CHELMSFORD CITY 0 WELLING UNITED 0
Chelmsford City drew 0-0 with Welling United in the Vanarama National League in a game littered with fouls and suspect refereeing decisions.
Writes Dan Deakins...
Substitute Shaun Batt had claims for a few penalties, and the frustration got the best of him in injury time as he was sent off for a rash challenge on Charles Banya.
It was clear from early on Chelmsford may not get the rub of the green from referee Daniel Lamport: a little tumble from a Welling player prompted a free kick wide on the right - meanwhile Murphy being bundled over behind the line of defence brought nothing except a howl of derision from the home crowd towards the nonplussed official.
Tom Wraight had Chelmsford's first clear cut scoring chance in the 13th minute, but for reasons known only to himself, decided to attempt an audacious lob of Daniel Wilks in the Welling goal and put the ball hopelessly over the bar.
Despite the lack of quality finishing, the skill on display was by no means sub par. Both Brendan Kiernan and Nassim L'Ghoul went on weaving runs for Welling in the first quarter. Neither were effective in goal creation but both were appreciated by the away fans.
The Clarets eventually got a decision their way in the 27th minute, as Anthony Acheampong wrestled Scott Fenwick to the ground. After much discussion between Lamport, Acheampong and captain David Ijha, the yellow card came out, followed by some appropriate ironic cheering from the home faithful.
As much as Lamport's decisions seemed to be falling in favour of Welling - more often than not - the away side weren't converting the chances afforded to them: Jack Jebb's freekick from the right in the 32nd minute was the latest to miss all available attackers in the Chelmsford box.
Chelmsford's chances had been few and far between but had at least been mostly on target. The third of which came from Scott Fenwick, who fired a fierce shot straight at Wilks from outside the box just before half time.
Lamport's decision making was still strange as the second half began. First Charles Banya was taken down in Chelmsford's box and then Murphy in Welling's box: neither were awarded penalties but the latter was far more deserving than the former.
Chelmsford's play was much more measured and deliberate now. Tom Wraight, Matthew Young and Michael Spillane combined fantastically down Welling's left, and although Spillane's cross didn't find anyone, the intention was promising.
Batt was next to experience the odd decision making of Lamport. He was clean through and tripped in the box, but according to the official it wasn't a penalty.
Ijha had Welling's best chance to score in the 76th minute ---- but fired his shot over the bar.
Chelmsford were denied yet another penalty through Batt in injury time. After a meleé of head-tennis the ball fell to the rangy striker who tried to swivel but was hauled down.
Batt was putting himself about, trying to press Welling into a mistake, but his frustration got the better of him in the 93rd minute as he dived in late on their left-back, earning him a second yellow card.