City’s tremendous mauling of play-off candidates Farnborough was down to sheer hard work by everyone at the club according to Manager Glenn Pennyfather after he watched his side demolish the visitors with goals from Justin Miller, Michael Bakare (2), Kenny Clark, Rob Edmans and David Bridges.
Three in each half saw off the challenge of the Hampshire outfit at Melbourne as the Clarets dominated from start to finish, responding quickly to a recent mixed bag of results. It kept City in fourth but strengthened their position, and Glenn reacted: “Before we talk about the football I have to thank the volunteers who removed the water from the pitch so we could get the game on - it’s great when a real team effort comes together like this.”
“The players have put a real shift in too. I said I was proud of them on Saturday [2-2 at Bath City], and tonight they’ve carried on that good work and proved what they’re capable of. We’ve just got to keep progressing one game at a time. We were all disappointed against Hornchurch, and that wasn’t my team out there last Wednesday. As a group we’ve got our heads together and had a good chat. Hopefully we’re back on course now.”
Glenn’s starting eleven was unchanged from the team which ran out at Bath on Saturday and they had a piece of 11th-minute defending to do when Richard Peniket raced through only to find goalkeeper Stuart Searle equal to his shot as he stood strong and blocked. Three minutes later at the other end, Chelmsford opened the scoring.
It was almost courtesy of Edmans, who classily controlled a right wing delivery on his chest and hammered at goal from ten yards to bring an excellent diving save from stopper Ross Worner. However, from the resulting flag kick, Bridges knocked the ball into the goalmouth and Miller met it with a bullet header which bulged the net.
Farnborough were to encounter problems dealing with crosses all night, and it was from another brilliant centre that the second arrived in the 21st minute. Aiden Palmer, enjoying his role further forward on the left wing, showed an excellent turn of pace allied with trickery to advance past a defender and pull back a tempting cross which Bakare met forcefully to head onto the bottom corner of Worner’s goal.
Bridges’ 25th-minute cross-shot was nearly whipped inside the far post from the left after the second phase of his own corner but his subsequent dead ball was more productive two minutes later. Centre half Clark was the next to nod home a thumper with the cleanest of contacts to make it 3-0 to Chelmsford, who were clearly out to make a point.
Considering the chances which would arrive before the break it was incredible that Clark’s was the final goal of the half. Just beyond the half-hour the visitors squandered their first real chance as Dan Bennett carved over from close range. City also went close through a combination of Bakare and Edmans - the former finding himself with only Worner to beat but his touch was too heavy and Edmans was reticent to rob him of the ball although better positioned.
City’s Kyle Vassell let go of a rasping drive out of the blue from fully 30 yards which smacked the foot of the post and Miller also had a taste for goal having netted two in two games, charging through the Farnborough defence on 39 minutes and arrowing across the face. As the whistle approached, Bakare rammed a shot straight down the throat of Worner and ‘Boro also registered a couple of semi-serious attempts.
Glenn was delighted with his team’s work rate, and he demanded more: “I said it at half time, it’s no secret that the harder you work the luckier you get. In one move David Bridges won a massive tackle in the middle of the pitch and it ricocheted, then it went forward again and we closed it down and it ricocheted again, and suddenly we got a break.”
It took just two minutes of the second half for Chelmsford to set the seal on the game. Miller’s long throw picked out Edmans in the danger zone and his header, aided by a looping deflection off defender Alan Inns, dropped over Worner and into the net for the fourth. The unlikely figure of Mark Haines sliced another chance over shortly afterwards.
But Chelmsford didn’t have to wait long to make it five - the 55th minute in fact. On this occasion it was Joe Whight who provided the pinpoint cross into Bakare, who glanced home and made it a quintet of headed goals on the evening. There was still defending to do, though, and Searle remained alert to make an outstanding save within seconds.
Bakare had the thought of a hat-trick in his mind when he was put in behind the Farnborough back line again only to poke wide, and the troublesome City attacker was at it again on the hour mark. His pacey run and shot was initially smothered by Worner, yet only into the path of Bridges who got his head over the ball and struck low into the goal.
The final half an hour, strangely, contained very little in terms of meaningful attacks, although Farnborough substitute Nic Ciardini did try his luck when he was allowed to dribble to the edge of the area before rattling the inside of the post. A Bakare side-step and curling shot saw Worner at his best to dive to his right and push the goalbound shot away, but Pennyfather was more than happy with the existing scoreline at full time.
He said: “We caused them problems all night, and when you get to 6-0 you want to carry on and the goalscorers want to put it in the back of the net. It wasn’t for the want of trying! Michael and Robbie were fantastic tonight with their finishing, but also their work rate. We always go about setting high standards for ourselves, and we’re always positive.”
“We moaned on Saturday that our finishing was a bit wayward, which maybe cost us because, in reality, we should have taken three from Bath. Tonight our finishing was excellent and Stuart Searle and the defence also played their part with a clean sheet, as everybody else did. It was a good all-round team performance this evening.”
Farnborough: Ross Worner, Josh Huggins (Alfred Bosch, 64), Oli Treacher, Dean Inman, Alan Inns (C), Matt Ball, Dan Bennett (Marcus Moody, 61), Steve Laidler, Reece Connolly, Richard Peniket (Nic Ciardini, 43), Dave Tarpey. Unused Substitutes: Thomas O'Regan, Jamie Norris.
Bookings: Chelmsford: Haines (90+1, foul).
Referee: Adam Crysell (Braintree).
Assistant Referees: Stuart Franklin (Wickford) and Stephen Moore (Brentwood).
City Man of the Match: Justin Miller.