Aveley FC V Chelmsford City FC National League South, Parkside, Monday 13th November 2023, 7:45pm kick-off.
The Clarets are looking to make it eight league games unbeaten this evening, ahead of the club’s first Essex derby of the season against Aveley. Danny Scopes’ high flying side will also be keen to come away from the derby unbeaten, as they look to put their 3-0 loss away to Bath City on Saturday behind them.
Aveley remain second in the National League South table despite their weekend defeat to 3rd place Bath; meanwhile the 7th placed Clarets were able to narrow the gap between them and the Millers to 6 points, having collected a point at the weekend.
Aveley FC are enjoying their first taste of life in the National League South this season after recording back-to-back promotions in the last two years. The Millers earned promotion to the Isthmian Premier Division in 2021/22 after winning the Isthmian North Division. In their first campaign back in the Premier Division last season, Danny Scopes’ side secured a 4th place finish and a spot in the play-offs, which they won after defeating Canvey Island in the semi-final and Hornchurch in the final.
Despite an initial opening day defeat to Chippenham, Aveley started life in the second tier of Non-League football strongly after winning 6 of their first 9 games this season. The Millers’ remarkable season so far has also been continued by impressive recent form, given that prior to their loss on Saturday, they had recorded four consecutive wins. Scopes’ side are also undefeated in the league at their Parkside home ground since a 1-0 loss to Dartford in August, a record which the Clarets will want to put to an end on Monday.
Off the pitch, Aveley were dealt a blow earlier this month after losing forward Matt Rush to fellow promotion chasers Maidstone. Former Claret Rush, who experienced a loan spell at the Melbourne Community Stadium back in the 2021/22 campaign, had scored six goals for Aveley this campaign before leaving the Millers. Impressive midfielder Jon Benton also departed the club in October for National League Solihull Moors, having scored seven times for Aveley this season.
Following these departures, Aveley moved quickly to add some fresh firepower to their side and secured the services of forward Sydney Ibie, who joined the club on loan from Dagenham and Redbridge. 6-foot 6 tall Ibie has made an instant impact at Parkside, scoring on his debut against Weston-Super-Mare and again versus Hemel Hempstead last Monday.
Another Aveley goal threat is forward Charlie Hughes, who has found the back of the net six times this season. Hughes is enjoying another strong goalscoring spell with an Essex-based club, having previously been Brentwood Town’s and Maldon & Tiptree’s top goalscorer in back-to-back seasons. Hughes registered 20 goals in 33 appearances for The Blues, and 30 in 45 games for The Jammers.
A former Claret who Aveley still have amongst their ranks is full-back Eduino Vaz, who departed the Melbourne Community Stadium in January after playing 50 times for the club. Vaz has continued to impress at this level since making his first start for the Millers in August, having scored three times from defence this season whilst playing a key role in Danny Scopes’ side.
Most recent meeting:
City last competitively faced the Millers in the 2019/20 season, when the Clarets fell to a 3-1 defeat at Parkside in the third round of the FA Trophy.
The hosts went into half time with a 1-0 lead, after Jason Raad put his side ahead in the 12th minute. City thought they had secured a draw late in the second half when Chris Whelpdale equalised in the 80th minute, but it proved to be Aveley’s day as the Millers produced a cup upset in front of the 811 crowd in attendance at Parkside.
Forward Alex Akrofi got beyond the City defence and sidefooted his strike past Laurie Walker in the 88th minute to put Aveley back into the lead. Jon Nzengo then added his side’s third goal of the afternoon in the 90th minute, as the Millers capitalised on City’s attempts to find another equaliser.
Robbie Simpson will assess the fitness of all of his players ahead of a demanding game, which comes slightly over 48 hours after the team’s last outing.
City captain Dave Winfield made a welcome return to the match day squad on Saturday after experiencing an injury layoff, and the defender will now look to push for a place back in the starting lineup.
Supporters can buy tickets on game day at Parkside. Matchday prices are as follows:
Adults – £15
Concessions – £10
11 to 16-year-olds – £5
U11 – Free
Clarets fans making the journey from Chelmsford should know that it takes around 45 minutes to travel from the Melbourne Community Stadium to Parkside by car.
The sold-out Chelmsford City Supporters Club coach will depart Melbourne Park at 17:30.
How to follow the game:
Supporters who can’t make it to Parkside should know there will be numerous ways to follow the action. National League TV will be live streaming the game, whilst Radio Clarets will be providing live audio commentary of proceedings at Parkside.
Clarets fans can find pre-match coverage of the game, and live updates of the action at Parkside by following the club’s X (formerly known as Twitter) page: @OfficialClarets and Instagram page: chelmsfordcityfc.
Post-match reaction will be found on the club’s website, official social media channels and on ClaretsTV following the game.
Words by Jake Dixon.