Blue Square Bet
Published 30th April 2012
....home defeat to champions Woking, which brought down the curtain on the Clarets’ 2011/12 play-off ambitions as Basingstoke Town’s late rally earned them a place in the top five.
Only a City victory and a loss for Basingstoke at Welling United would have been enough for a semi-final against Dartford, and hopes were briefly raised when Cliff Akurang and Jamie Slabber goals overturned an early Jack King effort.
News seeped through that Welling had equalised but Guiseppe Sole levelled in first half stoppage time before Kieran Murtagh’s strike on 61 minutes finally extinguished all hopes.
Pennyfather reacted: “We played really well on Saturday and could easily have won. Last week’s draw at Eastleigh would normally have been an excellent result, and we’ve laid a lot of ghosts like that on our travels during the year with our away form. There’s no doubt that our home results haven’t been good enough this season.”
That said, he was pleased with his team’s efforts on the final day of the campaign against Garry Hill’s side, adding: “In the first half I thought we were excellent. It was as well as we’d played in a long time and possibly how we should have performed in some of our other recent games. The players knew the enormity of the game and wore their hearts on their sleeves, giving everything for a positive result.”
City Player of the Year Kenny Clark almost set up a grandstand finish when his 84th minute header was scrambled away from the goalline, but even a winner would not have been enough, with Basingstoke picking up the point they required to deny Chelmsford a fourth successive Conference South play-off campaign.
Pennyfather summarised: “We had chance after chance, hit the post and should have had a penalty. But we also didn’t mark players how I wanted us to from a corner for Woking’s first and the other was sloppy when we froze and waited for a free kick to be awarded to us which didn’t happen. We were by far the better side before the break but our mistakes were punished, and that’s why they’re champions.”