City Let Hampton Win Slip
THE CLARETS let slip two vital points as Brendan Kiernan’s equaliser in the 93rd minute rescued a point for the visitors in a 2-2 draw at Melbourne Park.
Rod Stringer’s side looked like they had their first league win in four having come from behind to lead 2-1 going into second half injury time.
The visitors took an early lead when Nicke Kabamba got on the end of a poor back pass from Daniel Blanchett to run through and scoring early in the first half.
Chelmsford equalised when Shamir Mullings’ downward header bobbled its way over the line before Billy Bricknell latched onto a poor clearance from Aaron Howe to put City in front before the break.
For all their pressure in the second half Hampton failed to test Ross Fitzsimons in the Clarets goal as free kick after free kick rained down on City’s area.
But as the rain continued to fall and the fog started to draw in on Melbourne Park the visitors snatched a point late on when a scramble in the area landed at the feet of Kiernan who scored.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Clarets who before the game were only separated by goal difference with Hampton, with only one point keeping 2nd placed St. Albans City and 6th placed Poole apart in the race for a playoff place.
Having been second for a few weeks, after picking up only two points from their last three league games has seen the Clarets slip to fourth.
Chelmsford made three changes from the side that beat Concord Rangers in the Essex Senior Cup in midweek with Anthony Church and Mark Haines out through suspension, and Max Porter left on the bench.
In came Robbie Willmott, Luke Daley and Daniel Blanchett and it was the latter whose error lead to the opening goal of the game after 11 minutes.
Looking to play the ball back to Ross Fitzsimons, Blanchett didn’t get enough on his back pass allowing Nicke Kabamba to run clean through and slot the ball into the back of the net.
The goal had come against the run of play and Chelmsford went forward immediately in search of an equaliser and came mightily close through Shamir Mullings.
City’s top scorer sprayed the ball out wide to Willmott whose cross in the box was deflected onto the foot of the post with Mullings unable to contort his body enough to hook the rebound in from close range.
Mullings however made amends for the miss with the equaliser midway through the half as the number nine scored his 14th goal of the season by heading in a Willmott corner, despite the best efforts of the Hampton defender on the line.
With the rain teeming down all morning and into the afternoon the Melbourne Park pitch was causing some problems for both sides and it may have contributed towards Chelmsford taking the lead just before the break.
Hampton had a big shout for a penalty waved away by referee Paul Howard after Blanchett appeared to have handled Jack Taylor’s poke forward. City went straight up the other end only for goalkeeper Aaron Howe to shank his clearance straight at Billy Bricknell who made him pay by putting City in front just before the break.
The visitors were defending an unbeaten away record in the league with all five of their defeats this season coming at home and Hampton weren’t going to be giving up that record without a fight.
Alan Dowson’s side kept applying pressure on the Clarets back line without really creating anything clear cut, winning several free kicks which kept being sent into the penalty area.
Both sides went into this one a joint top goal scorers in the league so with the game so finely poised at 2-1 you never felt Hampton were out of game and considering City’s defensive woes of late you expected the visitors to create at least one clear opening.
It looked as though that chance wasn't going to come about as the Clarets defended manfully but in the third minute of four added on at the end of the half Hampton stole in to steal a point from the jaws of defeat.
A long ball from the back from Howe was flicked on to the feet of Brendan Kiernan whose first touch created the space to shoot and he calmly found the back of the net to leave the Clarets having to settle for a point.
1. Ross Fitzsimons
2. Ashley Miller
3. Daniel Blanchett
4. Max Cornhill
5. Adam Bailey-Dennis
6. Chris Bush
7. Luke Daley
8. Josh Rees
9. Shamir Mullings
10. Billy Bricknell (C)
11. Robbie Willmott
12. Shaun Jeffers (On for Billy Bricknell 62’)
14. Elliot Buchanan
15. Max Porter
16. Frankie Merrifield
18. Matt Young (On for Adam Bailey-Dennis 49’)
Hampton & Richmond Borough:
1. Aaron Howe
2. Leon Soloman
3. Josh Casey
4. Joe Hicks
5. Nathan Collier
6. Harold Odametey
7. Brendan Kiernan
8. Jack Taylor
9. Nicke Kabamba
10. Jamal Lowe
11. Christian Jolley
12. Tom Jelley
13. Billy Bishop
14. Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick (On for Christian Jolley 63’)
15. Michael Kamara
16. Manny Williams
Chelmsford City: Shamir Mullings 24’, Billy Bricknell 40’
Hampton & Richmond Borough: Nicke Kabamba 11’, Brendan Kiernan 90+3’
Chelmsford City: Max Cornhill 43’, Chris Bush 77’
Hampton & Richmond Borough: Jack Taylor 32’
Referee: Paul Howard
Assistant Referees: Colin Farrell & Daniel Richardson
City Man of the Match: Chris Bush