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Rose Strike Not Enough

3 November 2012

U's exit FA Cup after Essex defeat.

The U's are out of the FA Cup at the First Round stage on a day to forget in the Essex derby against Chelmsford City.

However, the dangerous Simmonds then turned provider, setting up Slabber for City's third.

Simmonds got the first two goals for the hosts, before Rose gave the U's a lifeline.

City ended up running out 3-1 winners at Melbourne Park, with Michael Rose getting the U's only goal.

The home side grabbed the goals at crucial times in the game and the U's were not able to get their passing game into full flow against their non-league opponents.
A capacity crowd welcomed the players from both sides onto the pitch, with the U’s faithful providing a third of the 3,000 in attendance.

The early stages saw both teams trying to get men forward as often as possible but it took the U’s eight minutes to get a sight at goal.

A long clearance was allowed to bounce and Jabo Ibehre was too strong for the defender but his header didn’t quite have the power to clear the home keeper.

The powerful forward then tried an overhead kick but this time couldn’t trouble Searle.

On eleven minutes, Anthony Wordsworth tried his luck from distance but his effort flew over the bar.

The U’s were on the attack again on fifteen but Searle beat Wordsworth to a Henderson header and a last ditch tackle denied Ibehre the chance to pull the trigger.

At the other end, Mark Cousins had to be sharp at his near post when he saved low from a header on eighteen minutes.

Four minutes later, the Clarets did beat Cousins to gain the lead, with Donovan Simmonds scoring.

Jamie Slabber flicked on a long clearance and Simmonds lobbed Cousins with a great strike from outside the box.

The goal understandably lifted the home side and they looked more comfortable in possession than previously.

It was another long range effort that could have extended the lead, but for Cousins intervention. The ball rebounded off the U’s keeper’s hands behind him but he was quick to pounce and grasp it.

The half time whistle went to big cheers from the home crowd and the U’s went into the changing rooms knowing they had to produce more incisive football if they were to get back in the tie.

The second half started with the U’s finding it hard to get behind a Chelmsford defence but Anthony Wordsworth missed a great opportunity to level.

A Sanchez Watt free kick found the U’s skipper in space but no contact was made with just the keeper to beat.

Just after the hour mark, the U’s were two behind, when Simmonds scored his second with a header from a long clearance out of the home defence, that fell between Okuonghae and Cousins.

A double substitution followed, with Morrison and Massey replacing Henderson and Eastmond and the U’s got a goal back on seventy minutes.

Marcus Bean was fouled on the edge and Michael Rose curled his free kick in to reduce the arrears.

Three minutes later, Morrison almost got a chance but the keeper managed to beast him to the ball as a Wordsworth cross caused problems.

On eighty one minutes, Okuonghae volleyed narrowly over from a Sears corner and then Ibehre was denied by the legs of Searle.

The game was made safe with seconds remaining, when Simmonds turned provider, setting up Slabber to make it 3-1.

After injury time, the referee blew the final whistle and the U’s exited the FA Cup at the first hurdle.

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