SLOUGH TOWN 1 CHELMSFORD CITY 0
By Steve Parker
Rebels record double over Clarets with 1-0 victory.
Chelmsford City were unable to stretch their winning run to six games as they were beaten by Slough Town.
Writes Matt Lee...
The Clarets arrived in Berkshire off the back of four consecutive wins in the League - and a midweek Essex Senior Cup triumph over Coggeshall Town - but were unable to come from behind to claim at least a point at Arbour Park.
City boss Rod Stringer named two changes to the side that beat Hampton & Richmond Borough 2-0 last weekend. Joe Anderson recovered from a previous knock to replace Matthew Young at left-back; Rhys Murphy took a precautionary rest as Mikhail Kennedy started.
Anderson joined Michael Spillane, Adrian Cascaval and Elliot Omozusi in defence; meanwhile, Chez Isaac and Anthony Church were given central midfield roles. Tom Wraight and Chris Whelpdale occupied the wings as Kennedy paired alongside Scott Fenwick in attack.
Former Clarets midfielder Scott Davies started for the hosts; new signing Matthew Lench could only manage a spot on the Rebels’ bench.
Chris Flood provided the fixture's first real chance, moments after Davies shot well over the crossbar, but he was unable to keep his header from George Wells’ on target from inside the City penalty area.
Davies’ teasing cross was helped on towards goal by Sam Togwell, but it was another wasted chance for the hosts as the header skimmed wide. Louis Soares strode onto Warren Harris’ pass to enter the box however the Rebels front-man lacked product and fired a shot wide.
City's best chance of breaking the deadlock came when Whelpdale's throw in was recycled back to the winger, the former Peterborough United wide-man crossed back into the danger zone but miscommunication between Fenwick and Kennedy led to the latter missing out on an opportunity to shoot.
The hosts came close again when Guy Hollis drilled a low cross to Dunn, but the midfielder’s shot was deflected and trickled through to Nathan McDonald.
However, Slough did not have wait much longer to break the deadlock, doing so in fortuitous circumstances. Warren Harris’ low cross was aimed for Simon Dunn, but the Rebels’ player’s effort took a deflection off Omozusi and snuck over the line five minutes before the interval.
City were forced into a change at the break as Omozusi had to retire from the afternoon’s action after falling victim to a heavy challenge; Jazzi Barnum-Bobb came on for the defender.
Slough could have doubled their lead early in the second half when Flood headed towards goal, but it was a comfortable save for McDonald.
City forced the home side to defend for the majority of the second half as they dominated possession; however, Slough shot-stopper Jack Turner was rarely threatened as Chelmsford were unable to turn their possession into chances.
Cascaval became the first Clarets player to enter the book as he was shown a yellow card on 48 minutes after deliberately stopping a Slough attack.
Flood was handed another chance to score when he beat the offside trap to race onto a long clearance from George Wells, although Nathan McDonald came off his line quickly to gather the ball.
City made their second change on the hour-mark as Stringer searched for a foot-hold into the fixture; Kennedy came off in a like-for-like swap with Aaron Cosgrave.
Chelmsford continued to apply the pressure through their possessive dominance, but the home side’s defence stood firm and limited City to only efforts from distance.
Cosgrave looked a threat for City as his energy caused the hosts problems, but it was too little too late as the Rebels held on and successfully completed a League double over the Clarets.