By Gerry PrewettBristol Rovers entertain Welling United on Saturday hoping to build on the momentum of the victory over Barnet on Tuesday night. With 8 wins and 7 draws in their last 16 games Rovers are on a fine run of form.
Welling, in the second season of Conference Premier football have struggled having won just 6 from their 22 games however they have won their last two games, a 2-1 home victory over Halifax and a 1-0 away win at Braintree, where Rovers hit their nadir for the season.
Whilst Rovers were clipping the wings of high flying Barnet on Tuesday, the Wings completed a double over Braintree at Cressing Road thanks to Charlie Penny's close-range finish in the top right hand corner on 61 minutes. The victory came just 24 hours after Welling loaned leading scorer Harry Beautyman to Peterborough United.
Welling fielded a young back four with on-loan Crystal Palace defender Michael Chambers the oldest at 20 and development squad teenager Joey Taylor making his first league start at left-back, due to injuries and suspensions.
Welling are Rovers juniors by 80 years being founded in 1963. The club began as a youth team playing in local league football on a park pitch, which gradually expanded and began playing Saturday football in the London Spartan League. By 1987 they found themselves playing in the Conference. They managed to stay in the Conference until 2000 when they dropped back to the Southern League. In 2012/13 they finished top of the Conference South to win automatic Promotion. Last season they finished 16th and seem to have found their level.
Some former players who spent some of their career at Welling include Any Townsend, Danny Dichio, Terry Skiverton and Paul Barron.
There is little history of games between Rovers and the South East London club but they will soon be very familiar as the fixture list means they will be playing one another on consecutive Saturdays. The clubs have met just once before in the FA Cup in 1998/99 when Rovers ran out 3-0 winners with a Jason Roberts Hat-trick. It was the start of a run that took Rovers to a 5th Round tie at Barnsley.