Oxford City will be after a quick response to last weekend’s disappointing loss as they travel to London to face Welling United at Park View Road this Saturday. The three games between the two sides have tended to be rather action packed, with everything from penalties to red cards, and not forgetting the odd stunning goal. The sides have taken a win apiece with the other a draw.
The sides shared the spoils at Marsh Lane in late August with a 1-1 draw, just seven days after City were given a 7-1 thumping away at Dartford. New signing Rob Sinclair scored on his debut to give City the lead on the stroke of the break: the midfielder beating a number of challenges before poking the ball into the corner of the net. Welling’s equaliser came in somewhat controversial style. Following a cleared corner, captain Lee Henderson clashed with Jack Parkinson - a seemingly innocuous incident leading referee James Bell to send off the City skipper and award the visitors a penalty, which they converted.
City head into this weekend off the back of a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to now league leaders Havant & Waterlooville. In a game of very few chances, Jason Prior scored the only goal of the game on the stroke of the break, after City failed to clear their lines, to give the visitors all three points. This saw the end of a superb spell that the Hoops had been on after picking up three consecutive wins against top 7 sides to give them breathing space over the bottom three.
Welling currently sit in 8th place in the league and only find themselves out of the playoff spots on goal difference. They come into the game having won 6 of their last 8 games, their last fixture was a 1-0 win away at East Thurrock United, Adam Coombes scoring the only goal of the game 10 minutes into the second half. They have also beaten Concord Rangers, Braintree, Poole and Eastbourne on their run, whilst falling to defeats against Gloucester City and Wealdstone.
The Wings won comfortably when the sides met at Park View Road last season. After going into the break goalless, they scored four unanswered second half goals to see them home comfortably. Pierre-Joseph Dubois gave them the lead on 59 minutes, before Danny Waldren doubled the lead with a superb volley on 63 minutes. Harry Crawford scored a third on 79 minutes before Adam Coombes rounded off the scoring with a stunning free-kick in the 82nd minute.
Following this fixture, Oxford City welcome Dartford to Marsh Lane, and will be looking to put right the result they were handed when they met at Princes Park earlier in the season. Kick-off is at 3pm on Saturday 24th March.
Mark Jones is looking for an immediate response from his players:
"We want to bounce back after a disappointing defeat last Saturday, the result was disappointing but I don’t think there was an awful lot wrong with our performance, attitudes or work ethics. Unfortunately we just didn’t get our forward play going on the day, and just didn’t cause them enough problems.
Like I said after the game on Saturday, there wasn’t an awful lot in it. What we don’t want to do is let one defeat affect confidence, out of the last 12 points available we’ve taken 9, we are on a decent run, it was a tight game last week and we need to go to Welling and keep our beliefs we should see a good performance."
The City boss knows that the games do not get any easier:
"Welling are another side who are up fighting for the playoff positions, so it’s not going to be an easy game - as no game proves to be in this league. We’ve just got to concentrate on the positives and keep the beliefs there, and I’m sure if we get our game right we can go and cause Welling some problems."
Finally, he provides a squad update:
"In terms of team news, Freddie Grant got a couple of knocks from last week, he’s hurt his ankle and his groin a little bit, but we’re hoping to get him out there on Saturday. Apart from that, we should have a clean bill of health, selecting from the same squad as last week."