Chelmsford City are set to continue their busy start to the New Year when they take on Wiltshire side Chippenham Town in the Vanarama National League South on Saturday 7th January. (KO 3pm)

This will be the first visit of Chippenham to Chelmsford this season and the two clubs have been linked by the incident which happened to Pablo Martinez in the reverse fixture in August when he collapsed during the game. There were some kind words from the Chippenham profile which we thank them for and we hope we can enjoy an entertaining game at Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.

In the aftermath of the incident, Chelmsford supporters offered a shoulder and comfort, the players and management offered their support to the people of Chippenham Town and a generous collection from the city supporters in games that followed showed a compassion and love that you can only find in the world of non-League football. I on behalf of all at Chippenham Town would like to thank the entirety of the Claret Army for all of the love and support they have shown us and regardless of the result on Saturday, you will always have a special place in the hearts of Town supporters!

The opposition

Chippenham sit in 22nd place having played 22 games in the Vanarama National League South this season. They have won 5, drawn 6 and lost 11, scoring 20 goals and conceding 33 in the league campaign so far which all adds up to 21 league points.

Chippenham have had an up and down season. They have registered some impressive victories such as beating league-leaders Dartford at home and reaching the FA Cup 2nd Round, beating League One Lincoln on the way before losing away at Burton Albion. They have only won once on the road all season but that was at Bath on Boxing Day and since then they have had a draw at Braintree and then another draw at home against Bath.

In terms of players for the Bluebirds, in goal they have Will Henry who has played all 22 games in the league this season. They have retained experienced campaigners such as defender Will Richards and Spencer Hamilton, who is the Bluebirds club captain. On loan Southampton defender Will Tizzard has impressed with his performances of late. 

Chippenham in midfield have mercurial Brazilian winger Alefe ‘Alfie’ Santos. The Sao Paulo born player is a fans favourite. Joe Hanks is in midfield who scored the winner against Lincoln in the FA Cup this year and he has scored against the Clarets for both Chippenham and Gloucester in the past. They also have a couple of former Bristol Rovers youngsters in the centre of the park in Luke Russe and Tom Mehew. 

In attacking areas they have Jordan Young. The former Swindon and Coventry attacker before the 0-0 draw with Bath scored 1 goal in each of his previous 4 games. They also have experienced former Gloucester striker Joe Parker and Swindon loanee Harry Parsons. Former Oxford and Hemel striker Craig Fasanmade could return to the side from injury. 

At the helm for Chippenham is Gary Horgan. Horgan, 45, a former Chippenham and Hungerford player, guided Chippenham to their highest ever league finish last season of 7th and also saw them beat Dartford in the first playoff round but they then lost 1-0 to Ebbsfleet.

Previous Meetings

The last two completed fixtures between the two sides have finished 0-0, 1 home and 1 away although in last season’s home fixture Charlie Sheringham was controversially denied a goal for an alleged handball while controlling the ball. Chelmsford have not beaten the Bluebirds in their last 3 attempts at Melbourne with former captain Tom Wraight scoring the only goal in November 2018 the last home Claret win against Chippenham. The men from Wiltshire have only won once in 5 meetings between the two clubs at Melbourne since their promotion in 2017.

Team News

For the Clarets, Jamie Yila can return to the squad after completing a 3 match ban, whilst new signings Reece Grant and Arjanit Krasniqi are both available after being ineligible for the Isuzu FA Trophy match on Wednesday.

Dave Winfield and Cameron James missed the Trophy match with injury and illness so Robbie Simpson could have 1 or both of them to call upon. Callum Jones started his first game since the opening day in midweek and Freddie Hockey also returned to the team for the first time since playing in the Tolleshunt D’Arcy cup in October. Khale Da Costa also returned as a substitute for his first appearance since mid-November. Jacob Marsden returned to the bench after illness but will continue to be assessed. 

For Chippenham from their preview:

With news that Eddie Jones is going to be side-lined for a couple of weeks, it will be great news for Gary Horgan that Will King has made his return to the side, Leighton Tuodolo is playing well deputising for Jones and Aaron Simpson is back training following a lengthy injury. With  Jordan Young going down in the first half of the Bath City game, he will no doubt face a series of tests this week to determine his fitness however, with Hanks now back in the fray and also Craig Fasanmade came through his recent fitness test ahead of his return to the side.

Ticket News

Tickets are now available to be purchased in advance of the 15:00pm kick-off on Saturday, 7th January 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 night at the Melbourne Community Stadium – we accept both cash & card.

Ticket prices on the night:

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 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.


Heavy rain is set for the morning and early afternoon but should clear for the game and another mild temperature of 10 degrees. The rain could return for 5pm though.

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