Clarets Edge Replay in Five-Goal Thriller
By Adam May
Clarets victorious in Cup replay.
A brace from Joe Ward, a penalty from Christian Smith and a fine solo goal from Lee Sawyer booked the Clarets into the next round as Conference table-toppers Barnet are set to pay a visit.
First half goals from Joe Ward and Christian Smith were briefly disrupted by a fine strike from Danny Mills but the second-half was a more comfortable affair. A thunderous strike from Lee Sawyer – his first for the Club – and a cracking free-kick from Joe Ward saw the Clarets proceed to the next round of the Cup.
The opening five minutes was certainly not as ferocious and goal-filled as the original fixture on Saturday – the Clarets were 2-0 to the good by that stage but drew 4-4 – although Sergio Torres went close when he tried his luck from range, latching onto Christian Smith’s excellent clearance, but the former Crawley man could only volley over the bar.
The game then settled somewhat, and had there been better anticipation from the City frontline they may have registered the first goal after Michael Cheek flicked on Rohdell Gordon’s precise cross.
Lewis Ward – who made his debut for the Hawks in the reverse fixture – made a hash of a clearance when Joe Ward showed determination to close him down. The ball then took a ricochet off his leg and, in attempt to make up for the error, the youngster climbed all over the City winger. No penalty given.
Sergio Torres’s effort in the first-half seemed like a dress rehearsal when he broke forward ten minutes later. His driving run resulted in a fierce shot that City ‘keeper Niklas Freund tipped onto the post as it cracked against the woodwork. It may have been the slightest of touches from the shot stopper, but it may well have nestled into the bottom corner had he not got that slightest of touches.
But Michael Cheek almost broke the deadlock when he met Christian Smith’s curved free-kick. City’s top scorer – with nine goals – opted to try an audacious acrobatic effort as opposed to nodding it towards goal which looked the easier option.
That particular chance went a begging but Cheek made up for the error when he latched onto Mark Hughes’s fantastic pass. The front man then made a marauding run down the right and cut back inside to Hughes. City’s skipper would have been entitled to have gone down under a challenge but, to his credit, carried on, making his way to the by-line and cutting back to Joe Ward, and the youngster made no mistake in tapping home into the empty net.
The game was then completely turned on its head when the Clarets were awarded a penalty just three minutes later. Rohdell Gordon was brought down by Hawks’ right-back Osei Sankofa and the former Boreham Wood and England Under-20 man was shown a straight red by referee Ian Fissenden. With the Clarets missing three out of their last three penalties Melbourne Stadium was muted with anticipation and nervousness, but Christian Smith made no mistake in lashing home the spot-kick to make it 2-0 to the hosts. A sigh of relieve then followed, but the job was by no means over.
The Hawks pulled one back as the City defence was caught flat on its heels, allowing Danny Mills to strike home to half the deficit.
It was then heart-in-mouths as Sergio Torres was allowed another free shot on goal. It was heading in but for Niklas Freund’s tremendous save as City maintained their lead going into the break.
The second-half was squeaky-bum time for the Clarets who, following the draw at 10:30am on talkSPORT the morning of the game, knew that a plum home tie against the current leaders of the Conference Premier, Barnet, would await.
But they extended the lead when Lee Sawyer cut inside from the left-flank and unleashed an absolute bullet past Lewis Ward to record his first goal for the Club.
And if three goals wasn’t comfortable enough then four made certain that that lucrative Fourth Round Qualifying tie was to be taking place at Melbourne.
When Joe Ward stepped up to the free-kick from the left-wing you would have thought it would be aimed towards the penalty spot. It turned out rather differently! Instead the whipped free-kick eluded all and nestled firmly into the top corner to send the City faithful into raptures.
Whitehawk attempted to claw their way back into the game but the Clarets managed the game impressively and restricted the financially-backed Hawks to shots from distance.
Rohdell Gordon was then denied by Lewis Ward at point-blanc range and the keeper pulled off another superb one-handed save, this time to deny Michael Cheek’s header from creeping in.
After the goal scoring exploits of Saturday’s 4-4 result, this score line was perhaps harsh on Whitehawk who contributed well to what was an enthralling cup tie.
Christian Smith then smashed a shot that cannoned off the woodwork as City hunted for a fifth, but the damage was done and Barnet await.
1. Niklas Freund
2. James Love
3. Leon Redwood
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Mark Haines
6. Yado Mambo
7. Lee Sawyer
8. Joe Ward
9. Rohdell Gordon
10. Michael Cheek
11. Christian Smith
12. Harry Morgan (On for Lee Sawyer, 82)
14. Marvin Ekpiteta (On for Yado Mambo, 82)
15. Sam Gregory
16. Hugo Skepelhorn (On for Rohdell Gordon, 87)
17. Jake Gordon
18. Evans Kouassi
20. Luke Callander
1. Lewis Ward
2. Osei Sankofa
3. Lee Hills (C)
4. Exodus Geohaghon
5. Tom Cadmore
6. David Ijaha
7. Sam Deering
8. Sergio Torres
9. Jake Robinson
10. Danny Mills
11. John-Paul Kissock
12. Sergho Makofo (On for Danny Mills, 75)
14. Emmanuel Monthe
15. Ahmed Abdulla (On for Sergio Torres, 78)
16. Sam Gargan (On for Jake Robinson, 75)
17. Pa Saikou Kujabi
18. Callum Driver
Referee: Mr Ian Fissenden (Gillingham)
Assistant referees: Mr Stephen Bates and Mr Andreas Anastasiou
Bookings: Chelmsford City: Christian Smith (42, foul), Lee Sawyer (53, foul)
Whitehawk: David Ijaha (62, cynical foul), Lee Hills (71, cynical foul) John-Paul Kissock (81, foul), Sam Gargan (90, foul)
Sent off: Chelmsford City: None
Whitehawk: Osei Sankofa (32, last man)
Scorers: Chelmsford City: Joe Ward (29, 55), Christian Smith (33, penalty), Lee Sawyer (52)
Whitehawk: Danny Mills (40)
City Man of the Match: Joe Ward