Chelmsford City v Billericay Town preview

First published in Local Sport

MANAGER Glenn Pennyfather and his squad are well aware of the significance of the Chelmsford City vs Billericay Town derby at Melbourne Stadium on Monday night (7:45pm kick-off), but he's determined to focus on the task in hand, proclaiming: "We just want those three points."

The Clarets shared Billericay's New Lodge home for a lengthy spell during their exile from Chelmsford in the late nineties and early 2000s, and the clubs have enjoyed a healthy local rivalry since.

A bumper crowd is likely to contribute to a special atmosphere, and Glenn explains that his players will be prepared.

"It'll add a bit more spice," Glenn predicted. "These sorts or games are notorious, whether they're between big cities in the Premier League or smaller local affairs neither team wants to lose, and status goes out of the window.

"Even our players who aren't from the immediate area know the significance of the match, and there'll be a different mood in the ground as it's a date all the fans mark on the calendar."

Current Town Manager, Craig Edwards, was in the City hot seat immediately prior to Glenn's predecessor Jeff King, leading the Clarets out for their first game at Melbourne, ironically against Billericay.

He's since gone on to lead the Blues on the same path out of the Ryman League Premier Division last season, and they're currently in 21st position in the table, although a win would lift them to 13th.

He added: "There's a lot of history between the clubs, but that's all in the past. Billericay did fantastically well last year to come up through the Ryman League as champions, and they're acclimatising. They're a decent side and we've got to be spot-on to beat them.

"But we're in a good vein of form ourselves and the reward is the same, whether we beat Billericay or Truro - we just want those three points."

The Clarets won 1-0 in the reverse fixture on New Year's Day, and he said: "Billericay are one of the games in hand we need to capitalise on. They play a lot of percentage, aerial football and use long throws to good effect, and we dealt with it well at their place. We'll have to do that again on Monday, otherwise we'll have some problems."

Chelmsford have no new absentees ahead of the big match. Macclesfield Town central midfielder Junior Konadu begins his one-month loan in time for the match, but Glenn faces a predicament in the goalkeeping department after regular custodian Stuart Searle suffered an injury in Saturday's 6-2 win over Hayes & Yeading United.

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