The hosts drew first blood through Dan Way’s tap-in, but the Clarets had numerous chances to level the scoring and perhaps snatch a win, however a 92nd minute strike from Nick Crittenden made sure of the three points, Town’s first victory of the season.
City Manager Dean Holdsworth was left angered after his team’s performance and bemoaned the lack of quality in the final third. “Right now, I cannot work out how that score-line is like that,” he reacted. “We’ve had so much play, so much possession and so many chances. Yes, the keeper has made a couple of good saves, but the quality in front of goal for me is so disappointing today. We’ve still done the basics poorly for the goal that we conceded which I’m disappointed about.
“We had enough chances to win this game and we haven’t taken them. The goal gives them that belief, that bit of confidence, but it also creates pressure on our players. When I see their number 6 [centre-back, Arron Pugh] getting [Dorchester’s] Man of the Match it tells me a little bit about some of our performances.
“We are trying to tell them to do different things, but they were still kicking it on his [Pugh’s] head which is frustrating. If they aren’t going to learn then they have to learn the hard way. Take that away, we had so many chances and the game should have been dead and buried.”
The hosts had the chance to take the lead in the first minute after Danny Webb failed to clear the ball from danger. The ball dropped to Aristede Bassele who struck into the arms of Carl Pentney. However, up the other end, ex-Dorchester Town winger Charlie Henry, now plying his trade for the Clarets, let fly on a 25-yard half-volley, which was turned around the post superbly by Alan Walker-Harris.
Moments later, there looked to be some promise on City’s part, as Edmans turned and swivelled to set Tom Derry through one-on-one, but the attack was short lived as the linesman’s flag was raised.
Bagasan Graham cut inside from the right flank and was tripped by a Black & White striped shirt. Charlie Henry’s effort was saved and Rob Edmans couldn’t readjust his feet quickly enough and he nodded the rebound over the cross bar.
The first goal came on 14 minutes. Dorchester’s Ben Watson ran with the ball on the right flank before squaring a pass to Nick Crittenden on the by-line. Crittenden’s cross-cum-shot was blocked and it eventually found Dan Way, who in turn slipped it past Carl Pentney to score his first ever senior goal for the Magpies and, more importantly, he handed Dorchester the lead.
Seven minutes later, Tom Davis chipped a free-kick into the box and it fell to Charlie Henry, although is final effort at goal was blocked by the head of Dan Green.
City centre-back Jide Maduako sent a high ball into Tom Derry, although his heavy first touch allowed Steve Walker to execute a tackle and clear the ball away from danger.
Tom Davis, who had to be replaced by David Rainford before half-time, delivered another pin-point free-kick, but Rob Edmans could only direct it wide of the mark, despite Danny Webb’s best efforts to keep it in play.
Two minutes before the break Aristede Bassele, who was causing Leon Redwood all sorts of problems at the back, cut in from the right and sent his driven effort over Carl Pentney’s bar.
And after the break, the Clarets almost immediately drew level. City skipper Mark Hughes chested the ball down to Tom Derry who struck the ball wonderfully, however Walker-Harris was equal to the effort and he saved well.
That set the hosts up for a counter attack and Nick Crittenden was slipped through, but his final effort was fired over.
Perhaps the best chance of the game came on 57 minutes. Nick Crittenden’s flag-kick was directed back across goal and Lewis Morgan headed over from under the cross bar. It would have perhaps rippled the back of the net had a Claret shirt not got a vital touch.
The lively Bagasan Graham worked his way to the by-line but had his cross cleared for a corner by Lewis Morgan. The resulting set-piece was headed over by the unmarked Jide Maduako.
The Clarets soon had their best opening of the match after Charlie Henry played through Graham on the left-wing. The young winger then slid a cross along the face of goal with Bertie Brayley missing the opportunity to shoot, allowing substitute Sam Long to fire his effort over, however it took a slight deflection.
Dorchester could have put the game beyond doubt when Carl Pentney’s wayward swipe at the ball eventually found its way to Jack Twyford who set himself up before blazing the shot over the bar.
A minute later and City were up the other end. Some good build-up play between the City players could not be finished by Sam Long, who headed into the side netting.
The Clarets were made to rue that mistake, as Nick Crittenden wrapped up the points with virtually the last kick of the game on 92 minutes. He angled his shot powerfully past Carl Pentney, and the Clarets had to make the long trip back to Essex with zero points, leaving them 20th in the league standings.
Despite the disappointing result, Holdsworth was pleased with the performance of Charlie Henry, and indicated that he led by example. He said: “Charlie was our best player and he knows how to stand up and be counted. He doesn’t just do it on a Tuesday and then not turn up on a Saturday. They [the players] have been told some home truths because the standard we need is high consistency.”
1. Carl Pentney
2. Ben Sampayo
3. Leon Redwood
4. Tom Davis
5. Jide Maduako
6. Danny Webb
7. Charlie Henry
8. Mark Hughes (C)
9. Rob Edmans
10. Tom Derry
11. Bagasan Graham
12. Sam Long (On for Ben Sampayo, 74)
14. David Rainford (On for Tom Davis, 43)
15. Nicky Nicolau
16. Bertie Brayley (On for Tom Derry, 64)
17. Joshua Warren
Walker-Harris, Way (Twyford, 81), Martin, Jermyn (C), Walker, Pugh, Crittenden, Green, Watson, Morgan, Bassele. Unused subs: Bell, Gape, Smeeton, Sandercombe (GK)
Referee: Andrew Laver (Portsmouth)
Assistants: Andrew Dine (Fareham) and Anthony Foster (Fareham)
Bookings: Chelmsford: Mark Hughes (Foul, 44) Jide Maduako (Persistent fouling, 58) Dorchester: Aristede Bassele (Foul, 35) Lewis Morgan (Foul, 52) Arron Pugh (Persistent fouling, 58) Mark Jermyn (Foul, 73)
City Man of the Match: Charlie Henry