Lee Hughes (right) is the man and at the time he was twenty one years old and in his last season with us before joining West Brom for £350,000 rising to eventually £100,000,000 after all the sell on's had been added. Now he's seeing out his career with City and it looks likely that this will finally be the last season for this true legend. He does have a slight injury so might be doubtful.
Apart from the length of time since we last met this game has been long awaited by fans of both sides although it could truthfully be said that was more so from the fans of the mighty Reds. We have sold our original quota of eight hundred tickets and, due to poor sales from the City side of the fence, we were then given a further two hundred tickets that also sold out within a couple of days. We'll now be the majority of the crowd with City still struggling to sell their thousand quota.
Being so local to each other it's obvious that there are going to be people that have appeared for both sides. Our assistant manager Matt Gardiner is the the obvious one to mention first after he joined us from a similar capacity at City to become the right hand man for John Eustace. His former partner at City, Carl Heeley, is still the main man there.
Players that we have shared include, apart from Lee Hughes, are Danny Jackman, Tom Sharpe and Jordan Murphy. Jackman was our midfield maestro in the 2013-14 season while Sharpe was with us from 2009 to 2012 before joining Brackley Town while Murphy came in on loan to us from Walsall last season but joined City on his release from the Saddlers.
Injury wise we're clear of any real problems but Jared Hodgkiss is still an absentee although he is now back in training so we should be at full strength. City, on the otherhand, are rife with players out injured or coming back from injury. Striker Colby Bishop (knee) and midfielder Chekaine Steele (hip) are the two most in doubt while defender James Chambers is slowly coming back from a hamstring injury picked up a few months ago but may not be risked just yet. Tom Sharpe picked up a knee injury in their draw at Gainsborough last Saturday while Ebby Nelson-Addy missed that game with an illness but should be ok to go now.
This Boxing Day game is the first of the festive double header and the return will be at our gaff on New Years Day. At the same time there are other double headers taking place throughout the league with the one of most interest to us being the AFC Fylde v Chorley games. Free scoring Fylde are seven points in front of us but it will be interesting to see if they can put their usual three or four goals past a tight Chorley defence that have only allowed in fifteen goals this season compared to Fyldes twenty eight or our own eighteen. We'll still need to get that maximum points haul in our two games and hope that points are dropped in the clash between first and third.
Whatever the result in our game on Monday it'll just be good to get out after the excesses of Christmas Day and to cheer the lads on in force. Here's to a Merry Christmas and a happy three points.
Photo © Philip Lench
Hornby, T Palmer, Hodgkiss, Lowe, Williams, Carter, Knights, Osborne, Mitchell Evans, Thomas, Tunnicliffe, Francis-Angol, Croasdale, Gnahoua, Truslove, Austin, A Brown, McQuilkin, N'Gwatala, Dieseruvwe, Waite.
Worcester City from:
Draper, Ross, Chambers, Gallinagh, Hutchison, C Keane, Morris, Oji, Weir, Sharpe, Smith, C Hughes, English, Gater, Jackman, Nelson-Addy, Bishop, Micah Evans, Olukanmi, Steele, J Keane, Waldron, Bates, Craig, L Hughes, Murphy.
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