Hawks end City's winning run
Chelmsford's five game winning streak was brought to an end as Havant & Waterlooville ran out 2-0 winners in the Vanarama National League South.
Jason Prior's early goal shocked the Clarets, and after Wesley Fogden's tap in before half time, the hosts never looked like getting back into the game.
Rod Stringer said after the game: "I'm disappointed with some of our players today, because I don't think they've given us enough. Too many of them today didn't know their jobs, which is a shame, but it's one of those situations where we've got to take it on the chin, move again and go again on Tuesday".
Prior broke the deadlock after just four minutes. Jonathan Giles failed to get rid of the ball on the right wing, Rory Williams delivered into the area and the bounce evaded Sam Beasant, allowing Prior a tap in.
Scott Fenwick had a key chance to equalise a few minutes later but smashed his shot over the bar from inside the box. Had he scored, the game may have allowed Chelmsford to settle back into the game.
A calamitous header almost cost Havant an own goal in the 13th-minute. Ed Harris attempted to head away but the ball looped back towards his goal, leaving Ryan Young to take evasive action, tipping it over the bar.
Bagasan Graham was presented a prime opportunity to equalise in the 25th-minute, but massively wasted it by delaying his shot. Fenwick had done well to play though Dickson, who carried the ball all the way to the near post of Young's goal. Graham received Dickson's ball across the box but the winger was too indecisive and was dispossessed.
Michael Spillane and Beasant went close to combining to gift Havant a second moments later. The centre-back awkwardly passed the ball back to the goalkeeper who smashed his clearance into Prior, but luckily the ball didn't loop too much into the air and Beasant was able to gather it.
Fogden got Havant's second in the 38th-minute. After barging his way into Chelmsford's penalty area, Prior forced a great save from Beasant, but Fogden was perfectly positioned to follow up and calmly put away Havant's second tap in of the half and all but end the match as a contest.
Despite being 2-0 down at half time, Chelmsford hadn't played particularly badly, just been second best in key areas and had failed on two occasions to deal with the ball in the box that led to Havant's goals. It had been an incredibly nervy 45 minutes, and with 15 fouls conceded, it highlighted the pernickety nature of the game.
Fogden should have put Havant 3-0 up almost straight from the kick-off. Young pumped the ball long and Fogden let it drop over his shoulder before lashing a shot over.
Desperate to claw back the deficit, Chelmsford started a high press on Havant. Keen to add more attacking potency, Stringer put on another attacker in Shaun Batt for midfielder Giles on the hour.
Chelmsford were controversially not given a penalty in the 75th-minute, when Fenwick was bundled over. While the Clarets were seeing plenty of the ball, they weren't able to create any clear cut scoring opportunities.
This result sees Chelmsford City drop to fifth, but Rod Stringers side can confirm a play-offs place with just a point away at Bognor Regis Town on Tuesday night.