Jeffers Helps Clarets Maintain Unbeaten Start
SHAUN JEFFERS’ second goal in as many games grabbed a point for the Clarets who were forced to come from behind after Luke Wanadio’s header for Dartford.
Chelmsford City though will feel that they should have come away with much more after a dominant second half display against their visitors.
But it took them almost an hour to get going after Dartford rattled the woodwork in the first half before taking the lead early in the second half through Luke Wanadio.
The introduction of Hugo Skepelhorn provided the Clarets with a spark which lead to their equaliser in the 65th minute when Shaun Jeffers’ scored on the turn to level matters.
From then it was all Chelmsford City as they went in search of a winner, but they were unable to get the ball past Deren Ibrahim for a second time, with the Darts goalkeeper pulling off some spectacular saves.
Following Monday night’s defeat of Margate the Clarets made just the one change to their starting 11 with Shamir Mullings replacing captain Billy Bricknell after the striker picked up a knock.
The visitors from Dartford had 48 hours less recovery time than the Clarets as they came off the back of a midweek loss to Whitehawk on Wednesday night, and the Darts were also missing their captain Elliot Bradbrook, Ronnie Vint and Duane Ofori-Acheampong.
Despite not winning either of their opening two games, Dartford begun the brighter of the two sides and almost opened the scoring in the first 10 minutes when Tom Bonner’s long distance strike cracked the face of the post.
The Clarets were looking sluggish in the opening stages and were being put under pressure by their visitors, but Tony Burman’s side were unable to really trouble Joe Welch in the Clarets net with a number of off-target shots.
Dartford were dealt an early injury blow when Andy Pugh was forced off inside the first half hour and after he was replaced Chelmsford started to get a foot-hold in the match.
Mullings, Bagasan Graham and Ashley Miller all had goal scoring chances go begging, before Dartford created the clearest chance in front of goal late in the half through Ben Francis.
Luke Wanadio skipped past two Clarets defenders to get into a crossing position, picking out Francis six yards in front of goal but his downward header was somehow kept out by Welch as the scores remained goalless going into the break.
Dartford were arguably the better side in the first half and they didn’t have to wait long to take the lead in the second period through Wanadio’s far post header.
Chris Bush was unable to get a handle on Francis allowing him to whip in a cross towards the far post with Wanadio beating Miller in the air to squeeze his header in at the near post.
Clarets boss Rod Stringer reacted to going behind almost immediately, bringing on Hugo Skepelhorn for Mullings and the injection of pace from the academy graduate was exactly what City needed to spark them into life as they chased an equaliser.
An equaliser that came just five minutes after Skepelhorn introduction with Shaun Jeffers grabbing his second goal in two games for Chelmsford City having scored on Monday night against Margate.
The ball got worked into the area from the left and with Jeffers’ back to goal the striker managed to swivel and bury his effort into the back of the net to bring the Clarets level and put them in the ascendancy.
Chelmsford were now on the front foot and almost went in front when Max Cornhill’s spectacular effort was tipped over by Ibrahim. Ibrahim was then called upon again with a fantastic one-handed save from Graham to keep the scores level.
Skepelhorn’s pace was continuing to cause the Darts problems and he won a free kick on the edge of the area. Robbie Willmott and Bush stood menacingly over it but Bush was unable to replicate his effort against Truro.
A goal mouth scramble was somehow kept out at Dartford’s far post as City threw the kitchen sink at their visitors, and Jeffers was unfortunate with his flick header just going over Ibrahim’s cross bar.
Chelmsford weren’t able to grab the winner that their second half performance had deserved as both sides settled for a point leaving the Clarets unbeaten so far this season.
1. Joe Welch
2. Ashley Miller
3. Daniel Blanchett
4. Max Cornhill
5. Chris Bush
6. Mark Haines
7. Robbie Willmott
8. Anthony Church (C)
9. Shaun Jeffers
10. Shamir Mullings
11. Bagasan Graham
12. Luke Daley (On for Ashley Miller 79’)
14. Adam Bailey-Dennis
15. Jake Reid (On for Bagasan Graham 89’)
16. Hugo Skepelhorn (On for Shamir Mullings 61’)
19. Frankie Merrifield
1. Deren Ibrahim
2. Tom Gardiner
3. Tom Wynter
4. Tom Bonner (C)
5. Keaton Wood
6. Alex Brown
7. Ryan Hayes
8. Lee Noble
9. Danny Harris
10. Andy Pugh
11. Luke Wanadio
12. Kaka Dembele (On for Ben Francis 88’)
14. Ellis Brown (On for Lee Noble 72’)
15. Ben Francis (On for Andy Pugh 25’)
16. Richard Seixas
17. Tony Coxall
Chelmsford City: Shaun Jeffers 65’
Dartford: Luke Wanadio 54’
Chelmsford City: None
Dartford: Alex Brown 76’
Referee: Alan Dale
Assistant Referees: George Byrne & Andrew Gray
City Man of the Match: Anthony Church