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Chelmsford City battle to Concord Rangers win

By JonPhipps  |  Posted: January 21, 2014

Chelmsford had more reason to celebrate

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Chelmsford City made it back-to-back away wins as they weathered a second-half storm to beat Concord Rangers 3-1.

Luke Callander’s fifth goal for the club gave the Clarets an early lead, but he was forced off later in the half due to injury.

His replacement Michael Cheek doubled the lead just before half-time, but Concord were much improved after the break.

Sam Collins hit the post before Tony Stokes pulled one back, and the visitors had to defend resolutely until Rob Edmans popped up to clinch it three minutes from the end.

Chelmsford took just five minutes to get on the front foot, and Jamie Butler denied Mark Hughes before tipping Tom Davis’ effort around the post.

But from that corner – City’s first of the night – the visitors led as Hughes got the faintest of touches on Christian Smith’s delivery and it fell perfectly for Callander, who found time to pick his spot and lash home.

Chances were at a premium but Hughes – who is still searching for his first Clarets goal – headed a Sam Long cross straight at Butler.

Callander took a nasty whack to his ankle, and from the resultant free-kick Butler made a hash of the punch and presented Kieron St Aimie with a chance, but his shot from the edge of the box was well off target.

Concord’s first shot of note took 33 minutes to arrive, and it came when Smith whacked a clearance straight into Leon Redwood, but Stokes’ shot was high and wide.

Sam Higgins had a free-kick deflected just past the post, and Nicky Cowley shot over the top – but despite actually now having some shots on goal, Concord were still struggling to get a foothold in the game.

And the Clarets grabbed a second a minute before half-time as Cheek made it three goals in his last two games. He was involved early in the move on the right-hand side, and eventually the play was switched over to the left for Leon Redwood to run on to and unleash a shot from 20 yards.

Butler did well to save the effort, but he could only push it to Cheek, who made no mistake.

Concord almost had one back straight away after the interval when a throughball split the defence and although Collins’ shot beat Carl Pentney, it came back off the post.

Pentney had to make a good save to keep out Gary Ogilve’s effort, but he was powerless to stop the home side from getting one back when a Collins cross presented Stokes with a chance he couldn’t really miss.

Concord had their tails up and Mark Haines had to make a great challenge on Ogilve as he shaped to shoot, while Chelmsford were struggling to keep the ball.

Although Concord were in the ascendancy, they were finding the Chelmsford defence to be resilient, as illustrated when Smith and Long blocked efforts from Stokes and Mason Spence.

And from a corner they came even closer as Steve King’s header was cleared off the line by sub Nicky Nicolau.

Chelmsford had barely threatened in the second half but three minutes from the end it was game over.

Nicolau took a short free-kick to Tom Davis, collected the return ball and crossed for Edmans who stuck one of his long legs out to divert the ball home.

There was still time for James White to miss a great chance for the home side, but Chelmsford cared not as they held on for a third away win of the season.

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