After their 92nd minute FA Cup equaliser at Barnet on Saturday, Chelmsford City return to the Melbourne Stadium for their next Vanarama National League South match against mid-table Dover Athletic on Monday 7th November, 7.45pm kickoff.

The opposition

Dover Athletic sit in 12th place after 15 games in the Vanarama National League South this season. They have won 6, drawn 3 and lost 6, scoring 22 goals and conceding 22 in the league campaign so far which all adds up to 21 league points so far. Dover have had a bit of rest since playing last with no game for 9 days since their win at Bath at the end of October, compared to City who have had 2 games since Dover played last. Dover are on a 3 game unbeaten run away from home in the National League having won at Weymouth, drawn at Welling and then won at Bath in their last match. In fact Dover have only lost 1 of their last 7 league matches, picking up 14 points from those 7 encounters.

In terms of players, it will be the second consecutive league game where City are set to come up against a goal-keeper who is 40 or over in the shape of former Brentford, Gillingham and Notts County man Stuart Nelson. In defence they have some experience with Jake Goodman and Tyrone Sterling who rejoined the club in the summer after a spell between 2013 and 2017. In midfield they have Mitch Brundle who is another player who rejoined the club in the summer having starred for Dover in the National League between 2017 and 2019. They also have former Kosovo U21 player Ari Krasniqi and former Dulwich and Bromley man Jordan Higgs. In wide areas they have some experience in former Manchester United academy graduate Lee Martin who joined from Ebbsfleet in the summer. They also have Luke Wanadio who has played for Dartford, Aldershot and Billericay. Up front they have former Braintree and Maidstone striker Alfie Pavey as well as former Dagenham & Redbridge forward Chike Kandi. Pavey scored the winner at Melbourne last season for Maidstone, minutes after coming on as a substitute. Pavey is also their top scorer in the league this season with 5 goals. 

Dover’s boss is 57 year old Andy Hessenthaler who has been in charge since 2018, in what is his second spell in charge, having been player-manager between 2007 and 2010. Hessenthaler in his first spell won 2 promotions but suffered relegation from the National League last season when Dover only won 2 league games and finished with 1 point. Hessenthaler played for Gillingham and Watford mainly as a player and was named Gillingham’s greatest ever player in a poll in 2005. Hessenthaler has also managed the Gills 3 times, as well as taking charge at Leyton Orient and Eastleigh.

Previous Meetings

Dover and Chelmsford haven’t played each other in a competitive game since February 2014. Dover went 2-0 up through Barry Cogan and former Claret Jeff Goulding but Christian Smith got one back and Kieron St Aimie nodded in a 90th minute corner to grab a point for the Clarets. However the last meeting at Melbourne was almost nine years ago in November 2013 when Dover won 4-0 thanks to goals from former Clarets Goulding and Michael Bakare as well as 2 from Tom Murphy. In fact Dover are unbeaten in their last 6 meetings to Chelmsford and have never lost a competitive match at the Melbourne Stadium. The last time City beat Dover at home was in 2004 when the Clarets ran out 5-2 winners at Billericay Town’s New Lodge, which is where City were ground-sharing at the time.

Team News

Ade Oluwo missed the FA Cup game at Barnet with a slight back injury. Robbie Simpson might rotate the rest of his squad as it is only just over 50 hours since the side’s last game.

Ticket News

Tickets are now available to be purchased in advance of the 7.45pm 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

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 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.

It is set to be a chilly evening with 14 degrees expected at kickoff with a chance of a shower or two during the match.