A new chapter in the Peacocks’ history begins tomorrow (6th August) when they play their first ever game in the National League South. Exciting or what!
After claiming the Southern Premier South title by five clear points on the final day of last season, Town now take a plunge into the unknown to face the challenges of Step 2 football, commencing with the visit of Welling United to the Cygnet Health Care Stadium tomorrow for the curtain raiser. Since that memorable day in late April, the Peacocks’ squad has undergone something of a transformation with several players from the glory days of 2021-22 having left for pastures new while a batch of fresh faces have been recruited, both to replace the departed and to increase the numbers in the squad which will undoubtedly be required in the next nine months or so as Town embark on a 46 game fixture marathon.
Pre-season has gone well for Town, with only two defeats from eight matches, as the squad have begun to gel since returning to action in early July. The Peacocks will therefore hope to hit the ground running when they welcome a Welling side which finished one place off the bottom of the National League South table last season, two points clear of relegated Billericay Town. The Wings will be similarly keen then to get off to a good start to banish the memories of their last campaign. The Kent side have recruited heavily during the summer all over the pitch including former Shrewsbury and Tranmere striker Stefan Payne, fellow frontman Palace Francis from Bromley, experienced League midfielder James Dunne from Southend United along with Antony Papadopoulos from Leyton Orient plus defenders Rob Howard from Southend United and Manny Parry from Maidenhead United. Pre-season has gone well for the Wings, with six wins from seven matches, their only defeat coming to Charlton Athletic in a behind closed doors meeting.
It looks to be a challenging game for Town then to start their higher level experience, but they will not be lacking in confidence after their achievements of 2021-22 while Head of Football Rob Dray has also strengthened with a clutch of new players. Strikers Dave Sims-Burgess, Nat Jarvis and Nick McCootie have all arrived at the Cygnet along with defenders Dan Ball and Will Tunnicliff while the returns of Ollie Chamberlain and Lee Lucas will feel like having two new signings. New loan keeper Jack Bycroft from Southampton is also in the squad. The main problem facing the Town boss tomorrow is who to leave out. He commented:” A monumental day for our club tomorrow and one that we all must embrace and enjoy. It’s one for the supporters and the off-field staff to be proud of but for the players it’s a game of football to be won. Nothing changes, the focus stays the same. We have momentum, good players and now have to find that resilience in the next league above.”
Admission is payable by card or cash at the turnstile only, priced at £12 for Adults, £10 for Concessions and £5 for Juniors (14-17 years). Under 14’s are free on condition they are accompanied by an adult. Unaccompanied Under 14’s will not be admitted.
Matchday Programme is online only and can be read HERE
We welcome our Matchday Mascots tomorrow Bishops Lydeard Under 12’s