Five-goal Second half Clarets comeback to beat Eastbourne
Chelmsford City made a miraculous second-half comeback to beat Eastbourne Borough 5-2 after trailing 2-0 at half-time in the Vanarama National League South.
Jamie Taylor’s out-stretched leg diverted a wicked cross beyond Sam Beasant as the visitors took the lead after 19 minutes, before a lapse in concentration allowed Lloyd Dawes to skip through the Chelmsford defence before rounding Beasant to tap home.
But a Clarets team inspired by words of wisdom from Rod Stringer at half-time performed an incredible comeback to win 5-2. Anthony Church bundled the ball over the line ten minutes into the second half before heading home a minute later to level the scores. Michael Spillane then headed a cross past Bailey Vose nine minutes from time to put Chelmsford on top before substitute Kudus Oyenuga grabbed Chelmsford’s fourth to extend the lead to two.
Chris Dickson improved the scoreline further in second half added time as he calmly swept the ball beyond Vose to conclude a perfect advert for Non League football on Non League Day.
Chelmsford’s first chance of the afternoon came after just three minutes, Daniel Green executed a fine free-kick but Spillane was unable to keep his header low as it ricocheted high over the Cro-Ro terracing.
The Clarets were then harshly punished when Lee Barnard weaved his way into the box after beating Matt Drage as Whistler Will Finnie saw a foul in the process. Moments later Mr Finnie was involved again as he made a controversial call to deny the Clarets a clear-cut penalty as he instead brandished a yellow card to Craig Braham-Barrett for simulation after twelve minutes.
Seven minutes after City should have been awarded a spot-kick, the visitors took the lead. As a cross flashed across the face of goal, Taylor popped up at the far post to get a foot to the ball and that was all it needed to divert Beasant and find its way into the net.
Dickson had the chance to level the score moments after Eastbourne took the lead but, as he turned unselfish, he pulled the ball to West who could not reach it leaving Green to pass to Barnard who shot straight at the visiting ‘keeper.
The Clarets were once again denied a chance to score on 32 minutes. City broke forward from an Eastbourne attack and, as West was sent through-on-goal with just the goalkeeper to beat, Lee Barnard was penalised for an off-the-ball incident.
As the first half dragged to an end Chelmsford remained the dominant side looking most likely to score - West could not beat Vose to a loose ball and then Barnard shot over after turning well just inside the box – but a lapse in concentration allowed the visitors to double their lead as Dawes burst through the defensive ranks, rounded Beasant and tapped home on the stroke of half-time.
The Clarets came out for the second half determined to put their mistakes from the first half behind them as they went in search of at least a point. Stringer introduced Matt Johnson for Scott Davies after six minutes and the substitution almost worked but Barnard nodded Johnson’s long throw just wide of the post.
But three minutes later the hosts had a goal and the game was alive again. Church reacted quickest as the ball bobbled in the six yard area and got the vital touch needed to poke it home.
And just a minute later the Melbourne Community Stadium erupted in scenes of shock and jubilation as Church rose highest to nod Braham-Barrett’s cross beyond Vose to draw the Clarets level.
Stringer was clearly not satisfied with a point with just under twenty minutes to go, thus bringing on Oyenuga as his side went in search of a winner. The substitute made an immediate impact after coming on as he skipped past three defenders before winning a corner against Kiran Khinda-John, however the set-piece was dealt with well by Eastbourne.
With ten minutes left it looked like the Clarets would be heading towards a draw after Dickson had his shot from a tight angle turned off the line after rounding Vose, but Spillane had different ideas as he powered a header beyond Vose to put the Clarets in-front.
Chelmsford, now leading, would have been expected to sit back and hold on for the win but substitute Oyenuga grabbed City a fourth goal six minutes from time. Dickson was hacked down after a Eastbourne Borough corner but managed to slide the ball across to Green who in turn placed the ball in-front of the substitute who calmly tapped past Vose to secure the win.
But with four minutes added time Dickson put his name on the scoresheet as he kept composed to place beyond the visiting goalkeeper to round off a superb second half comeback from Chelmsford City and secure a 5-2 win.