Mon 17
First Team
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League
Wealdstone
Clarets Defeated by Resilient Wealdstone

Clarets Defeated by Resilient Wealdstone

By Adam May
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GOALS from Wealdstone’s Elliott Godfrey and Shaun Lucien condemned Chelmsford City to back-to-back defeats.


Godfrey's goal after just three minutes set Wealdstone, who sat one place above the relegation zone before the match began, set the Stones on their way to an impressive victory as City struggled to break the visitors down.

Shaun Lucien then tucked away from all of three-yards in the second-half as City were forced to swallow the defeat.

The Clarets made three changes to the side that were hammered 5-1 by Whitehawk two days before as Bradley Watkins, on loan from Aston Villa, made his debut in goal after Tony Thompson returned to his parent club Rotherham United. Captain Mark Hughes returned to the line-up following his one match suspension, replacing Academy graduate Harry Morgan in midfield. Lee Sawyer, who was also suspended for the trip to Brighton, replaced Evans Kouassi while Michael Cheek paired Luke Callander up front as Christian Smith dropped to the bench.

The Clarets, after Saturday’s woeful showing, found themselves behind just three minutes into the game although, admittedly, City could do little about it. Elliott Godfrey picked up a defensive clearance and hit it on the volley as it looped into the net with terrific pace from around thirty yards out. Not a great start for the debutant keeper but, despite his acrobatic efforts, no one can point the fingers at anybody when a strike as high quality as that is converted. It was an opportunistic strike indeed but was correctly rewarded for its sheer audacity and precision.

Wealdstone, who won promotion to the Conference South last season, sat back somewhat after their spectacular opener and, credit to City, Luke Callander and Michael Cheek held the ball up well in the advanced positions – the final, killer touch was just lacking however.

The latter did see his well-struck volley blocked by full-back James Hammond however as the Clarets looked to level after the first quarter of an hour.

Lee Sawyer looked a lively influence throughout and he almost provided Cheek with the ammunition that he so dearly craves. His through ball split the Wealdstone defence like a knife through butter, but it was intercepted by the impressive James Hammond at the last moment as he slid in to deny Cheek just as he began to invade the box.

The visitors then had a light penalty appeal turned down with around twenty minutes of the first-half remaining when skipper Wes Parker collided with Bradley Watkins in the box. It left the Wealdstone man on the floor after the ball had passed the keeper, but he couldn’t really get out of the way of the player and a penalty would have been deemed harsh no doubt as referee Mr Ian Rathbone awarded the hosts a goal kick.

Wealdstone’s defence certainly stood strong throughout, keeping Joe Ward reasonably quiet and successfully cutting out some lofted passes into the City strike duo as the hosts struggled to break them down.

Luke Callander then nodded Leon Redwood’s floated corner kick over the bar as a frustrating first-half for the Clarets drew to a close.

There was still some time for some action however as Parker nodded Matthew Ball’s corner wide of an upright and he tried his luck moments later, this time from some range, but his feet gave way at the final moment as his shot continued to rise over the crossbar.

Yado Mambo, who scored one at both ends in Saturday’s defeat, rose highest to meet Joe Ward’s powerful cross, but he got just a little too much on it as the ball flew wide of the post. He ought to have hit the target but the chance passed the Clarets by with ease.

City, similarly to the first-half, began the second sluggishly and found themselves chasing a two-goal deficit after just 51 minutes. Leon Redwood, the City left-back, headed beyond his keeper who had rushed off his line and, to make matters worse, the ball bounced off the foot of the post, falling kindly to Shaun Lucien who took a touch before tucking away the rebound.

Wealdstone, despite their two goal lead, didn’t actually dominate the match, but if they taught the Clarets one thing it was that you have to be prolific and take every chance that presents itself. City weren’t wasteful in front of goal, they had very little chances in fact, but that was own to Wealdstone’s composed and assured defending.

Bradley Watkins was almost left red-faced when he spilled an attempt by Shaun Lucien, but the keeper responded well and pounced on the loose ball.

City then had a great chance to initiate a comeback when Lee Sawyer danced his way through the Weadlstone defence before sliding the ball to Michael Cheek. He squared the ball across the box, a shot was saved fantastically by Jonathan North before John Sands – making his debut for City following his signing on from Canvey Island – stabbed the rebound wide.

That rather summed up the mood of the game from a City perspective: frustrating.

Frustrating that few chances were created. Frustrating that a further two goals were conceded. Frustrating that the goalkeeper was rarely tested.

The visitors had a few more chances to further rub salt into the ever reddening wounds of the Clarets, but it is easy to criticise the side after two successive defeats. Of course any defeat for any football fan across the globe is difficult to take – there’s no getting away from that – and, had City not beaten then-league leaders Basingstoke Town on their own patch or not looking too out of place against Conference Premier table-toppers Barnet then there could be a cause for concern.

But this is just a blip and, if it continues for much longer then okay, fair enough, criticisms may be permitted. The team has showed on a number of occasions that they are capable of getting results; patience just has to take over for the time being.

Chelmsford City:

1. Bradley Watkins
2. Rob Girdlestone
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. Rohdell Gordon

Subs:

12. Christian Smith
14. Nicky Nicolau
15. John Sands (On for Luke Callander, 60)
16. James Love
17. Marvin Ekpiteta

Wealdstone:

1. Jonathan North
2. James Hammond
3. Ryan Watts
4. Wes Parker (C)
5. Sean Cronin
6. Elliott Godfrey
7. Shaun Lucien
8. Matthew Ball
9. Connor Calcutt
10. Daniel Brown
11. Joe Turner

Subs:

12. Scott McGleish (On for Connor Calcutt, 62)
13. Warren Carter
14. Thomas Hamblin
15. Thomas Hickey (On for James Hammond, 90)
16. Enoch Showunmi

Referee: Mr Ian Rathbone

Assistant Referees: Mr Ellis Clark and Mr Phillip Crossland

Bookings: Chelmsford City: Leon Redwood (55, cynical foul), Mark Haines (70, foul)
Wealdstone: Matthew Ball (84, foul)

Scorers: Chelmsford City: None
Wealdstone: Elliott Godfrey (3), Shaun Lucien (51)

Half-Time Score: 0-1

Attendance: 701

City Man of the Match: Joe Ward

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Match details

Match date

Mon 17, Nov 2014

Kickoff

19:45

Attendance

701

Competition

South Division
Joe Ward

Player of the match

Joe Ward