Mullings Header Rescues Clarets a Point
By Scott Hatley
CHELMSFORD CITY rescued a point from Treyew Road as goals from Chris Bush and Shamir Mullings helped the Clarets from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Truro City.
Shamir Mullings’ 89th minute header completed the comeback for City in the striker’s first game for Chelmsford after defensive errors in the first half had allowed Truro to go into the interval 2-0 up.
Cody Cooke latched onto a poor attempted clearance by Ashley Miller to lash home after just five minutes before Shane White was left unmarked from a corner to double Truro’s lead.
Rod Stringer’s side responded well after the break and put the White Tigers under constant pressure in search of goal which came through Chris Bush’s free kick on the hour.
City’s attempts at getting something from the game were helped when River Allen received his second yellow of the game, and finally Chelmsford’s pressure told when Mullings rose highest to head in City’s equaliser.
It wasn’t the perfect start to the league campaign that Stringer would have been looking for but having watched his side come back from 2-0 down would have felt like a win.
Going into the match the two biggest question marks were who would be starting in goal and who would be carrying the armband following the departure of Mark Hughes in the summer.
Joe Welch managed to recover in time to take part in training on Thursday night so he traveled with the side and started between the sticks, with last season’s top goal-scorer Billy Bricknell leading the team out as captain.
With the wait for the start of the season finally over the Clarets made the worst possible start to the league campaign as they went behind after just five minutes following a defensive error.
Ashley Miller failed to clear a long ball over the top, allowing Cody Cooke to get goal side. The striker - who was making his 200th appearance for the White Tigers - flashed the ball past Joe Welch to open his account for the season.
It was far from the ideal start for Rod Stringer in his first competitive game as Clarets boss, but City responded well almost equalised when Bricknell chested down a cross from Reid but failed to squeeze the ball past Adriano Basso.
One of the biggest areas Stringer would have looked to work on in the off season was reducing defensive errors, but City were all at sea as they went 2-0 down after 22 minutes from a corner.
Floated in from the Clarets left everyone charged into the area by the penalty spot leaving Shane White completely unmarked at the far post, giving him time to take a touch and smash in Truro’s second.
Truro could have put the game out of sight within the half hour when Ryan Brett rounded Welch but couldn’t beat Luke Daley who’d recovered well, and Brett had an even better chance when he was picked out by a low cross but blazed over from six yards out.
City’s best opportunity of the half came late when Reid beat Basso to the ball, looping it into the air towards Bricknell. With an empty goal to aim at some last ditch defending from Truro stopped the Clarets halving the deficit before the interval.
With the wind behind them in the second half the Clarets went in search of a goal that would get them back in the game, but they needed Welch to prevent the hosts sewing up the points when he was forced to tip over Niall Thompson’s stinging half-volley.
The Clarets were pressing hard for a way back into the match and got their rewards after the hour mark after Bricknell was fouled on the edge of the area.
Robbie Willmott and Chris Bush both stood over the free kick, with the Clarets centre half lifting the ball up over the wall and into the bottom corner to get City back into the tie.
The Clarets were now in the ascendancy and their chances of getting an equaliser were increased when River Allen was sent off for the home side for a second bookable offence.
Having been shown a yellow right on half time for failing to retreat from a free kick, Allen was given his marching orders for a second yellow for a late tackle on Miller that incensed those in blue.
Chelmsford had 20 minutes to find an equaliser and came close to levelling when Bricknell got to the byline and picked out Shaun Jeffers. Jeffers’ effort was clawed away and Willmott couldn’t find the target with the rebound.
Eventually though their pressure paid dividends. Willmott picked floated in a cross wide on the right that Basso just couldn’t come for finding the head of Shamir Mullings who’d rose highest to power home his header and salvage a point from the jaws of defeat.
1. Adriano Basso
2. Shane White
3. Jamie Richards
4. Ben Adelsbury
5. Aaron Bentley
6. Aaran Pugh (c)
7. Ryan Brett
8. River Allen
9. Niall Thompson
10. Rory Fallon
11. Cody Cooke
12. Charlie Hardcastle
13. Tom McHale
14. Fletcher Williams
15. Les Afful
16. Andrew Neal (On for Niall Thompson 82’)
1. Joe Welch
2. Ashley Miller
3. Daniel Blanchett
4. Anthony Church
5. Mark Haines
6. Chris Bush
7. Luke Daley
8. Max Cornhill
9. Jake Reid
10. Billy Bricknell (c)
11. Robbie Willmott
12. Bagasan Graham (On for Ashley Miller 72’)
14. Adam Bailey-Dennis
15. Shamir Mullings (On for Daniel Blanchett 82’)
16. Shaun Jeffers (On for Jake Reid 59’)
19. Frankie Merrifield
Truro City: Cody Cooke 5’, Shane White 22’
Chelmsford City: Chris Bush 61’, Shamir Mullings 89’
Truro City: Cody Cooke (High Foot – 32’), River Allen (Failing to retreat – 45’)
Chelmsford City: Ashley Miller (Foul – 42’), Mark Haines (Foul – 66’), Anthony Church (Foul – 69’)
Truro City: River Allen (Second Bookable Offence - 70’)
Chelmsford City: None
Referee: Savvas Yianni
Assistant Referees: Martin Underhay & Philip Eddie
City Man of the Match: Luke Daley