Chelmsford City return to FA Cup action this weekend, with Northern Premier League side Whitby Town FC standing in-between the Clarets and a place in the first-round proper of the competition.
The Seasiders have beaten Goole AFC, Prescot Cables, and Morpeth Town in the competition to reach this stage, enjoying a productive cup run alongside a comfortable league campaign so far this season. Nathan Haslam’s side currently sit 9th in the Northern Premier League, having collected 16 points from their opening nine league games.
Whitby manager Nathan Haslam was originally appointed the club’s as joint manager in 2020 alongside Lee Bullock, but took the reigns as sole manager in September last year following the resignation of Bullock.
The Seasiders’ fortunes in recent seasons have been mixed; in 2021/22 the club finished 7th in the Northern Premier League and missed out on a play-off place by a five points, but the club’s league performance dipped in the 2022/23 season after finishing in 15th, six points above the relegation zone.
Haslam’s side have already bettered last season’s showing in the FA Cup; a defeat to his former club Marske FC saw Whitby eliminated from the competition in the second qualifying round in 22/23.
Goalkeeper Shane Bland has been Whitby Town’s club captain since 2020 and is in his second spell with the club, after re-joining from West Auckland Town in May 2019. The keeper is known amongst Seasiders fans for his confident distribution with the ball.
Whitby also possess some players with previous EFL experience; centre back Daniel Rowe made a number of appearances for Wycombe Wanderers in League Two between 2014 and 2017, whilst forward Bradley Fewster scored 8 goals in 24 games for York City in the 2015/16 League Two season. Fewster is also capped at youth level with England.
Most recent meeting:
It’s believed this Saturday’s cup tie will mark the first ever time both clubs have faced each other.
City captain Dave Winfield has been out of action recently with an injury which looks set to leave him side-lined this Saturday. Jermaine Francis is currently on international duty and also unavailable, after receiving another call-up for Grenada.
Admission prices at the Melbourne Community Stadium are as follows:
· Adult: £12
· Concession/ Senior 65+/Student (18-24 With Valid ID): £8
· Under 18s: £3
· U16 with accompanying Adult: FREE
Tickets can be pre-purchased here.
How to follow the game:
Saturday’s game is being live streamed by streaming service 247.tv. Passes can be purchased here.
Clarets fans can follow live updates about 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 the Melbourne Community Stadium.
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