Clarets Blitzed by Whitehawk
A first half blitz from Whitehawk proved too much for Chelmsford City to recover from as they lost 4-2 to the Hawks at the Enclosed Ground.
Three goals in the first 22 minutes from the home side all but sealed the points early on against a completely out-of-sorts Clarets side.
Scott Neilson opened the scoring after just five minutes when he tapped in Danny Mills’ low cross before a rocket from Neilson flew into the top corner to make it two.
Sam Deering then put the home side almost out of sight when Ashley Timms failed to get enough behind his bouncing strike before a goal early in the second half from Mark Hughes gave City a glimmer of hope.
Mills then tapped in from close range to restore Whithawk’s three goal lead, and despite a penalty from Hugo Skepelhorn putting Chelmsford in with a shout it was too little too late as Whitehawk claimed their first win since the opening day of the season.
Mark Hawkes made two changes to his side that started the 2-1 win over Bishop’s Stortford on Tuesday night, with Lee Sawyer being brought in for Charlie Henry and Bagasan Graham being given his full debut in place of Harry Morgan.
After severe traffic problems in the area due a combination of events, including a plane crash at a nearby air show, the game had to be delayed by 15 minutes after the referee was caught up in the gridlock.
The delayed start appeared to have no effect on the home side as they took the lead after less than five minutes through Scott Neilson . Danny Mills found acres of room on the right before crossing low for Neilson to tap in from close range.
Neilson would then double the home side’s lead with a rocket of a strike from 20 yards out after the ball fell to him on the edge of the area the Hawks number 11 would send the ball flying into the top corner giving Ashley Timms no chance at all.
Whitehawk were continuing to look dangerous going forward and City weren’t helping themselves with their poor decision making. The game was then effectively over before the midway point of the first half after a howler from Timms.
Hawks captain Sam Deering cut inside from the left onto his right and sent a dipping shot towards goal which lacked power, but after the ball skipped up off the turf Timms failed to get a both hands to the ball as it went in off his finger-tips.
If it wasn’t for the feet of Timms it could well have been four after Mills was played through only for his toe-poke to be cleared, and Deering went within the width of a post of making it four himself after his strike from the edge of the area clipped the outside of the post on the way out.
The Clarets desperately needed the half time interval to regroup after a disastrous opening 45 and they gave themselves a glimmer of hope early in the second half as they reduced the arrears through Mark Hughes.
A tug on the shirt of Bricknell won City a free kick which was whipped in by Aiden Palmer and headed home passed Craig Ross to put Chelmsford in with a shout with over half an hour still remaining.
That was Palmer’s fourth assist in three games since joining on loan from Ebbsfleet, but any hope of a remarkable comeback from City was put to one side when Mills restored the home side’s three goal lead.
Neat build up play by the Hawks lead to Nick Arnold finding himself free on the right. With time to line up the shot the right-back dragged his effort into the path of the on-rushing and unchallenged Mills to tap home.
Last season’s four meetings between the sides in league and cup produced 23 goals and instalment one of this season’s saga had itself at least six after Bricknell was brought down in the area by Jordan Rose.
Having missed their previous two, Hugo Skepelhorn stepped up to try and make it third time lucky for the Clarets from the spot and edged City back into the game once more sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to put City within two but it was too little too late for the Clarets.
1. Craig Ross
2. Nick Arnold
3. Chris Sessegnon
4. David Ijaha
5. Juan Cruz Gotta
6. Jordan Rose
7. Sam Deering
8. Sergio Torres (C)
9. Stephen Ngamvoulou
10. Danny Mills
11. Scott Neilson
12. Danny Stevens (On for Scott Neilson 82’)
14. Curtis Gayler (On for David Ijaha 90’)
17. David Martin (On for Stephen Ngamvoulou 76’)
1. Ashley Timms
2. Marvel Ekpiteta
3. Aiden Palmer
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Marvin Ekpiteta
6. Rory McAuley
7. Moses Makasi
8. Luke Daley
9. Billy Bricknell
10. Bagasan Graham
11. Lee Sawyer
12. Harry Morgan (On for Lee Sawyer 41’)
14. Hugo Skepelhorn (On for Bagasan Graham 53’)
15. Mark Haines (On for Marvel Ekpiteta 37’)
16. Charlie Henry
17. Connor Pearce
Whitehawk: Scott Neilson 5’, 14’, Sam Deering 22’, Danny Mills 65’
Chelmsford City: Mark Hughes 55’, Hugo Skepelhorn (p)70’
Whitehawk: Juan Cruz Gotta (72’ – Foul)
Chelmsford City: Lee Sawyer (33’ – Foul)
Referee: Ian Rathbone
Assistants: Paul Saunders & Stephen Brown
City Man of the Match: Billy Bricknell