HUNDREDS of football fans are set to flock to Claines Lane for Worcester City’s homecoming tonight (7.15pm).

The Blue and Whites will take on Worcester Raiders in their first match in the city since they left St George’s Lane in 2013.

And Worcester City Supporters' Trust director Rich Widdowson hopes the pre-season friendly will show they are “not going to give up” in their bid to bring the exiled club back home permanently.

"It is the first time City have played in Worcester for four years so we are hoping people will turn out and give their support,” Widdowson said.

An application to build a 4,400-capacity ground on Perdiswell Park was minded to refuse by Worcester City Council’s planning committee last month.

But another meeting will be held on Thursday with officers recommending committee members change their minds and approve the trust's proposals.

“What the council need to realise is we are not going anywhere,” Widdowson said.

“We have been involved for a long time and we will still be for another 10 to 20 years so we are not going to give up.”

Volunteers have been busy preparing for the first Worcester derby which is expected to attract up to 800 supporters.

Raiders joint boss and long-time City fan Karl Gormley said: “We have all got the day off work today to make sure everything is set up and in place as it is a much bigger game than we are used to.

“We usually get between 50 and 100 people watching us which is pretty easy to manage so it is all new to us.

“But it will be fine and we are looking forward to it.

“Hopefully it will show the council and the powers-that-be that if we can get a good-sized crowd at Claines Lane can you imagine if Worcester City had their own ground and were playing at a higher standard?

“Worcester is a massive catchment area for football so it is such a shame what has happened to City.

“We want them back home as much as anyone.”

Raiders chairman Kevin Jenkins said: “This is a chance for the city to pull together and enjoy the evening.

“It’s good for Worcester as a whole and if it helps with their application for their ground then that’s great.”

Both clubs are also hoping to generate money, which will be shared, from the game with tickets costing £5 for adults and £2 for people aged 16 and under. Under 11s can get in for free.

Widdowson added: “We are doing a 50-50 split on the gate. We have organised it so the club can make some money from pre-season.

“(At the fans’ forum) Snapper (joint City manager John Snape) said he wanted people to help so that’s why we set the game up otherwise they would have no fundraising whatsoever.

“We will also be doing a half-time draw which will be going to the trust and towards funding for Perdiswell.”