Beavers drink to point snatched at Clarets
Brendan Kiernan celebrated his birthday this week by getting an injury time equaliser against Chelmsford City, which the Beavers more than deserved.
Hampton continued their unbeaten away record with a point at the wet Melbourne Park, against a Chelmsford team that had to soak up plenty of second half pressure from a positive Beavers side, before cracking with seconds to go.
The Beavers got off to a flying start as they took the lead on the 10th minute.
Left back Danny Blanchett tried to play a pass back to his keeper Ross Fitzsimons, but the attempt was way short of pace and with the alert Nicke Kabamba close by, this gifted the ball to the forward.
Nicke took the ball to the edge of the box, and on seeing Fitzsimons steaming out to try and deny him, clipped a cool shot under the keeper and into the net; a little against the run of play perhaps but well taken all the same.
Chelmsford looked stunned at this abrupt turn of events but 5 minutes later, they nearly got the equaliser as Willmott's cross was deflected against the post, the onrushing Mullings wasn't quite able to react quickly enough to poke it home.
However, in the 24th minute, the hosts did level the scores. A corner from the far side from Willmott was met by Mullings; his downwards header squirmed under the body of keeper Aaron Howe, and rolled into the net.
Both teams were making light of the wet conditions to play decent football but 5 minutes before the break, Aaron Howe must've wished he could have been anywhere else but a wet Melbourne Park.
There looked to be little danger as Leon Solomon played a simple ball back but in attempting the clearance, Aaron completely messed his kick, it flying straight to Billy Bricknell some 30 yards from goal. The striker kept his nerve and curled the ball round Howe and into the net from just outside the box, to give the Clarets a half time lead which they could hardly say they'd truly earned.
The Clarets had the first chance after the restart as Howe had to parry a Willmott free kick, but after from here on, the Beavers slowly built up the pressure.
This pressure wasn't being converted into too many chances though; Leon Solomon hit one wide on 50 minutes was about as close as the Beavers got as Chelmsford were finding it hard to get near the Hampton box.
Added time saw the Beavers pretty much laying siege to the Chelmsford area. Brendan Kiernan's attempt in the first minute was pushed wide as the visitors won a series of corners which were finally cleared with just about 2 minutes of time to go.
A long clearance from the Hampton defence towards the Clarets area was headed down into the path of Kiernan; with a neat touch, he brought the ball down onto his right foot and he finished with some aplomb from about 12 yards to leave Fitzsimons diving helplessly to his left.
Following the final whistle, Dowse was full of praise for the team.
The second half was all about the players and you can see what it meant by the way they celebrated the second goal! I didn't have to say much in the dressing room at half time, they did it themselves. Sometimes I do have to have a go but not this time. It was their self belief that won them that equaliser, they really didn't want to lose and they made sure they didn't!"