Next Match – Chelmsford City – Home

City welcome our old friends and rivals from Chelmsford City to Twerton Park on Tuesday for the second of two home fixtures in four days. The match was originally scheduled for 10th September but was of course postponed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth two days previously.

While the Clarets will be facing a long, difficult midweek trip to Bath and will possibly be distracted by their big FA Cup match just four days later, they should prove a good test for Jerry Gill’s team who will be looking to get back to winning ways after the defeat to Dover.

Saturday’s 5-0 home win for Chelmsford against Eastbourne consolidated their fourth place in the table, with four more points than City.

They have picked up eleven points from the six matches played away from Melbourne Park, including victories at Slough, Welling and Farnborough, although their unbeaten record on the road went in a shock defeat at Tonbridge Angels last Tuesday.

Remarkably, only two goals have been conceded in those away fixtures so it is not surprising that Robbie Simpson’s team have the best overall defensive record in National League South.

Eleven goals were scored in the dispatching of King’s Langley and Romford in the FA Cup before a fine win against National League Aldershot set up a visit to Barnet in the first round next Saturday.

Like ourselves, they struggled last season finishing only five points above relegated Billericay, yet were mainly looking over their shoulder as they consistently picked up positive results against those around them, including City.

The fixture at Twerton was played in August and Cody Cooke’s 90th minute strike was our only response to goals either side of half time as Chelmsford inflicted our first defeat of the season.

The double was completed in dismal January weather at Melbourne Park in a match mainly remembered for the penalty award to City which was changed following an intervention from the referee’s assistant and we went down to the single home goal.

In total, the Essex club have made 41 visits in the League to Twerton since their first in 1938. It was a happy hunting ground for them in the post war years but their victory here last season was only the second in the last ten.

Back in the 1950s, crowds of over 5000 watched the two clubs meet at Twerton with the largest in recent years turning up for the play off semi-final in 2010 when 1425 saw Kaid Mohamed’s and Hector Mackie’s goals give City the advantage in their memorable run to promotion.

City will be hoping for another 1000+ attendance on Tuesday which promises to be a close encounter between two clubs aiming to close the gap on leaders Ebbsfleet.

Tickets can be bought in advance from the Club’s website.