Clarets at the double to end winless run
Chelmsford City ended a run of six league games without a win as they won 2-0 at home to Chippenham Town in the Vanarama National League South.
A Christopher Dickson penalty put the Clarets ahead just before half time, while Elliot Omozusi scored his first goal for Chelmsford from a corner to secure the victory and a welcome clean sheet.
"I'm delighted to get the win", said a relieved Rod Stringer to ClaretsTV. "We've had a really bad January in the league and it has been tough. As much as we've dropped points, we've had the energy to keep going here today and the boys have bought into that. Overall I thought we were outstanding."
Shaun Batt earned a free kick in the 18th-minute on the right side of the 18-yard box after he was taken out by Curtis McDonald. The Chelmsford faithful were demanded a red card for the Chippenham Town centre-back but referee Aji Ajibola only produced the yellow.
The Clarets thought they'd broken the deadlock in the 23rd-minute as captain Anthony Church poked home from a deep free kick but Ajibola ruled it out for a foul inside the box.
Dickson should have scored some five minutes later. A combination with Batt gave him a golden opportunity to shoot inside the six-yard box but he scuffed it.
Andy Sandell struck the woodwork for Town in the 32nd-minute, as his curling free kick from 20-yards left Jake Jessup motionless.
The Clarets earned a penalty just before half time, when Batt dispossessed McDonald on the edge of the box who then brought down the striker. McDonald was sent off for his second yellow card and Dickson buried the subsequent spot-kick for his 15th goal of the season.
City went in at the break leading for the first time since their last Vanarama National League South win at Welling United on 23 December. With the advantage on the score line and numbers on the pitch, The Clarets were looking good to finally break a bad run of form.
The Bluebirds were on the offense early in the second half, winning a free kick just outside the 18-yard-box and James Guthrie forced a smart save from Jessup.
Thompson made a good save in the 55th-minute from Michael Spillane, as the left-back opted to shoot rather than cross from the left side of the penalty area.
Chippenham captain Greg Tindle and Batt got into a scuffle after the former deemed the Clarets' striker to have gone down too easily and proceeded to yell at him, prompting players from both sides to pull the fracas apart. Ajibola defused the flare up and neither player was carded.
Dickson almost doubled Chelmsford's lead with an inventive strike in the 60th-minute, flicking Taylor Miles' cross just wide with his heel.
Chippenham nearly equalised through Scott Twine, who emulated Dickson's creative effort with is own back heel flick from close-range but it went over the bar.
The Clarets doubled their lead to almost guarantee victory in the 77th-minute, when Elliot Omozusi headed in from Miles' corner to claim his first goal for Chelmsford.
Jessup - who replaced 19-year-old on-loan Watford goalkeeper, Nathan Gartside - was resolute in goal for City all game and preserved his clean sheet with another great save in the 86th-minute as Twine smashed a shot towards his near post.
Substitute Scott Davies almost netted a screamer in the 93rd-minute, smashing a deflected shot from outside the penalty area.
1. Jake Jessup
2. Cameron James
4. Taylor Miles
5. Michael Spillane
6. Elliot Omozusi
7. Jonathan Giles
8. Anthony Church (captain)
9. Shaun Batt
10. Christopher Dickson
11. Bagasan Graham
12. Kudus Oyenuga (79' on for Shaun Batt)
14. Matthew Johnson
15. Daniel Green (85' on for Bagasan Graham)
16. Scott Davies (89' on for Christopher Dickson)
17. Mark Haines
1. Jared Thompson
2. Dan Bowman
3. Curtis McDonald
4. Michael Jones
5. Greg Tindle (captain)
14. Darren Mullings
16. Scott Twine
8. Matt Smith
18. Nick McCootie
10. Andy Sandell
11. James Guthre
12. Rob Patten (46' on for Andy Sandell)
9. Jake Jackson
17. Gary Horgan
19. Josh Smile (81' on for Nick McCootie)
17. Jason Matthews
Chelmsford City: Christopher Dickson (43' pen), Elliot Omozusi (78')
Chippenham Town: None.
Chelmsford City: Bagasan Graham (8'), Shaun Batt (60').
Chippenham Town: Nick McCootie (22'), Curtis McDonald (19',43')
Chelmsford City: None.
Chippenham Town: Curtis McDonald (43')
Half Time: Chelmsford City 1-0 Chippenham Town
Full Time: Chelmsford City 2-0 Chippenham Town
Referee: Aji Ajibola
Assistant: Christopher Myatt
Assistant: Christopher Bodell