Boro late show thwarts Chelmsford

FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round Chelmsford City 1 Stevenage Borough 2 James Ronayne at Melbourne Park AN INJURY-time goal from Peter Vincenti helped Boro avoid a replay as they came from behind to see off the challenge of Chelmsford City. A below-par fi

FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round

Chelmsford City 1

Stevenage Borough 2

James Ronayne at Melbourne Park

AN INJURY-time goal from Peter Vincenti helped Boro avoid a replay as they came from behind to see off the challenge of Chelmsford City.

A below-par first half performance had seen Boro go into the interval behind to Rob Edmans' superbly taken goal but Graham Westley's side came out after the break with a renewed vigour and turned in a commanding performance to overturn the deficit.

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Charlie Griffin got Boro back on level terms with a superb header and Vincenti, who'd been on the pitch less than a minute, nicked the winner late in injury time.

Westley made several changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Wrexham on Tuesday, with Michael Brough, Darren Murphy missing out altogether and Chris Beardsley dropping to the bench. In came Eddie Odhiambo, Andy Drury and Jon Ashton while David Bridges made a welcome return to the Boro matchday squad taking up a place on the bench, his first involvement in a competitive match since March following injury.

Lining up for the Clarets was former Boro midfielder John Martin with other ex-Boro men Ollie Berquez and Danny Hockton named on the hosts' bench.

The first real action of the game saw Chris Day called into action to deny Martin's free kick, with the big Boro 'keeper easily holding his former team mate's effort.

A late challenge by Ashton on Ricky Holmes saw the former Grays man find his name in referee Steve Creighton's notebook.

A long ball over the top saw Antonio Murray's pace put pressure on Boro skipper Mark Roberts but he did excellently to fend off the challenge of the former Histon striker and win a free kick.

A quick corner routine between Andy Drury and Ronnie Henry nearly came off for Boro 15 minutes into the game. Drury took the kick to Henry who returned the ball to his colleague just inside the area, but Drury's effort was tame and easily held by Clarets' goalkeeper Ashley Harrison down low at his near post.

A great cross from Henry found Roberts of all people in the box and only a great last ditch tackle denied the defender a clear shot on target for a Boro corner.

The Clarets dealt with Drury's first corner at the expense of another but when the second was only half cleared Ashton lashed in a shot from 20 yards out that cleared Harrison's bar.

The home side took the lead 26 minutes in through Edmans as the Boro defence were caught napping. A long ball forward was misjudged by Ashton, and with Roberts playing him on, Edmans kept his composure to round Day and roll the ball into the empty net.

Boro nearly handed Chelmsford a second when Henry played in a short back pass but Day did excellently to clear with Murray bearing down on him.

Scott Laird, who picked up a first half booking for dissent, floated in a cross for Odhiambo but the midfielder's header flew harmlessly over the bar.

Boro came within inches of drawing level and it was from another quick corner. Drury swung the ball over early and Griffin made good contact with his head but the ball came back off the post before being bundled behind by Harrison.

Chelmsford came out after the break and nearly doubled their tally with just 40 seconds on the clock. Murray got free in behind the Boro defence and his snap shot was excellently repelled by Day. It was Day's last real action of the contest such was Boro's domination in the second 45 minutes.

Good play on the left by Odhiambo and Laird saw the Boro left back slip the ball into Yemi Odubade just inside the Chelmsford box but his low ball across the face of the goal was cleared behind by Mark Haines.

Boro were beginning to get some joy down the left. A clever ball from Joel Byrom was picked up by Odubade who spun his man and fired the ball into the middle but there were no Boro players in the middle to turn the ball home.

Boro were enjoying serious pressure now and it came as no surprise when they drew level in the 63rd minute. Odubade chased a long Laird pass into the corner. He out-muscled Haines, who went down in a heap, passed the ball back to Laird who delivered a pin-point cross to the far post for Griffin to arrow a header into the opposite corner of the net.

The home side were reduced to 10 men when Simon Glover was given his marching orders for a horrific two-footed lunge on Griffin.

Chelmsford boss Glenn Pennyfather reshuffled his pack following Glover's dismissal bringing on Berquez for Murray.

Boro seized the upper hand following the dismissal and Byrom found Odubade in space but the striker's effort was blocked behind for a corner.

A neat passing move from Boro teed Odhiambo up 20 yards from goal but his shot was wastefully high and wide.

Boro should have grabbed a second when Griffin wasted a glorious chance.

Sub Mitchell Cole sped away down the left and his cross took out goalkeeper Harrison and left Griffin with an empty net to put the ball in to but the striker, who was off balance, failed to find the target.

Bridges made his long-awaited comeback with two minutes to go replacing Byrom in the centre of the park.

Boro won it in the second minute of injury time with substitute Vincenti, who'd only been on the pitch a matter of 60 seconds, bundled the ball home. A good pass from Henry found Odubade down the left and his low pass into the six-yard area was stabbed home by Vincenti to book Boro's place in the next round.

It was far from Boro at their best but just about what they deserved after a dominant second half performance.

Chelmsford City: Harrison; Clark, Haines, Ward , Haswell; Cook, Martin, Glover, Holmes (Lock 90), Edmans (Modeste 81), Murray (Berquez 71).

Subs: R Batchford, Hockton, Scarlett, L Batchford.

Boro: Day 7*; Henry 6, Ashton 6 (Cole 78), Roberts 6, Laird 7; Drury 6, Byrom 6 (Bridges 88), Bostwick 6, Odhiambo 6; Griffin 7 (Vincenti 90+1), Odubade 7.

Subs: Bayes, Albrighton, Long, Beardsley.

Referee: Steve Creighton (Berkshire)

Att: 1762.