Billericay Town 0-1 Chelmsford City
A LATE winner from Jamie Slabber was enough to give Chelmsford all three points against bitter rivals Billericay.
The 85th minute goal was the only thing which separated the sides and topped a dominant second half from the visitors on a boggy New Lodge pitch in front of 1,211 fans at the Blue Square South match.
Billericay started the highly anticipated derby well with Jay May coming very close in the 25th minute to scoring when he leapt up to meet Glenn Poole's left wing cross, only to see his header dip onto the crossbar.
Towards the end of the half Chelmsford started making chances with Max Cornhill sending a header just wide of the post in the 41st minute following Anthony Cook's free kick.
Slabber came agonisingly close to scoring on the stroke of half time, but he could not reach the end of Richard Brindley's cross at the end of a Chelmsford counter attack.
Sam Beasant pulled off a superb save in the 56th minute when Cook's cross found Simmonds, forcing the goalkeeper to sprint out and fling his body towards the ball managing to get a foot to it.
Justin Miller nearly broke the deadlock in the 68th minute when his header was cleared off the line by Dave Collis.
Then with five minutes left Chelmsford grabbed the winner when Simmonds flicked on a header as the ball was crossed in from the left.
FA Cup hero Slabber managed to get a touch sending the ball past Beasant and the hundreds of visiting supporters crazy.
Collis' free kick in the final minute of injury time forced a save from Searle, but it was to late for the hosts.
City boss Glenn Pennyfather said he thought his team deserved to win.
Mr Pennyfather said: "We know how Billericay use set plays and throw their big men up at every opportunity. But we stood firm and dealt with that today.
"I felt we dominated the majority of the second half and had a couple of chances we should have buried."
CHELMSFORD LINE-UP: Searle, Brindley, Bender (Palmer, 90), Miller, Haines, Clark (c), Cook, Corcoran (Vassell, 60), Slabber, Cornhill, Simmonds.
Subs not used: Bridges, Hamilton, Welsh.
Man-of-the-Match: Thomas Bender.