Sat 16
First Team
Gosport Borough
B Bricknell (12'), (22'), (45'), (54'), B Graham (21'), J Bridge (90')
Clarets Mathematically Secure Survival As Bricknell Hits Four

Clarets Mathematically Secure Survival As Bricknell Hits Four

By Adam May
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FOUR GOALS from Billy Bricknell – including a first-half hat-trick - secured City's National League South status, condemning Gosport to a 6-1 defeat.

Chelmsford, who were playing in a pink kit in aid of the charity Breast Cancer Care, were leading 3-0 after just 22 minutes as Bricknell struck either side of Bagasan Graham’s deflected effort, with the striker adding his third on the stroke of half-time, capping off an excellent move after being set-up by skipper Mark Hughes.

Justin Bennett then netted his 22nd League goal of the season for Gosport in first-half stoppage time, converting from the penalty-spot after Rory McAuley pulled Daniel Wooden down inside the area.

Bricknell added his fourth nine minutes after the break while Jack Bridge finished the rout in stoppage time, firing low into the far corner after a marauding run.

After the disappointment of last week’s defeat at Ebbsfleet, where the Clarets were leading after seven seconds before falling to a 3-1 defeat, the Clarets regained their form and produced their fifth straight win at home.

Caretaker boss Kevin Maher has managed to turn the side’s fortunes around at the Melbourne Community Stadium since taking the reins from Mark Hawkes, with the side scoring 20 goals in their recent unbeaten home run.

Maher was forced into one change to the side that started against Ebbsleet though, with Sandro Semedo, who had to come off with a hamstring injury in the first-half of that match, deemed unfit to play in the Clarets’ penultimate home match, with Bagasan Graham starting in his place.

The Clarets made an excellent start to the match after Christian Dibble’s early save to deny a tame shot from Wooden, with Jason Williams dragging a shot inches wide of the far upright after being put through, while Billy Bricknell had a goal correctly ruled out for offside.

He wasn’t to be put off though and when Graham was tripped on the edge of the box, the Clarets’ top-scorer stepped up to the resultant free-kick and fired home. His effort was drilled low and, with the aid of a deflection, flew past the hapless George Legg to put the hosts in front within the opening 12 minutes. Just the start that Maher would have craved.

And, nine minutes later, Chelmsford’s lead was soon doubled as Graham cut inside from the right flank to dispatch a shot from outside the box that took a heavy deflection on its way past the ‘keeper.

Gosport looked beaten and to further compound their woes Bricknell netted a minute later, side-footing into an open goal from 12-yards after a block from Williams’ initial effort fell neatly into his path.

Chelmsford were delivered a blow during the celebrations as centre-back Mark Haines was forced off injured with Marvin Ekpiteta, who has found first team starts difficult to come by of late, coming on in his place.

But a Gosport fightback was lacking – a couple of runs down the left by Rory Williams looked to initially threaten the Clarets’ back-line – but Dibble remained a bystander for large parts of the first-half.

Any hopes of a result for the visitors were extinguished on the stroke of half-time as Bricknell netted his hat-trick, finishing off an excellent team move. Bridge got the better of Cuthbertson on the left before pulling it back to Hughes with the City skipper in turn laying in Bricknell. A clever first touch from the striker took it away from his man, allowing him to arrow a shot into the far corner.

The ‘Boro were gifted a goal in first-half stoppage time when Rory McAuley tugged at Wooden’s shirt, giving Bennett the chance to convert from the penalty-spot, and he sent Dibble the wrong way from 12-yards.

Chelmsford began the second-half sluggishly and but for Dibble’s excellent finger-tip save to deny Mike Carter’s half-volley that was dipping in, ‘Boro may have had something to show for their start to the half.

The save proved crucial as it gave the Clarets a chance to net a fifth, with Bricknell adding his fourth to the game nine minutes into the half. A corner was taken short to Bridge who worked a teasing cross into the box. Williams flicked at it but it was diverted into the path of Bricknell who didn’t hesitate in firing a shot into the bottom corner, his 16th League goal of the campaign.

McAuley came close twice to netting a sixth with two well-timed headers – the second of which Hughes almost turned in at the back post – but they both dropped wide of the far upright to save face for Gosport. The three points were already signed, sealed, and delivered.

To add further salt to the wounds of Gosport - who had the play-offs in their sights - Bridge fired home a sixth after a fine solo run in stoppage time.

With the Clarets now mathematically safe from relegation they can go into next week’s away trip to likely champions Sutton United under no pressure, as well as the last game of the season at home against already relegated Basingstoke Town

The manner of the win will undoubtedly please Maher – he may even put in a request to play in pink all the time.

Chelmsford City:

1. Christian Dibble
2. Rob Girdlestone
3. Marvel Ekpiteta
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Mark Haines
6. Rory McAuley
7. Jack Bridge
8. Reece Prestedge
9. Jason Williams
10. Billy Bricknell
11. Basasan Graham
18. Reece Prestedge


12. Luke Daley
14. Harry Morgan (On for Reece Prestedge, 68’)
15. Marvin Ekpiteta (On for Mark Haines, 24’)
16. Timothy Monsheju (On for Bagasan Graham, 86')
18. Lee Saywer

Gosport Borough:

1. George Legg
2. TJ Cuthbertson
3. Rory Williams
4. Mike Carter
5. Adam Brice
6. Sam Pearce (C)
7. Ryan Woodford
8. Charlie Higgins
9. Daniel Wooden
10. Justin Bennett
11. Tom Dunford


12. Adam Wilde (On for Adam Brice, 46’)
15. Perry Ryan (On for Charlie Higgins, 60’)
16. Connor May (On for Tom Dunford, 79’)
17. David Jerrard

Referee: Mr. Neil Hair (Peterborough)

Assistant Referees: Mr. Richard Hart and Mr. Darren Knox

Bookings: Chelmsford City: Jason Williams (90+1', unsportsmanlike conduct)
Gosport Borough: Perry Ryan (90+1', unsportsmanlike conduct)

Scorers: Chelmsford City: Billy Bricknell (12’, 22’, 45’, 54’), Bagasan Graham (21’), Jack Bridge (90+3')
Gosport Borough: Justin Bennett (45+2’, penalty)

HT Score: 4-1

FT Score: 6-1

Attendance: 850

City Man of the Match: Billy Bricknell

Match Sponsors: J Gard and Sons Ltd.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 16, Apr 2016






National League South
Billy Bricknell

Player of the match

Billy Bricknell