CHELMSFORD CITY 5 BILLERICAY TOWN 1
By Steve Parker
Rhys Murphy scored a hat-trick as Chelmsford City smashed 10-man Billericay Town 5-1 in a fiery Essex derby.
Reports Dan Deakins...
Scott Fenwick opened the scoring early on before Tom Wraight and Rhys Murphy as much as won the game for the Clarets after just 27 minutes.
Adam Coombes gave Billericay hope soon after the second half got underway, but Murphy got two in three minutes midway through the second half to complete the rout and his hattrick.
Barely a couple of minutes after Billericay had been put to bed, Danny Waldren committed a tackle on Elliot Omozusi which was deemed dangerous by the referee and was sent off.
Chelmsford started the brightest from the kick off, with Murphy hitting the side netting of the near post inside a minute.
Fenwick grabbed the lead within six minutes - before the game had had a chance to get going. Chris Whelpdale sent the ball through the Ricay defence and Fenwick lashed it into the bottom corner.
Ricay forced Maynard-Brewer into his first meaningful save of the game after 15 minutes. Aransibia set up Lafayette on the left side of the box, who cut inside and unleashed a low shot to the near post.
City got their second moments later. Wraight was fouled on the centre edge of Ricay's penalty area. After a dummy by Murphy, Wraight's shot deflected off the wall and went straight into the bottom corner. Alan Julian could only watch on, helpless and flat footed.
Wraight almost made in three nil with less than a quarter of the game played. Murphy sent a beautifully floated ball over the defence, and Wraight was there to nod it back across towards the far post, but it dropped just wide.
Murphy did in fact make it three nil after 27 minutes. Chez Isaac slid the ball down the right channel into the striker, who swivelled and shot into the far corner.
Fenwick had a golden chance to make it four nil just five minutes later. A poor touch from a Ricay defender gave Murphy most of half the pitch to run into. He crossed for Fenwick, who chested the ball down but could only hit the side netting from barely eight yards.
Maynard-Brewer came up with yet another good save as the game edged towards the break. A Billercay player had space for free shot inside the box but Maynard-Brewer spread himself well to block from close range.
Confidence was streaming through City, so much so that Murphy took on an effort from range just before half time. It moved viciously in the air, forcing Julian into an unorthodox mid air parry.
Ricay got a goal back within six minutes of the restart through Coombes. After overlapping down the left, Callum Kennedy's whipped cross caused a mass melee in the box, with Maynard-Brewer making some phenomenal reaction saves. The ball dropped to Coombes who was alone at the back post and he passed it into the net.
Coombes troubled Maynard-Brewer shortly after with a freekick from around 20 yards. The effort had real whip and swing on it, forcing City's keeper to change position quickly to prevent the goal.
Murphy put the game beyond doubt in the 57th minute. Inside the area, he nutmegged a defender to find Fenwick before receiving it back and smashing the ball into the far side of the goal.
Murphy notched his hattrick barely a few minutes later. An absolute mess of a melee happened in the box as Ricay failed to clear and Murphy pounced as the ball broke free from the jungle of legs to tap in.
The game erupted just after the hour mark, even as the match was over as a contest. Waldren flew into a reckless tackle on Omozusi, sparking an angry clash between both sets of players and coaching staff. It took a while to separate all concerned, after which Waldren was sent off.
Chelmsford combined beautifully to almost make it six in the 80th minute. Barnum-Bobb fired a cross to the edge of the area for Fenwick who chested it down; he flicked the ball past a Ricay player to Wraight who flicked it again to put Fenwick through on goal; but Julian came out well and blocked with his legs.
The game slowed a lot in the final 10 minutes as City played a possession game and Ricay sat deep. It had been an embarrassing defeat for Billericay - their second heavy defeat in a week - and seemed happy to just try and prevent the sixth.