Five things we can take from Chelmsford’s 1-1 draw at Woking

Woking came from behind to draw 1-1 as the Clarets let their lead slip but there was plenty to take from the entertaining fixture.

Chelmsford City led through Chris Whelpdale’s first half strike but debutant Jomar Loza levelled for the Cards as City dropped points from a winning position for the second time this season.

Fast attacking football works

For a number of years I’ve watched City played direct football despite other options being available. With target players such as Robbie Edmans and Shamir Mullings, the team has naturally drifted towards utilising their height. However, Rod Stringer has opted for a different style of football this term.

The arrival of Jordan Chiedozie, Rhys Murphy and Whelpdale provides City with a speedy outlet perfectly suited to attacking football. The all three naturally gifted with pace, Tom Wraight also adds an additional speedy element to the side.

This fast attacking nature was proved against Woking. On numerous occasions Chiedozie and Murphy broke the offside trap to trouble Craig Ross but were unable to capitalise on their chances.

Confidence is a key factor

As soon as City conceded midway through the second half, the Cards immediately had a few chances to take the lead. This could be as a result of a momentum swing, but the players’ heads noticeably dropped as they were forced back to square one.

The Clarets eventually got back into the game following a shaky few minutes, proving that we do have the confidence to kick on and search for another goal. However, we need to avoid those small periods of low confidence happening as an additional goal for the opposition can swing momentum in such a way that it could decide the outcome of the game – as proven in last week’s shock defeat to St Albans City.

City’s away support remains strong

An anomaly from Non League tradition is segregating supporters. It’s often the case that supporters are able to swap ends at half-time, mix with opposition supporters in the clubhouse and generally enjoy the game alongside each other.

However, the Chelmsford City supporters were segregated at Woking. Having failed to win at home since a 1-0 victory over Bath City at the end of August, it would be fair to say that City fans have lost some confidence when playing at home. However,  the Clarets are proving much more successful on the road – tasting defeat just once all season.

This provided a welcomed confidence boost for City supporters and, despite their recent form, the Clarets faithful turned out in their numbers (declared at 111) to support the team. Singing throughout both halves and often drowning out the home support, they acted as the 12th man to keep spirits high in Surrey.

Refereeing standards remain poor

With the scores level at 1-1, City were controversially denied a goal scoring opportunity as a result of a poor refereeing decision. Wraight looked to send Murphy down the right wing and, having timed his run perfectly, the linesman raised his flag for offside – despite being just five yards away from Murphy and the Cards defenders.

Had that decision been correctly awarded, Murphy would have most likely run through-on-goal and had a very good chance to restore City’s lead. Unfortunately though, a blatant error denied Chelmsford that chance.

A well-earned point

With the chances falling to Woking late on in the game, it’s fair to say that Chelmsford could have dropped points. The hosts had a number of opportunities to snatch a late winner but City held on to take a fair share of the spoils.

The point means that despite lying in 14th, we are just six points off the play-offs as a result of a congested mid-upper reaches of the league standings. With a (fairly) straight-forward November coming up for the Clarets, if they can pick up maximum points sooner rather than later then we could soon be back in the play-offs and potentially looking further up the table. This could put us in excellent stead ahead of a difficult December in which we take on Gloucester City, East Thurrock United, Bath City and Hemel Hempstead – as well as a small matter of the double header with Essex rivals Billericay Town.

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