Essex Senior Cup Semi-Final
CHELMSFORD CITY 4 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 0
Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from Melbourne Stadium
Chelmsford City eased their way to the final of the Essex Senior Cup with what was ultimately a comfortable 4-0 victory over near neighbours Heybridge Swifts.
Chelmsford manager Rod Stringer made 6 changes from the side that started Saturday’s 1-1 draw with St. Albans City in the National League South, a performance that had left the Clarets boss ‘absolutely fuming’ at his side’s failure to take all 3 points. They faced a Swifts side managed by Jody Brown, who currently occupy the bottom half of the the Ryman League Division 1 North, but who went into this tie on the back of a solid 2-0 victory away to Soham Town Rangers on Saturday.
A predominantly uneventful first half saw the visitors have the first goalscoring chance in the 2nd minute, centre forward Adam Yusuff firing a shot over the bar. The busy Luke Daley had a few chances for the home side as the half went on, but two of them were off target and the other was saved by Heybridge goalkeeper Danny Sambridge. Chelmsford striker Chris Dickson had a couple of shots on goal as the half hour mark approached, both of which were just wide of the mark.
Swifts then had another chance after 35 minutes, their pacy captain George Cole beating City full back Matt Young, but his effort was fired straight at Clarets goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons who made no mistake. Chelmsford’s Kane Haysman had a chance from a free kick but this was fired over the bar, so the match remained goalless as both teams went in at the interval.
The game finally sprang into life 7 minutes after the restart, Haysman heading home from Daley’s cross to put the home side 1-0 in front, with what was the former Crystal Palace youngster’s first goal in Chelmsford City colours. The Clarets started to take control from this point. Dickson headed over in the 55th minute, but he finally found the target a minute later as Haysman – this time turning provider – breezed past Swifts left back Guillem Ramon, then provided an excellent cross from the right which the former Charlton man tapped into the net to double City’s lead.
In the 73rd minute another header made it 3-0 to Chelmsford, this time from Max Cornhill who met another fine Haysman cross and nodded the ball past Sambridge. The Clarets’ fourth came 10 minutes later in calamitous circumstances. Heybridge defender Philip Anderson passed the ball back to Sambridge, who completely lost his footing and could only look on in horror as the ball rolled into the net.
Although the tie was way beyond their reach by this stage, Swifts to their credit didn’t give up and substitute Reece Grant had a shot saved by Fitzsimons once the game had entered injury time. But City won convincingly in the end, and go through to their first Essex Senior Cup final since 2009 where they will face fellow National League South outfit East Thurrock United, victors over Tilbury in the other semi-final. The date and venue of the match are yet to be arranged.
Chelmsford: Fitzsimons, Young (Bush 72), Graham, Cornhill, Spillane, Hill, Daley, Rees, Dickson (Buchanan 79), Roberts (Enver-Marum 63), Haysman.
Heybridge: Sambridge, Andrews, Ramon, Smith (Grant 61), Njie, Anderson, Dark, Godbold, Yusuff, Bolle, Cole (Brown 78).
“(In the) first half the intensity wasn’t there, the quality wasn’t there….we needed to get the ball wide and win that midfield battle, and once we did that…Kane (Haysman) had a great second half, Josh Rees managed to get on the ball and play, and we managed to get the wide players in to score goals.”
“It’s been a good night….I’m really pleased for the club and the supporters”. –
Chelmsford City manager Rod Stringer talking after the match