Stringer Left Frustrated After Last-Gasp Defeat

Chelmsford City boss Rod Stringer was left frustrated after conceding a late winner to Chippenham Town on Saturday.

Stringer told the club`s press office Matt Lee: “Obviously I’m disappointed. You cannot be happy when you get a defeat. But I felt we played really well for the opening 25 minutes.

“I did not slaughter them at half-time, I said ‘come on, it’s going to be tough going uphill’ but we got ourselves back in the game and then a minute after scoring they go up the other end and score.

“To be fair they did not play any football. All they did was smashed it and it’s effective over here. The pitch is probably about two-and-a-half inches high, it’s very narrow, it’s got a big hill, it’s not what we want to play on, but you have to give credit to Chippenham because they came out and had a go.”

The Clarets emerged from the half-time interval looking to put the first half behind them. Chris Dickson’s saved penalty on 57 minutes was bundled over the line by Michael Spillane before Dickson converted a long-range lob to equalise with 2 minutes left.

But the Clarets conceded a 90th minute corner as Will Richards rose highest to stab the ball home in a crowded box, sending the Clarets back to Essex empty handed.

“I’m obviously disappointed. Pleased to have come back but to have thrown it away again was very cruel.” Stringer said. “This is a tough place to come and I can’t fault any of the lads. Unfortunately, we have had a few chances to score but not taken them. We have to go again and that is football. We’re not unbeatable,” he said. “Everybody knows today was a tough game, but we have plenty of football still to play.”

The Clarets chief made two changes to the team that beat Dartford last season as Lee Barnard was replaced by Chris Dickson, while Chris Assombalonga was given a first start as Kudus Oyenuga missed out through suspension.

“I thought Chris did well.” Stringer continued. “He gave us some more strength and pace up-front. He did great for the penalty, but it is so silly how we conceded that last goal.

“Chris did well on his debut.”

Chelmsford now look forward to a midweek BBC Essex Senior Cup match at AFC Hornchurch before making the long trip north to Gateshead in the Emirates FA Cup.

With Scott Davies and Kudus Oyenuga suspended, while Anthony Church, Lee Barnard and Jonny Giles are all injured, Stringer faces a dilemma as to who he selects for the upcoming matches.

“We’ll have to do what we do but we have Hornchurch on Tuesday and we’ll go again from there.” he said. “We’ve got a big game against Gateshead on Saturday so we will have to rotate the squad.

“I do not think Lee will feature on Tuesday, he’s carrying a neck injury at the minute. Tom Hitchcock will play on Tuesday, so we’ll see what he can bring, give some minutes to the boys and then we’ll pick the team for Saturday from that”.

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