Chelmsford City play at Melbourne Stadium for the 8th time in their last 11 fixtures when they take on Barnet in a hotly anticipated Emirates FA Cup 1st Round replay on Monday 14th November (kick off 7.30pm).

The opposition

Barnet have won both their Vanarama National League matches since the first tie against the Clarets, both away from home 2-0 against Altrincham and Oldham. Those back-to-back wins have moved the Bees up into 7th place, the final playoff position. Barnet after a 5 game winless run away from home in which they conceded 18 goals have now won 3 in a row on their travels with only 1 goal conceded in those fixtures.

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.

Previous Meetings

The last time the two sides played against each other before the initial tie 9 days ago 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. Chelmsford are undefeated in their last 5 FA Cup proper round home matches, this defeat against Barnet in 1990 was the last time City were beaten at home in the FA Cup from the 1st round onwards.

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.

Team News

Ade Oluwo is still a doubt after missing the last 3 games with a back injury. Khale Da Costa also left the game against Hampton in the 1st half with an injury so could be a doubt today. Captain Dave Winfield sat out the game on Saturday but could be available to start tonight. 

Ticket News

Tickets are now available to be purchased in advance of the 7.30pm kick-off on Saturday and can be bought by clicking this link.

Adult – £15
Senior (65+) – £10
Concession – £10
Full-Time Student – £5
Youth (12-17) – £5
Under-12s – Free

Barnet fans can also purchase tickets from that link but please select from the away section of the ticket menu.

Entry can also be purchased at the turnstiles on the day at the Melbourne Community Stadium at the same price but these will be available on a first-come first-served basis so the only way you are guaranteed entry is to purchase online in advance. Over 2000 tickets have been solid in advance. Tickets are not available from the club office and we are not selling paper tickets.

A programme will be available to purchase on the day for £3 or a digital subscription to The Claret can be purchased here.

Arrival at the ground:

We recommend supporters arrive early and in plenty of time for kick-off which is at 7:30pm.

Car parking is limited and therefore we encourage people to either car share or consider using alternative forms of transport; the No. 2C and 3C buses run to and from Chelmsford City centre, if the car park is full then please be considerate when parking in surrounding streets.

There is also a Taxi Rank at the rear of Chelmsford Railway Station if travelling by train.

We will obviously work to get all spectators into the ground as quickly as possible, however, due to the high number of fans expected there is likely to be queues at the turnstiles. We thank you in advance for your patience and would advise you to arrive as early as possible.

To help with the entry process please ensure that you have your ticket ready and have “activated’ it on Ticketpass.

If you have purchased a Student, Concession or Youth ticket please also bring proof of your age/status; eg a Student card, blue light card or equivalent. If you are in possession of the wrong ticket an upgrade to an adult will be required.

Turnstiles will be in operation for Away fans. Advance ticket holders and for those wanting to pay on the day by card or cash – please see the signs by the turnstiles.

Security will also be operating a bag search so please be reminded that the bringing of alcohol into the ground is not permitted.

Inside the ground:

As the match involves a National League team, FA rules dictate that “The consumption of alcohol within sight of the pitch is prohibited”. All alcoholic drinks must be consumed within the clubhouse or the external area outside. Once kick-off has commenced drinking will only be permitted inside the clubhouse.

We will have additional refreshment options available, although hot drinks will not be served from the clubhouse.

The Melbourne Community Stadium is a no smoking stadium, however there is a designated smoking area on the hard-standing outside of the main clubhouse. The clubhouse is open before, during and after the game for refreshments.

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.

Referee

The referee tonight is set to be Adrian Quelch. Quelch is a Vanarama National League referee so hasn’t officiated against the Clarets since 2016, in a 1-0 defeat at Truro. The last time he refereed at Melbourne was in 2011 in the Conference South when City beat Lewes 4-0 thanks to two goals each from Wayne Gray and Dave Rainford. He last refereed Barnet last month when he took charge of their 3-1 win away at Bromley.

It is set to be a chilly evening with 12 degrees expected throughout the night with a chance of a shower or two. We are hoping the surrounding mist clears in time for kick-off!