(Chelmsford City, 10th Feb 2015, Vanarama South)
Tonight we host Chelmsford City, a team that, league aside, we seem to encounter on a regular basis, and tend to be fairly successful.
Go back to the 2008/09 season and our two sides met in the final of the Essex Senior Cup, with the Clarets winning 2-0 on the night. Since then though, the Essex Senior Cup has proven to be the place we keep meeting. Ok so there may not be too many teams in Essex, but other than this season we have a tendency to be drawn together!
The earliest that I remember is during the 2011/12 season, and the Beachboys were drawn away to the Clarets in that seasons Essex Senior Cup competition. Chelmsford were Conference South, we were just a lowly Ryman Premier side. Of course, any fan of Concord Rangers will know that league placing means absolutely nothing when you get onto that pitch with our lads, and it was highlighted with a 4-1 Beachboys victory at Citys ground.
It was the same story draw-wise the following season, but this time we were drawn at home in what was the Quarter Final stage of the competition. A thrilling game saw it end 3-3 after 90 minutes, and therefore penalties loomed. As has also become a bit of a trend in recent seasons (especially the current one) Concord Rangers were better from the spot, and won the shootout 6-5 to book a place in the Semi Finals (which we subsequently lost).
Promotion followed, so two further games a season would be contested between the Clarets and the Beach Boys. Our first league encounter last season was away from home, and much like the 90 minutes the year before the game ended wiith honours even. Goals from Jason Hallett and John Easterford helped us play out a 2-2 draw, giving us our first point in the Conference South. The Essex Senior Cup paired us up once again, and the trend of it being level after 90 minutes continued, this time the game ended 1-1. Penalties once more, and it was another Concord win, 3-2 being the score on this occasion. When Chelmsford visited Thames Road in the league, the result was slightly different, as the Clarets walked away comfortable 3-1 winners.
Tonights fixture essentially closes our business with each other for another season, and the Beach Boys will be hoping to have a repeat of the reverse fixture at Chelmsford when we got a hard-earned 1-0 victory.
Given that we are so close, and we have a tendency to be drawn together in our county cup competition, I’m sure there will be plenty of interesting and entertaining encounters still to come between our two sides.