Mon 05
First Team
Ebbsfleet United
B Bricknell (30'), B Graham (83')
Clarets Defeat 10-Man Ebbsfleet to Make it Four Wins in a Row

Clarets Defeat 10-Man Ebbsfleet to Make it Four Wins in a Row

By Scott Hatley
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CHELMSFORD CITY continued their forward momentum as they won their fourth game in a row, beating 10-man Ebbsfleet United at Melbourne Park.

The win sees Rod Stringer’s side climb to third in the table and heaps more pressure on Fleet boss Daryl McMahon after back-to-back defeats for the Kent side.

City were unfortunate to see two goals disallowed early in the first half with both Billy Bricknell and Adam Bailey-Dennis denied, but Bricknell wasn’t going to let that deter him as he headed City in front on the half hour mark.

The visitors rallied and equalised before the interval through a superbly taken free-kick by Jack Powell who was briefly on trial at the Clarets in pre-season.

The tide of the match turned when Ebbsfleet captain, Dave Winfield was shown a straight red card by referee Lloyd Wood for an apparent elbow on Bricknell.

And Chelmsford made their numerical advantage count as Bagasan Graham evaded the attention of two Fleet defenders before burying the ball in the bottom corner to make it four straight wins.

Graham’s goal was just reward for the winger who alongside Robbie Willmott were playing in the slightly unfamiliar role of wing-backs as Rod Stringer went with three centre halves against Ebbsfleet.

It was the system that City finished with on Saturday against Weston-super-Mare and the Clarets looked comfortable in their new formation and felt they should have taken an early lead through Billy Bricknell.

A short throw was played back to Chris Bush by Robbie Willmott, allowing the centre back to curl a delightful ball onto the head of the former Fleet striker to head home, only for the linesman on the near side to raise his flag for a contentious offside.

Both sides were being frustrated by the officials and Chelmsford had even more reason to be upset when they had a second goal chalked off, although the exact reason for why wasn’t clear.

Willmott’s corner from the left appeared to have been just bundled over the line by Adam Bailey-Dennis. The linesman who had disallowed Bricknell’s goal appeared to raise his flag and head to the half way line signalling a goal only for referee Lloyd Wood to say otherwise, awarding a free kick.

There was nothing though that either the linesman or the referee could do about Chelmsford’s opener as Willmott picked out Bricknell with another perfect delivery, leaving the City striker to cushion his header into the bottom corner to put the home side in front in the 30th minute.

City were deserving of the lead, but their new formation did leave them susceptible to the counter-attack from Daryl McMahon’s men and it was on a breakaway where Bush scythed down Sam Deering to give away a free kick.

Jack Powell – who had one game on trial with Chelmsford in pre-season, missing a penalty against West Ham United – pulled ranked on Deering and justly so as he curled in the equaliser, sending the ball beyond Ross Fitzsimons who’s run of clean sheets since joining City was over.

The equaliser from Fleet had arguably come against the run of play but into the second half Chelmsford continued to work hard and stay on top with Willmott having an effort on goal early in the half fly just wide of Nathan Ashmore’s left hand post.

Bricknell had a half chance on the half volley go just wide before former Clarets-loanee Sean Shields struck the outside of the post with a deflected effort for the visitors.

Having lost against Gosport Borough at the weekend and only winning three of their opening eight games prior to this evening, McMahon’s place as Ebbsfleet boss was starting to look under pressure.

His grip on that position would not have been helped when he saw his skipper receive his marching orders, with Lloyd Wood showing Dave Winfield a straight red card for an apparent elbow on Bricknell as the two challenged for a long punt up field from Bush.

With Ebbsfleet down to 10-men the Clarets had to capitalize and Willmott forced a unorthodox save out of Ashmore as he just about managed to parry away the former Ebbsfleet midfielder’s rasping free kick from 30-plus yards out.

The Clarets though did eventually make their man advantage count, but it required a moment of brilliance from Bagasan Graham to force the breakthrough.

Picking the ball up just inside the Ebbsfleet half the winger carried the ball forward, skipping past both Dean Rance and Anthony Cook as if they weren’t even there to get into a shooting position before sending the ball low and hard into the corner to send the home crowd into bedlam.

Chelmsford had just seven minutes of normal time plus stoppages to navigate to secure their fourth successive win and almost wrapped up the points when Shamir Mullings jinked one way and the other inside the box before picking out Shaun Jeffers who shot wide.

It was not to matter though as the final whistle went and Chelmsford tied up another six point weekend as they climbed to third place in the early season table.

Chelmsford City:
1. Ross Fitzsimons
2. Corby Moore
3. Chris Bush
4. Josh Rees
5. Adam Bailey-Dennis
6. Phil Walsh
7. Robbie Willmott
8. Anthony Church (C)
9. Shamir Mullings
10. Billy Bricknell
11. Bagasan Graham

12. Shaun Jeffers (On for Corby Moore 59')
14. Mark Haines
15. Frankie Merrifield (On for Billy Bricknell 89')
16. Ashley Miller
19. Daniel Blanchett

Ebbsfleet United:
1. Nathan Ashmore
2. Anthony Cook
3. Jack Connors
4. Dean Rance
5. Dave Winfield (C)
6. Kenny Clark
7. Sam Deering
8. Jack Powell
9. Charlie Sheringham
10. Aaron McLean
11. Sean Shields

12. Reiss Greenridge (On for Aaron McLean 73')
13. Jon Miles
14. Bradley Bubb (On for Sam Deering 86')
15. Stuart Lewis
16. Darren McQueen (On for Sean Shields 86')

Chelmsford City: Billy Bricknell 30’, Bagasan Graham 83’
Ebbsfleet United: Jack Powell 42’

Yellow Cards:
Chelmsford City: Shamir Mullings (Dissent – 26’), Corby Moore (Foul – 39’), Chris Bush (Foul – 40’), Anthony Church (Foul – 65’), Robbie Willmott (Foul – 70’)
Ebbsfleet United: Dave Winfield (Foul – 10’), Aaron McLean (Foul – 24’)

Red Cards:
Chelmsford City: None
Ebbsfleet United: Dave Winfield (Violent Conduct – 72’)

Referee: Lloyd Wood
Assistant Referees: Hallam Cutmore & Daniel Hanna

Attendance: 901

City Man of the Match: Bagasan Graham

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Match details

Match date

Mon 05, Sep 2016






National League South

League position

Chelmsford City
Ebbsfleet United
Bagasan Graham

Player of the match

Bagasan Graham