Clarets left frustrated with point in Essex Derby
Chelmsford City conceded a late equaliser at Cressing Road as they locked horns with local rivals Braintree Town in the Vanarama National League South.
Marcel Barrington’s 91st minute equaliser meant the two sides took a share of the points after City dominated both halves.
Michael Spillane volleyed home a freekick on six minutes to give the Clarets the lead, but four minutes later the hosts equalised as a defensive mistake allowed former City striker Phil Roberts to stroke past Sam Beasant.
Kudus Oyenuga restored City’s lead in the second half from the penalty spot before substitute Barrington scored an added time equaliser.
Chelmsford boss Rod Stringer named an unchanged side to the team that comfortably beat Welling United on Saturday and his side had almost the perfect side when Spillane volleyed the visitors in-front. When Kudus Oyenuga was mauled over on the right wing, Scott Davies stepped up and fizzed a free-kick into the box which Spillane volleyed into the bottom corner from the left-side of the box.
But the hosts responded rapidly by equalising four minutes later. Roman Michael-Percil pulled the ball across to former City striker Roberts who calmly slotted beyond Beasant into the bottom left corner.
Oyenuga’s volleyed shot inside the area looped agonisingly over the bar and then Billy Crook shot well wide from range.
Regular chances continued to fall for either side as the half continued. Joseph Ellul poked a shot wide from Billy Crook’s free-kick wide, then Dickson’s one-two with Matthew Johnson had too much pace and rolled out of play. Reece Grant struck well over when under pressure from Chris Smith before Johnson spun on the spot and shot over the crossbar.
Complacency played a key part in the Iron’s defence and a moment of loss in concentration almost allowed Dickson to nick the ball away from Mark Okoye however the defender quickly resurrected himself. Crook worked himself into space on the edge-of-the-box but his effort went wide of the goal.
Roberts’ spun down the right wing before pulling back to Grant, however the Iron midfielder was unable to keep his shot low as either side struggled to keep their efforts on-target.
Both sides saw men enter the book as the half crept to its end: Samir Bihmoutine entered for his part in a dangerously late challenge on Luke Daley before Davies entered following a handball on the right wing.
Nathan McDonald almost gifted the Clarets a goal when he dropped a right-wing freekick, however he resolved his error by snatching the ball ahead of Dickson on the goal-line to deny the visitors a late goal before the break.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first with either side having a number of early chances. But it was City who took their chances first as the visitors were awarded a penalty on 53 minutes.
Oyenuga did superbly on the left-wing to reach the by-line, the striker then cut inside where he was wiped out by Okoye, leaving Whistler Robert Massey-Ellis no choice but to point to the spot. Oyenuga stepped up and calmly shot to McDonald’s left to send the Clarets in-front.
The hosts tried to repeat their earlier efforts by scoring quickly after City’s goal, however Ricky Gabriel’s pass inside to Michael-Percil was blocked well by Davies.
Chris Smith came close to scoring his first goal for the Clarets when he poked towards goal from close range, however Okoye cleared it off the line. Daniel Green’s left-wing corner was punched away by McDonald but Davies’ fierce volley from range required a header wide from the hosts to direct it away. Green then had a chance of his own, fizzing a strong effort wide of the right post.
The Clarets had dominated the entirety of the second half but the Iron began applying pressure towards the final ten minutes when City began to tire.
When Smith deflected a shot into Barrington’s path, the substitute striker forced a diving save from former Iron ‘keeper Sam Beasant. Fellow substitute Karl Oliyide then had the ball stolen at the last moment by Spillane as the hosts continued to mount pressure.
But their pressure eventually told as the hosts scored in the first of four minutes added on. A mazy run down the wing from Roberts found himself some space, the striker pulled the ball back to Barrington who thundered a shot past Beasant.
A point away at the local rivals could prove vital come the end of the season, however it could have so easily been three points. Although the two county foes will brace for battle once again on New Years Day at the Melbourne Community Stadium.
1. Nathan McDonald
2. Jon Muleba
3. Ricky Gabriel
4. Joe Ellul
5. Mark Okoye
6. Christian Frimpong
7. Roman Michael-Percil
8. Billy Crook
9. Phil Roberts
10. Reece Grant
11. Samir Bihmoutine
12. Mahrez Bettache
14. Luke Allen (78’ on for Christian Frimpong)
15. Ben Wyatt
16. Karl Oliyide (66’ on for Samir Bihmoutine)
17. Marcel Barrington (68’ on for Reece Grant)
1. Sam Beasant
2. Luke Daley
3. Bagasan Graham
4. Elliot Omozusi
5. Michael Spillane
6. Christopher Smith
7. Scott Davies
8. Anthony Church
9. Kudus Oyenuga
10. Christopher Dickson
11. Matthew Johnson
12. Lee Barnard (74’ on for Christopher Dickson)
14. Mark Haines
15. Max Porter (84' on for Anthony Church)
16. Daniel Green (44’ on for Matthew Johnson)
17. Michael West
Braintree Town: Phil Roberts (10’), Marcel Barrington (90+1’).
Chelmsford City: Michael Spillane (6’), Kudus Oyenuga (53’ pen).
Braintree Town: Samir Bihmoutine (40’), Phil Roberts (73’).
Chelmsford City: Scott Davies (41’), Anthony Church (63’).
Braintree Town: None.
Chelmsford City: None
Half Time Score: Braintree Town 1-1 Chelmsford City
Full Time Score: Braintree Town 2-2 Chelmsford City
Attendance: 1465 (455 Chelmsford)
City Man of the Match: Kudus Oyenuga