26th February 2024

The Glovers ended February with defeat on the road as they suffered a 1-0 loss at Chelmsford City. A solitary goal from Charlie Ruff in the second half was enough to see the Clarets take all three points.

Mark Cooper was forced to alter his side that won against Weston-super-Mare in the week with Jordan Young serving the first of his two-game suspension. Frank Nouble returned to the starting line up alongside Dylan Morgan who came in for Will Dawes.

It was Morgan who had the glimpse at goal for the Glovers on 5 minutes when his shot at goal was fumbled by Henry Gray but he the young keeper was able to collect the loose ball before Frank Nouble arrived at the scene. On 10 minutes, Jordan Stevens and Sam Pearson linked up down the right wing before Stevens had an opportunity to pull the trigger from the edge of the box but his effort was blocked.

The Clarets then had their own chances. Jermaine Francis dispossessed Foulston before having a golden opportunity denied by a sprawling Joe Day. The following corner caused another scare for the Glovers as George Alexander headed narrowly over the bar.

The game then entered a phase of scrappy midfield battles. Yellow cards were handed out to Jermaine Francis, Dylan Morgan and Finley Barbrook. Both sides forced the keepers into good saves. On 25 minutes, Matt Worthington had an effort from range which was tipped over by an out-stretched Gray. Down the other end, Joe Day had to be on high alert for a free kick which was met by Winfield but his goalbound header was saved by Day.

Just before the break, Chelmsford had a big chance to take the lead. With the Glovers pushing forward, the Clarets managed to break away, spearheaded by Jermaine Francis. Francis managed to get into the area before shooting but somehow missed the target.

The start of the second half saw Sam Pearson have a shot at Gray early on but the keeper comfortably denied Pearson. On 50 minutes, Morgan Williams received a yellow card after pulling back Ben Brookes. Moments later, Mark Cooper looked to his bench as he altered the attacking line up with Alex Fisher replacing Dylan Morgan. The game became a tight encounter in the middle of the park again. Matt Worthington and Jordan Stevens both receiving yellow cards before Stevens was replaced by Will Dawes.

It was Dawes who had a magnificent opportunity to give the Glovers the lead. Frank Nouble drove down the right before cutting it back towards Will Dawes whose effort was blocked well by Finley Barbrook.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, Chelmsford City found the net. A ball into the area was cleared but not far enough as it was hooked back towards the 6-yard box where Charlie Ruff reacted quickest to poke the ball beyond Joe Day and into the net.

The Glovers had to react quickly and thought they had done so in the perfect way on 78 minutes. A cross from the right was flicked towards goal by Will Dawes and helped on the way by Alex Fisher as it crashed in off the underside of the bar but the celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s flag for offside.

The frustration grew for the Glovers who continued to push for an equaliser. Inside the final 10 minutes, Matt Worthington had a chance from the edge of the area but failed to hit the target. Just after the chance, Mark Cooper made his final change with Charlie Cooper returning from injury to replace Michael Smith.

Despite a number of highly threatening attacks from the Glovers, they were unable to find the net with the final whistle blowing, following four additional minutes, to mark the Glovers’ 5th league defeat of the season.

The win for Chelmsford City saw them rise up to 2nd in the table with a 12-point gap separating them from the Glovers.