City welcome Welling United to Twerton Park on a Friday evening, the match being rearranged just in case England or Wales were in action during the usual Saturday afternoon slot.
It is a rare Friday night game and one City fans should all be very excited for as they make a return to Twerton under the lights, looking to bounce back from defeat last weekend.
Of course, this will be the first home match since the traumatic events which took place on 8th November and everyone connected with the club will go into Friday’s game buoyed by the encouraging news that Alex Fletcher is on the path to recovery.
The visitors make the trip from Kent in 13th position, just three points behind City.
However, The Wings should travel with some confidence as they have scored at least once in each of their nine away fixtures, winning at Hemel Hempstead, Dulwich and Eastbourne. They were unbeaten in their first six matches away from Park View Road but then suffered heavy defeats at Braintree and close neighbours Dartford.
A 3-0 defeat at Weymouth in the Third Qualifying Round put an end to their FA Cup dreams but victory over Havant & Waterlooville has earnt them a trip to National League Aldershot Town in the Trophy.
Our two encounters with Welling last season were rather contrasting when it came to entertainment. Goals from Elliot Frear and Alex Fletcher earnt City a deserved win at Twerton twelve months ago but a poor return match in March ended 1-1 with Cody Cooke’s strike being levelled following the referee ignoring Jack Batten’s head injury in the build up to the home side’s equaliser.
Soon afterwards, Welling parted company with their manager, Peter Taylor, and he was immediately replaced by Warren Feeney. The former Northern Ireland international picked up the reigns and victory on the penultimate game of the season at champions Maidstone preserved Welling’s National League South status, finishing just one place and two points better off than relegated Billericay.
Feeney oversaw a large turnover of players during the summer and one of his many signings was Adebayo Azeez from Dartford who has made a fine start with eight goals already.
The Wings made the first of their 21 league visits to Twerton in 1986 and City’s record in the sequence is ten wins, six draws and five defeats. While honours are therefore fairly even, we have been victorious in six of the nine encounters since 2004 and home supporters will be hoping for further success as their team aims to return to the play off positions.