Chelmsford City FC V Maidstone United FC National League South, Melbourne Community Stadium, Monday 20th November 2023, 7:45pm kick-off.
Chelmsford City play the first of two upcoming home matches this week on Monday evening, as Robbie Simpson’s side welcome Maidstone United to the Melbourne Community Stadium.
The Clarets arrive into Monday’s game high on confidence after two away wins in the last 7 days, and Simpson’s side will be looking to use Monday’s game as an opportunity to move above Maidstone in the National League South table, with one point currently separating the teams in the league standings.
The Stones will feel confident ahead of Monday too though; George Elokobi’s side have also picked up maximum wins in the last 7 days, and possess the third strongest away record in the league.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of what promises to be another exciting 90 minutes of football for Clarets fans…
Maidstone United are looking to return to the National League at the first time of asking, after their relegation from Step 1 of Non-League Football last season. The Stones were National League South champions in 2021/22 after winning the division by six points, but endured a frustrating campaign last season after finishing bottom of the National League, compounding the Kent club to an immediate return to National League South life.
Elokobi’s side experienced a slow start to the current campaign, picking up only two wins from their first six games in August. Since then, the Stones have only lost twice in the league since September though. This strong run of form has helped Maidstone climb to 5th in the National League South table, and also make maximum progress so far in the FA Cup and FA Trophy.
A key man for the Stones this season has been forward Levi Amantchi. The forward arrived at the Gallagher Stadium during the summer after spending last season with Braintree Town and then Brackley in the National League North, where he scored six goals for each club. 22-year-old Amantchi has proved to be an astute addition for Elokobi’s side, scoring 10 goals already this season, the second highest individual tally in the league so far.
Devonte Aransibia, Lamar Reynolds, and Matt Rush are former Clarets amongst the Maidstone squad. Rush, who joined the Stones earlier this month from National League South rivals Aveley, is still looking to get off the mark for his new club, as is summer signing Reynolds who found the net last season against the Clarets when in action for Braintree.
Most recent meeting:
Both clubs last faced one another at the back end of the 2021/22 season, in a game which Stones fans will hold fonder memories of compared to Clarets supporters. The game in question saw Maidstone run out 3-1 winners at the Gallagher Stadium, securing their promotion back to the National League with two games to spare.
City, who were towards the bottom end of the table at the time but safe from relegation, made life difficult for their high-flying hosts, but couldn’t keep out the prolific Jack Barham, who scored his 18th goal of the season on the cusp of half time.
The Stones then doubled their lead six minutes after half time when Charlton loanee and former Claret Hady Ghandour scored Maidstone’s second of the afternoon. Roarie Deacon added a third in the 81st minute, which the Clarets replied to three minutes later when Simeon Jackson headed home Tom Blackwell’s free kick.
City couldn’t provide any further scares for their hosts though, with the full time whistles sparking jubilant celebrations on the pitch from the home faithful, having secured promotion.
Jazzi Barnum-Bobb remains on international duty after his call-up for St Vincent and the Grenadines, who are in action on Tuesday night against Belize.
Robbie Simpson will also definitely be without club captain Dave Winfield against the Stones. Winfield will serve a one game suspension on Monday after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Aveley.
Despite being on the receiving end of two yellow cards on Saturday against Harborough, Ben Brookes will be available for Monday’s game. The full back’s suspension does not come into play until Saturday’s clash against Truro.
Samir Carruthers and Josh Castiglione, who both were absent from the squad which was named against Harborough last time out, are both pushing to return to league action this week.
Ticket prices online:
Adult – £14Concession/Senior (65+) – £9 Student (17-24 with valid ID) – £4 Youth (12-17) – £4 Under-12s – Free
Supporters can also buy tickets on the day at the Melbourne Community Stadium. Matchday turnstile prices are as follows:
Adult – £17.00Concession/Senior (65+) – £12.00 Student (17-24 with valid ID) – £6.50 Youth (12-17) – £6.50 Under-12s – Free
How to follow the game:
Monday’s match will be live streamed on National League TV.
Radio Clarets will be providing live audio commentary of proceedings at The Melbourne Community Stadium.
Clarets fans can find pre-match coverage of Monday’s game, and live updates of proceedings in Essex 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.