Thalassitis' strike in the 7th minute was enough for the Clarets who were forced into a rear-guard action for almost the entire second half after Mark Hughes was sent off just three minutes into the second period for a second booking.
Hughes was given a yellow in the first half for returning to the field of play without permission having gone off for some treatment, before receiving his marching orders for obstructing Harry Williams’ route to the penalty area.
Despite having the man advantage the home side were unable to force an equaliser which would have kept them in with a chance of a mouth-watering derby against their landlords and local rivals, Cheltenham Town.
Instead Mark Hawkes’ side will travel back to the World of Smile Stadium in 11 day’s-time to face up against the side currently sitting top of the National League Premier in the 1st Round proper of the FA Trophy.
Having needed an 87th minute equaliser from Rory McAuley in the original tie at the Melbourne Community Stadium on Saturday, Hawkes made three changes to his starting 11 for the replay, bringing in Nicky Eyre, Luke Daley and Lee Sawyer for Christian Dibble, Mark Haines and Matt Whichelow respectively.
Eyre was a surprise name on the team-sheet on Saturday, with Dibble’s loan from Barnsley due to expire the former City player – who had announced his retirement around this time last year – was brought in as cover should the loan fail to be extended.
As it was Eyre was brought in against a Gloucester City side who made just the one change to their side, replacing Obi Anoruo with James Bowen, and it was the home side who created the first opportunity of the evening when Matt Williams headed just wide from a corner.
Chelmsford would immediately make them pay for that miss as after just seven minutes the Clarets took the lead through Michael Thalassitis. Ben Marlow picked out the run of Billy Bricknell whose own effort was blocked by Matt Williams before the striker crossed for Thalassitis to score from six yards out for his first Chelmsford goal.
City from that point on were fairly comfortable, despite Gloucester arguably having the bulk of possession they failed to really test Eyre in goal and the Clarets could have been two up had Jasbir Singh not tipped Thalassitis’ angled drive around the post for a corner midway through the first half.
Prior to this Mark Hughes was forced to leave the field for treatment on a head injury, and after coming back onto the field of play before referee Ben Cooke had said he could return the skipper went into the book.
It would be a costly error of judgement from Hughes as just three minutes into the second half he was sent off after he obstructed Harry Williams as he surged towards the penalty area. Hughes protested his innocence but City now had to finish the tie a man light.
Naturally it was almost all Gloucester in the second half with the Tigers’ captain Tom Webb having an effort inside the area blocked before Harry Williams failed to convert the rebound thanks to a clearance by Luke Daley.
Billy Jones had a free kick go just over the angle of post and crossbar, right before Eyre pulled off the save of the evening to prevent Calvin Dinsley from scoring, tipping the midfielder’s long range effort over the bar.
A corner that was headed on towards the far post by Harry Williams couldn’t be latched onto by Dinsley and then Jonte Smith failed to find the target with his turn and shot from the edge of the area.
Smith again barely troubled Eyre with a volley that bounced twice before reaching the City goalkeeper before his daisy-cutter of an effort from the edge of the box was comfortably stopped by Eyre.
In the final moments the Clarets almost sealed it when a rare break forward from Bagasan Graham saw his shot cannon into the path of Bricknell whose first time effort was saved well by the legs of Singh.
In the end it wasn’t to be for Gloucester as they failed to break down a resolute and dogged Chelmsford City back line, meaning that their 18 year wait for a Gloucestershire derby with landlords Cheltenham Town goes on, with City returning to Whaddon Road a week on Saturday.
1. Jasbir Singh
2. Spencer Hamilton
3. Billy Jones
4. Matt Williams
5. Sam Avery
6. Chris Knowles
7. Calvin Dinsley
8. Tom Webb (C)
9. James Bowen
10. Harry Williams
11. Joe Hanks
12. Lewis Hall (On for Chris Knowles 63’)
14. Sammie Hicks
15. Obi Anoruo (On for James Bowen 46’)
16. Jonte Smith (On for Matt Williams 76’)
17. Marc Richards
1. Nicky Eyre
2. Rob Girdlestone
3. Bagasan Graham
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Marvin Ekpiteta
6. Rory McAuley
7. Ben Marlow
8. Luke Daley
9. Billy Bricknell
10. Michael Thalassitis
11. Lee Sawyer
12. Matt Whichelow (On for Michael Thalassitis 64’)
14. Harry Morgan
16. Joe O’Hare
17. Connor Pearce
Gloucester City: None
Chelmsford City: Michael Thalassitis 7’
Gloucester City: None
Chelmsford City: Mark Hughes (Returning to the field of play without permission 12’), Rory McAuley (Push 25’), Rob Girdlestone (Kicking the ball away 51’), Nicky Eyre (Timewasting 86’)
Gloucester City: None
Chelmsford City: Mark Hughes (48’ – Second bookable offence)
Referee: Ben Cooke
Assistants: Phil Hardisty & Richard Gardner
City Man of the Match: Lee Sawyer