DARRYL Eales is certain to receive a warm welcome from Oxford City tomorrow.

The former Oxford United owner will arrive at Court Place Farm for the Emirates FA Cup first round tie looking to get one over on the hosts in his role as Solihull Moors chairman.

But Eales’s contribution to a deal with City which saw them install a 3G pitch at a time when the non-league club were struggling financially has not been forgotten.

Justin Merritt, City’s general manager, said: “Darryl’s support of Oxford City has been incredible.

“Some of the things he’s done to help us when we were in turmoil a few years ago he didn’t need to do and we are full of respect and gratitude.

“Without that we would probably be on a different path.

“He will certainly be welcomed here, but I want to take the prize money off him.”

Eales is steadily being paid back for his investment and is looking forward to the clash.

He said: “For me it was the right thing to do.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with Justin and I’m looking forward to seeing a few familiar faces.

“I’m hoping there’s a good gate, especially with United not playing until Sunday.”

FA Cup runs to the first round for the last three seasons have delivered a big boost as City have chipped away at a debt which reached £1.5million in 2016.

This campaign’s run has brought in £36,750 in prize money, which would almost double with a win tomorrow.

While useful, Merritt admitted they would need to go even further to make a big dent in the deficit.

He said: “We are really grateful of that money but it’s not going to change our lives, unless you go on to get a huge tie.”