Chelmsford City continue their Vanarama National League South campaign on Tuesday 25th October (7.45pm kickoff) with their only away league game of the month at an improving Tonbridge Angels side.

Chelmsford have had an excellent start to the season with just 1 defeat in 16 games played in all competitions so far. Their league form has shot them into the playoff positions, with 27 points from their opening 12 league games, which sees them in 4th place in the Vanarama National League South table.

Opposition

Tonbridge seem to be an improving side in the Vanarama National League South this season with them sitting in 10th place currently in the table, just 1 point off the playoff positions. The Angels put a 3G pitch down in the summer which was opened officially in August but they were defeated 4-1 versus Hampton & Richmond on opening day. Since then their home form has improved and they are unbeaten in 4 at the Longmead Stadium, with 3 wins against Dulwich, Farnborough and Chippenham and a draw against Oxford City. However that victory against Chippenham on Saturday did snap a run of 3 league games without a win. They were also knocked out of the FA Cup surprisingly by Isthmian South Central side Binfield 4-0 in September so they are searching for a consistency of result.

Tonbridge brought in former Maidstone and Margate manager Jay Saunders in the summer and he has overseen an overhaul in the playing staff. Goalkeeper Jonathan Henly has been at the Angels since 2017 so he has been a strong figure in recent Tonbridge history. In defence they have former Claret Craig Braham-Barrett who played for City in the 2017-18 season. They also have veteran Sonny Miles who has made almost 500 appearances for the club. In midfield they have brought in former Southend player Lewis Gard and former Charlton, Bristol City and Gillingham winger Scott Wagstaff. In attacking areas they have long-serving winger Joe Turner, as well as two Charlton loanees in Dylan Gavin and Ecuadorian midfielder Jeremy Santos. Up front they have a phalanx of young talent with Louis Collins and former Queen of the South attacker Ruben Soares Junior leading their goalscoring ranks with 3 goals each along with the aforementioned Lewis Gard.

Previous meetings

Chelmsford have only lost to Tonbridge once at the Longmead Stadium in 5 meetings between the two sides in the National League South. One of the more remarkable games between the two was in October 2019 when current City player Khale Da Costa gave the Angels the lead but two 90 plus minutes goals from Chris Whelpdale and Shaun Jeffers gave City an incredibly late win. Last season both games between the sides ended 1-1. Angels winger Joe Turner has a good record against City with 2 goals against them in the last 4 meetings. Robbie Simpson has faced Tonbridge 4 times as Chelmsford manager and the 3-1 win over them in February 2020 was his first win in charge as Chelmsford City manager. Angels fans won’t need reminding of the 2014 win by City at Melbourne which ended 7-1 to the Clarets and it consigned Angels to relegation to the Isthmian League.

Team News

Chelmsford missed Louis Dunne and Khale Da Costa due to slight knocks on Saturday so academy defender Finn Wilkes made the bench for the first time in the National League South. City might rotate as they are in the midst of a testing schedule.

Tonbridge manager Jay Saunders spoke to their club website last Friday regarding their injury situation:

Jamie Fielding’s having a scan tomorrow on his ankle because he’s still feeling discomfort, so we need to check there’s nothing serious that’s making it worse, Ben Swift has had an injection and he’s feeling better already so hopefully he’s got an outside chance for next Saturday. Tom Parkinson has trained in the last few sessions but fitness wise he’s a bit off so he’s possibly got a chance of being involved next Saturday, and James Taylor also needs to have a scan after he went over on his ankle, it’s still bruised and he’s in pain. It’s Jaden Crowhurst’s final game of his loan from Southend tomorrow so we’ll speak after that about whether we want to extend it. We’ve got a couple of deals in place with a couple of players which probably won’t go through for Saturday but are possibles for Tuesday or the following Saturday.”

 

Ticket details…

Tickets are available to be purchased in advance of the 7:45pm kick-off on Tuesday evening and can be bought by clicking this link. Scroll down to click on the Tonbridge v Chelmsford match. There is no discount for online bookings and tickets will be available on the turnstile, Tonbridge prefer payment by card but you can pay cash. A match programme can be bought online at the same link and then collected at the game or posted to you. Gates open at 6pm. More ticket FAQs can be found at: https://www.tonbridgeangels.co.uk/tickets

Prices – Online or on the gate:

  • Adult (18 & over) £15.00
  • Senior/Concession (65 & over) £12.00
  • Youth (12 to 17) £6.00
  • Junior (under 12) FREE

Children under 15 only admitted if with an adult.

Where to follow the game…

The Club will be providing limited coverage of the game on Twitter (@OfficialClarets) using the hashtag #TheClarets.

For full coverage listen to be live audio commentary from Radio Clarets which can be found here

Post-match reports and interviews will be found on the club website, social media and Clarets TV on Youtube following the game.

How to get there…

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By car, directions from Chelmsford At junction 5 of the M25 take the right-hand lanes to continue to forward onto the A21 (signposted Sevenoaks, Hastings). After approximately five miles, branch left, then at roundabout take the second exit onto London Road (signposted Hildenborough, B245). After about another four miles, and having driven through Hildenborough, turn left onto Dry Hill Park Road (signposted Shipbourne). At roundabout take the first exit (left) onto A227 (Shipbourne Road, signposted Shipbourne). At next roundabout turn left onto Darenth Avenue (first exit, left) and signposted Tonbridge Farm Sportsground. Go down the hill on Darenth Avenue and you will come to the entrance to the car park (gates). You will see the football ground in front of you (white building). The car park is large and free of charge.

By train you can access Tonbridge via London Bridge station. From there you can walk by following these directions: Turn left outside the station and walk the length of the High Street, continuing in this direction passing Bordyke (traffic lights) until reaching Tonbridge School (on the left). Cross the road at pedestrian crossing near the school entrance and proceed in the same direction, going straight ahead towards Shipbourne Road (this road starts at a set of traffic lights). Ignore the branch to the left (London Road) and walk for approximately 10 minutes up Shipbourne Road, until reaching a mini-roundabout (junction with Dry Hill Park Road to the left and Yardley Park Road to the right). Cross the mini-roundabout and return to the other side of the road. Continue in the same direction (towards North Tonbridge) for a few more minutes, then take the second turning left into Welland Road (just passed the Royal Oak pub). Go down the steep hill on Welland Road and at the bottom, turn right into Long Mead Way. Stay on this road, (about half way along it bends to the left then right, before straightening out again). At the end of Long Mead Way you will come to a junction with Darenth Avenue. The entrance to the stadium is on the left (will see the gates and large car park). Head along the path through the middle towards the white buildings. The turnstiles are on the left-hand side of the clubhouse.

The latest train back to London which you can get a connection to Chelmsford leaves at 23.19 from Tonbridge. This should allow you to get the 00.46 from London Liverpool Street.

Taxis from the station to the ground cost £10.

Please be aware there is an Arriva Buses strike in Tonbridge so public bus services to the game may be limited.

Weather…

The weather is set to be a mild 16 degrees for the 7.45pm kickoff, dropping to 15 degrees by the end of the game. It is set to be a clear night as well.