Rocks happy to come home from Chelmsford with point

New Rocks striker Chinedu McKenzie puts Chelmsford under pressure / Picture by Tommy McMillan
New Rocks striker Chinedu McKenzie puts Chelmsford under pressure / Picture by Tommy McMillan

The Rocks battled hard and took a well-earned point on a warm late summer afternoon away to leaders Chelmsford City.

The Clarets were in fine form leading up to this match, with Rocks on a two-game losing run and their high-scoring start to the season having come to an end.

It was sunny at an impressive Melbourne Park where Jimmy Muitt was on the bench in a welcome return from an ankle injury, with Doug Tuck. New loan striker Chinedu McKenzie - recruited on Thursday from Maidenhead - got a start.

Good play down the right saw Ben Swallow make headway but his cross had rolled over the line before he hit it, with Joe Lea working hard in the build up.

Daniel Green crossed low into the box but Sami El-Abd put it out for a corner. Michael West took the corner looking for Chris Dickson at the near post but it went out for a goal kick.

Green picked out Lee Barnard for the hosts but he headed it over the bar. Chad Field nodded out another high cross from Green on nine minutes before James Crane swung a ball in at the other end but the keeper gathered it.

Swallow cut the ball into the area and Lea rushed in and went to ground but claims for a penalty were ignored. Another Green cross from the right had to be headed out by Calvin Davies.

Michael Spillane hit a low attempt at goal but El-Abd deflected it away. Spillane had to be stretchered off after an injury on 17 minutes. Ashley Miller came on.

Dickson got on the end of a cross by West and his deflected header won another corner, from which Mark Haines nodded over. A Swallow free-kick into the box was pulled back for offside on 21 minutes.

Swallow curled a free-kick in that dipped nicely for Alex Parsons, who nodded it over on 31 minutes. Parsons laid the ball off for Swallow but his shot flew well wide on 34 minutes.

West spun his marker before shooting at goal. His deflected attempt went wide. Swallow looked for Parsons with a neat ball across the face of goal but it was cleared for a corner.

Matthew Johnson's cross was headed out for yet another corner on 44 minutes which was nodded away confidently by Crane. A chipped cross by Swallow almost found Parsons in stoppage time it went out for a goal kick.

HT 0-0

An early second-half corner for Chelmsford was headed out by Dan Beck. Johnson's long throw bounced out to West, who had a shot blocked by Tuck before trying again but placing his effort wide. West curled a free-kick goalwards and Lincoln punched it out for a corner.

On 54 minutes McKenzie's debut came to an end as he was replaced by Muitt. West spun a ball into the box and it bounced awkwardly for Barnard but Lincoln was there to gather.

A through ball almost saw Parsons in on goal but the Clarets cleared and Swallow's corner was headed away. Lincoln had to punch clear a West cross. Then Dickson headed it over from a cross on the right.

Craig Barrett's chipped cross fell to the right foot of West, who smashed it on the volley back across goal on 66 minutes and only just wide. Barnard was replaced by Kudos Oyenuga on 67 minutes.

Field brought Dickson down on the left but from the free-kick, substitute Aaron Greene blast well wide on 69 minutes. A long ball forward saw Muitt get beyond his marker before firing it and forcing a decent save from Sam Beasant. A corner led to El-Abd heading into the stopper's arms.

Dickson stubbed one wide at the back post and Muitt received a booking for tussling with the goalkeeper. Lincoln pulled off a fantastic save to deny Dickson from point-blank range as Bognor continued to hold on.

Swallow smashed one well wide from long distance. Parsons came off for Jimmy Wild 78 minutes. Beck pulled Oyenuga down and received a yellow card on 82 minutes.

A good passage of play led to Swallow crossing it but the goalkeeper gathered it easily on 84 minutes. Sub Greene hit another ball into the area but straight at Lincoln inside stoppage time.

This was a good point for Bognor who next welcome Hungerford Town to Nyewood Lane on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Rocks: Lincoln, Davies, Crane, Tuck, El-Abd, Field, Lea, Beck, McKenzie (Muitt 54), Parsons (Wild 78), Swallow. Subs not Used: Whyte, Suraci, Boughton (G/K)

Att - 898