Jeffers Equaliser Steals City a Point
SHAUN JEFFERS’ 91st minute equaliser salvaged a 3-3 draw for the Clarets against Hungerford after defensive errors looked to have cost them.
The Clarets had taken the lead midway through the first half when Anthony Church headed home a Robbie Willmott corner but then the visitors were gifted two goals.
The first came when Ross Fitzsimons failed to gather a Louie Soares free kick allowing Ian Herring to tap home the rebound, and then miscommunication between Fitzsimons and Chris Bush meant Nat Jarvis had an empty net to score in in first half injury time.
Chelmsford’s task was made harder when Nicholas Bignall extended Hungerford’s lead when a slip from Max Porter allowed the forward to get his shot through Fitzsimons and into the bottom corner.
Hungerford’s two goal lead lasted less than a minute as Shaun Jeffers scored from close range to reduce the arrears, but try as they might it looked like being City’s first home league defeat of the season.
That was until Jeffers popped up in injury time to grab the Clarets a point after the ball pinballed around the area following a Willmott corner, with Jeffers squeezing the ball into the bottom corner.
Despite the euphoria of a late equaliser it’s now six league games without a win for the Clarets with them failing to get a win since their 6-0 win against Gosport Borough on October 15th.
The Clarets would have been glad to see the back of November with Chelmsford’s winless run seeing them slip from 2nd to 7th in the league.
But after back to back cup wins against Barking and Taunton Town spirits were high going into the first ever meeting between Chelmsford and Hungerford Town.
Neither side were able to get a foothold in the game early on with Hungerford relying on the long throw of Ian Herring to create chances in and around the Clarets goal without forcing Ross Fitzsimons into a save.
Chelmsford had lost the services of two strikers in the week with Billy Bricknell and Shamir Mullings moving to Billericay and Forest Green Rovers respectively. As a result, Elliott Buchanan was put in his usual role up front with Shaun Jeffers as the two looked to fill the void left behind but City’s top scorer, but it was the captain who was on hand to open the scoring after 18 minutes.
After Robbie Willmott’s left footed shot was blocked away for a corner the City number seven whipped the ball into the far post and found the leap of Anthony Church who powered home his header to give the home side an early lead.
The impetuous was now with the Clarets and they came ever so close to extending their lead twice when both Buchanan and Jeffers had contrastingly different attempts on goal.
Matt Day’s headed clearance went straight to the former Margate man, Buchanan, who smashed the crossbar with his volley from 20-yards out. Jeffers than had a glorious chance when a long throw from Chris Bush landed at his feet but he failed to hit the target from close range.
They were opportunities that City would pay for as an error from Fitzsimons gifted the visitors an equaliser when he failed to gather a Louie Soares free kick that went straight at the City number one with Herring on hand to score the rebound.
Defensive errors have been a huge part of Chelmsford’s woes in recent weeks and they were their own worst enemies yet again in first half injury time as Nat Jarvis put Hungerford in front going into the half time interval.
Bush looked to have everything under control with a huge clearance from the back but after the ball held up in the pitch Fitzsimons came charging off his line with neither Bush nor Fitzsimons clearing the danger, leaving Jarvis to walk the ball into an empty net.
Chelmsford came out on the front foot in the second half and came close to equalising with Willmott’s free kick was tipped round the post by George Legg.
But within minutes Hungerford extended their lead when Max Porter slipped, allowing Nicholas Bignall to be slipped in with his shot going through Fitzsimons and into the bottom corner to extend the Crusaders lead.
Their two-goal lead lasted less than a minute though as Chelmsford grabbed their second of the game through Jeffers after a cross from the right found the striker in the six-yard box leaving him to smash home from close range.
In a desperate search for an equaliser Rod Stringer threw on the fit again Bagasan Graham after weeks on the side-lines through injury and striker Jake Reid who had returned to the Club following a loan spell at Met Police.
And Reid came close to levelling things for the Clarets after Bush’s free kick was fumbled by Legg in the Hungerford goal, but the striker failed to slide the ball beyond the Crusader’s ‘keeper to equalise.
Buchanan came close as well just moments later when Graham battled it out with two Hungerford defenders on the edge of the area before the ball found its way to Buchanan whose first time shot flew just over the crossbar.
The Clarets continued to knock on the door for an equaliser and Josh Rees forced Legg into a fine save when Bush’s long throw was headed out to the midfielder whose half-volley needed tipping over the bar.
After weeks of drawn matches City were desperate to get another one here and as five minutes of added on time were shown the Clarets salvaged a draw. Willmott’s corner came in from the left and bounced around perilously before Jeffers popped up to find the bottom corner.
With four minutes of added on time remaining the Clarets went in search of a surprise winner but weren’t able to create another clear opening as City’s search for a league win continued.
1. Ross Fitzsimons
2. Ashley Miller
3. Daniel Blanchett
4. Max Porter
5. Chris Bush
6. Mark Haines
7. Robbie Willmott
8. Anthony Church (C)
9. Shaun Jeffers
10. Elliott Buchanan
11. Josh Rees
12. Luke Daley
14. Jake Reid (On for Daniel Blanchett 69’)
15. Max Cornhill
16. Frankie Merrifield
18. Bagasan Graham (On for Max Porter 60’)
1. George Legg
2. Scott Rees
3. Rhys Tyler
4. Mike Jones
5. Matt Day (C)
6. Luke Williams
7. James Clark
8. Ian Herring
9. Nat Jarvis
10. Nicholas Bignall
11. Louie Soares
12. Jon Boardman (On for Matt Day 76’)
14. Garyn Preen
15. Manny Williams (On for Nicholas Bignall 81’)
16. Alan O’Brien
18. James Rusby
Chelmsford City: Anthony Church 18’, Shaun Jeffers 57’, 90+1’
Hungerford Town: Ian Herring 36’, Nat Jarvis 45+2’, Nicholas Bignall 56’
Chelmsford City: Anthony Church 41’, Mark Haines 76’
Hungerford Town: Scott Rees 5’, Nicholas Bignall 26’
Referee: Lee Venamore
Assistant Referees: Daniel Lunani & Michael Robertson-Tant
City Man of the Match: Shaun Jeffers