Chelmsford City continue their league programme with an Essex derby against rivals Concord Rangers on Monday 29th August (3pm kickoff)

City have had a superb start to the season with 3 wins and 2 draws and have shown a toughness and resilience to get through games to the desired result.

The opposition

Concord are in their 10th season in the National League South but they have finished in the top half in only 1 of their last 6 campaigns, and that season they were denied a playoff place due to failing ground regulations at Thames Road. In terms of results, the Beachboys had a great start to the season with back to back 1-0 victories, away at Hungerford and then home against Taunton Town. Since then they have gone 3 without a win. They had a draw away at home against Dulwich and then have suffered back to back defeats. A thumping 5-0 loss at Oxford was followed by a 2-1 home defeat on Saturday against so far invincible Ebbsfleet United.

In terms of players, manager Chris Search has kept a similar squad to last year. They have brought in keeper Melvin Minter who was on Chesterfield and Harrogate’s bench for the past couple of seasons. In defence they have kept centre-back Aron Pollock but also added Teddy Perkins from Tonbridge and Jack Davies on a loan from MK Dons. They also have former Claret Tosan Popo at right-back. In midfield they have kept Ryan Blackman and James Blanchfield as well as former Wealdstone captain Danny Green, who scored 13 league goals last season. In more attacking midfield areas they have retained former Claret Nana Kyei after he notched 6 goals in 14 league appearances at the end of last campaign. One of their new signings is former Tonbridge midfielder D’Sean Theobalds whose form at one point in his career earnt him a move to the Polish top flight. Also from Tonbridge they have brought in veteran winger and former Claret Ricky Modeste who has scored twice this season. Up front Lamar Reynolds has departed to Braintree but they have former Port Vale striker Ben Williamson as well as young forward Ben Search, son of manager Chris, who scored their only goal against Ebbsfleet on Saturday. Another MK Dons loanee they have brought in is forward Lewis Johnson who has played for MK in League One.

Manager Chris Search said after the defeat against Ebbsfleet, “First half we were disappointing, tactically maybe we set up wrong and I take responsibility for that. Having said that the goals we conceded were avoidable. Ebbsfleet are a formidable force at this level and they are one of the best sides I have seen at this level. Second half was vastly improved. We went with an extra attacker to try and get higher up the pitch and they performed well in that second half. It was good character after the last game. James Blanchfield came on at half-time and changed the game. But it’s not going to get match tougher than playing Ebbsfleet after getting beat 5-0 the week before.” In terms of Chelmsford Search commented, “You could see what Robbie and Mickey were doing last season, they are very dogged defensively, they were right up there for clean sheets last season. You know what you’re getting with them and they are well-marshalled by Dave Winfield. They’ve recruited well in the summer with the help of Adam Drew and I’m not sure about the condition of their pitch so we’ll look at it Monday. It will be a tough game like always.”

Previous meetings

City have been undefeated against Concord in the last 3 games but have not beaten the Beachboys at home since 2018 when Scott Fenwick scored the only goal. However, the 3 games since then at Melbourne have all been drawn with City coming from behind in all 3 to grab a point. Current City assistant manager Mickey Spillane scored a winning goal against Concord back in 2017 in a 4-3 classic. The last time Concord won at City was back in 2014 when Lewis Taaffe scored the only goal past then City keeper Nicky Eyre.

Team News                                                                                                                                                     

City have injury problems going into this game. City were already without Khale Da Costa, Ovie Ejeheri and Jazzi Barnum-Bobb going into the Welling game but Barnum-Bobb may play despite a knock. This is due to Cameron James who went off after 12 minutes against Welling after feeling something although Robbie Simpson did say this was precautionary with Monday in mind. Also at Welling Callum Jones was helped off the pitch with a heavily swollen ankle and looks set for a spell on the sidelines again.

Concord have had similar injury problems but are getting players back fit. Louis Ramsay and Ryan Blackman returned on Saturday as did Aron Pollock. Only Jaden Randall is still unavailable for Concord so Chris Search has options to call upon.

Tickets are now available to be purchased in advance of the 3:00pm kick-off on Monday 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

The bar will be open from 12.30pm.

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 at www.mixlr.com/radioclarets.

Post-match reports and interviews will be found on the club website, social media and ClaretsTV following the game.