CLARETS: Callander double earns festive win

Chelmsford Weekly News: CLARETS: Callander double earns festive win CLARETS: Callander double earns festive win

A FIRST-HALF brace by Luke Callander sealed an impressive victory for Chelmsford over Bishop’s Stortford in the Conference South on Boxing Day.

The 2-1 victory means the Clarets have now not lost in five league matches and Mark Hawkes' men now sit in 15th place in the table, six points clear of the relegation zone.

In a first half full of chances for both sides at the Melbourne Stadium, the opening goal came after 14 minutes when Christian Smith played an outstanding cross-field ball to Joe Ward on the right who cut inside Stortford’s Ashley Miller with exquisite trickery and teed up Callander who guided his shot into the far corner from 18-yards.

The second goal came ten minutes later when Aaron Greene cut-inside and had a pass deflected into the path of Callander.

The forward needed no second invitation as he struck the ball on the half-volley low into the corner for his third goal for the Clarets after following Hawkes to the club from Heybridge Swifts.

He was denied a hat-trick as Ward once again cut inside to tee up the front-man who had his dipping shot tipped over the bar.

Mark Hughes then fired wide with his left foot from the resultant corner kick as Stortford looked rattled.

The second-half took a little longer to get going with both sides not really posing a threat early on. Cliff Akurang glanced a header wide for the visitors with Callander coming close up the other end.

Nicky Symons blazed over from 30-yards after Christian Smith’s headed clearance fell kindly at his feet.

Smith then clipped a delightful pass into Kieron St Aimie who was unmarked 12-yards from goal, although his heavy touched allowed custodian Joe Wright to collect the ball.

Matthew Lock then tried his luck from 40-yards and Wright had to be on hand to tip the effort on the half-volley around the post.

The visitors pulled one back on 78-mnutes when a terrific Harry Baker cross set up Liam Enver-Marum who bundled the ball home to rattle the nerves of the Claret faithful.

Stortford’s Matt Johnson then struck from distance although his stinging effort was held well by Carl Pentney.

Nicolau then headed a shot off the line in the dying embers of the game to give Chelmsford City a deserved Boxing Day win.

Chelmsford next match is away at Concord Rangers tomorrow.

CLARETS TEAM: Pentney, Long, Redwood, Lock, McAuley, Smith, Ward (Nicolau, 80), Hughes (c), Callander (Amass, 75), St Aimie, Greene (Graham, 84).

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