Ten-man Clarets hold on to beat Dartford
Chelmsford City held on with ten men to secure an important win against Dartford in the Vanarama National League South
Dartford sought after revenge after Chelmsford beat Dartford in last season’s play-off semi-finals but it was the Clarets who took the Essex-Kent bragging rights with ten-men.
A defensive error between Sho-Silva and Harris allowed Barnard to knock a loose ball through for West who instinctively fired past Ibrahim on fifteen minutes.
But minutes later Dartford were given a numerical advantage when Whistler Ian Fissenden deemed Oyenuga to have challenged Bonner with an elbow, with the referee sending the striker for an early shower.
The visitors had the perfect chance to equalise soon after when Pavey’s corner bounced inside the box and caused havoc in the defensive lines, only for Spillane to hastily clear the danger.
Pavey thought he had equalised for the visitors when he cut inside on the edge of the box and struck past Beasant, but the away side’s celebrations were cut short as the flag was raised for offside.
West almost doubled the hosts’ lead when he controlled Davies’ long ball, however the winger was harshly penalised as he tried to squirm past Sho-Silva. A superb run from Green created another chance for the hosts but his driving run was eventually brought to an end as Vint smashed the ball away.
Six minutes into the second half Green came close to doubling the lead however his curling shot clipped the post after shooting from Omozusi’s drag-back. Ibrahim then spectacularly stopped the Clarets as a fingertip save denied Stevenson’s snapshot.
The visitors thought they would equalise when a loose ball found Murphy at close range however the striker could not capitalise and somehow hit wide. They then had loud claims for a penalty when Beasant and Harris clattered inside the box, but the referee refused to point to the spot and waved away the weak claims.
City, roared on by their home support, continued to search for a late winner although it was Dartford who came closest in the closing minutes as Spillane headed off the line and Pavey then shot into the side netting.
It was too little too late, however, as Dartford’s three-game winning run was brought to an end in Essex.
Chelmsford City (4-4-2): Beasant, Omozusi, Braham-Barrett, Spillane, Smith, Davies, Green (71 Daley), Stevenson, Barnard (78 Assombalonga), Oyenuga, West (74 Johnson). Unused Subs: Haines, Assombalonga, Hitchcock.
Dartford (4-5-1): Ibrahim, Harris, Wood, Bonner (32 Vint), Sho-Silva, Noble (53 Mfula), Hayes, Bradbrook, Pavey, Brown, Murphy (66 Della-Verde). Unused Subs: Pugh, Ofori-Acheampong.
Star Man: Daniel Green (Chelmsford)
Chelmsford: (West 15’)