Frankie’s red proves a real game changer in Chelmsford

Frankie Raymond
Frankie Raymond

A 60th minute red card for Frankie Raymond proved a huge factor as Eastbourne Borough suffered a narrow defeat in Chelmsford.

Volunteers at the Essex club spent all morning and afternoon clearing the snow-burdened pitch, and it was their side that garnered the the lion’s share of the opportunities in the first-half.

Clarets striker Michael Bakare had a great chance to give his team the early lead as he found himself one-on-one with the Sports keeper Danny Potter, who did well to block the charge.

Borough had more to worry about at the 23rd minute as Charlie Gorman hobbled off the pitch injured and had to be replaced by Elliott Charles.

With both sides struggling to get many clear chances on the frosty pitch, the Sports had a great chance to get a goal just before the break as a low cross from Charles across the face of goal was just out of reach from the on-rushing Borough players.

When they resumed, it was the visitors that had the greater run of play, with the best chance coming from Charles once again, as a decent strike from just outside the box which was well stopped by keeper Stuart Searle.

However, the momentum didn’t last long for Borough as on the hour mark, Frankie Raymond was harshly shown a red card by referee Jake Hillier for a sweeping tackle on Jack Ainsley, to the anger of the visiting players and staff.

10-men Borough struggled to see much of the ball after that and on the 74th minute it was Clarets substitute Jamie Slabber who finally broke the deadlock - he controlled the ball well with his chest and blasted it past Potter to give his side the lead.

The Sports had their best chance to equalise 10 minutes later, as the ball found itself being knocked around the Chelmsford box off a Borough corner-kick before being scooped up by Searle just off the line.

It was an entertaining match from start to finish, despite the conditions both teams gave it their all.

After coming off the back of a strong home win against Hayes & Yeading last week, Widdrington’s men were looking to create a bigger gap between themselves and the drop zone, but now they findthemselves only one pointsclear of 20th-placed Staines Town.