Chelmsford City and Slough Town resume their league seasons in the National League South after a very different past couple of days for both sides in the build-up to this fixture. Slough head into Saturday’s game high on confidence after dumping National League opposition Ebbsfleet United out of the FA Cup on Tuesday, whilst the Clarets are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 3-1 cup defeat to Northern Premier League side Whitby Town.
Whilst Scott Davies’ side have out-performed City in the FA Cup this season, Chelmsford have enjoyed a stronger start to the current league campaign, currently sitting six points above Slough in the league table heading into this weekend’s game. The Berkshire based club are 21st in the league at present, occupying the final relegation place in the table. Despite this, the Rebels head into Saturday’s game in strong form, having gone unbeaten in all competitions since the beginning of September.
Slough Town player-manager Scott Davies is a figure familiar to Chelmsford City fans. The midfielder played 30 times for the club in the 2017/18 season, eventually departing in March 2018. Since then, Davies has spent the majority of his career as a Rebels player, helping the club earn promotion to the National League South in 17/18 after departing the Melbourne Community Stadium for Arbour Park.
Following the resignations of Slough joint-managers Neil Baker and Jon Underwood in November last year, Davies took on the role of caretaker manager at Arbour Park, before being officially appointed as the club’s manager in the days following Baker and Underwood’s departures. Davies managed to guide Slough through their relegation worries last campaign, helping the club secure an 18th place finish and subsequently its sixth consecutive season of National League South football.
Davies continues to be a regular feature in the Rebels’ starting line-up despite his managerial responsibilities, and has scored twice for his side so far this season.
Elsewhere, Slough completed the signing of goalkeeper Rohan Luthra in the summer. The 21-year-old joined on loan from Championship side Cardiff, having featured once for the Bluebirds in the second tier after appearing as a late substitute against Preston North End last season. In doing so, he became the first goalkeeper of South Asian descent to play in the Championship. Luthra has impressed in his time with Slough so far, recording six clean sheets from his 12 appearances this season.
Forward George Alexander is another key man for the Rebels. Alexander first signed for the club earlier this year in March. The Bromley loanee scored six goals in seven appearances in this stint at the end of last season, to help the club achieve National League South survival. Alexander re-joined Slough on loan in August, and has found the back of the net 6 times in 10 league appearances during 23/24 so far.
Most recent meeting:
City last faced Slough in February and won 2-0, where second half strikes from Frankie Terry and Arjanit Krasniqi ensured the Clarets did the double over the Rebels in the 22/23 season. Scott Davies’ side arrived at the Melbourne Community Stadium on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run, and forced Chelmsford keeper Eddie Beach into a string of impressive saves before Terry put the Clarets ahead in the 58th minute. Terry bundled in Simeon Jackosn’s saved effort to score his first senior goal, before Krasniqi doubled City’s lead less than five minutes later with a well-taken effort from close range.
Despite being reduced to 10-men after forward Reece Grant was sent off, City comfortably saw the rest of the game out and took three points from Slough for the second time in 2022/23, having already beaten the Rebels 2-0 at Arbour Park earlier on in the season.
Following Tuesday night’s long trip to Whitby, and with a busy fixture schedule ahead for the Clarets in the next week or so, Robbie Simpson will look to carefully manage the fitness of his Chelmsford squad heading into Saturday’s game. Club captain Dave Winfield continues his recovery from injury.
Saturday’s game is Community Day at Arbour Park for Slough Town FC.
To mark this occasion, the Rebels have cut admission fees to the following prices:
· Adults: £10
· Concessions: £5
· Accompanied U16s: enter FREE of charge
Turnstiles at Arbour Park will open from 1.30pm, with kick-off at 3pm.
Slough is well connected to London Paddington Station, with Elizabeth Line and Great Western Railway services regularly running into Slough Station throughout the day. The station is around a 15-minute walk away from Arbour Park.
It takes approximately 90 minutes to travel by car from the Melbourne Community Stadium to Arbour Park.
How to follow the game:
Clarets fans can follow live updates on the game by following the club’s X (formerly known as Twitter) page: @OfficialClarets.
Radio Clarets will be providing free live audio commentary of Saturday’s proceedings at Arbour Park.
Post-match reaction will be found on the club’s website, official social media channels, and on ClaretsTV following the game.
Words By Jake Dixon