The ‘Jinx’ Continues.

Considering the amount of rain which fell overnight and throughout Saturday morning, it was only the sterling work of the City groundstaff which enabled the match to go ahead, albeit with a 3.15 kick off. Well done to all involved.

The game started at a good pace on a surface which would clearly test both sides and the Clarets were first to threaten when a Rhodell Gordon free kick was well claimed by Barnes.

After some end to end sparring, Boro produced a good move which saw Louie Theophanous receive the ball outside the City area, weave his way past two defenders before rounding the keeper and neatly slotting home the opening goal from an acute angle after 7 minutes. Chelmsford City 0 – 1 Farnborough.

The home side responded from the re-start and won a corner on the right which was headed high and wide by Ekpiteta. There followed a period of Boro’ supremacy which saw them come close to increasing their lead on several occasions.

Theophanous almost got through again on the left, before Bennett headed home a cross only to see the goal disallowed for off-side. The same player then beat several defenders before being bundled over just short of the 6 yard box. With the Referee clearly signalling no foul, Bennett scrambled to his feet and went very close at the left post.

When the home side mounted a rare attack the ball flew back and forth across the Boro’ area finally reaching skipper Mark Hughes, who hit a sublime volley from outside the box on the right which gave Barnes no chance on 25 minutes. Chelmsford City 1 – 1 Farnborough.

A Xapi cross was just too strong for Theophanous, then City’s Redwood had a shot from 20 yards which was well over and when Page crossed from the left Grant was just short of connecting.

The home side took the lead after 37 minutes somewhat against the run of play, when Jaanai Gordon was allowed to reach the goal line close to Barnes right hand post. His cross, which somehow evaded everyone on a crowded goal line, finally reached Michael Cheek at the far post and went in off his boot.

It was messy, but allowed the leading scorer to record his 20th of the season from all competitions. Chelmsford City 2 – 1 Farnborough.

The remainder of the half produced few clear chances apart from Cheek being just short of connecting with a cross from the right. The final action produced a yellow card for Sawyer for a foul on Bennett and Michael Richens’ free kick was headed clear by the City defence.

Half Time: Chelmsford City 2 – 1 Farnborough.

A half which saw Boro’ enjoy a good deal of possession, take a well deserved lead and come close on at least two other occasions. The home side drew level with a wonder goal out of nothing and were a tad fortunate to go ahead with a scrappy second goal.

The second period started at 4.16 with Boro’ replacing Xapi with Darryl Siaw at half time.

The first 15 minutes saw the home side come close before Boro’ enjoyed a period of continuous attacking which saw them force three corners within the space of two minutes without being able to capitalise on their possession.

Duncan Culley netted following a good move, but, again, the off-side flag intervened. Another close decision.

A promising looking City move came to nothing when Sawyer’s cross was too strong, then at the other end, Dan Bennett saw his effort deflected over for a corner.

From the kick, City broke quickly and swept upfield before a good pass put Jaanai Gordon through and the nippy number nine made no mistake on 62 minutes. Chelmsford City 3 – 1 Farnborough.

Boro’ made their second substitution in the 70th minute replacing Phil Page with new man, Charlie Losasso.

Barnes was quickly out to claim the ball on the edge of his area and avert further danger.

Both sides made further changes in a period of three minutes, or so. Smith replaced Sawyer for the home side on 75 minutes and a rather surprising change for Boro’ saw Adam Brice depart and the introduction of Jamie Hand.

A neat Boro’ move ended with a cross from Jones which was cleared, then Michael Richens replicated his strike against Whitehawk, with an even better 35 yarder to reduce the arrears on 80 minutes. Chelmsford City 3-2 Farnborough.

A minute later, Hand unleashed another shot from distance which Watkins somehow managed to back pedal and grasp at full stretch.

Boro’ pressed forward with determination in an effort to force an equaliser and when a free kick was partially cleared, Lloyd Foot hit an effort from well outside the area, but, unlike the earlier efforts of Richens and Hand, his shot was too high to worry Watkins.

Then, as often happens when a side is fully committed to attack, they are likely to get caught on the break and in this case, with disastrous consequences.

With about two minutes of the ninety remaining, the very quick Jaanai Gordon, broke away again and scored his second and Claret’s fourth. Chelmsford City 4-2 Farnborough.

The home side made an immediate substitution replacing the two goal striker with Joe Ward.

The home side broke again in the 90th minute and following a good run and perfect pass, Rhodell Gordon notched their fifth goal. Chelmsford City 5-2 Farnborough.

City then made their final sub replacing the scorer, Rhodell Gordon with Nicky Nicolau.

Skipper, Lloyd Foot was injured and had to leave the field meaning Boro’ were down to 10 men for the remainder of added time. The home side scored their sixth and final goal well into injury time through substitute, Nicky Nicolau. Chelmsford City 6-2 Farnborough.

Full Time: Chelmsford City 6-2 Farnborough.

So, the ‘gaffers’ jinx didn’t go away, but despite the scoreline, which flattered the hosts, it was far from a true reflection of the game. Boro’ were on top for long periods of the game, they didn’t play that badly and could well have got a draw.

Two close off-side decisions and a possible penalty shout would have made a difference. However, credit must go to the Clarets who, had played on New Years day and were sharp enough to benefit from some quick breaks late on when Borough were fully committed to attack.

Personally, I found the introduction of Jamie Hand for Adam Brice, a rather strange decision, when Brice had played solidly in defence for 80 minutes of the match.

Still some positives to give us a good chance of bouncing back in the FA Trophy against Maidenhead next week.

Full Time: Chelmsford City 6-2 Farnborough

Match Report by Tony Duff.

Next up for Farnborough – Saturday 10 Janaury (KO 3pm), Maidenhead United (away).

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