CONCORD continued their growing irritation of their illustrious Essex neighbours by walking off with all three Vanarama South points from Melbourne Park this evening, writes James Colasanti.
There was no denying the Beachboys got the rub of the green but ultimately there was also no denying that – as is their way – their sheer endeavour justified any luck.
It was a cagey – some would probably argue boring – opening 20 minutes before the game sprung to life with a head-spinning four minutes of play.
It started with the visitors scoring what would prove the winner when keeper Nicky Eyre could only parry Steve Cawley’s curler back into the six yard box and Lewis Taaffe showed the hunger to get there first and slide it home.
But before the gathered reporters could tweet their update the ball was running loose in the Concord box and their keeper Aaron Lennox chopped down Luke Callander to concede a penalty.
QPR loanee Lennox was booked but had the last laugh when he got a strong hand to Michael Cheek’s spot kick to condemn the striker to a second saved penalty in 48 hours.
And it got worse for Chelmsford on the stroke of half-time when they were reduced to 10 men. Right-back James Love was shown a straight red card for going through Gary Ogilvie on the halfway line.
Footage of the challenge showed that Love had taken the ball first and caught Ogilvie with his trailing leg, but referee Lloyd Wood deemed it dangerous and left Mark Hawkes’ men with a mountain to climb.
Concord expertly and understandably killed the second half to claim a valuable win.
Beachboys boss Danny Cowley – courted by Chelmsford when Hawkes was appointed last year – underlined his acumen by replacing Taaffe up front with Joe Gardner early in the second half.
The energetic winger pestered and occupied the home defence for the remainder of the game – allowing his side to largely snuff out the inevitable rally from the Clarets.
Concord went closest in the second half when Eyre did well to push Ogilvie’s swerving, low shot onto the post.
But Chelmsford battled admirably until the death and really should have equalised in front of a crowd of 588 gathered to watch the county’s highest ranked football derby.
But Matt Haines just failed to make contact with what would have been a free header on goal, and then fellow defender Yado Mambo skied a glorious chance over the bar with 10 minutes to go.