Batt-man the hero as Clarets salvage replay
Chelmsford City remain in the Buildbase FA Trophy thanks to Shaun Batt’s 80th minute equaliser at Wealdstone.
The Clarets found themselves a goal-behind as Mustafa Tiryaki headed home Danny Green’s corner, but Bobby Wilkinson’s side were reduced to ten men as Sam Cox was given his second yellow of the afternoon on sixty minutes.
Twenty minutes after having their numbers reduced and a replay was achieved as Batt leant forward to power home Scott Davies’ deep cross, much to the delight of the travelling support.
City boss Rod Stringer made four changes to the side that drew one-all at Havant & Waterlooville during the week. Max Porter, Mark Haines, Luke Daley and Thomas Hitchcock all came in for Jim Stevenson, Chris Smith, Paul Rodgers and Mike West.
Things started evenly for either side. Chris Dickson almost nodded home Daley’s teasing cross and then the hosts came close as Abobaker Eisa came close to connecting with Luke Williams’ delivery.
Ryan Sellers provided for Tiryaki on the edge-of-the-box, but the striker could only chest the ball and then volley straight into Sam Beasant’s arms. Then Dickson beat Taofiq Olomowewe to flick Haines’ cross goal-wards but it was held tamely by Jonathan North.
Michael Spillane almost turned Eisa’s low cross past Beasant after the winger beat Haines and Daley, however Beasant was fully alert and dealt with the internal danger. Sam Cox then entered the book after twenty minutes as he left Davies requiring treatment for a high-foot which spilt blood.
Consecutive threatening corners from the hosts ended with Tiryaki being grounded inside the area, however Whistler Will Finnie hastily waved away the claims for a spot-kick. City set upon a counter-attack swiftly from the claim for a penalty, however Dickson nodded Hitchcock’s cross agonisingly wide.
And the Clarets were left rueing their missed chance as two minutes later the hosts took the lead. On 33 minutes Green delivered a fine corner from the left wing and Tiryaki rose highest to blast a header beyond the dumbfounded Beasant.
Davies almost engineered an equaliser against his former employers when he passed through for Dickson, however the City striker curled a shot just over.
As the first half came to a close the hosts seeked to extend their advantage. Eisa’s low cross drew a shot from Tiryaki which was blocked by Elliot Omozusi, then Edward Oshodi had a header cleared off the line.
The Clarets began the second half energised from the half-time interval and began attacking immediately as they searched for an equaliser. Matt Johnson and Spillane came close after the break, however North dealt with the efforts comfortably.
A heavy challenge from Cox on Dickson meant the Stones midfielder faced an early shower, while Craig Braham-Barrett and Oshodi were also booked for the foul’s aftermath.
Immediately after the dismissal Wilkinson opted to make a substitution, replacing goalscorer Tiryaki with Ricky Wellard. Stringer was then forced into a substitution as an awkward landing for Omozusi meant he had to make way for Smith.
Wellard’s hooked ball forward to Eisa was controlled well as he beat Haines, however his shot was well held by Beasant.
City made their second change on 67 minutes as Stringer continued to search for an equaliser, opting to introduce a third striker as Batt returned from injury to swap with Porter.
And, thirteen minutes after being brought on, Stringer’s substitution proved to work as Batt appeared at the far post to nod a teasing cross from Davies beyond North - much to the delight of the travelling Clarets contingent behind the goal.
The hosts broke forward late on through Green but, after sneaking into the box, the midfielder smashed over and then Sellers produced a match-saving block to deny Dickson from ramming home a winner in stoppage time.