The Clarets are on the road for the 3rd time in 4 games in March, as there is an Essex derby down at Canvey Island. Despite a good performance on Saturday, the Clarets ended up going home empty-handed, therefore Robbie and his men will be looking to right their wrongs and get back to winning ways. A win against local rivals could help spur the Clarets on, to end the season well.
Concord sit 23rd in the Vanarama National League South, having picked up just 31 points from their 32 games. They have won just 2 games in 2023, suffering 6 losses and 3 draws. A vital win came on Saturday, as they travelled to Welling United, where they ran out 1-0 winners. Rob Small’s side will be hoping that they can take the momentum from Saturday’s win into the game against the Clarets and start to build some form. Sitting 6 points from safety, Concord does have games in hand on the teams around them, meaning they will have more opportunities to get points on the board and maintain their position in this league. There has been a managerial change at the Aspect Arena after Chris Search departed and Rob Small took over in October. Life under Small started well for the Beach Boys, picking up 4 wins 3 draws and 3 losses within his first 10 games in charge, amassing 15 points. Since then, it has not been plain sailing and they have just 2 other wins since, and only 8 points from 10 games.
In terms of personnel, Concord have a range of both experience and youth. Between the sticks, they have former Chelsea youth graduate Mitchell Beeney, who was a Rob Small signing in October. He has experience with sides such as Hartlepool, Sligo Rovers and Cheshunt. In front of him, is Concord’s captain Aron Pollock. Heading into his fifth season on Canvey Island, Pollock has numerous appearances for the Beach Boys. He came through the academy at Leyton Orient and has played at this level with Wealdstone previously. One of their more experienced players is Tosan Popo, who has played in multiple countries. He had been on the books of Concord before when he joined from Charlton in 2012 after his loan spell with San Roque Lepe in Spain was over. He did not stay for long, as a move to the USA was next, where over 5 years he played for 4 different sides. The 30-year-old has also played for Hemel Hempstead, where he joined from in 2020. There is a former Claret on the side of Concord, as Nana Kyei could be one of their danger men, out on the left. Nana was at the Clarets for a matter of months, but scored once, away to Billericay. He was signed last year, from Hungerford Town. The side’s top scorer is former Libyan international Mohamed Bettamer who has 1 goal in 2 Libyans appearances, He has netted 5 times this season for Concord.
Back in late August, the Clarets took all 3 points against Concord, as they continued their unbeaten start to the season. A 10th-minute Charlie Ruff goal was the difference between the 2 sides, as he shrugged off multiple challenges, before slotting home what turned out to be the match-winner. This meant the Clarets were 6 games unbeaten at the start of the season, with Robbie hoping that his side can emulate that form now, going into the critical stages of the Vanarama National League South season.
The last time that Chelmsford travelled to Canvey Island, the Clarets came from behind to produce an emphatic win. Lamar Reynolds was quick out the blocks, pouncing on Guy Norton’s mistake and giving the hosts the lead after just 2 minutes. However, it was a strong turnaround as Cameron James kicked the comeback off just before halftime, as his diving header opened a way back. Less than 10 minutes after halftime, Tom Blackwell was on hand to turn in James’ low cross, and the score was now in favour of the Clarets. After some brave defending, the 3 points were sealed as Reggie Gregory fired in with minutes to go, seeing the Clarets Academy prospect mauled by not only his teammates but Robbie Simpson too.
With the games coming thick and fast, Chelmsford may need to rotate for the trip to Concord. After Saturday’s game, Cameron James is in doubt, due to him being subbed off after feeling an injury at Hampton and Richnmond. Dave Winfield will be eligible to play, with his suspension not starting until Saturday’s game with Worthing. Elsewhere, Harry Lodovica remains on the side-lines along with Simeon Jackson. In terms of availability, Adebola Oluwo played 70 minutes on Saturday, so is back and can play if needed on Tuesday. Reece Grant was also amongst the subs and available to Robbie.
Advanced ticket prices, as listed on ticket pass for Concord Rangers’ most recent home fixture:
- Adults – £15.00
- Student/Concession – £10.00
- Children (11-16) – £5.00
The above prices should correlate to what they will be on the gate.
HOW TO GET TO THE GAME:
The Chelmsford City Supporters Club are running a coach to the game, departing at 5:30. The route to the ground, from Melbourne Stadium, consists of going on the A1060 to A1114 before getting to the A130 and taking the exit towards Canvey Island. After this, continue taking the A130 to Thames Road, where you will find Concord Rangers FC. Public transport to the ground is limited, with no trains running to Canvey Island. Your best option is to drive or take the Supporters Club coach.
WHERE TO FOLLOW THE GAME:
To keep up with the game, follow the coverage on the @OfficialClarets twitter page, where updates will be posted using the hashtag, #TheClarets.
There will also be live audio commentary from Radio Clarets, which can be found before and during the game on our Twitter.
Post-match reports and interviews will be found on the club website, social media and Youtube channel ClaretsTV, following the game.