Worthing V Chelmsford City, National League South, The Sussex Transport Community Stadium, Saturday 6th January 2024, 3pm kick-off.
The team with the strongest defence in the National League South travel to Sussex this weekend to play against the side with the most potent attack in the division, as Chelmsford City face Worthing on Saturday in the club’s first away game of 2024.
The Mackerel Men have found the back of the net a league-high 51 times this season, with their strong goalscoring form helping them climb to 3rd in the table ahead of this weekend’s clash. The Clarets sit three places and two points below Adam Hinshelwood’s side in the National League South standings, meaning a fourth consecutive league win at the weekend would allow City to continue their recent ascent up the table.
Here’s all that Clarets supporters need to know ahead of the game…
Team & match stats:
· Despite being the league’s highest scoring side, Worthing possess the 14th strongest defensive record in the National League South so far this season.
· The Clarets won both league games against the Mackerel Men last season, meaning Robbie Simpson’s men and Champions Ebbsfleet were the only sides to do the league double over Worthing in 22-23.
· The Sussex-based side’s last victory over City came in September 2018, when the Rebels beat the Clarets 2-1 in an FA Cup second qualifying round tie at Melbourne Community Stadium.
Worthing FC featured in the National League South for the first time last season, after earning promotion from the Isthmian League Premier Division in 2021-22. Adam Hinshelwood’s side are continuing their pursuit of another promotion, as they look to secure a playoff spot for the second year in a row.
Since arriving into the second tier of Non-League football, the Sussex-based club have made their presence known. The Rebels ended their maiden National League South campaign in 4th place, level on points with the Clarets. Hinshelwood’s men beat Braintree Town in their opening playoff fixture, but were defeated by eventual playoff winners Oxford City in the semi-finals.
Despite losing out in the playoffs, the Mackerel Men earned plaudits last season for their goalscoring prowess, after finding the back of the net 92 times, the second highest goal tally in the division behind Ebbsfleet’s 110 strikes.
A key contributor to Worthing’s goal-laden 22-23 campaign was forward Ollie Pearce, who scored 25 goals in 44 league appearances. Pearce has continued his rich scoring form this season, and is currently the top scorer in the National League South having bagged 16 goals in 23 appearances. Pearce scored twice for Worthing when his side last faced the Clarets in March 2023.
Another dangerman in Hinshelwood’s side is Swindon Town loanee Ricky Aguiar. The midfielder started his career at The Sussex Transport Community Stadium before being snapped up by the Robins in 2021, after impressing for Worthing. The 22-year-old linked back up with his former club on a season long loan deal which began in the summer, and Aguiar has picked up where he left off in a Rebels shirt, having scored 11 times already this season.
Despite being sent off last time out against Braintree Town, Dave Winfield will be available for this weekend’s game, after the club have successfully appealed to have the centre back’s red card rescinded. The decision marks the third consecutive rescission of a red card handed to a Clarets player during a league match.
Freddie Hockey’s fitness will be assessed, after the forward was forced off the pitch with a knock during the first half of Monday’s win over Braintree.
Ody Alfa will hope to return to the match day squad, having not been involved on New Year’s Day due to illness.
Admission prices at The Sussex Transport Community Stadium are as follows:
- Adults: £16
- Concession: £12
- Under-16: £6
- Under-12: £3
- Under-6: Free entry
It takes around two hours to make the journey by car from the Melbourne Community Stadium to The Sussex Transport Community Stadium.
The Chelmsford City Supporters Club coach travelling to Sussex has sold out. It will leave Melbourne Park at 11:15am and the County Hotel at 11:30am.
If you are travelling by train, then both Worthing and West Worthing station are just a 10-minute walk from the Sussex Transport Community Stadium.
How to follow the game:
Radio Clarets will be providing live audio commentary of proceedings at the Sussex Transport Community Stadium.
The game is also being live streamed on National League TV, and supporters who can’t make the game can purchase streaming passes for the game via the National League TV website.
Clarets fans can find pre-match coverage of Saturday’s match, and live updates of proceedings 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