Chelmsford City 1 Margate 0
CHELMSFORD CITY 1
Jamie Richards 35
Stephen McCartney reports from Melbourne Stadium
Ryman Premier League
Jamie Richards’ thirteenth goal of the season was enough to end Margate’s seven competitive match unbeaten run at Melbourne Park tonight.
Unlike Friday night football at Gravesend & Northfleet, which has seen the Kent club attract their two highest crowds of the season to Stonebridge Road, the Essex club will be disappointed that tonight’s match was their lowest crowd since they returned back home to the county town at the turn of the year.
But the majority of the 853 crowd went home happy, after Chelmsford scored the only goal of a dour game ten minutes before the break.
Margate’s Dean Standen sent over a right-footed corner towards the far post, which was cleared by the home side, and defence led to attack.
The ball was then played over to the right hand side of the pitch for Richards’ to burst towards the penalty area.
Margate goalkeeper Charlie Mitten, however, appeared to have had his right-footed angled drive from the edge of the box covered, but the experienced goalkeeper allowed the ball to slide underneath his body and into the net to the delight of the home faithful.
Prior to this, however, the Kent side created their best chance of the game when Danny Hockton played in Bertie Brayley, whose left-footed shot from ten-yards rolled wide of the far post.
Ian Hilaire had a good chance earlier in the game when his shot was blocked by the advancing Gavin King and Hockton headed a chance wide soon after that.
Not many chances were created and the game was a stop-start affair as ball-boys retrieved the ball from the eight-lane athletics track, and players struggled with the condition of the pitch, which was sand based.
Following a short corner on the hour mark, Chelmsford’s Tony Boot’s cross was met by a towering header from former Dover Athletic player Dean Palmer, which went over.
Then ten minutes later, Boot whipped in a 30-yard free kick, with his right-foot into the visitors penalty area, but a lack of communication between Mitten and central defender Robin Trott carved open a chance for City striker, Adrian Allen, but he lost composure and with an open goal in front of him, skied his shot from ten yards.
Margate’s endured a miserable night, although well supported by their vocal fans, and assistant manager Kevin Raine was banished from the dug-outs late in the game.
Chelmsford City: Gavin King, Peter Smith (Capt), Michael Haswell, Daniel Lunan, Jerrome Sobers, Dean Palmer, Lee Williams, Tony Boot, Jamie Richards, Adrian Allen (Ronnie Watson 85), Richard Halle.
Subs: Theo Davis, Shaun Reece, Ashley Jones
Margate: Charlie Mitten, Dean Standen, Anthony Allman, Bill Edwards, Robin Trott, James Donovan, John Keister (Hasim Deen 77), Lawrence Yiga, Bertie Brayley, Danny Hockton, Ian Hilaire (Greg Oakes 80)
Subs: Darren Behcet, Tom Ziepe, Daniel Damoah
Referee: Mr J Rowbury (Orpington)
Assistants: Mr G Atkins (Thorpe Bay) Mr J Carroll (Brentwood)