This friendly game was played on a humid and grey Saturday afternoon. The Woodstock Park ground can be found down a winding country lane on the Kent Science Park.
Sittingbourne FC were founded in 1886 and were founder members of the Kent league. they currently play in the Isthmian League South East Division. Sittingbourne FC moved to the Woodstock Park ground in 2013 after their new stadium (Central Park) had to be left for financial reasons in 2002 and then the interim ground sharing arrangement at Bourne Park with Maidstone United ended (2002-13) once Maidstone moved into their own newly built Gallagher Stadium.
Woodstock Park stadium is beautifully set in countryside and served by a friendly and welcoming sports club with its own refreshment area and club bar. There is a small covered stand at one side of the pitch and another behind the goal. The pitch is grass, which looked to be level and in good condition. This match was played on the afternoon ahead of an evening Euro 2021 quarter final fixture, between England and Ukraine, which may well have curtailed the attendance. The entrance was free for this match, with donations being requested instead, for the Demelza House hospice appeal.
Sittingbourne played in red and black striped shirts and black shorts. Welling Town played in green and white hooped shirts and black shorts. Welling Town play in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division.
Sittingbourne had a loyal and vocal support throughout the game, housed in a small stand behind the goal.
On 11 minutes Sittingbourne took the lead when from a corner a scrambled header was snuck in at the far post. The Welling Town keeper should really have owned the ball before the chance went in.
Just four minutes later, on 15 minutes, a rare break for Welling saw them fire in a goal from the left hand side of the box, which seemed to surprise Sittingbourne and levelled the game at 1-1.
Sittingbourne had a number of chances to regain the lead in the first half, which they failed to capitalise on. One chance saw them firing wide, and two others pulling good saves from the Welling keeper. However just on the stroke of half time, an error in the Welling defence presented Sittingbourne’s number 11, with a simple chance to make it 2-1.
On 65 minutes Welling broke, again against the run of play and scored with a sweet volleyed finish.
On 87 minutes, a long through ball broke and the Welling number 7 went through on goal to score the winner and make it 2-3.
Sittingbourne threw themselves into getting an equaliser but the more they pushed the more control the Welling players began to take.
At the end both sets of players looked exhausted as the whistle blew with the score Sittingbourne FC 2, Welling Town 3. This had been an entertaining and highly competitive match. Thanks to Sittingbourne FC for making me welcome and to Jack, who was visiting from Worthing, for sharing his passion for Worthing FC with me while we watched.