28 January 2013

Chelmsford City's match report

Source: Chelmsford City official site LINK
Glenn Pennyfather repeated that "every game is important" as the Clarets aim to claw back a points deficit on the leaders, and he was delighted that his team emerged victorious at Truro City thanks to second-half strikes from Jamie Slabber and Kyle Vassell.

His side managed to gain three points on top side Salisbury City, who didn't play, despite Joe Broad's 90th-minute reply for the hosts which made for a tense period of injury time. He said: "We managed to get the win in what were really tough conditions, what with the heavy, sticky pitch and the strong win. You had to concentrate all the time."

"In the second half we had the wind behind us but we had to get the ball out wide more and really get at their full-backs. Our first was a great goal, with the cross from Aiden [Palmer] then Jamie's header, then the second from Kyle has given us that cushion. We looked comfortable and their goal at the end was from our only bit of lax defending in the whole game. We're back to winning ways, and every game is important at this stage to build momentum."

Due to the wintry weather, Chelmsford hadn't played for two weeks since their match at FC Halifax Town in the FA Trophy on 12th January. During that time, right-back Richard Brindley had been snapped-up by Football League club Chesterfield, so Bradley Hamilton took his place. In the centre of defence, Kenny Clark came in as Captain for Justin Miller, while Vassell was selected ahead of Sam Corcoran in midfield.

Truro crafted the majority of the first-half chances in what was a meagre opening period for shots on goal. In the 5th minute there was a double opportunity when a defensive clearance tested Clarets goalkeeper Stuart Searle, then Les Afful went close with the follow-up. Five minutes later a far-post hear from Andrew Watkins narrowly missed the target.

With a stiff breeze blowing across Treyew Road, Chelmsford didn't concern Truro custodian Luke McCormick until the 25th minute, Slabber dribbling around him but striking wide. This was quickly followed by another chance at the other end as Watkins beat Clark but his shot took a deflection off Mark Haines for a Truro corner. On 35 minutes, the Cornwall side threatened again through Joe Broad's header, which drifted inches wide.

It was the hosts with the first attempt seconds after the interval, too. They almost grabbed an early second-half goal as Kieffer Moore got his foot to a free kick and Searle had to tip the ball over. Moore tried again just afterwards to no avail, but it was the Clarets who moved in front. Palmer's swinging, 53rd-minute cross provided Slabber with the type of opportunity he's made his name from, heading home powerfully to make it 1-0.

Chelmsford's confidence visibly increased, culminating in a second on 69 minutes. Max Cornhill's brilliant through ball put Vassell one-on-one with McCormick and the young winger rounded him before tapping home and doubling the lead. Truro will have been disheartened by that, having competed well throughout the contest.

Nevertheless they continued to challenge. Searle was forced to make a brilliant save from Watkins as the ball was knocked on towards him from a free kick near the corner flag, then Chelmsford substitute Craig Parker, who'd been on the field for just two minutes, prodded wide of the target from a couple of yards at the death.

Truro's Broad ensured Pennyfather's men weren't able to cruise towards the final whistle, thumping home in the final minute of normal time. But the visitors earned the points which elevated them into the top five, with a home game against Dorchester Town coming up on Monday which could see them move up further to fourth position.

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