Results elsewhere meant that Farnborough would be heading out of the Conference regardless of this afternoon’s result, but after Magnus Norman saw red midway through the half the writing was on the wall for the home side.
The Farnborough stopper received his marching orders after bringing down Hugo Skepelhorn in the area with Joe Ward smashing home the resulting penalty for his 10th goal of the season.
Courtney Fearn was forced to take the gloves with no substitute goalkeeper available, but it wasn’t until midway through the second half before City doubled their lead through Mark Hughes’ delicate chip.
The points were secured when Mason Spence smashed the ball past the stand-in Fearn minutes later with Jamie White’s long range effort late on coming as mere consolation as Farnborough come to terms with playing in the Ryman League or Southern League next campaign.
Sticking to his promise of giving some of the younger members of the squad a chance in the latter games of the season, Mark Hawkes made two changes to the side that started against Bishop’s Strotford with Hugo Skepelhorn making his full debut following his goal last Monday.
Farnborough came into today knowing that they had to better Hayes & Yeading’s result at home to Bath City to prolong their relegation for a further week, and the hosts had the best chance in the opening 10 minutes when Josh Sharma latched onto a loose ball to round Tom Lovelock only for Leon Redwood to clear his goal-bound effort off the line.
The lively looking Skepelhorn was full of running early on as he tried to make the most of his first start for the senior side and should have made it two goals in two appearances when he skipped clean through on goal only for Magnus Norman to parry his effort away.
However Norman’s afternoon would only last a further three minutes as Skepelhorn again found himself clean through on goal – beating the offside flag – and was cynically brought down by the Farnborough goalkeeper who saw red from referee, Neil Hair.
With no sub on the bench, midfielder Courtney Hearn took the gloves with his first duty being to face Joe Ward’s penalty which was confidently smashed into the top corner to put the visitors in front.
Despite Hearn not being a regular goalkeeper he proved up to the challenge of wearing the gloves, stopping Ward from making it two by tipping away his deflected effort moments after the deadlock had been broken by Ward’s 10th of the season.
With the half time whistle looming Farnborough were fortunate not to be down to nine-men going into the break after Ward latched onto a loose ball before appearing to have been brought down by Darryl Siaw in the area.
The referee blew with the majority of those in Paddy Power Park assuming he was about to brandish his second red card of the afternoon, only for him to reach out for his yellow card to book Ward for simulation.
Now with nothing to lose Farnborough were on the front foot in the opening stages of the second half and Michael Richen’s went close to levelling only to be denied by Lovelock on the line.
Lovelock was then called into action just past the hour mark to deny Jamie White from close range, but moments later Chelmsford increased their stranglehold on the game after their returning captain, Mark Hughes, made it two.
Skepelhorn’s ball from the right flank was dummied by Michael Cheek in the centre leaving the ball to run perfectly into the path of Hughes who coolly lifted the ball over the onrushing Fearn to extend City’s lead.
The three points were then confirmed less than 10 minutes later when substitute Rob Girdlestone’s burst down the right resulted in a ball into the danger area, and after a poor clearance from Farnborough fell to another substitute, Mason Spence, he compounded Farnborough’s misery by lashing the ball in from close range.
With Hayes & Yeading winning 2-0 at home to Bath the result at the Paddy Power was effectively irrelevant for the home side, but they did managed to grab a consolation late on when White let fly from distance to find the bottom corner with three minutes remaining.
1. Magnus Norman
2. Michael Richens
3. Aaron Tumwa
4. Courtney Fearn
5. Darryl Siaw
6. Ollie Treacher (C)
7. Josh Webb
8. Harry Grant
9. Jordan Robertson
10. Jamie White
11. Josh Shama
12. Freddie Grant (On for Michael Richens 74’)
14. Stephane Ngamvoulou (On for Jordan Robertson 46’)
15. Nathan Chambers (On for Josh Shama 83’)
16. Adam Brice
1. Tom Lovelock
2. Harry Hickford
3. Michael Toner
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Leon Redwood
6. Marvin Ekpiteta
7. Harry Morgan
8. Joe Ward
9. Rohdell Gordon
10. Michael Cheek
11. Hugo Skepelhorn
12. Mason Spence (On for Rohdell Gordon 58’)
14. Evans Kouassi
15. Rob Girdlestone (On for Michael Toner 69’)
16. Sam Gregory (On for Michael Cheek 74’)
17. Kevin Maher
Referee: Neil Hair (Peterborough)
Assistants: Ellis Clark (Kettering) & Richard Hart (St Ives)
Farnborough: Jamie White 87’
Chelmsford City: Joe Ward (p) 24’, Mark Hughes 64’, Mason Spence 72’
Farnborough: Michael Richens (Foul 39’)
Chelmsford City: Michael Toner (Foul 45’), Joe Ward (Simulation 45’)
Farnborough: Magnus Norman (Professional Foul 23’)
Chelmsford City: None
City Man of the Match: Hugo Skepelhorn