Cheek’s close-range finish deep into first-half stoppage time put the Clarets ahead before Jaanai Gordon (pictured) made sure of the win with a header as Mark Hawkes’s men returned to Essex with maximum points.
The Clarets made an unchanged line-up to the side that were victorious against bottom club Staines Town last Sunday with Leon Redwood retaining his place in the side ahead of Joe Ward who was left out of the match day squad through illness.
In light of Ebbfleet’s 5-1 victory in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day City manager Mark Hawkes opted for five at the back to thwart the Fleet’s attacking force. Yado Mambo, Harry Hickford and Michael Toner acted as the three centre-backs and were flanked by Rob Girdlestone and Leon Redwood.
And the five defenders had to be on their game as Ebbsfleet dominated a fairly uneventful opening ten minutes, with Anthony Cook’s toe-poke the only notable chance following a lapse of communication between City’s Lee Sawyer and Yado Mambo.
Daryl McMahon, who scored a beautiful free-kick from 25-yards on Boxing Day, almost turned provider when Yado Mambo fouled Tyrone Marsh on the wing. The Fleet skipper’s in-swinging corner was met by the head of Anthony Acheampong who was denied by a flying save from Bradley Watkins as he tipped the effort wide of the post.
That set-piece ended Fleet’s domination and the Clarets seized the initiative, attacking Fleet’s defence through the impressive Jaanai Gordon and Michael Cheek, but the final ball lacked precision and Ebbsfleet cleared comfortably.
Matt Johnson then picked the ball off the City midfield and thought he had scored when his curling effort looked destined for the bottom corner, only for Bradley Watkins to palm away yet again and prevent his side from going behind.
McMahon and Antony Acheampong both went close with blocked efforts as a power failure, which appeared to see a floodlight and the electronic scoreboard go out, castted doubt over whether the game would be able to continue as the evening drew in.
But continue it did and Ebbsfleet would have been disappointed in that respect when Leon Redwood’s flat free-kick from the right was poorly dealt with and, when the ball dropped into the area, Michael Cheek poked home past a number of bodies to steer the Clarets in front in first-half stoppage time.
That goal came just after another fine save by Bradley Watkins to deny Tyrone Marsh from close-range as the Clarets went into the interval a goal to the good and, arguably, against the run of play.
The second-half saw the 1,069-strong crowd witness a physical affair with both sides putting in their fair share of aerial challenges and it made for an interesting spectacle.
Jaanai Gordon could have scored his third goal in as many appearances for the Clarets when he worked his way to the by-line, only to de denied by the legs of Brandon Hall.
Bradley Watkins was again on hand to tip a couple of efforts wide as Ebbsfleet came knocking on the door but the City defence worked cohesively as a unit and cut out a number of promising attacks.
The introduction of Sean Shields – who scored in the Boxing Day clash – caused City some problems when he cut inside and squared it to Tyrone Marsh. The Fleet attacker then teed-up Matt Johnson who subsequently fired wide of the far post.
But the Clarets were rewarded for their hard graft when Jaanai Gordon headed in at the far post following Rohdell Gordon’s deep free-kick with just over ten minutes remaining. The West Ham United loanee peeled off his man and headed down past Brandon Hall to net his third goal in three games since joining City.
Ebbsfleet responded by replacing player-manager Jamie Day with former City striker Billy Bricknell, but it was too little too late as the Clarets inflicted a bit of revenge on the play-off hopefuls who tasted back-to-back defeats following their 5-1 beating by Basingstoke Town on Sunday.
1. Brandon Hall
2. Dean Pooley
3. Joe Howe
4. Jamie Day
5. Anthony Acheampong
6. Kenny Clark
7. Matt Johnson
8. Daryl McMahon (C)
9. Alex Osborn
10. Tyrone Marsh
11. Anthony Cook
12. Billy Bricknell (On for Jamie Day, 79)
13. Jamie Turner (GK)
14. Sean Shields (On for Alex Osborn, 68)
15. Karn Miller-Neave
16. Casey Johnson
1. Bradley Watkins
2. Rob Girdlestone
3. Michael Toner
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Harry Hickford
6. Yado Mambo
7. Lee Sawyer
8. Leon Redwood
9. Jaanai Gordon
10. Michael Cheek
11. Rohdell Gordon
12. Nicky Nicolau (On for Rohdell Gordon, 84)
14. Marvin Ekpiteta
15. Christian Smith (On for Michael Cheek, 74)
16. Jake Gordon
19. Niklas Freund (GK)
Referee: Mr Lee Venamore
Assistant referees: Mr Dan Bonneywell and Mr Stephen Brown
Bookings: Ebbsfleet United: Jamie Day (42, persistent fouling)
Chelmsford City: None
Scorers: Ebbsfleet United: None
Chelmsford City: Michael Cheek (40+3), Jaanai Gordon (78)
HT Score: 0-1
City Man of the Match: Michael Toner