Chelmsford City 1-0 East Thurrock United
By Chris Berry
The Clarets hold on to secure all 3 points against Essex rivals, East Thurrock United.
Chelmsford were victorious over East Thurrock United, thanks to a late goal in the first half from striker, Rhys Murphy; his 22nd goal of the season.
There were very few chances in the first half, with Rhys Murphy and Sam Higgins looking the most likely to break the deadlock for both sides.
City started brightly after Rhys Murphy was played in behind the East Thurrock United defence, however, Steve Sheehan produced a great sliding tackle to prevent the striker from shooting at goal.
Chris Whelpdale then headed wide for City before Jonny Giles also saw an effort from outside the box go over the bar.
Both sides had goals ruled out for offside, with Rhys Murphy first being flagged offside after being played through by Chris Whelpdale and finishing past Jack Giddens, followed by East Thurrock’s Danny Harris crossing in for Sam Higgins, who was unmarked and headed past McDonald. Celebrations for both were premature.
Adrian Cascaval came close to giving Chelmsford the lead after heading just wide at the back post through a Jonny Giles corner, before Higgins came close for the visitors, fizzing a shot just wide of the post, leaving Nathan McDonald rooted to his spot.
East Thurrock had penalty shouts waved away by the referee in the 38th minute after Sam Higgins went down in the box after a Rocks free-kick into the Chelmsford penalty area.
Chelmsford City took the lead through Rhys Murphy in the 43rd minute. City won a corner and Jonny Giles whipped in a cross and the ball found its way to Mickey Spillane, whose effort was deflected and Rhys Murphy was the first to react to tap the ball in at close range.
East Thurrock should have equalised early on in the second half after Steve Sheehan somehow put the ball over with an open goal in front of him in the 50th minute.
Chelmsford had two good opportunities to double their lead with Jonny Giles hitting the crossbar through a free-kick in the 65th minute and Rhys Murphy shooting over from close range after some excellent skill to beat his men on the 70th.
East Thurrock started putting more pressure on towards the end, getting lots of balls into the box. Nathan McDonald was forced into action in the 84th minute, having to twice punch the ball clear before Tom Wraight cleared off the line.
Chris Whelpdale almost sealed the win late on after he cut inside onto his left-foot, but saw his effort go just wide. Chelmsford were able to hold firm and claim all 3 points.
Man of the Match: Jonny Giles