Boro’ down but not broken

For the penultimate home game of the season Boro’ welcomed back Harry Grant from suspension together with Darryl Siaw from injury to the starting eleven and Adam Brice joined a four man bench though it’s doubtful if he was fit enough to play. Conspicuous by their absence were the ‘Marmite man’ and Jamie Hand and of course no cover for a goalkeeper.

Unconfirmed rumour suggests that Bennett and Hand have elected to move on. We will never know if their presence would have changed the outcome but, in the circumstances, with three games to play it does seem rather strange they were allowed to go straight away.

The club welcomed a very special mascot in 2 years old Asher Jones, who was born with Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and to support and publicise fundraising for his physical therapy and specialised equipment. It was good to see Spencer showing his ‘fathers’ skills by carrying the lad out to the centre circle for the pre kick off rituals.

The visitors got the game under way at 14.59 attacking the PRE and were quick to provide work for Magnus Norman when in the second minute he tipped over an effort from Rhodell Gordon and followed up by safely gathering the subsequent corner through a cluster of players.

Soon after, Ward headed wide from a Chelmsford free kick. Then Aaron Tumwa did well to head a long cross away for a corner.

Boro’ started to get more into the game and produced a good chance when Josh Shama rounded the City keeper only to see his shot cleared off the line.

The Clarets were soon back on the offensive and Skepelhorn crossed well but Richens cleared. Next Michael Cheek came close, but his effort was too high.

Skepelhorn twisted his way past Treacher and was one on one with Norman, but the keeper stood up well and saved.

Minutes later the City number eleven  received a through ball and ran towards goal. When he slipped the ball past the outrushing Norman and the keeper brought him down it left Referee, Neil Hair, little option and he immediately reached for his red card.

While it was difficult to argue with the decision, it was disappointing in that Skepelhorn had looked a good couple of yards offside when he received the ball and neither Referee or Assistant seemed to notice.

Boro’s situation was made worse by not having a keeper on the bench and it was CJ Fearn who donned the red jersey and faced the penalty. Ward duly struck home the kick to put City ahead on 23 minutes. Farnborough 0-1 Chelmsford City.

It’s incidents like this which seem to strike when you’re already down on your luck and which inevitably change the whole pattern of the match as to face a strong side for well over an hour when a man down immediately makes an
already uphill task a lot steeper.

Boro’ did not throw in the towel and encouraged by a great save by CJ from a Ward blockbuster they made chances of their own. First Robertson had a shot blocked and then Lovelock saved from Webb.

Richens was booked on 38 minutes though not clear what for and another Boro’ move came to nothing when White’s cross was just too long.

Toner was booked for a foul on Robertson which saw the centre forward leave the field and Boro’ finish the half with nine men.

In added time things looked like getting even worse for Boro’ when Ward tumbled in the area after a tackle by Darryl Siaw. Fortunately, on this occasion Mr Hair booked the City man for diving.

Half Time: Farnborough 0-1 Chelmsford City

While City were clearly the stronger side, Boro’ had battled well after the penalty incident to prevent falling further behind.

Boro’ got the 2nd period away at 4:02pm and immediately replaced the injured Robertson with Stéphane Ngamvoulou.

Soon after the restart Josh Shama did well to chase down a seemingly lost cause and win a corner and a couple of minutes later, from another corner, Michael Richens had a decent effort saved by Tom Lovelock.

Just after Gordon had sent a chance well over the bar he was replaced by Mason Spence on 58 minutes.

On the hour White got through but his shot was blocked by Lovelock and with legs tiring from being a man down, Boro’ almost inevitably concede two further goals in the space of eight minutes.

City Skipper Mark Hughes took advantage of a cross which was cleverly
allowed to run through to him and coolly side footed the ball over CJ into the top corner on 64 minutes. Farnborough 0-2 Chelmsford City.

Then, following their second sub which saw Girdlestone replace Toner, their earlier sub, Mason Spence, rifled home the Claret’s third after 72 minutes. Farnborough 0-3 Chelmsford City.

CJ made another fine save tipping an effort from full back Harry Hickford over for a corner on 74 minutes and then both sides made further substitutions.

City replaced Michael Cheek with Sam Gregory and Boro’ brought on Freddie Grant for Michael Richens.

With ten minutes left, Siaw put Josh Shama through and his attempt shaved the post and went into the side netting. Shortly afterwards the youngster who had shown good speed and some deft touches, was applauded off when replaced by Academy player Nathan Chambers.

CJ made another fine save on 85 minutes and two minutes later Jamie White beat Lovelock from 25 yards to record a consolation goal for Boro’ on 87 minutes. Farnborough 1-3 Chelmsford City.

Redwood shot over for City in the 90th minute and the two minutes of added time passed without further incident.

FULL TIME: Farnborough 0-1 Chelmsford City

Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the result coupled with final scores from elsewhere, confirmed that Boro’ are relegated. Another spirited performance with lady luck once more playing her part, again saw us beaten by the better team.

Oh! What we could have done with just a few of Dave Tarpey’s 18 goals scored for Maidenhead, including both in Saturday’s 2-0 away win at Weston. And, to rub it in even more, Dean Inman got one for Hayes & Yeading.

So, the ‘fat lady’ has had the last word —— for now.

Match Report by Tony Duff.

Next up for Farnborough: Saturday 18 April (KO 3pm), Eastbourne Borough (away).

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