Chelmsford City play their first game in the Emirates FA Cup 1st Round proper since 2017 on Saturday when they take on Vanarama National League outfit Barnet at the Hive on Saturday 5th November, 3pm kickoff.
Barnet sit in 10th place after 17 games in the Vanarama National League this season. They have won 7, drawn 3 and lost 7, scoring 33 goals and conceding 38 in the league campaign so far which all adds up to 24 league points so far. The Bees have the worst defence in the league, conceding 1 more goal in 1 more game than Dorking Wanderers. However they have the joint 3rd best attack in the league with only title-chasers Wrexham and Notts County scoring more goals this campaign. They have been reasonably strong at home, winning 5 of their 9 league games at the Hive this season, however they did lose 3-0 midweek to Southend United on their own patch. In the 4th Qualifying Round they beat Southern Premier League side Weston Super Mare 3-0 to progress into the 1st Round of the Emirates FA Cup this season. Barnet do not have a great record in the world’s oldest cup competition of late, having only progressed past the 1st round twice in the last 6 seasons, however they did make the 4th round in 2018-19, knocking out Sheffield United on the way before losing to Brentford on a replay.
In terms of players, Barnet have former Claret Laurie Walker in goal who has appeared in all games so far this year. Walker, now 33, spent most of his career in non-league but recently appeared in the Football League for Stevenage, Oldham and MK Dons. Walker made 13 appearances for City in the 2020-21 season on loan from MK Dons before the season was cut short due to Covid. In defence they have former Wealdstone captain Jerome Okimo who is one of of a number of former Stones who have followed Dean Brennan across North-West London. They also have former Aston Villa youngster Dominic Revan who has recently come into the team as well as ex Colchester player Danny Collinge. Barnet have a glut of midfield talent. They have former Fulham youngster Ryan De Havilland and ex Torquay man Ben Wynter. They could also field another ex Wealdstone man in Connor Smith as well as former Crystal Palace youngsters Kian Flanagan and Sam Woods. Out wide they have experienced former Claret Sean Shields who had a brief loan spell with City back in 2015 from Ebbsfleet. They also have former Maidenhead, Bradford and Blackpool man Harry Pritchard who has been in amongst the goals of late. Up front is their top scorer Nicke Kabamba. Kabamba made his name alongside Jamal Lowe at Hampton & Richmond and since then has appeared for Portsmouth, Colchester and Kilmarnock. Kabamba is their top scorer with 10 so far this campaign. They also have Sierra Leone international Idris Kanu who arrived from Peterborough in the summer alongside former MK Dons attacker Daniel Powell as well as former West Ham youngster Rob Hall.
Barnet’s boss is 42 year old Dubliner Dean Brennan. After a nomadic playing career as a winger in non-league football, Brennan took Hemel Hempstead up to the National League South in 2014 but then had unsuccessful spells at Billericay and Kingstonian. Brennan then led Wealdstone to the National League in 2020 but resigned the following season. He then joined Barnet as Head of Football in 2021 but took the hot seat after Harry Kewell left in September 2021 and finally took permanent charge in February 2022.
The last time the two sides played against each other was in the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup back in the 2014-15 season when the first game finished in a 0-0 draw at Melbourne. In the replay Barnet showed their class by going into a 3 goal lead inside half an hour with goals from John Akinde, David Stephens and Curtis Weston. City showed some fight and got 1 back through youngster Joe Ward but Spanish midfielder Luisma sealed the deal for a 4-1 win in the 77th minute. Barnet went on to win the National League that season under Martin Allen.
Barnet and City played each other in the 1949-50 FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round at Barnet with City winning 6-2 with a hat-trick from Cecil McCormack and 2 from Syd Plunkett. City also played Barnet in the 1st round of the 1990-91 edition of the cup and after a 2-2 draw at Underhill when the Clarets battled back from 2-0 down thanks to goals from Peter Jarvis and Kenny Baptiste but Barnet won the replay at New Writtle Street 2-0 in front of 2612.
The manager’s have met before back in February 2020 when Dean Brennan was managing Wealdstone. City beat the future champions 1-0 away from home in what was Robbie Simpson’s first road win in charge of the Clarets. Tom Knowles scored the only goal in the first minute of the second-half and City survived a late onslaught despite substitute Joe Chidyausiku’s red card. Current Barnet keeper Laurie Walker kept a clean sheet for City that day.
Central defender Ade Oluwo went off with a knock on Tuesday night so is a doubt for the game. Winger Khale Da Costa who has 4 FA Cup goals so far this season returned against Bath as a substitute.
With regards purchase, we strongly advise buying tickets in advance and online in order to avoid queuing and delayed entry. Online tickets can be bought right up until KO and QR codes can be scanned directly from phones.
However, the Away Ticket Office will be open on the day in case of any in-person purchases. Please note that the site is cashless – i.e. card and contactless (not AMEX) payments only. This applies to all areas of the site – e.g. ticket office, parking, tea huts and bars.
Where to follow the game…
The Club will be only providing coverage of the game on Twitter (@OfficialClarets) using the hashtag #TheClarets.
There will also be live audio commentary from Radio Clarets.
Post-match reports and interviews will be found on the club website, social media and ClaretsTV following the game.
Clarets’ Clubhouse open pre & post match
The Chelmsford City clubhouse will be open from 10am on Saturday 5th November ahead of the FA Cup match away at Barnet later that day.
A selection of hot and cold breakfast items will be available as well as hot and cold drinks. Alcoholic drinks will be served from 11am. The supporters coaches will then leave the Melbourne Stadium at 12.15pm.
The club will be open upon the return of the coaches from Barnet from approximately 6.30pm until 11pm to celebrate what will hopefully be a famous victory!
How to get there
The supporters club are running 5 coaches which leave Melbourne Stadium at 12.15pm and the County Hotel at 12.30pm. These are fully booked so please do not turn up if you have not pre-booked as you will not get a seat. If you have pre-booked and can’t now go please contact Dave Cresswell on 07582 797001 so he can publicise that there are seats available.
2. At the roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Spur Road/A410
3. At the next roundabout turn left on to the A5
4. After 300 metres turn right at the traffic lights on to Camrose Avenue
5. Continue straight along Camrose Avenue and The Hive will be on your right just after the width restriction.
Turn left out of the station on Whitchurch Lane and after 200 feet the pedestrian entrance to The Hive will be on your right.
Queensbury Underground Station, also on the Jubilee Line, is a 10-minute walk from The Hive.
Turn left out of the station on to Turner Road. Walk to the end of the road, turn right and the entrance to The Hive will be across the road.
Edgware Underground Station on the Northern Line is about a one mile walk to The Hive.
It is set to be an unsettled and chilly day with highs of just 11 degrees at kickoff. The match is set to be played under grey skies with a threat of rain all day so bring your waterproofs!