Welling United Match Preview

After facing five of the top seven clubs in the past month, City meet a fellow struggler on Saturday when they visit Welling United.

The Wings currently lie in 20th position with 26 points, six more than Billericay but with one more game played following the draw between the two clubs at New Lodge last Saturday.

But of even more importance to City is that we are just two points better off, meaning that this is a vital match for both.

The Kent club have been in the bottom half of the table all season, their defence claiming the unwanted distinction of being the worst in the division with 65 goals conceded.

Manager Peter Taylor, famous as a player with Spurs and Crystal Palace as well as managing the England under 21 team, saw an upturn in results following his Autumn appointment but his team have been one of the favourites for relegation for some months since.

While there have been five victories at Park View Road, like City there has been only the one home draw. Their eight defeats there included a 6-0 thrashing from neighbours Dartford and five losses in the last matches has only been punctuated by a surprise win over Chippenham.

City hosted Welling at Twerton Park back in early November when the visitors’ 90th minute goal was not enough to cancel out earlier strikes from Elliot Frear and Alex Fletcher.

With the two clubs not meeting at all last season, next Saturday’s visit will be City’s first to Park View Road since August 2019. On that summer’s day first half goals from Alex Hartridge, Tyler Harvey and Tom Richards saw us achieve a comfortable 3-0 victory.

That was the third win at the ground in the last six by City, who have won nine in total since our first fixture at Welling in 1987.

In fact we have been visiting Park View Road since 1964 when it was the home of now defunct Bexley United. There were some memorable matches with Welling after they took over the ground, with City scoring six, five and five goals during the early 1990s!

The ground is on the busy High Street with passengers on the top deck of passing buses having a fine view of the match! Like Twerton Park, it is a traditional ground with an ancient stand and substantial terracing behind both goals.

Welling share Park View Road with Erith & Belvedere FC, whose modern facilities are on the opposite side to the main stand. It is usually possible on a matchday to visit the Deres’ comfortable clubhouse as well as Welling’s, a rarity in football.

Tickets can be bought in advance from the Welling website.

If it’s a fine day a pleasant walk can be had in neighbouring Danson Park, but City supporters are more likely to be attracted by the large number of pubs within walking distance of the ground. And a little further afield and requiring a short bus ride is the Robin Hood & Little John, a rival to the Mermaid at St Albans as the ‘best pub in the league’!

The 160 mile road journey from Bath will take around 3.5 hours while the train trip from Bath Spa will take a little less, changing at Paddington and Victoria or Charing Cross. The ground is one mile from Welling station.

And remember that if you cannot get to Park View Road on Saturday you can follow all of the action by listening to Bath City Internet Radio.