Chelmsford City FC V Torquay United FC
National League South, Melbourne Community Stadium, Saturday 23rd December 2023, 3pm kick-off.
Chelmsford City can provide Clarets fans with an early Christmas present this weekend by defeating Torquay United at Melbourne Community Stadium.
Gary Johnson’s side will arrive in Essex in strong form looking to derail any early festivities, as they seek to pick up their fifth consecutive National League South win.
Robbie Simpson’s side can close the points gap between the Clarets and the Gulls to five points if they pick up a win this weekend. There are currently eight places separating the two sides in the league table; Torquay sit in 2nd and Chelmsford are 10th in the standings.
Here’s all City supporters need to know ahead of this weekend’s clash…
Team & match stats:
· Torquay have opened the scoring in four of their previous five games.
· Gary Johnson’s side have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven matches played in the league and FA Trophy.
· Despite sitting 2nd in the National League South standings, the Gulls arrive in Essex with just the 14th strongest away record in the league so far this season.
· Torquay are undefeated in their last three games against the Clarets.
Torquay United are looking to bounce back to the National League at their first attempt. The Gulls were relegated to the sixth-tier last season after a disappointing 22-23 campaign, ending their stint of four seasons in the top tier of Non-League football.
The Devon-based side spent one season in the National League South during 2018-19. The mid-season appointment of current manager Gary Johnson helped inspire the Gulls to an instant return to the National League, with Torquay being promoted as Champions.
Johnson then nearly guided his side back to the Football League in 21-22, for the first time since 2014, when they reached the play-off final. The Gulls however lost 5-4 on penalties to Hartlepool in the final, forcing them into another two years of National League football before their relegation earlier this year.
A standout player from Torquay’s disappointing 22-23 campaign was forward Aaron Jarvis, who scored 15 times for the Gulls in the National League. Jarvis has remained with the club so far this season and continued his strong goal scoring form by netting 7 goals in 12 games in the opening months of the season. Jarvis has recently been sidelined with an injury though, and it remains to be seen if he will make a long awaited return this weekend.
Stepping up in Jarvis’ place recently has been fellow forward Bradley Ash, who arrived at Plainmoor Stadium during the summer transfer window, after impressing last season for Weymouth. Ash scored 18 times last season for the Terras, persuading Gary Johnson to snap up the 27-year-old heading into this season. The forward has repaid Johnson’s faith by scoring 7 league goals so far for his new club, but Ash could also be a doubt for this weekend’s game after missing his side’s last two league matches.
Luke Jenkins will be available this weekend after his red card in last week’s defeat to St Albans was rescinded by the FA.
Liam Vincent is expected to remain sidelined due to an injury he picked up against Maidstone at the end of last month.
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 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:
Radio Clarets will be providing live audio commentary of proceedings at Melbourne Community Stadium.
Clarets fans can find pre-match coverage of Saturday’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.