City are back in Vanarama National League South action this Saturday as we host Havant & Waterlooville at the EMG Inspire Stadium.
Having played both high-flying Oxford City and Dartford in the space of three days, the Clarets go into the game with the Hawks full of confidence after two positive results.
Last Saturday, a trip to the Velocity Stadium ended in a 1-1 draw against the Hoops as Adam Morgan bagged a second-half injury-time equaliser to earn a deserved point.
Two days later and unbeaten Dartford travelled to Essex having had the weekend off due to the imbalance of teams in this season’s National League South.
The resulting 0-0 saw Robbie Simpson’s side pick up a hard-fought point to leave the Club on nine points after 10 games.
Havant current occupy a spot in mid-table, having collected 12 points from their opening nine league matches of the campaign.
With three points more than City, the Hawks are five positions higher in the table – sitting 12th.
Last time out…
As mentioned above, City had to deliver an excellent defensive display in our last outing to earn a point against the league leaders, Dartford.
The Clarets began the game well and saw two strong calls for a penalty early on turned down by the referee, Jack Packman.
Tom Wraight was first brought down by Darts goalkeeper Dan Wilks having been played through by Adam Morgan before Dara Dada also appeared to be fouled in the box later in the half.
Neither spot-kick was given but City were undeterred, with Dada being found in the box from a throw-in and going whisker away from opening the scoring only for Wilks to make a point-blank save.
In the counterattack that followed the midfielder’s chance, the game was turned on its head as Tom Dickens collided with a Dartford attacker and was shown a straight red card for being adjudged to have been the last man back.
With Chelmsford down to 10, that set the tone for the remainder of the game as wave after wave of attacks from the visitors were repelled by the City defence.
A heroic save from Jacob Marsden in the second half also summed up the performance, as a free-kick destined for the top corner was somehow kept out by the stopper.
With a minute left on the clock, Charlie Sheringham almost nicked all three points with a strike from the tightest of angles near the corner flag, but Wilks was equal to it and the points were shared.
The Hawks began this season in impressive fashion as they recorded back-to-back victories against Welling United and Hampton & Richmond Borough, scoring five in the process.
However, Havant’s form has been mixed since then, with the Hampshire side not stringing two league victories together since their opening matches.
Of their nine league fixtures so far this campaign, Paul Doswell’s side has recorded four victories and one draw, losing the other four.
In their previous two outings, the Hawks lost 2-1 against Slough Town on Saturday and drew 1-1 with Hungerford Town on Tuesday.
Havant have been much more consistent in the Emirates FA Cup though, having beaten Beaconsfield Town, Billericay Town and Torquay United on their route to the first round proper.
The three victories have set up a first round tie away to Charlton Athletic at the Valley.
Despite only scoring one league goal for the Hawks so far this season, James Roberts proved his ability in front of goal last term.
Bagging 11 goals in 15 league outings for Oxford City in the truncated 2020/21 campaign, the forward earned a summer move to the Draper Tools Community Stadium.
Life under Paul Doswell got off to the perfect start for the English attacker, with Roberts scoring in the Hawks’ opening day 3-0 victory over Welling, too.
However, since then the goals have dried up and the 25-year-old has gone a string of league matches without scoring.
Roberts began his career with current Sky Bet League One side Oxford United, where he made several loan moves before leaving permanently for Halesowen Town.
The forward’s most prolific stay with any club was with the Hoops last season, having scored 16 goals over 23 appearances in all competitions before his move to Havant for an undisclosed fee.
Our last meeting…
Havant & Waterlooville 3-1 Clarets, 5th December 2020
The last time we faced the Hawks we travelled to the Draper Tools Community Stadium and were on the end of a 3-1 defeat.
With Charlie Sheringham making his debut in Chelmsford claret, Tommy Wright gave the hosts the lead inside 20 minutes after cracking a shot in off the underside off the crossbar from distance.
In the second half, two goals in four minutes just after the hour mark ensured that it would be a disappointing trip to Hampshire for City.
Two simple finishes from Wright put the Hawks three goals ahead and secured the Englishman’s hat-trick.
Despite suffering defeat, the Clarets would have the final say as debutant Sheringham rose highest in the box to meet an Adam Morgan corner and bag a consolation goal.
Where to follow the game…
The Club will be providing live minute-by-minute coverage of the game on Twitter (@OfficialClarets) using the hashtag #CCFC.
There will also be live audio commentary from Radio Clarets.
Post-match reports, highlights and interviews will be found on the club website, social media and ClaretsTV following the game.
To attend the game, ticket details can be found here.
You can also purchase a digital matchday programme subscription here to receive copies of The Claret throughout the season.