Two second-half goals in the space of just four minutes set the Clarets on their way to a third straight win. Michael Cheek’s seventh goal of the campaign and Yado Mambo’s first for the Club were enough to see off St Albans City who have made an impressive start to Conference South football following last season’s promotion.
Cheek made-up for his ninth minute penalty which was saved well by Joe Welch as he coolly slotted home just ten seconds into the second-half, recording his sixth goal in just three games.
Yado Mambo then rose highest in the six-yard box as he nodded home Joe Ward’s pin-point cross.
St Albans looked shell-shocked following a mad four minutes and struggled to get back into the game, but it wasn’t all plain sailing for the visitors.
The Clarets made two alterations to the side that dispatched Worthing 6-0 in the FA Cup a week previously. Goalkeeper Nicky Eyre was recalled to the starting line-up in place of the impressive Niklas Freund while Luke Callander replaced the injured Evans Kouassi.
St Albans made an impressive start to the match and almost took the lead as early as the second minute when David Keenleyside – who was part of the Saints team that dumped City out of the FA Trophy last season – fizzed a shot just wide of Nicky Eyre’s upright.
Ex-Claret Ben Martin rose highest at the back post following Lee Chapell’s inventive short corner, but the central defender watched as his shot grazed the top of the bar.
But it was the visitors who had a great chance to take the lead when referee Michael D’aguilar pointed to the spot when Luke Callander was brought down by Saints keeper Joe Welch. Michael Cheek stepped up and Welch, who was only booked for the foul despite being the last man, pushed the frontman’s spot-kick onto the post.
The Clarets soon settled into the game and enjoyed a little more possession but only truly threatened from the odd Leon Redwood cross which the imposing centre-back duo of Ben Martin and Tom Ward dealt with admirably.
Redwood was caught too far up the pitch however midway through the first-half when the pacey Steve Wales jumped the offside trap, but his cross into the area was too high for John Frendo, enabling James Love to comfortably clear up-field.
Nicky Eyre, who was a spectator for the majority of the first-half, was called into action when John Frendo impressively turned and shot low to Eyre’s right, but the City custodian was equal to the effort.
It was James Love who looked to break the deadlock next when he ventured into the attacking third after beating a number of Saints players before letting loose on a 30-yarder which Joe Welch parried wide. Ben Martin then cleared away Nicky Nicolau’s corner but City skipper Mark Hughes watched on as his looped header hit the angle of the bar.
St Albans almost nicked the lead in the final minutes of the half when full-back John Kyriacou cut inside and curled a shot, but it dropped inches wide of the corner with Nicky Eyre was rooted to the spot.
The Saints failed to maintain their impressive end to the first-half when Michael Cheek split through their defence and coolly slotted home.
Four minutes later it was soon 2-0 to the visitors as Yado Mambo sent a bullet header past Joe Welch after latching onto Joe Ward’s well-timed cross.
St Albans were knocked back, and justifiably too, following the two quick goals, although Nicky Eyre and Leon Redwood had to be alert to clear John Frendo’s powerful shot off the goal-line.
Luke Callander – before he was replaced by Academy graduate Sam Gregory – and Joe Ward were both guilty of spurning opportunities but the damage had already been inflicted, and the Saints’ reaction was purely in vein as the Clarets returned to Essex with three points in the bag.
St Albans City:
1. Joe Welch
2. John Kyriacou
3. Lee Chappell
4. Charlie Gorman
5. Ben Martin (C)
6. Tom Ward
7. David Keenleyside
8. James Comley
9. John Frendo
10. Sean Shields
11. Steve Wales
12. Lee Clarke (On for Steve Wales, 73)
14. James Kaloczi (On for David Keenleyside, 68)
15. Danny Green
16. Darren Locke
19. Tom Coulton
1. Nicky Eyre
2. James Love
3. Leon Redwood
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Mark Haines
6. Yado Mambo
7. Lee Sawyer
8. Joe Ward
9. Luke Callander
10. Michael Cheek
11. Nicky Nicolau
12. Rohdell Gordon
14. Harry Morgan (On for Michael Cheek, 86)
15. Sam Gregory (On for Luke Callander, 71)
16. Christian Smith
19. Niklas Freund
Referee: Michel D’aguilar
Assistant Referees: Oli Dolton and Daniel Richardson
Bookings: St Albans City: Joe Welch (10, foul), John Frendo (89, unsportsmanlike behaviour)
Chelmsford City: Yado Mambo (89, unsportsmanlike behaviour), Sam Greogory (90+1, delaying the restart of play).
Scorers: St Albans City: None.
Chelmsford City: Michael Cheek (46), Yado Mambo (49)
City Man of the Match: Joe Ward