Comeback Clarets down Dolphins
Chelmsford City came from behind to beat Poole Town 2-1 at the Melbourne Community stadium in the Vanarama National League South on Saturday.
Writes Dan Deakins...
Rod Stringer took credit for a change of shape as two second half goals from Michael Spillane and Scott Fenwick rescued City's play-offs hopes after Richard Gillespie took the shock early lead for Poole.
"For them to go 1-0 up was probably a bit of a surprise, both for them and for ourselves," said Rod Stringer, "Goals change games, and we could've looked at that and felt sorry for ourselves, the crowd could have got on our back and it could have been hard work but I think today, looking over the season, I think this has been one of our better performances where we've had to be quite composed. We did change the shape, sometimes we don't take enough credit, the management side, but I think credit to us today".
Gillespie caught Chelmsford napping in just the second minute straight from Town's goal kick. The ball was flicked on at the half way line and Gillespie was put through on Sam Beasant's goal and coolly slotted home.
Throughout the early goings, Poole were keeping a compact defensive line and Chelmsford struggled to break through, repeatedly giving the ball away and presenting The Dolphins with a chance on the counter attack.
The Clarets earned a free kick just to the left of centre of Poole's box after 20-minutes when Fenwick was brought down. Taylor Miles stepped up but his shot was too high, grazing the roof of the netting as it went over the top.
Poole were under severe pressure at the midway point of the first half, as Chelmsford won a succession of corners. Even when Poole cleared the ball, The Clarets' high defensive line managed to recycle the ball and reapply the pressure.
Spillane nearly equalised in the 31st-minute from a corner. The ball popped out to him at the far end of the box but his driven shot was cleared off the line.
Chelmsford nearly drew level again six minutes later when Fenwick crossed the ball low to the far post. Giles looked certain to score but a Poole defender slid in to block.
Jonathan Giles forced a corner very late into added time in the first half, charging down Jordan Alawonde-Williams. The corner very much summed up The Clarets' first half, lots of intent but no cutting edge.
The game became very scrappy at the beginning of the second half, with both sides giving away needless fouls and failing to hold possession for too long.
Stringer swapped centre-back for winger as Bagasan Graham came on for Elliot Omozusi on the hour mark and immediately caused a lot of problems down Town's right-hand side, regularly getting to the by line and creating problems for Alawonde-Williams.
Spillane was creator and executioner for Chelmsford's equaliser. The centre-back went for glory from 30-yards in the 66th-minute, but Nick Huthchins tipped the shot over. From Taylor Miles' corner, Spillane got in at the front post and flicked his header home.
Phillip Roberts almost made an immediate impact in the game when he came on the 69th-minute, getting in behind down Poole's left-hand side but his shot towards the near post hit the outside netting.
Fenwick pulled City into the lead with 15 minutes left in the game, when Miles' industrious work down the right produced a deep cross to the back post, and the Geordie headed back across the goal into the far corner.
The Clarets were looking far more lively in the latter half of the second period, creating far more opportunities as they grew more confident looking to extend their lead.
Poole had a chance to equalise in the 84th-minute as they worked the ball across the pitch to the left-hand side of the box, but Steve Devlin sliced his left footed shot over the bar.