City were beaten 3-2 by Chelmsford City at a bitterly cold Twerton Park this afternoon. Leading through two Cody Cooke penalties – the second that saw Chelmsford reduced to ten men – the Romans were pegged back through an own goal and a third penalty kick of the game before the turnaround was completed just past the hour mark with a third Clarets goal.
City got off to a perfect start after just eight minutes when Oscar Thorn was tripped in the box and Cooke confidently converted the penalty kick. City looked to build on this early advantage but as the half progressed it was the visitors who began to look the more threatening. However, three minutes before the break Cooke got goalside of Barnum-Bobb and was bundled to the floor. The Chelmsford no.17 was shown a red card and Cooke was again successful from the spot. Chelmsford pulled a goal back in the final minute of the half when Castiglione’s cross was headed into his own net by Danny Greenslade.
The scores were back level on 58 minutes when Jordan Thomas was adjudged to have fouled Ruff in the area and Hockey fired the penalty into the top corner of the net. And two minutes later a poor clearance by Will Buse allowed Hockey to be sent clear and he slid home his second and Chelmsford’s third goal. City threw everything they could at Chelmsford after this, Scott Wilson twice forcing smart stops from keeper Marsden and Cooke firing a good chance over the bar. Several other promising openings were kept out by Chelmsford and when a free-kick was blocked in the eighth minute of stoppage time the remarkable comeback was complete.