Chelmsford City 2-2 Concord Rangers
By Chris Berry
Chelmsford City and Concord Rangers shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw at the Melbourne Community Stadium, with goals coming from Scott Fenwick & Chris Whelpdale for Chelmsford and Alex Wall & Jack Midson for Concord.
The first-half was very even between the two sides, with both teams playing direct balls to beat the offside traps and long throw-ins to the box, courtesy of Chelmsford’s Chris Whelpdale & Concord’s Danny Green
Chelmsford’s Jonny Giles came the closest to opening the scoring in the 15th minute. Chelmsford won a free-kick in a dangerous area and Giles decided to have a go; his effort going just over the crossbar.
Striker, Scott Fenwick, gave Chelmsford City the lead in the 18th minute. Captain Anthony Church won the ball in midfield and played the ball to Rhys Murphy, who took on and beat Tyrone Sterling for pace, before dragging the ball back to Fenwick 10-yards-out, who made no mistake, drilling a low effort into the bottom corner past Sam Beasant.
Chelmsford continued to create chances with Spillane and Fenwick coming close, but were unable to take their chances. Concord took advantage and equalised against the run of play in the 36th minute through striker, Alex Wall. Danny Green crossed in from the right which went past everyone, however, Wall was able to control and finish well past Nathan McDonald.
Chelmsford almost re-took the lead before half-time. Whelpdale took a long throw into the Concord box, which was almost headed into their own net by Essam, but the Beach Boys were able to clear.
Concord Rangers looked the more dangerous at the beginning of the second half and took the lead in the 51st minute through a Jack Midson penalty, after Chelmsford’s Mickey Spillane was judged to have handled in the box from a Concord corner.
Chelmsford had penalty shouts waved away from the referee in the 60th minute, after Murphy went down in the box under pressure from Tosan Popo.
Chelmsford continued to fight hard for an equaliser and came close to getting one in the 76th minute. Winger, Chris Whelpdale, found some space and curled an effort onto the post. The rebound found its way to Scott Fenwick, who just had to tap the ball home, but saw his shot saved well by the outstretched Beasant.
The hosts eventually broke through the Concord defence, courtesy of some great skill by Chris Whelpdale. The winger wiggled his way into the box and toe poked a sweet effort past the oncoming Sam Beasant.
Concord had Beasant to thank yet again in the 83rd minute after Aaron Cosgrave did brilliantly to beat his man and get an effort away, but the keeper got down low quickly to save with his feet.
Concord Rangers founds themselves down to 10 men in the 86th minute after Tosan Popo received two quick-fire yellow cards for fouls on Anthony Church and Scott Fenwick.
Chelmsford continued to put the pressure on 10-men Concord, but were unable to find a winner. Striker, Rhys Murphy, came the closest right at the death for Chelmsford, with his header from an Chez Isaac free-kick going just wide.
The referee blew up for full-time after 6 additional minutes, putting an end to a very thrilling Essex Derby.
Rod speaking to BBC Essex after the match.