Carl Tremarco strike dumps Chelmsford City out of FA Cup

CHELMSFORD City’s FA Cup adventure came to an end at Moss Rose last night as they were beaten 1-0 by League Two side Macclesfield Town.

Carl Tremarco’s 26th-minute strike was the difference between the teams as Glenn Pennyfather’s men had their dreams of a third-round tie at home to struggling Premier League side Bolton Wanderers ended.

The visitors’ best opportunities fell to Cliff Akurang but he shot over in the first half before aiming a tame second-half header at Jose Veiga.

The hosts had the better chances throughout the game but were hanging on at the end as Chelmsford launched a couple of high balls into the box.

The Clarets had a couple of early scares within the first five minutes of the game.

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Jon Bateson, whose long-throws caused havoc in the first encounter between the teams, launched in another missile that Kenny Clark was forced to head over his own bar.

From the resultant corner, Silkmen skipper Nat Brown saw a near-post shot cleared off the line by Aiden Palmer, before defender Shaun Brisley headed over from another delivery from the right.

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Chelmsford hit back with a chance of their own on eight minutes, striker Akurang clearing the bar, 15 yards out, after controlling Ricky Modeste’s cross from the right.

After a nervy start, the visitors began to get into the game and Bury St Edmunds-based Craig Parker saw a goalbound shot diverted clear of danger by Brown with goalkeeper Veiga diving the wrong way.

The lively Modeste was then left in a heap as a result of a meaty tackle by Tremarco but referee Darren Drysdale chose to play on, much to the displeasure of the Clarets’ bench.

The hosts were struggling to gain a foothold in the game after a bright start, so much so that a few boos began to ring out among the home faithful as Tremarco just managed to cut out a dangerous right-wing move involving Justin Miller and Modeste.

But just as the visitors were beginning to look comfortable, Tremarco gave the home side the lead although goalkeeper Stuart Searle could have done better to keep the shot out.

On a quick break, 26 minutes in, Colin Daniel found acres of room in the centre of the field and fed a slide rule ball to the full-back who was scampering down the left.

From there, Tremarco found the bottom right corner of the net from 16 yards – the ball slipping through Searle’s grasp.

Chelmsford then nearly handed the League Two side a second on 38 minutes when George Donnelly picked up on a loose back pass by Max Cornhill but this time Searle saved easily at chest height.

The Clarets’ last chance of an exciting half came when Sam Corcoran drifted a free kick high over Veiga’s crossbar.

The second half began with Macclesfield on the front foot and, from a Matt Hamshaw delivery, Tony Diagne’s shot from inside the penalty box was diverted wide.

Hamshaw’s crosses had caused problems all night and Donnelly was next to go close from one of them – his close range nudge from a corner being diverted away by Miller.

The visitors were far from out of the game, however, and had Akurang got a better head on a near-post header after 56 minutes, he may have troubled Veiga low down to the goalkeeper’s left-hand side.

Soon after Dave Rainford and Greg Morgan had replaced Modeste and Akurang respectively, three sides of the Moss Rose crowd thought Donnelly had increased the Silkmen’s lead but after a powerful run, his volley hit the side-netting from 18 yards.

Brown picked up the first caution of the night for holding back the rampaging Ibe but, as the part-timers tired, Corcoran’s free-kick failed to beat the first man.

Despite Rainford’s grass-cutter on 75 minutes representing a rare foray on the home goal.

Before the end Gary Simpson’s men were keen to waste time in the corners, such was their fragile confidence in front of a paltry home support of just 1,347.

As for the visiting fans, despite a low-key second half from their team, the 260 that made the long trip north never stopped singing and backing their troops all night.

It was to no avail, though, as the Clarets’ plucky cup run fizzled out in round two on a freezing night.

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