Chelmsford City (1) 3 Bath City (3) 4 – Vanarama National League South – Saturday 12 December 2020 – Melbourne Stadium

Chelmsford City (1) 3 Bath City (3) 4 – Vanarama National League South – Saturday 12 December 2020 – Melbourne Stadium

Match Report by Mark Stillman

Bath City edged past 10-man Chelmsford in an extraordinary seven-goal contest at the EMG Inspire Stadium.

Both sides went into the game as the division’s lowest scorers, but defensive frailties meant chances arrived at will as Donovan Wilson added to his fine recent run with a brace, and Ade Oluwo opened and closed the scoring with one for each side.

In between Charlie Sheringham notched twice for the Clarets, scoring against City for a fourth different club in his career, and Tommy Conway made it two in two as City racked up eight goals in three away trips in the week.

Anthony Church was sent off just past the hour but the hosts nearly snatched a point, only to see Sheringham’s stoppage time header ruled out for offside.

The first goal set the tone as Ryan Harley’s free-kick led to Chez Isaac’s attempted clearance hammering into the unfortunate Ade Oluwo for a calamitous own goal. Like Tuesday however, City couldn’t hold on for long as Sheringham levelled within two minutes for the Clarets with a neat header from Isaac’s cross after the Romans defence switched off.

Donovan Wilson’s smart finish put City back ahead on 25 minutes after Chelmsford failed to clear their lines from a short corner, and he swiftly claimed an assist for Tommy Conway to drive home as the Chelmsford defence went AWOL leaving him clear down the right to fire across Worgan despite the ball bobbling as he lined up to shoot.

City could have gone down to ten men when Grant Horton hauled down Adam Morgan on the edge of the penalty area but the defender escaped with a yellow. Morgan’s resulting free-kick thumped the inside of the post and stayed out with Ryan Clarke claiming the slightest of touches in the last main chance of an absorbing first half.

Sheringham nabbed his second six minutes after the restart to halve the deficit with a tap-in from Morgan’s cross despite Clarke’s best efforts, but there was barely time to draw breath as City made it 4-2 when Clarke’s long boot forward saw Elliott Ward and Oluwo get in a muddle, allowing Wilson to take advantage and coolly execute from 12 yards. It was his last action as the lethal marksman was forced off with injury caused by scoring.

His substitute Lucas Tomlinson was only on for seven minutes before Church’s sickening lunge on the youngster earned the Chelmsford man a red card, but Robbie Simpson’s men were stronger a man light and were rewarded when Oluwo netted at the right end, diverting in Ward’s driven cross following more uncertain defending from Callum Harrison’s corner.

Tom Smith should have wrapped the game up on the counter when he collected Conway’s sweeping ball but placed wide, and Sheringham was denied a hat-trick by an offside flag in stoppage time as City clung on to their first win at Chelmsford since April 2013, ending a miserable run of seven defeats in their last eight visits to the athletics stadium.

It also gave them a healthy return of six points from three tricky away fixtures ahead of another meeting with the Essex outfit on Tuesday night in the FA Trophy.

Att: 540

City’s Line-Up: Clarke (c), Taylor, Smith, Batton, Artus, Wilson (Tomlinson 55), Harley, James, Conway, Dean, Horton. Subs not used: Henry, Richards, Pope, Watts.

Scorers: City – OG (10), Wilson (25, 52), Conway (28); Chelmsford – Sheringham (12, 50), Oluwo (71)

City Bookings: Horton (31), Smith (79), Clarke (87)

Officials: I Searle, M Chalkley, T Harvey