barnum-Bobb was. Jazzi’s half volley looked to be nestling in the net but an outstretched hand from Gerard Benfield saw it topped onto the post, before it was claimed by the Weymouth shotstopper. After a delay with a triple Weymouth substitute, a dangerous chance came for Chelmsford again. Bettamer was played in and hauled down by Anthony Cheshire. The Weymouth defender rightfully received a booking and Brookes lined up with the ball. He clipped it in, but it was headed clear by the Weymouth defender.
A running theme continued for the Clarets, as it was Ruff providing the danger. Some great hold up play from Mo Bettamer invited the Clarets forward and they did just that. Jermaine Francis was able to let Ben Brookes deliver, who found Ruff but only to see a header hit the side netting. However, against the run of play a great chance came for Weymouth. A deep ball looked to be attacked, where no one was attacking, and Josh Oluwayemi could class himself lucky as the ball sailed wide but only just. With just 15 to go, the Clarets doubled the lead. Some excellent work saw Mo Dabre flicked through, as he was then able to get a shot on goal. He stung the palms of Benfield and Jazzi Barnum-Bobb raced into the box to poke the ball home. It was almost earlier in the game but it was a definite now. He wheeled away in celebration as he grabbed his first ever goal for the Clarets, after an eventful day to say the least.
Following the goal, Robbie turned to the bench and Dave Winfield was withdrawn, to a standing ovation from the travelling Clarets fans. Bettamer also came off as Callum Jones and Samir Carruthers entered the play for the final 10 minutes. It was the substitutes who linked up, Jones to Carruthers who found Dabre. An unselfish pass found Ruff who was brought down in the box. The referee pointed to the spot and Ruff took responsibility. He stepped up but, much like last week, it was a trailing leg from the keeper which provided a great save.
Entering the final few minutes, the Clarets were up against it as Weymouth were doing everything, they can to penetrate Josh Oluwayemi’s clean sheet. He was more than up to it, coming for corners and making good decisions. However, it was a forward decision that was to be made. Callum Jones backheeled Ruff through, 1 on 1 with the keeper. Almost with too much time, he tried to lift it over him, but Benfield was up to the task and saved well. It was Benfield who kept the score down, as the Clarets came forward yet again. Ruff flicked on the Jones who kept on going before a beautiful outside the boot ball found Jermaine Francis. He hit low but a great save brought a corner. We were into the 9 minutes added on, due to long stoppages throughout the half. The delivery was great, straight towards Jenkins who was yanked to the ground by Cheshire for a clear as day penalty. Cheshire was sent for an early bath, a second yellow as Samir Carruthers then handed the ball to Callum Jones for the penalty. Jones stepped up and this time, he buried it into the bottom corner, as Robbie’s men took a 3-goal lead at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
With the minutes ticking away, the Clarets played to their strengths, keeping it up the pitch and working even more chances. However, with the extra 9 up, and a few more played the game was concluded and it was a rather impressive performance on the road. 3 superb points for the Clarets
FULL TIME: WFC 0-3 CCFC
Oluwayemi (GK), Brookes, Winfield (C) (Carruthers 76’), Ebuozeme, Bettamer (Jones 76’), Jenkins, Ruff, Barnum-Bobb, Hockey (Dabre 66’), Francis, Watts
Unused subs: Marsden (GK), Mills
Goals: Hockey 30’, Barnum-Bobb 75’, Jones 90+2’ (PEN)
Cautions: Jenkins 9’, Ebuozeme 44’, Watts 77’, Robbie Simpson (Manager) 83’ Micky Spillane (Assistant Manager) 83’
Benfield (GK), Howe, Cheshire, Rowan, Hamblin, O’Connell, Mcquoid, Bearwish (C), Rollinson (Monk 62’), Goodship (Stagg 62’), Roberts (Thomson 62’)
Unused subs: Brooks, Rees
Cautions: Cheshire 64’, Bearwish 84’
Red card: Cheshire 90+2’
Words by Josh Lowe
Cover image by Roger Robinson Photography