Mark Hughes’s wonderful volley from outside the box cancelled out Louis Theophanous’s seventh minute opener. Michael Cheek then bundled in his 20th goal of the season in all competitions. Jaanai Gordon’s fourth goal in four games sealed the points for City, although Michael Richens’ long-range effort set-up a nervy finish. The two Gordons then made sure of the win with two emphatic finishes as they recorded their third consecutive win and sealed the 6-2 victory, with sub Nicky Nicolau rounding off the scoring.
The Clarets were forced into one change to the starting eleven that triumphed 2-0 at Ebbsfleet on New Year’s Day with Marvin Ekpiteta replacing the injured Yado Mambo. City chief Mark Hawkes decided to keep the five at the back formation with Toner and MK Dons loanee Harry Hickford supporting Ekpiteta, while Joe Ward also reclaimed a place on the bench following an illness.
But the Clarets found themselves 1-0 down inside the opening seven minutes when a sloppy pass in the middle allowed Louie Theophanous space to run through. And, as any Conference South defender will tell you, the talisman is always a dangerous opponent, proving this right when he rounded Bradley Watkins and coolly dispatched into the empty net.
Boro, who have struggled so far this season, almost shot themselves in the foot when Adam Brice miss-kicked the ball with Dillon Barnes right behind him. The Farnborough keeper saved his colleague’s blushes when he caught the ball from underneath his own crossbar and the lead remained narrowly intact.
Dan Bennett then had a goal correctly ruled out for offside after he found space inside the area to loop home a header, and came closer still when he wriggled free of a Marvin Ekpiteta challenge and flashed a shot across goal.
That miss was to prove costly as City skipper Mark Hughes grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck, and in spectacular fashion too with 25 minutes on the clock. Jaanai Gordon’s shot was deflected and then volleyed home by Hughes from outside the area as he watched it onto his right foot, finding the bottom corner and giving Dillion Barnes no hope. That was only Hughes’s third goal of the season, but if they are delivered in the same vein as that one then the City faithful will undoubtedly remain patient.
Jaanai Gordon, on-loan from West Ham United, then had a key part when the Clarets seized the initiative and stole the lead. He picked the ball up on the left-wing before weaving his way into the middle, taking out a number of yellow and blue shirts in the process, before sliding a cross along the face of goal. And who other than Michael Cheek to prod home from close range, on the slide with pressure from Phil Page, to net his 20th goal of the season in all competitions on his 50th appearance for the club.
So the Clarets, thanks to some decisive attacking play, found themselves ahead going into the break as Boro started the second-half stunned as to how they could possibly be behind, taking into account the fact that they could do nothing about Hughes’s spectacular leveller.
Michael Cheek dragged a shot inches wide early on but Dillon Barnes was adamant that it was always going wide as he found himself stranded.
Boro then almost caught the Clarets napping when Duncan Culley split through the defence and slotted past Bradley Watkins, only to be denied by the flag as City were let off the hook.
The Clarets then doubled their lead when Mark Hughes won a challenge deep in his own half as Michael Cheek broke forward. The striker then sprayed the ball wide to Jaanai Gordon on the half-way line and the youngster did the rest, driving in the box and sending a composed finish into the net.
Farnborough then struggled to regain a foot in the match despite three substitutions by manager Spencer Day as Chelmsford looked comfortable, although were made to momentarily hold on when Michael Richens let fly on a 30-yard strike that hit the net with such grace that it was almost worthy of a point. That set-up a frenetic final ten minutes that saw Richens try his luck again from similar distance with Watkins standing tall to his effort this time and making a routine save.
The Clarets almost succumbed to the pressure by Farnborough and lost the ball a number of times in crucial areas but sealed the win when Jaanai Gordon ran through on goal and dispatched past Barnes. That was the forward’s fifth goal in four matches, and with West Ham’s Tony Carr and U18s assistant manager Mark Phillips clocking his progress, he will be pleased with this performance. Rohdell Gordon then added a fifth in stoppage time for good measure, firing home from just inside the area. But City weren’t finished there when Joe Ward slid a cross along the area that was poked home by Nicky Nicolau who had been on the pitch a matter of seconds.
So two wins in three days for the Clarets and a fantastic start to the New Year it was, with the hosts moving up to third in the League table with the remainder of the league fixtures being contested on Sunday.
1. Bradley Watkins
2. Rob Girdlestone
3. Michael Toner
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Harry Hickford
6. Marvin Ekpiteta
7. Lee Sawyer
8. Leon Redwood
9. Jaanai Gordon
10. Michael Cheek
11. Rohdell Gordon
12. Nicky Nicolau (On for Rohell Gordon, 90)
14. Joe Ward (On for Jaanai Gordon, 89)
15. Christian Smith (On for Lee Sawyer, 74)
16. Jake Gordon
19. Niklas Freund (GK)
1. Dillon Barnes
2. Amadeu Arnau
3. Matthew Jones
4. Michael Richens
5. Adam Brice
6. Lloyd Foot
7. Dan Bennett
8. Harry Grant
9. Phil Page
10. Louis Theophanous
11. Duncan Culley
12. Charlie Losasso (On for Phil Page, 68)
14. Darryl Siaw (On for Amadeu Arnau, 46)
15. Jamie Hand (On for Adam Brice, 74)
16. CJ Fearn
19. Josua Antonio
Referee: Mr Wayne Porter (Bourne)
Assistant referees: Mr Jonathan Block and Mr Thomas Hancock
Bookings: Chelmsford City: None
Scorers: Chelmsford City: Mark Hughes (25), Michael Cheek (38), Jaanai Gordon (62, 89), Rohdell Gordon (90+2), Nicky Nicolau (90+3)
Farnborough: Louie Theophanous (7), Michael Richens (80)
HT Score: 2-1
City Man of the Match: Mark Hughes