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SKRILL SOUTH: Concord Rangers 1, Chelmsford City 3
CHELMSFORD held off a Concord fightback to take the bragging rights in the big Essex derby on Canvey Island tonight.
Former Heybridge Swifts duo Luke Callender and Michael Cheek gave the Clarets a 2-0 half-time lead and Rob Edmans added a late third after Tony Stokes had pulled one back for the hosts.
Chelmsford were rewarded for their early dominance with a seventh minute opener. Home keeper Jamie Butler did well to turn Tom Davis' snapshot around the post and when Concord failed to deal with the resulting corner, Luke Callender swept the ball high into the net.
Concord grew into the game and Sam Higgins won and curled a free-kick narrowly wide before the Clarets doubled their lead two minutes before the break.
Left-back Leon Redwood hit a stinging shot from well outside the box and when Butler could only claw it away from the top corner, sub Michael Cheek gobbled up the rebound.
Cheek had replaced the injured Callender on 32 minutes and was an able replacement for his former Heybridge Swifts team-mate.
It was almost the perfect start for Concord after the break as Sam Collins went clean through on goal but his low effort hit the post and was cleared from danger.
But they didn't have to wait long for a breakthrough and James White hung up a delicious cross from the left and skipper Tony Stokes ghosted in to power a header into the roof of the net.
And with four minutes to go, only a header off the line from Chelmsford sub Nicky Nicolau kept out Steve King's goal-bound header.
And they were made to pay a cruel price at the death as Edmans arrived at the back post to use one of his long legs to steer the ball high into the net.
Concord: Butler, Spence, Glozier, Cowley (Cawley 75), King, Goodacre, Ogilvie (Harris 65), White, Higgins, Collins, Stokes (c).
Chelmsford: Pentney, Long, Redwood, Lock, Haines, Smith, St Aimie (Nicolau 65), Hughes (c), Callender (Cheek 32), Edmans, Davis.