CHELMSFORD City conceded a late equaliser for the second successive game against Braintree Town to draw 2-2 on New Year’s Day.

The Clarets had shipped a last-gasp goal in their last match of 2017 against the Irons, to draw 2-2 at Cressing Road.

And the same was to happen at Melbourne Park on Monday, with Rod Stringer’s side unable to hold onto a lead into the closing stages of the National League South encounter.

Stringer made two changes to the team that drew the previous week, bringing in Craig Braham-Barrett and Shaun Batt.

And Chelmsford were the better team in the first throes of the encounter.

Chris Dickson forced a neat save out of Nathan McDonald in the away goal, with Sam Beasant denying Reece Grant up the other end.

Kudus Oyenuga, a scorer from the penalty spot in the reverse fixture, was proving difficult to handle in forward areas although he should have done better having blazed over when well placed.

The striker felt he had been denied a clear penalty after he was felled by Christian Frimpong but the referee waved away the claims.

And Braintree then took the lead in controversial fashion.

A free-kick was fed into the path of Patrick Roberts, who the hosts felt was offside, and he stroked into the net to the home fans frustration.

But it didn’t take long for Chelmsford to hit back.

Handball in the area meant a spot kick was awarded and Oyenuga was to make no mistake on the stroke of half-time, burying his strike into the bottom right-hand corner.

The two teams exchanged chances in the first 15 minutes of the second period but the game was to be turned on its head by a moment of magic.

Batt picked up the ball and sent a curling strike beyond the fingertips of McDonald to put Chelmsford ahead.

Stringer’s men piled on the pressure for a third goal in a bid to avoid a repeat of what happened on Boxing Day.

But Braintree fought back once again. Six minutes from time, a lightning counter-attack brought parity with the defence culpable for the leveller.

Beasant misjudged a pass from Jonathan Muleba and Marcel Barrington was able to send an easy cross into the path of Roman Michael-Percil who finished into an empty goal.

Chelmsford City: Beasant, Braham-Barrett, Graham, Omozusi, Spillane, Smith, Davies, Church, Oyenuga, Dickson, Batt (Giles 69’)