Clarets: Pay what you want day on Saturday

Chelmsford Weekly News: Clarets: Pay what you want day on Saturday Clarets: Pay what you want day on Saturday

Chelmsford City fans can ‘Pay What You Want’ for this Saturday’s important Skrill South home game against Hayes & Yeading United at Melbourne.

New manager Mark Hawkes has invited supporters who may have felt “short-changed” in the past to come and watch his new-look Clarets side once again.

After a dreadful start to the campaign, City have seen their form improve and this weekend’s fixture has no fixed admission fee in an effort to reintroduce fans.

Special stalls and other entertainment will be laid on at the ground and Hawkes wants it to form part of a carnival atmosphere for the match.

He said: “There was quite a low gate for our first game then last Saturday it was bigger, so if the results and performances are right, there is the potential for that to grow again as we get people back.

“I’d ask anyone who feels they’ve been short-changed in the past to pay a pound, come and give us another look and support their local players – they might just be surprised!”

Hawkes, 48, took over at the Clarets a fortnight ago and has made a quick impact at Melbourne, winning his first two league games 3-1 against Farnborough and 1-0 over Basingstoke Town, with a narrow Essex Senior Cup defeat sandwiched in-between as they went out to Concord Rangers on penalties.

Supported in the dugout by Steve Smith, he’s gaining a familiarity with his new squad and surroundings.

Before Tuesday’s game at Maidenhead United, Mark said: “This is a major club, and everyone has welcomed me with open arms.

“Winning your first two league games helps and it brings positivity.

“I’ve inherited a squad with so much talent and we want to guide ourselves into a situation where we’re harder to beat. We’ve worked mostly on our defensive areas so far, although we’ve still managed to score in all of our games.

“You have to secure points before everything else. We did that in our first match, and that’s all you can hope for.

“Maybe it was because it was the first game scenario and all the players were trying that bit harder, but we still went to Concord, fielded some players who hadn’t been playing, and everyone responded.

“When we arrived it was a harsh first meeting and we didn’t know how the players would respond to what we were saying because they’ve all got experience of the Football League, while we’re coming up from the other direction.

“They’ve all been excellent and you could see on Saturday we were a little more cohesive. Although it wasn’t perfect, we played some good football.”

“Great teams don’t give anything away, then there will always be opportunities at the other end to win the game.

“I like my strikers to be the first line of defence, then we can patiently build from there. We have an opportunity to put a gap between ourselves and the sides near the bottom.”

Hawkes is a familiar face in local football from his time on and off the pitch with Heybridge Swifts and the self-employed window and door fitter still pulls on his boots every Sunday for Heybridge Social in the Pope & Smith Chelmsford Sunday League.

***** Chelmsford City 1 Basingstoke Town 0 The Clarets proved they had a resolute defence and a great deal of patience and character as they waited 80 minutes before sealing their second consecutive league victory through Rob Edmans. He emerged from the bench to strike a late clincher and move Chelmsford towards the middle of the table.

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