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First Team - Match centre

Eastbourne Borough
Chelmsford City
Full time
R Murphy (64')
Sat 9 Mar 15:00 - The Vanarama National League - Vanarama National League South Attendance 533



Chelmsford City were forced to settle for a point as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Eastbourne Borough.

On an afternoon which saw title contenders Torquay United and Woking both come out victorious in their respective matches, City ended the day ten points adrift of the summit and slipped into fourth place.

Stefan Ljubicic put the hosts ahead on four minutes with a tidy finish past Nathan McDonald after capitalising on poor defending from the Clarets. Rhys Murphy restored parity midway through the second half by poking the ball over the line from close range.

City boss Rod Stringer made just one change from the side that drew 2-2 with Concord Rangers last weekend; Max Porter replaced Anthony Church alongside Chez Isaac in midfield.

Chelmsford were keen to end a run of two consecutive draws by beating Boro’ but Stringer’s side were dealt a blow as they fell behind inside the opening five minutes. City failed to clear their lines in a wide position and, after a low ball was delivered into the box, Ljubicic made no mistake by sweeping a shot into the top corner.

In a fairly end-to-end encounter, both sides threaten to score shortly after the game’s opening goal. Murphy could only muster a tame effort when he bore down on Mark Smith’s goal, Ljubicic then had a deflected effort trickle through to McDonald.

The Clarets should have levelled on twelve minutes but were left frustrated once more. Scott Fenwick controlled well inside the Eastbourne half and sent Murphy into space; however, the City top-scorer had a weak shot dealt with comfortably by Smith.

Ryan Hall’s audacious shot from range almost snuck past McDonald at the near-post, but the City shot-stopper made a low save to turn the attempt round the post.

Chris Whelpdale’s teasing cross met a powerful header from Fenwick inside the six-yard box, but the striker glanced his header wide as City entered the break a goal behind.

With the blustery wind now in their assistance, City dominated the majority of the second half.

Murphy squeezed into space on 52 minutes, dinking past numerous defenders before pulling the ball back to Jonny Giles, but the final attempt was saved well by Smith at close-range.

City boss Rod Stringer opted for a double change on the hour-mark as he looked for a way back into the tie; Fenwick and Chris Gregan came off as Jordan Chiedozie and Tom Wraight entered the action and the substitutes had an immediate impact.

The two substitutes linked up well on the left to win a corner. Giles delivered the set-piece into the box and, after a few seconds of pin-ball, Murphy reacted quickest to a loose ball to fire home from close range to level the fixture.

Chelmsford’s poor defending almost allowed Josh Bingham to restore Eastbourne’s leader after beating the offside trap, but Adrian Cascaval recovered to deny the striker with an excellent sliding tackle.

The hosts were lucky to escape being reduced to ten-men with fifteen minutes still to play. Kristian Campbell received a yellow card for kicking the ball away and, moments later, the left-back was fortunate not to receive his marching orders after brutally fouling Giles.

City came close from the subsequent free-kick, but Porter’s long-range effort was tipped over the bar. Isaac curled the following set-piece towards Michael Spillane, but the defender was unable to keep his effort on-target as it deflected over the bar.

Stringer made his final change five minutes before full-time, replacing Giles with Aaron Cosgrave as the Clarets looked to convert their dominance into a goal.

The late substitute almost provided that late winner as he twisted and turned past several defenders before bending a shot towards goal; however, it curled narrowly over the bar.

Eastbourne Borough had their own chances to salvage all three points when Hall and Bingham came close to netting, but City held on for what could be an important point at the end of the season and to extend their unbeaten run in the League to nine games.

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Key moments

Goal Goal for Eastbourne Borough
Goal Rhys Murphy scores for Chelmsford City


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82:00 Sub Off
Jonny Giles is substituted off for Chelmsford City
82:00 Sub On
Aaron Cosgrave is substituted on for Chelmsford City
64:00 Goal 1 - 1
Rhys Murphy scores for Chelmsford City
62:00 Sub On
Jordan Chiedozie is substituted on for Chelmsford City
62:00 Sub Off
Scott Fenwick is substituted off for Chelmsford City
61:00 Sub On
Tom Wraight is substituted on for Chelmsford City
61:00 Sub Off
Chris Gregan is substituted off for Chelmsford City
End of period 1
4:00 Goal 1 - 0
Goal for Eastbourne Borough
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Eastbourne Borough
  • Chelmsford City
  • 0
  • Goal 4:00'
  • Tom Wraight Sub On 61:00'
  • Chris Gregan Sub Off 61:00'
  • Jordan Chiedozie Sub On 62:00'
  • Scott Fenwick Sub Off 62:00'
  • Rhys Murphy Goal 64:00'
  • Aaron Cosgrave Sub On 82:00'
  • Jonny Giles Sub Off 82:00'

Team selection

McDonald, Nathan McDonald, Nathan
Omozusi, Elliot Omozusi, Elliot
Spillane, Mickey Spillane, Mickey
Giles, Jonny Giles, Jonny
Cascaval, Adrian Cascaval, Adrian
Gregan, Chris Gregan, Chris
Whelpdale, Chris Whelpdale, Chris
Isaac, Chez Isaac, Chez
Fenwick, Scott Fenwick, Scott
Murphy, Rhys Murphy, Rhys
Porter, Max Porter, Max

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Torquay United 42 88
2. Woking 42 78
3. Welling United 42 76
4. Chelmsford City 42 72
5. Bath City 42 71
6. Concord Rangers 42 70
7. Wealdstone 42 66

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