Late Barnard penalty beats Welling

Lee Barnard’s 82nd minute penalty was all that separated the two sides as Chelmsford City continued their winning start to the Vanarama National League South.

Clarets boss Rod Stringer chose to name an unchanged team to the one that beat Gloucester City on the opening day of the season, leaving Kane Haysman, Aaron Greene and Paul Rodgers outside of the squad for a second consecutive match.

Welling came close on fourteen minutes as Christian Nanetti’s through-ball sent Bradley Goldberg through but, after initially poking past Beasant, he could not tap it over the line and knocked it away from the goal instead.

Chris Bush became the first player to enter the book as he controversially received a yellow card on 18 minutes. The defender appeared to be pushed as he went up for a header, his arm hit the ball and the referee blew his whistle. After a minute of decision-making, whistler Jack Packman eventually gave a free-kick rather than a penalty, but the set-piece was drilled low into the wall and cleared away.

Chelmsford’s earliest clear-cut chance came as Mike West’s pass inside to Kudus Oyenuga was touched down to Chris Dickson, but the City striker struck well over from close range.

West continued to prove the likely creator of a goal. His teasing ball from the right wing drew plenty of runs but neither could connect and the winger’s quick feet almost sent Dickson through-on-goal, but the striker was marginally offside.

The Clarets continued to compete in a feisty affair at Park View Road and the visitors came close to netting the opener on the stroke of half-time as Bush tried to poke the ball past Dillon Barnes from West’s cross, however the defender was millimetres away from connecting.

As time ran on it looked just a single goal would separate the two sides and City looked the brightest of the two teams.

Dickson came close with a snapshot from close range, but Jack Parkinson’s last-ditch challenge ended the chance, while Lee Barnard came close after coming on as his long distance shot stung Barnes’ gloves.

Bradley Goldberg’s trickery on the edge caused havoc in the City defence, but Craig Braham-Barrett remained calm and smacked the ball to safety.

But City took the lead on controversial matters as Jonny Giles won a corner on the nearside but the hosts called for offside. From the corner it was headed out and a dangerous foul on Barnard from substitute Alfie Pavey left the referee no option but to point to the spot.

Barnard then stepped up and made no mistake by placing his spot-kick beyond Barnes to the right of the goal with eight minutes remaining.

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