Chelmsford City Football Club begin their Vanarama National League South 17/18 season at home to Gloucester City on Saturday afternoon.
The Clarets had their 100% winning record throughout pre-season ended last Saturday, as Vanarama National League side Sutton United came from behind to defeat Rod Stringer’s side.
City completed pre-season with a successful record, conceding just five goals from their eight matches while 21 goals were scored for the Clarets. The additions of Jake Jessup and Sam Beasant in-goal have proved to be strong replacements for the outgoing Ross Fitzsimons as the Clarets have kept clean sheets on four occasions.
The two sides have prepared to face each other for the first time since the dramatic FA Trophy meeting in 2015.
Joe Hanks had put the visitors ahead after just six-minutes back then and the Tigers seemed set to advance to the next round of the FA Trophy, but Rory McAuley’s header on 87 minutes levelled things up meaning a replay – which the Clarets won 1-0 – was required.
The Clarets are set to host Gloucester with a slightly depleted squad, with Max Porter ruled out due to injury while Shaun Batt is also a doubt.
Gloucester Manager Tim Harris will be unable to select full-back Lewis Hall, with undergoing treatment for an injury sustained during pre-season. The Tigers have had a depleted squad recently, with Tom Webb and Darren Mullings also suffering injuries however Mullings returned to the squad for their final pre-season match, against Hereford United. Robbie Cundy will feature for the Tigers having signed earlier this week.
View from the opposition
Speaking in the lead-up to Saturday’s League opener, Gloucester City boss Tim Harris told http://www.gloucestercityafc.com that he expects the Clarets to be fighting for promotion again.
“A lot of people have them down as favourites for the league and for good reason. They are a very good side.
“We have to raise our performance to the same levels of what they were when we played Stockport County on the last game of last season and if we do that I am confident of a result.”