(Lemonheigh-Evans 25′, Reid 65′, Andrews 78′)
United made it five wins in a row to secure another huge three points against a committed Chelmsford City side at Plainmoor.
After Connor Lemonheigh-Evans put United ahead, they were pegged back following a goal from Jamar Reynolds. After the break, goals from Jamie Reid and Jake Andrews sealed the win for United that strengthened their position at the top of the National League South table.
Gary Johnson made two changes to the side that beat Wealdstone 3-2, with Saikou Janneh and Jamie Sendles-White replaced Ryan Dickson and Saturday’s matchwinner, Jean-Yves Koue Niate.
The quality of both sides was on display from the first whistle, with both promotion-chasing sides looking comfortable in possession.
United nearly opened the scoring with just five minutes gone. After Reid was fouled inches outside the penalty area, Lemonheigh-Evans sent in a superb right-footed free-kick that Wright palmed onto the woodwork.
Torquay’s Welsh midfielder broke the deadlock on 25 minutes. Ruairi Keating won an aerial ball and played it into Lemonheigh-Evans’ path, and his mazy run ended with a low left-footed drive into the net.
The lead lasted only 7 minutes though, as a long ball forward split United’s central defensive pairing, and saw Reynolds race clear to chip the ball over Shaun MacDonald and into the net.
The scores remained level until the interval, but following the restart, it was the home side who took charge.
A golden opportunity to re-establish the lead came on 48 minutes, when a determined Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala run was ended illegally, leaving the referee with no option but to point to the spot. Up stepped Reid, but Wright in the City goal produced a marvellous save to tip the ball onto the post.
Reid didn’t have to wait long to erase that memory.
On 65 minutes, Kalala played Keating into space down the right, and the Irishman’s low cross was buried at point-blank range by Reid for his 30th goal of the season.
Keating, often seen as a finisher rather than creator, is beginning to make a name for himself on the assist front, and he hadn’t finished.
Twelve minutes from time, he once again chased down a ball down the right wing, and this time sent a high cross to the far post, where substitute Jake Andrews finished with a low header.
The Gulls saw the remaining time out with comfort to secure three massive points, and extend their lead at the top to seven points, with just five games remaining.
Next up for United is a trip to Kingfield for the long-awaited top of the table clash at nearest challengers Woking.
Onwards we march!
TUFC: 1. Shaun MacDonald, 2. Ben Wynter, 3. Liam Davis, 7. Ruairi Keating, 8. Asa Hall (c) (14. Frank Vincent 76′), 11. Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, 15. Jean-Yves Koue Niate, 16. Ryan Dickson (18. Jake Andrews), 17. Kyle Cameron, 19. Jamie Reid, 20. Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala (12. Olaf Koszela), SUBS NOT USED: 13. George Burton.
Chelmsford: 1. Harry Wright, 2. Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, 5. Michael Spillane (c), 9. Scott Fenwick (7 . Jonny Giles), 10. Chez Isaac, 11. Tom Wraight, 12. Billy Knott, 13. Joe Anderson (14. Aaron Cosgrave), 15. Adrian Cascaval, 16. Lamar Reynolds (19. Rhys Murphy), 18. Chris Whelpdale. SUBS NOT USED: Anthony Church, 17. Matthew Young.
Yellow Card: Spillane (85′)
Attendance: 2,852 (40 away)