Borough's Barker Spoils Hawkes' 100th
By Scott Hatley
George Barker's 84th minute winner sent the Clarets home pointless as they lost 2-1 to Gosport Borough on Mark Hawkes' 100th game as manager.
After a goal-less first half Gosport Borough took the lead within four minutes of the interval after a cross from the right fell to the feet of Dan Wooden on the edge of the area, allowing him to find the bottom corner with his strike to break the deadlock.
In front of a league record attendance for Gosport of 2131 the Clarets looked like they were going to dampen the party when Michael Thalassitis - on as a substitute - headed the ball beyond Nathan Ashmore with 12 minutes remaining.
But the Clarets failed to clear their lines just over five minutes later and conceded what turned out to be the winner after Barker skipped his way into the area before slotting past débutante Tim Brown, ensuring that Mark Hawkes' 100th game as Chelmsford City boss finished in defeat.
Despite the defeat the Clarets boss said afterwards that he had to “looked past the result” but conceded that two errors at the back cost them dearly at Privett Park.
Gosport Borough had been on a decent run of form in the league, winning their last three, which had left them in fifth place going into this afternoon’s clash, but Borough did suffer a shock defeat in the FA Trophy last weekend at Cirencester Town.
The Clarets on the other hand were in poor form in the league, having won just one of their last five matches, but were through in the FA Trophy after a 1-0 win against Gloucester City in Tuesday’s replay.
City made two changes from that midweek win, replacing Nicky Eyre with on-loan ‘keeper Tim Brown for his debut with Matt Whichelow coming in for Tuesday’s match-winner, Michael Thalassitis.
And the Clarets almost made the most perfect of starts when less than a minute in Billy Bricknell forced Nathan Ashmore into action as the big goalie was made to tip Bricknell’s volley from the edge of the area around the post.
Gosport carved out their best chance of the half from a corner, after initially being cleared the ball found its way to Mike Carter whose low drive was well saved by Tim Brown, with Marvin Ekpiteta making a last ditch clearance to stop Ryan Woodford tapping in the rebound.
Mark Hughes was just inches away from connecting with his diving header after Matt Whichelow crossed into the area before Justin Bennett had two headed efforts on goal, one being comfortably saved by Brown, the other going over after a free kick from George Barker.
With neither side able to force a breakthrough in the opening 45 minutes, just four minutes of the second half were needed for Gosport to break the deadlock through Dan Wooden.
A long ball forward by Mike Carter failed to be cleared by Ekpiteta who at the second time of asking had the ball nicked from him by Barker. His cross was only partially headed cleared by Rory McAuley to Wooden who found the bottom corner to make it 1-0.
City quickly set about trying to get back level with Bagasan Graham’s deflected effort from outside the area being well held by Ashmore. But Gosport created further opportunities through Bennett and Barker, both of whom failed to find the target.
Chasing an equaliser Michael Thalassitis was brought on for Lee Sawyer on the hour mark, and he popped up to score the get City on terms with just over 10 minutes of normal time remaining. The forward rose highest to send a bullet header from a Graham corner shooting past Ashmore to bring the Clarets level.
But much to the dismay of manager Mark Hawkes the Clarets were level for no more than six minutes as Borough went back in front through Barker. A poor clearance from the edge of the area by Hughes fell straight to Wooden. After laying the ball off to Barker the midfielder burst past Graham and Rob Girdlestone before having the composure to find the bottom corner and score what would turn out to be the winner.
City did had one final opportunity to steal something from the game deep into injury time when Thalassitis was adjudged to have been fouled on the edge of the area. But just like in the first minute, Bricknell couldn’t breach Ashmore’s defences as his free kick was parried away, before Thalassitis’ rebound was saved by the feet of Ashmore.
1. Nathan Ashmore
2. TJ Cuthbertson
3. Rory Williams
4. Mike Carter
5. Brett Poate (C)
6. Ryan Woodford
7. George Barker
8. Andy Robinson
9. Rowan Vine
10. Justin Bennett
11. Dan Wooden
12. Adam Wilde (On for Rowan Vine 71’)
14. Elliot Wheeler
15. Perry Ryan
16. Steve Ramsey (On for Brett Poate 16’)
17. Ben Harding
1. Tim Brown
2. Rob Girdlestone
3. Bagasan Graham
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Marvin Ekpiteta
6. Rory McAuley
7. Ben Marlow
8. Luke Daley
9. Billy Bricknell
10. Matt Whichelow
11. Lee Sawyer
12. Michael Thalassitis (On for Lee Sawyer 60’)
14. Harry Morgan
15. Mark Haines (On for Rob Girdlestone 90+1’)
16. Damien Green
17. Connor Pearce
Gosport Borough: Dan Wooden 49’, George Barker 84’
Chelmsford City: Michael Thalassitis 78’
Gosport Borough: Mike Carter 70’ (Foul)
Chelmsford City: Ben Marlow 52’ (Foul), Lee Sawyer 54’ (Dissent)
Referee: John Smith
Assistants: Paul Forrester & James Simpson
City Man of the Match: Billy Bricknell