Chelmsford City continue their league programme into October with a game against newly-promoted against rivals Cheshunt on Saturday 8th October (3pm kickoff)
City have had a superb start to the season with only one defeat in all competitions so far this season and that was to pre-season promotion favourites Havant & Waterlooville. City have also progressed to the 4th Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup for the second season in a row and have a winnable tie against Vanarama National League strugglers Aldershot Town next Saturday, October 15th.
Cheshunt have gone from 19th in the Isthmian North division in 2018 to the National League South so they have had a rapid rise under former Chelmsford manager Craig Edwards. Edwards was the first manager to lead the Clarets out at Melbourne Park which he did so on 2nd January 2006 when we beat Billericay 2-1, a club Edwards would later go on to manage. Cheshunt have been on a bad run since they entered the National League South though, winning their first ever game at this level 3-2 against Hampton & Richmond, when they were 2-0 down with 20 to go but then they have lost 9 in a row to leave them second bottom coming into the fixture at Melbourne Park. They were also knocked out of the FA Cup last weekend at home to National League North Kidderminster Harriers.
In terms of players, Cheshunt have chopped and changed regularly, using 28 players in league fixtures so far. In goal they have used 3 keepers in league games so far, but the most recent has been Norwich City loanee Joe Rose although former Ebbsfleet number 1 Preston Edwards has played the most league games between the sticks. In defence they have former Notts County centre-back Taylor McKenzie, Colchester United loanee Billy Cracknell and new signings Luke Warner-Eley and Artem Aliev. In midfield they have signed former Welling man Che Krabbendam and they also have box-to-box threat Joe Re. In wide areas they have former Antigua & Barbuda international Reece Beckles-Richards who scored against the Clarets in the FA Trophy last season. They have also signed former Manchester United youngster Josh Bohui on Friday afternoon who also appeared for Colchester United in the Football League. Up front they have a thorn in the Clarets’ side in Rowan Liburd who has scored against City for both Billericay and Cheshunt, in fact Liburd is their top scorer in the league this season with 4. They have also signed on Friday afternoon another striker in the shape of Chris Harris from Bishop’s Stortford. Dajon Golding has also netted 3 goals in the league this season after his summer switch from Worthing.
Craig Edwards said after the FA Cup defeat to Kidderminster, “We were far, far better than we’ve been in the last few weeks and I think we deserved something out the game. However the goals, you can’t legislate for that on the training pitch and at the moment individual mistakes are costing us. That’s something we need to eradicate out of our game. I thought we were a lot more compact and solid but we let our customary early goal in. We’re making all types of different mistakes and errors and it’s invariably at the start of the game. We’ve got 37 games left and I want to assure the supporters that we will improve every game. If we finish 5th bottom that will eclipse for me being promoted last season. Games like we are playing at the moment are the ones we want to be playing and we don’t want to be playing the teams that we were playing a few years ago again.”
City played Cheshunt in the FA Trophy last season at the end of November and were knocked out 2-1 at home by the then Isthmian Premier side. The game was played in horrendous weather conditions with driving rain and wind and as such one of the lowest crowds for a game at Melbourne came out to watch. Beckles-Richards put Cheshunt in front but Dara Dada’s wind-assisted strike put the Clarets level at the break. However Rowan Liburd scored the winner in the 69th minute. However such has been the overhaul in the Clarets squad that only 2 or 3 starters from that game are scheduled to play a part in the game on Saturday afternoon. Before that the last time the teams met each other competitively was in the 2004-05 Isthmian Premier Division when City drew 2-2 at then home ground Billericay’s New Lodge and won the away game 3-0.
City have Cameron James suspended for this match due to 5 yellow cards but he would have missed the game due to injury anyway. Dave Winfield was scheduled to train during the week and is touch and go for the matchday squad as he comes back from a knee injury. Striker Harry Lodovica is nursing a back problem but could be an option from the bench as he was to great effect against Farnborough.
Tickets are now available to be purchased in advance of the 3pm kick-off on Saturday and can be bought by clicking this link.
Adult – £13
Senior (65+) – £9
Concession – £9
Full-Time Student – £5
Youth (12-17) – £5
Under-12s – Free
Entry can also be purchased at the turnstiles on the day at the Melbourne Community Stadium.
Ticket prices on the day:
Adult – £15
Senior (65+) – £10
Concession – £10
Full-Time Student – £5
Youth (12-17) – £5
Under-12s – Free
There will be live entertainment in the clubhouse before the game, at half-time and after the game provided by Sarah Beth.
A programme will be available to purchase on the day for £3 or a digital subscription to The Claret can be purchased here.
Where to follow the game…
The Club will be 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.
The weather is set to be a mild 16 degrees with sunny intervals.