For the second week running Chelmsford edged a point closer to safety but relinquished a late lead that would have all but guaranteed their league status.
The game started fairly evenly but with real chances at a premium, neither goal was regularly threatened. Ipswich carved out the best chance but a forward somehow spooned wide when unmarked and with the goal at his mercy.
It was Chelmsford who took the lead with 10 minutes of the first half remaining. A sideline hit from Tom Fanger found Adam Hunter making a late run through the middle, and with the defence opening up he found Vasan Veerapalam on the penalty spot who deflected over the shoulder of the keeper.
The second half was an entirely different affair with Chelmsford dominating the opening stages. They quickly doubled their lead when Veerapalam dispossessed a defender on the byline and squared the ball for Jamie Carroll to roll home his first goal for the 1st XI. Chelmsford gained a numerical advantage when an Ipswich player was sin-binned for hitting the ball away after the whistle, and the home team took full advantage when Mike Millane picked up Luke Mepham’s pass down the left and beat the keeper before lashing the ball home.
However, in previous games Ipswich have proved to be strong finishers, and this occasion proved to be no different. They picked up their first goal from a broken down penalty corner, and reduced the deficit to one when another set piece was hurled into the top corner.
Chelmsford still led with five minutes to go, but their recent undefeated run has provided plenty of late drama. Ipswich grabbed an equaliser when a speculative long pass into the D was left by goalkeeper James McCann only to be tapped in by an Ipswich forward who had ghosted in undetected.
Chelmsford bounced straight back from this, and with three minutes left on the clock Mepham won a short corner after suffering a number of fouls inside the 25 yard line, and the same player finished the corner with aplomb into the roof of the net.
Still not yet beaten, Ipswich poured forward. A cross from the right was only half intercepted, and with chaos in the D, an Ipswich forward crashed the ball into the far corner with his reverse stick.
The result moves Chelmsford above Saffron Walden on goal difference, but they still sit just three points clear of the relegation with two games to play. Chelmsford complete their season with a trip to Letchworth on Saturday before hosting Cambridge University at Chelmer Park on Sunday. Both games start at 2pm.
Photos from Nick Robinson can be found here.