Today the Clarets host Tonbridge Angels at the EMG Inspire Stadium in the Vanarama National League South.
City go into this weekend’s fixture looking for our first win since 12th February, when Cameron James’ headed goal in the second half ensured a 1-0 victory over Hampton & Richmond Borough at the EMG Inspire Stadium.
Last weekend the Clarets put an end to a run of seven straight defeats with a 2-2 draw away to Hemel Hempstead Town, keeping the fight for National League South safety in our hands.
Despite losing their two-goal advantage due to Hemel’s spirited fightback, there were still plenty of positives to take with a point gained on the road.
A win for City this weekend could see them go above Bath City into 18th, just two points behind today’s opponents, Tonbridge.
Tickets are available to be purchased in advance of the 3pm kick-off and can be bought by clicking here.
Last time out…
The Clarets were held to a 2-2 draw with Hemel Hempstead Town following a late fightback from the hosts at Vauxhall Road.
City started the game well on the front foot at Vauxhall Road, with Charlie Sheringham twice going close to opening the scoring before he actually did.
The two chances were both headed opportunities and on both occasions, the effort was not far off the target.
When the breakthrough did come, Matt Rush drove into the box and squared a pass for Sheringham to power his shot beyond Craig King.
The Chelmsford dominance continued over the duration of the first half, with another Sheringham header going agonisingly close midway through the opening 45 minutes.
Later in the half, Tom Blackwell had two chances in quick succession which again saw Robbie Simpson’s side go close to bagging.
With piercing runs down the left on both occasions, the first effort was curled high and wide and the second forced a good block from a Hemel defender from close range.
Despite City starting the second half well, the Tudors had their best chance of the game five minutes on from the restart as Alfie Cerulli cracked a shot off the bar from inside the box.
Blackwell was the next to go close to bagging, again driving down the left and cutting onto his right before forcing a good save from King with a curling effort.
A good spell in the game for Hemel followed but the City backline held firm and the Clarets were rewarded with 20 minutes left to play.
Having been a thorn in the home side’s right flank all afternoon, Blackwell again got down the left and drilled a cross in for Matt Rush to bag his first Chelmsford goal.
It took less than five minutes for the Tudors to halve City’s lead though, as substitute Charlee Hughes pulled one back from close range.
The home side continued to press from there and found their equaliser from a corner with less than 10 left as Pierre Fonkeu headed in from a corner.
Despite City regaining some dominance and having chances to go back in front, neither side could find the back of the net again and the game ended in a draw.
Tonbridge Angels currently occupy 17th place in the table on 37 points, with two wins, two draws and one loss in their previous five games.
The Angels have claimed four points in their last two games, with a home win against league strugglers Welling United last weekend and a draw away to Hampton & Richmond midweek; keeping two clean sheets in the process.
Outside of league action, Tonbridge were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup in the second qualifying round, losing 5-0 to away Hayes & Yeading.
Their Buildbase FA Trophy run, however, was more rewarding.
The Angels made it to the fifth round of the competition, overcoming Canvey Island, Torquay United and King’s Lynn Town on their way, before losing out on penalties to National League side Bromley.
They also have a Kent Senior Cup quarter-final tie to look forward to on the 12th April away to Welling.
This weekend’s visitors are managed by Steve McKimm, who has been at the helm since 2014, guiding his team to promotion to the National League South in the 2018/19 campaign via the Isthmian Premier play-offs.
This weekend’s dangerman would appear to be attacking midfielder Joe Turner.
Turner, 28, is Tonbridge’s top scorer this season with nine goals in all competitions and also netted against City in the reverse fixture this season.
A winger by trade, he is comfortable on either flank and can also play in behind the strikers as a 10.
He joined the Angels in August 2017 from Kingstonian, going on to make almost 200 appearances.
He scored his 50th goal on his 160th appearance for the Angels in September 2021, establishing himself as a more than capable threat in this division.
Our last meeting…
Tonbridge Angels 1-1 Chelmsford City, Saturday 20th November 2021.
The spoils were shared in a 1-1 draw between the Clarets and Tonbridge Angels at the Halcyon Wealth Longmead Stadium.
City began the game with intent and sent in a number of dangerous crosses early on, with Dara Dada also firing a shot over the bar inside 10 minutes.
Just after Dada’s effort though, Tonbridge should have taken the lead as Chez Isaac looked to play a ball back to Tom Dickens but instead played Ricky Modeste in on goal, who sent his one-on-one chance wide of the post.
The hosts would again go close five minutes later after a header from a looped cross beat James Dillon, but Mickey Spillane was there to head off the line.
Robbie Simpson’s side would trade the next blow, with Cameron James cannoning a header off the crossbar following a Tom Blackwell corner.
A minute on from there, however, the hosts took the lead through Joe Turner, who headed beyond Dillon from close range after a cross from the right-hand side.
City grew back into the half following the goal but failed to test Jonathan Henly in the Angels’ goal despite a number of dangerous crosses.
Both sides grappled for the next goal over the opening 15 minutes of the second half and it was the Clarets who got it.
Attacking in numbers, Freddie Hockey saw a shot blocked first, then Charlie Sheringham too before Simeon Jackson found the back of the net from outside the box off the post.
The goal would be followed by a spell of City pressure on the hunt for a goal to go in front, with the best chance falling for James, who drilled wide from inside the box.
With 15 minutes to go, the momentum would shift and Tonbridge enjoyed a dangerous spell that saw blocks, clearances and tackles fly in from the City backline to maintain parity.
The Clarets came back into the game with five minutes remaining and pushed for a winner but just couldn’t force a breakthrough to claim all three points.
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.