Vanarama National League South
Saturday 22 April 2017 - Melbourne Stadium - kick off 3.00pm
||O'Leary, Batten, Welch-Hayes, Hemmings, Andresson (c), Artus, Watkins, Murphy (Hunter 74), McCootie, Morgan, Diallo. subs not used: Hutchinson, Marshall, Rollo.
|man of the match:
||L Wood, S Kilbourn, D Knox
|league position: 9th
||next match: Welling United (H)
Report taken from
Uncharacteristic mistakes and a controversial penalty decision left Bath City feeling hard done by at the end of a pulsating 3-1 defeat in Essex.
With Chelmsford going in to the game assured of a play-off place and City having little more than pride to play for in National League South, the two sides could perhaps be forgiven for not serving up the best of spectacles in the early stages.
The game sprang to life, however, in the 13th minute when Frankie Artus played a long ball over the top to find Naby Diallo, who threaded a neat ball to Marvin Morgan.
The towering forward burst in to the box and, having seen his first shot parried by Chelmsford keeper Ross Fitzsimons, reacted quickly to slot home the rebound.
City nearly doubled their lead 11 minutes later, again through Morgan. Billy Murphy swung in a free kick from the edge of the box, which found Morgan in the six-yard box and the striker's header was expertly tipped over the bar by the keeper.
The two combined again from a free kick, only for Morgan to head wide this time. City matched their higher-placed opponents in every area of the pitch until the 42nd minute.
A looping ball in to the box caught Axel Andresson in two minds and, as the ball bounced loose, Michael Spillane coolly slotted home from six yards.
If City felt hard done by at half time, Lady Luck sadly completely deserted them in the second half.
Chelmsford started the second period the brighter; putting some dangerous balls into the box and on 55 minutes were rewarded from some horrendous misfortune.
A long ball from Bush found Louie Theophanous clear in the box and he slotted the ball past Max O'Leary in the City goal.
With the shot looking to be heading past the far post and out of play, Andresson attempted to clear, got his angles hopelessly wrong and crashed the ball in to his own net.
It was a sickening moment for a young player who has barely put a foot wrong since joining the club midway through the season.
City nearly benefitted from a defensive error themselves just minutes later as an Andy Watkins cross was fumbled against the post by Fitzsimons.
Nick McCootie then had a good opportunity; battling with Spillane on the edge of the box but he saw his shot saved.
Marvin Morgan latched onto a through ball and looked to be brought down from behind on the edge of the box.
Despite City's protests, play was waved on and moments later a route-one ball from defence saw Louis Theophanous race clear into the box, take the ball around O'Leary and slot home.
The game was held up momentarily as both City's players and bench sought an explanation from referee Lloyd Wood, who had to have words with City's bench about their protests.
The drama wasn't over yet, though, as with just six minutes left, Chelmsford's opening scorer Spillane was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Andy Watkins.
Late on, Nick McCootie squared a ball to Chas Hemmings who blazed over from close range.
City were understandably deflated at the final whistle but can take heart from a battling performance - a quality that will serve them well in their push for the play-offs next season.