Chelmsford 2 Ipswich 2

East Men’s League Premier A CHELMSFORD were left to reflect on a wasted opportunity to move away from the relegation zone on Saturday when a controversial late penalty gave Ipswich a share of the spoils.

Chelmsford started the brighter of the two sides, and a deep press set by the Ipswich forwards meant that Chelmsford enjoyed the majority of possession and passed the ball around the defence with ease.

As the half wore on more chances were being created at each end and George Mann and Marc Pike both saw snap shots go agonisingly past the back post. The hosts also saw a number of penalty corners go begging and were punished by Ipswich when another break left Jason Brocklehurst to tap in at the far post and despite Jason Evans getting a stick to the first-time shot, the ball crept over the line inches inside the post.

The pattern of the second half was similar to the first with Chelmsford still shading possession, but starting to look more dangerous going forward. Their hopes of getting back into the game were dealt a blow when Ryan Ibbotson was temporarily suspended for an over-enthusiastic tackle, but the Chelmsford defence stood firm and once back to their full complement, finally forcing an equaliser after Pike’s shot from the top of the D squirmed under the keeper and evaded the defender on the line for his second goal of the season.

With five minutes remaining league debutant Victor Condemine danced passed several Ipswich defenders and raised a cross to the far post where skipper Adam Hunter was on hand to volley home an unstoppable shot from half a yard.

Having come from a goal down, Chelmsford were looking good to record their first win in four games. However, defensive naivety gifted the ball to Ipswich’s Ben Underwood and as Evans rushed from his goal to close him down, was adjudged to have illegally prevented a clear goalscoring opportunity and a penalty stroke was awarded and Underwood made no mistake from the spot to pull the scores level.

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