Hampton & Richmond FC V Chelmsford City FC, National League South, Beveree Stadium, Saturday 27th January 2024, 3pm kick-off.
Chelmsford City’s record of being the National League South’s best away side will be put to a tough test on Saturday when Robbie Simpson’s side travel to West London to face fellow playoff challengers Hampton & Richmond.
The Clarets head into this weekend’s fixture on the back of Monday’s 1-0 home win over Welling United; whilst the Beavers will return to league action for the first time since January 6th.
Hampton & Richmond suffered a 3-1 away defeat to Braintree Town last time out in the National League South, and since then FA Trophy commitments and fixture postponements have prevented the Beavers from resuming their league season.
Consequently, Mel Gwinett’s side have dropped from 2nd in the league to 5th in the last few weeks, while City have climbed above the Beavers and will arrive at the Beveree Stadium on Saturday sitting 3rd in the table. Separated by a solitary point though, both sides will be keen to earn a big win this weekend as the battle for the playoff places continues.
Here’s all that Clarets supporters need to know ahead of Saturday’s clash…
Team & match stats:
· Hampton & Richmond’s 15 game unbeaten run in the National League South, stretching back to October, was ended last time out when Mel Gwinett’s side lost 3-1 at Cressing Road.
· The Clarets’ winless away record at the Beveree Stadium extends back to August 2017.
· City are also on a three game losing streak against the Beavers across home and away matches.
· Chelmsford fans have seen their side reduced to ten men in two of the club’s last three visits to the Beveree Stadium.
Hampton & Richmond look certain to make an improvement on last season’s 17th placed league finish, with the Beavers’ dreams of National League football ever-growing following an impressive 23-24 campaign so far.
An array of changes took place at the Beveree Stadium last season, with new owners Rafa and Stefano Petruzzo opting to make a managerial change early into their tenure in the boardroom, replacing Gary McCann with current boss Mel Gwinnett in January 2023.
Gwinnett’s appointment made the desired impact, with the former Barnet coach steering Hampton to safety following a strong run of form in March. Following a slow start to the current campaign, the Beavers went on what was almost a three-month unbeaten run in the National League South, beginning with a 2-1 win over Havant & Waterlooville on October 7th, and ending 15 games later following a 3-1 defeat away in Essex to Braintree on January 6th.
Despite the club’s undefeated streak recently coming to an end in the league, Hampton were able to continue their FA Trophy run last time out, after defeating National League side Hartlepool United in a penalty shootout two weeks ago.
Since then though, Hampton’s scheduled home clashes against St Albans and Eastbourne have been postponed following issues with the pitch at the Beveree Stadium, brought on by the recent cold weather. As such, our opponents will arrive into this weekend’s game on the back of a 14-day hiatus from playing competitive football.
Former Hampton striker Mo Bettamer could be seen back out on the grass ahead of Monday’s win over Welling United, as the forward continues his recovery from a recent injury.
Ahead of a return to Saturday-Monday fixture scheduling, the Clarets medical team will closely monitor the fitness of the squad, especially that of Jermaine Francis, after the winger briefly went down with a problem in our game against the Wings.
Robbie Simpson is free to return to the dugout after completing a two-match touchline ban.
Supporters travelling by car to this weekend’s game should know that the journey from Melbourne Community Stadium to the Beveree Stadium takes around 2 hours.
At the time of writing, there are still spaces left on the Chelmsford City Supporters Club coach travelling to the game. The coach departs Melbourne Park at 11:30am on Saturday, and will then depart the County Hotel at 11:45am.
Hampton (London) station is around a 15-minute walk away from the Beveree Stadium and is well-connected to London Waterloo station via South Western Railway services.
To make a saving on admission, supporters can purchase their tickets in advance of Saturday’s game via Hampton & Richmond’s official website. Alternatively, card only turnstiles will be in operation at the ground.
Ticket prices are as follows:
· Adult – £19 (£17 in advance)
· Concession – £12
· 16-18 Years Old – £5
· Under 16 – £3
Supporters are also advised that the Beveree Stadium is cashless, and that food and drink outlets are card only.
How to follow the game:
Radio Clarets will be providing live audio commentary of proceedings in Middlesex.
Clarets fans can find pre-match coverage of Saturday’s game, and live updates of proceedings at the Beveree Stadium by following the club’s X (formerly Twitter) page: @OfficialClarets and Instagram page: chelmsfordcityfc.
Post-match reactions will be found on the club’s website, official social media channels and on ClaretsTV.
Words by Jake Dixon.