Source: Clarets official Site
Max Cornhill and Kezie Ibe netted crucial late goals as Chelmsford City were made to wait until the 79th minute for a breakthrough at Truro City, then boss Glenn Pennyfather claimed to want “more long trips and overnight stays” in the Conference National if the Clarets achieve promotion.
Chelmsford made a rare hotel occasion out of the long journey to Cornwall and yesterday’s long wait for an arrival at their destination was matched on the pitch as a resolute home side restricted Pennyfather’s team until the closing stages. The visitors went second as a result, with only an even later winner for leaders Woking at home to Bromley preventing the Clarets making ground on the day.
“Patience was the key for us in dreadful conditions,” Glenn highlighted after the game. “There was a strong wind blowing across the pitch but we had a few forays into the box and created a few good chances before finally going in front. Of course when you get towards the end and you’ve had all the chances and possession but not the goal, you get frustrated. But we definitely deserved this scoreline.”
City travelled south on Friday afternoon, and he added: “It was important for future events of this kind that we prepared properly. We’ve learned one or two things from this trip which we’d like to do a bit differently if we did it again and I hope we get to stay overnight more often next year, because that’ll mean we’ve been promoted!”
Injury and suspension forced Glenn into two starting eleven changes. Sam Corcoran was omitted from the centre of midfield for the first of his three-match absence after a red card against Thurrock, while winger Warren Whitely turned an ankle during the midweek friendly at Canvey Island. However, the Manager had quality replacements in the form of young attackers Tosan Popo and Michael Bakare.
Despite a lively opening to the game there were few opportunities of note for either side until a spell of concerted pressure by the visitors mid-way through the half. Bakare cut inside and saw his effort blocked prior to Craig Parker striking across goal with intent from the edge of the area and wrapping the inside of the post.
Truro, who are embroiled in off-field negotiations over their future, could only name three substitutes and two were required in the first 36 minutes as skipper Jake Ash and Player-Manager Lee Hodges were forced to depart through illness and injury respectively. But their side remained competitive and Cody Cooke then Andy Watkins each went close, the latter forcing a diving save from goalkeeper Stuart Searle.
However they were let off the hook six minutes before the interval. Custodian Tom Brooks’ long clearance wasn’t long enough as Popo converted from the resulting loose ball, only for the ‘keeper’s blushes to be saved when the Assistant Referee raised his flag for offside. During injury time a Scott Walker dead ball at the other end led to Aaron Pugh sliding wide of the far post by a foot as the half ended goalless.
Cornhill and Bakare both had shots blocked just after the interval and an Aiden Palmer free kick ended with David Rainford’s powerful drive being collected at the second attempt by Brooks. The lack of a tangible advantage was starting to aggravate the Clarets, especially when Truro enjoyed their best chance on 73 minutes through another free kick, which culminated in a header narrowly wide by Watkins.
Then there was a sigh of relief as Chelmsford moved in front with a little over ten minutes left. Kezie Ibe had just sprinted through and forced a corner when Brooks had to tip over his high shot and, from the resulting corner, another delivery was sent into Cornhill who dispatched a simple header home from point-blank range.
Even though the Clarets were ahead, substitute Dan Smith’s low strike at Searle made the lead look fragile. A second goal would seal the game and that was secured with a minute remaining. Another replacement, Ricky Modeste, sent a brilliant ball between defenders and Ibe won the foot race to lob over Brooks into the net.
That meant the Clarets are still undefeated away, extending their club record, and Glenn reflected: “We knew we could create space in the area from set plays with the right kind of movement, which we did. Overall we’ve bounced back from last week, which was important, and shown a great reaction to that result.”
1 Stuart Searle
2 Justin Miller
3 Aiden Palmer
4 Adam Tann
5 Kenny Clark
6 David Rainford (C)
7 Tosan Popo
8 Craig Parker
9 Kezie Ibe
10 Max Cornhill
11 Michael Bakare
12 Cliff Akurang
14 Kevin McLeod
15 Ricky Modeste (On for Popo, 75)
16 Ben Nunn
17 Warren Whitely (On for Bakare, 88)
Truro City: Tom Brooks, Barry McConnell, Scott Walker, Aaron Pugh, Steve Adams, Lee Hodges (Dan Smith, 35), Andy Watkins, Joe Broad, Jake Ash (C) (Marcus Martin, 30), Cody Cooke (Barry Hayles, 82), Les Afful. Unused Substitutes: None.
Bookings: Chelmsford: Clark (70, foul).
Referee: Adam Bromley (Plymouth).
Assistant Referees: Anton Beavis (Romsey) and Guy Boynter (Basingstoke).