The Iron play at Cressing Road, with a capacity of 4,222. The club, founded as Manor Works, initially played at the Fair Field. They then moved too Spaldings Meadow in Panfield Lane in 1903. Since 1923, Cressing Road has been their home, marking 100 years this year.
LAST SEASON’S MEETINGS
Chelmsford City 2-0 Braintree Town (26th December 2022) – The boxing day derby saw City maintain their league unbeaten run over local rivals Braintree Town. It was a fast start, as Tom Blackwell got the show rolling inside just 3 minutes. Harry Lodvica’s cross was diverted past the Braintree keeper and into the net by the head of Blackwell. It was debut day delight half way through the second half, as Reece Grant made an appearance from the bench, to slot away a penalty and secure the 3 points.
Braintree Town 2-2 Chelmsford City (1st January 2023) – Heading over to Cressing Road for the new year, the points were shared. Halfway through the half, Blackwell opening the scoring again as he got on the end of an Eduino Vaz cross. Just before the half’s end, Braintree levelled as Kyran Clements was able to prod home from close range. 4 minutes into the second half, Reece Grant got his second City goal. A long ball saw him bring the ball down and race down on goal, before slotting away calmly and sending the Clarets fans wild. However, a goal which would end up as a goal of the season nominee levelled the scores. Lamar Reynolds, former Chelmsford player, hit an outrageous strike past Ovie Ejeheri, from 25 yards, to share the points.
Chelmsford City 0-1 Braintree Town (27th February 2023) – An Essex Senior Cup Semi-Final arrived at the Melbourne Stadium, as the rivalry was reignited once again. A 23rd minute goal from Matt Rush, another former Chelmsford player, saw Braintree shut up shop for the remaining 65 minutes. There plan was executed well, as they went on to book their Cup Final place against Concord Rangers.
A FEW CLUB LINKS
The previously mentioned Lamar Reynolds and Matt Rush were both former Clarets. Rush played for Chelmsford on loan at the end of the 2021/22 season, as his 3 goals in 16 games was a help towards the survival. He then joined Braintree, after his contract at parent club Southend had expired. Reynolds was a similar situation, as he played for Chelmsford at the end of the 2018/19 season, on loan from Dagenham & Redbridge. A spell at Concord followed, before he played for Braintree last season. Since the end of the season, he has since departed the Iron to sign for, recently relegated, Maidstone United, in their bid to regain their place in the National League. As well as those players, in terms of staff, current assistant manager at Braintree, Steve Pitt, was part of Rod Stringer’s backroom staff during his spell with the Clarets.
Manager, Angelo Harrop has had some football league experience, in the form of scouting. Angelo was the head scout for East Essex for Norwich, a post which he held for 8 years. Prior to that, he had been a sports coach in the MLS, helping the Madison U16’s reach their 1st final state championship. The upcoming season will be his second in his post at Braintree, as he looks to build on a successful first season.
Much like Chelmsford, it was a drastic turn around for the Iron as they went from battling relegation to the playoffs. It was a 7th place finish, as the matched Worthing in the playoffs. It was not to be for Braintree, as they fell at the first hurdle, losing 2-1 after falling behind early on. Lamar Reynolds pulled them on terms within the first 10 minutes before a second half Own Goal ending the Iron’s campaign. However, they did take some silverware as they defeated Concord Rangers in the Essex Senior Cup Final. They won 2-0, giving a damning defeat to the Beachboys who were also relegated weeks later.