Chelmsford City 4-0 Heybridge Swifts
Brian Jeeves reporting from the Melbourne Stadium
CHELMSFORD City produced a rousing second-half performance to reach their first Essex Senior Cup final since 2009 after dispatching spirited Ryman League Division One North outfit, Heybridge Swifts, by four goals to nil at the Melbourne Stadium.
Clarets manager, Rod Stringer, made six changes to the side that had been frustratingly held by St Albans in the National League South at the weekend. However, it was the Swifts who were a whisker away from a stunning start as Adam Yusuff fired over after finding some room amidst the static Clarets rearguard. Meanwhile, Luke Daley forced Swifts keeper, Danny Sambridge, into a stunning stop as the home side quickly responded.
Daley nodded wide for the hosts, while Ross Fitzsimons was extremely lucky his goal remained intact after a hideous bobble saw the Clarets keeper produce an ‘air-shot’. Fortunately, the ball drifted the wrong side of an upright, much the relief of the City stopper and all connected with the Melbourne Stadium club.
Chelmsford began to press with greater intent. Chris Dickson wasn’t far away from a telling contact with Daley’s driven centre, while the latter fired over after being sent clear by Kane Haysman. Soon after, Dickson lifted a clever attempt over Sambridge, but a fraction too high as the Clarets turned the screw further.
George Cole fired into Fitzsimons’ midriff as Heybridge offered a threat of their own, while Haysman’s dead-ball effort was expertly dealt with by Sambridge as the half drew to a disappointing conclusion.
Nevertheless, after the break, the Clarets roared into life. Luke Daley centred and Haysman was on hand to beat Sambridge with a powerful header. And before the Swifts could recover, City added a second. Dickson arrived at the far post to convert Haysman’s pinpoint cross, leaving the visitors with a mountain to climb.
To their credit, Heybridge continued to toil, albeit fruitlessly. Meanwhile, the home side extended their lead further as Max Cornhill roe unchallenged to nod home Haysman’s flag-kick.
The Swifts misery was complete when Philip Anderson’s back pass eluded Sambridge and found its way into his own net for the Clarets fourth of the evening.
City now face fellow National League South club, East Thurrock United, in the final on a date to be confirmed.
Chelmsford City now turn their attention back to the National League South promotion race when they travel to Princes Park on Saturday, February 18 to face Dartford (3pm).
Chelmsford City: Ross Fitzsimons, Matt Young (Chris Bush 72’), Bagasan Graham, Max Cornhill, Michael Spillane (Capt), Josh Hill, Luke Daley, Josh Rees, Chris Dickson (Elliott Buchanan 79’), Philip Roberts (Liam Enver-Marum 63’), Kane Haysman Subs not used: Anthony Church, Robbie Willmott
Goals: Kane Haysman 52’, Chris Dickson 56’, Max Cornhill 73’, Philip Anderson (own-goal 84’)
Heybridge Swifts: Danny Sambridge, Marley Andrews, Guillem Ramon, Jack Smith (Reece Grant 60’), Aliu Njie (Capt), Philip Anderson, Lewis Dark, Lewis Godbold, Adam Yusuff, Adam Bolle, George Cole (Capt) (Nicholas Brown 75’) Subs not used: Glen Little, Richard Hutchings, Joshua Sykes
Booked: Danny Sambridge (Handball), Adam Bolle (Foul)
Referee: Daniel Cook
Assistants: Aaron Farmer and Christopher Horsman
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