HAKEEM Araba’s 64th-minute strike clinched victory for strugglers Bromley at Hayes Lane and ended Chelmsford City’s run of almost an entire calendar year without a regular away league loss, but Clarets manager Glenn Pennyfather affirmed: “Now we have to move on.”
Tuesday 8th March 2011 was the last time City tasted defeat on their travels - at Hampton & Richmond Borough - smashing a club record in the process.
But, with bigger priorities on his mind, Pennyfather wants his team to learn from the game and use it to generate new momentum heading towards the end of the season.
“There have been some fantastic performances during our run, so to have lost it in this manner was disappointing,” he explained.
“Normally teams have made it hard for us to beat them away but we’ve come through it. They’ve got six or seven new players and the pitch levelled the game out between the two sides.
Chelmsford dropped two places to fourth in the Blue Square Bet South table, and Glenn continued: “You can’t always play football to win games and on this pitch it was impossible to pass or run with the ball. They got the ball forward early which we should have dealt with. You’ve got to roll your sleeves up sometimes.”
Mark Haines replaced the injured Justin Miller in the centre of defence for City, while Alex Osborn came in for Craig Parker in midfield.
The early play went to the hosts as Anthony Thomas tried his luck from distance and saw his effort sail wide, while Araba first announced himself with a strike off-target, but he was offside anyway.
A delivery later on by the Clarets’ Kezie Ibe found the head of Sam Corcoran, who brought a decent save out of goalkeeper Joe Welch and an in-swinging Aiden Palmer corner nearly caught Bromley by surprise.
City’s own custodian, Stuart Searle, was then called into action on a couple of occasions, catching one free kick then making a supreme intervention to deny Araba after the Clarets lost possession.
It had been an even game at that point midway through the period and Max Cornhill shot from long range for the Clarets while Danny Waldren and Palmer threatened out wide for their respective teams.
Ricky Modeste also shot over from 20 yards for the visitors while Ibe had a penalty appeal turned down before half time.
After the interval Chelmsford nearly profited from a Tutu Henriques own goal but wide man Osborn, as well as Corcoran, both had to leave the proceedings early with injuries.
A right wing centre from Modeste almost went in beyond Welch but Bromley broke the deadlock when leading scorer Araba got on the end of a long through ball to stick out his toe and poke past Searle.
Further penalty claims were waved away as Modeste was brought down and Ibe scuffed his shot in the aftermath on 68 minutes.
Kenny Clark had to make a brilliant tackle to deny substitute Michael Malcolm and City were finding it tough to break down the home defence themselves. Malcolm had a chance to clinch the game for Bromley while Cornhill’s rocket was blocked, meaning the Clarets suffered defeat.
Glenn summarised: “The pitch was dreadful so you could play no football on it as it was so bobbly but we were making wrong decisions during the game and you’ve got to work hard against the player you’re up against. Poor defending, and poor marking, was what cost us in the end. Now we have to move on.”