Clarets Rue Missed Chances With Late Leveller
Chelmsford City fell to a late Louie Theophanous equaliser as St Albans City salvaged a draw at the Melbourne Community Stadium.
Elliott Buchanan put the Clarets ahead as he latched onto Josh Hill’s blocked effort before rifling his effort past James Russell. Theophanous rescued a point late on when City failed to clear the danger and the striker poked home from point-blank range.
Shaun Jeffers almost put the hosts ahead early on when his effort went straight to Russell after darting into space.
Theophanous almost put the visitors ahead moments later when the strong striker rounded Hill, however he was unable to keep his shot on-target and it fired wide of the post.
The opening goal eventually came on 13 minutes when Buchanan took a deft touch after Hill’s initial effort was blocked. The City striker then sent a sweetly struck shot past Russell from close-range to take advantage of the Clarets’ early pressure.
The visitors threatened briefly in the first half when a corner was headed out by Hill, before the clearance fell to another Saints player who directed his shot wide at the second chance.
Buchanan was given a golden chance to put the hosts two-nil ahead when Josh Rees’ defence-splitting through-ball put the striker through-on-goal, only for the front-man to lose his composure at the last moment and send his effort over the bar.
The former Bishop’s Stortford striker was given another chance to double his tally when he rounded Russell in the second half, however his first touch took the ball too wide and the visiting shot-stopper gathered himself and pushed the shot out for a corner.
Ian Allinson introduced Scott Thomas and Jamie Cureton midway through the half as he looked for an opening.
The Clarets continued their pressure on the Saints but were unable to get a second goal.
Rod Stringer replaced the unlucky Elliott Buchanan with Chris Dickson after 66 minutes, with Dicko being given the orders to get a second goal and seal the three points.
Tempers flared slightly when the assistant managers began a heated argument on the touchline, but neither was punished with both parties being given a warning.
However, the Clarets were forced to rue their missed chances as a lapse in concentration on 83 minutes allowed Theophanous to chest the ball down and strike past Fitzsimons.
The visitors had a chance to win the game late point but the City shot-stopper sparred any blushes as Fitzsimons denied Theophanous a second.
Dickson went straight up the other end and almost sealed the victory but the substitute was unable to direct his shot round Russell.
City’s next game is a 7.30pm kick-off against Heybridge Swifts in the BBC Essex Senior Cup semi-finals at the Melbourne Community Stadium on Monday 13th February 2017.
1. Ross Fitzsimons
2. Josh Hill
3. Bagasan Graham
4. Max Porter
5. Chris Bush
6. Michael Spillane
7. Robbie Willmott
8. Anthony Church ©
9. Shaun Jeffers (90’, off for Liam Enver-Marum)
10. Elliott Buchanan (66’, off for Chris Dickson)
11. Josh Rees
12. Matt Young
14. Luke Daley
15. Chris Dickson
16. Liam Enver-Marum
17. Daniel Blanchett
St Albans City
1. James Russell
2. Tom Gardiner
3. Tom Bender
4. Lee Chappell ©
5. Ben Martin
6. Jack Saville (56’, off for Scott Thomas)
7. Shaun Lucien
8. Sam Corcoran (56’, off for Jamie Cureton)
9. Louie Theophanous
10. Charlie Walker (76’, off for Sam Merson)
11. David Noble
12. Sam Merson
14. George Casey
15. Graeme Montgomery
16. Scott Thomas
17. Jamie Cureton
Chelmsford City: Josh Hill 74’
St Albans City: Tom Gardiner 88’
Chelmsford City: Elliott Buchanan (13’).
St Albans City: Louie Theophanous (83').
City Man of the Match: Chris Bush