Two great strikes, one from Anthony Straker and one from Chelmsford's Bertie Brayley seal 1-1 draw
Blues were held to a 1-1 draw with Conference South side Chelmsford City at Melbourne Park on Monday night.
Anthony Straker gave Blues a second minute lead with an excellent strike following Freddy Eastwood’s pass.
Ryan Cresswell and Ryan Leonard both had two chances each to extend Blues’ lead, but neither was able to find the back of the net.
At the other end, Daniel Bentley was rarely tested until Bertie Brayley struck an excellent volley with just seven minutes remaining to level the scores.
Phil Brown fielded a strong side at Melbourne Stadium with Cresswell back from illness and new signing Will Atkinson partnering Marc Laird in midfield.
Ben Coker, who had signed a contract with Blues just a couple of hours before, was at left-back with trialist Don Cowan starting in attack alongside Eastwood.
Within the first couple of minutes, Blues were ahead. Cowan laid the ball back to Eastwood who played a good pass into the path of Straker.
The winger took one touch and fired the ball across goal into the top corner leaving Carl Pentney with no chance.
Sam Long had Chelmsford’s first real sighting of goal, but Bentley saved comfortably from the winger.
Blues then almost doubled their lead in the 17th minute as Atkinson’s low cross found Leonard but the midfielder was unable to turn the ball home.
Chelmsford had a chance to equalise when Bentley picked up Marc Laird’s pass, but they were unable to score from the indirect free kick.
Cresswell had the first real chance of the second-half from another good set piece delivery from Coker, but the central defender headed just wide.
Cresswell then had another chance from a corner but this time headed just over the bar at the back post.
Seconds later Eastwood found himself in yards of space but was unable to get a shot off and instead teed up Leonard who headed just over.
Bentley had rarely been tested all evening but with seven minutes to go, Brayley picked up a loose ball in the box and fired an excellent volley past the Blues’ goalkeeper.
Seedy Njie went close for Blues at the other end late on but neither side could find a winner.
Blues: Bentley; White, Cresswell, Phillips, Coker; Leonard (Carrington 72), Laird, Atkinson, Straker; Cowan (Trialist) (Njie 62), Eastwood.