The 2003-04 season will see City add a bit of Italian fashion to their already continental style of play. The famous black and white striped kit will be supplied by the Italy-based firm Errea. They already provide kits for Premiership side Middlesborough plus Football League sides Derby County, Cheltenham and Brighton. To see the design in it’s (almost) full glory go here. The only difference is that the strip will feature a black rather than white collar. And the shorts will be the black option.
Despite seeing their team come a distant second against Stafford Rangers yesterday, City travelling supporters did themselves and the club proud with almost non-stop backing of their team that frankly made the home support look pathetic by comparison. Rangers were forced to result to the gimmick of playing music after each goal to provide a little atmosphere that their 900+ cardboard cut-out supporters failed to manage. Unfortunately the Stafford team are clearly used to this feeble backing as they ran out comfortable 5-0 winners, although three goals in the final ten minutes when City were down to ten men, Chris Honor carried off with a serious knee-injury and all the subs already used, did put a flattering edge on the scoreline. Daniel began the rout after four minutes and an error by Mark Bryant allowed Lovatt to double the lead on the stroke of half time. Gibson’s 80th minute goal was added to by Fife and Murphy within 30 seconds of each other in stoppage time. City’s only response was a looping Jason Eaton header midway through the first half that keeper Price easy collected.
City’s second string outfit completed their Western League season, and membership, with a 5-2 home defeat against Backwell United. Two goals from Steve Bridges bought them level after trailing 2-0 at half time but a penalty plus own goals from Brad Newman and Nigel Gillard saw them sign off from the competition in disappointing fashion. Next season the reserve side will play in the newly formed Severnside Midweek League.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the clubs Southern League Championship winning season City have published a book and will be holding a reunion evening. The book, entitled Champions – The Story of the 1977/78 Season, has been written by lifelong City fan Phil Tanner and is available now via the club for just £6. And the reunion evening will be held in Randall’s on Saturday 10 May from 7.30pm. Many of the team from that season will be at the event, including 21-goal top scorer George Gibbs who is flying in from America to join in the celebrations. Tickets for The Class of 1978 reunion, to include a buffet and a 70s and 80s disco, are £8.50 for supporters club members and £10.00 for non-members. They are available from the club office on 423087 or the club shop on matchdays.
Back to the present day this seasons top-scorer (bar someone scoring about 12 goals in the final three games) Jason Eaton and midfielder Paul Milsom have both signed new one-year contracts to remain with City for the 2003-04 season.
Despite playing for over an hour with ten men after Chris Honor’s dismissal City’s encounter with Weymouth at Twerton Park today ended one goal apiece. An alledged elbow while a throw-in was being taken saw Honor red carded after 11 minutes but City responded well and on the half hour Matt Coupe headed home a Drew Shore corner to give them the lead. The second half saw the Dorset side understandably dominate possession but, with Paul Milsom and Gary Kemp in particular outstanding, fail to turn this into clear openings. However, with 20 minutes remaining Phillip’s outjumped Mark Bryant to loop a header into the net. Even with their man advantage Weymouth seemed content with a point and the game drifted to the final whistle with little further incident.
City lost 2-1 to Worcester City this afternoon in a closely fought encounter at St Georges Lane. After a uneventful opening half hour the game came to life with incidents at both ends. First City were awarded a penalty but Steve Tweddle’s kick was saved by McDonnell. From the resultant corner Gary Kemp headed against a post. A moment later the home side won a free kick and Hadley headed home after Shail’s shot came back off the bar. City were level before the interval when the home side failed to clear a corner and Iain Harvey fired home his first goal of the season. The second half was an evenly matched affair however Worcester won the game with around 20 minutes remaining through Wilde’s low shot. Shot’s from Gosling and Tweddle tested McDonnell after this but City couldn’t find another equaliser.
Ex-Newport County boss Tim Harris has joined City to work alongside manager Alan Pridham and assisstant Gary Smart. The 43-year old, who was in charge of the Welsh side for five and a half years before being replaced earlier this season, arrives at Twerton Park on an unpaid voluntary basis. With a UEFA A coaching badge Harris will add vital experience to City’s backroom team and his arrival has been hailed as a great move by Pridham.
Following yesterday’s victory over Grantham Town City supporter, and former director, Paul Evans handed in a petition to club director Paul Williams signed by nearly 250 fans expressing their unhappiness at the withdrawal of the reserve side from the Western League and the way the move has been handled. The decision to play the second string side in the newly formed Severnside Midweek League alongside reserve sides from other local non-league clubs has been met with surprise and disappointment amongst many City fans. And the fact that the move was not mentioned at the recent AGM meeting has also come in for criticism. On the pitch the reserves went down 2-0 to Paulton Rovers yesterday. Both goals coming from ex-City striker Graham Colbourne.
As the season enters it closing weeks it is time to vote for the web page player of the season. To cast your vote go to the voting form. The result will be announced around the end of April.
City made extremely hard work of beating a rather unpleasantly orange-clad Grantham Town this afternoon at Twerton Park. Two goals in the closing five minutes of the first half from Steve Tweddle plus the dismissal of Grantham keeper Ziccardi and the game looked to be comfortably City’s. When Andy Williams fired home a third goal early in the second half it should have just a case of how many City would score. However, Bull pulled a goal back soon after and after a couple of close escapes the visitors made it 3-2 with eight minutes remaining. City did manage to cling onto this slender advantage but it made for a nervous end to what should have been a straightforward victory. The game had been a non-event for the opening 40 minutes but finally came to life when Paul Milsom flicked on Stuart James’ throw for Tweddle to head past Ziccardi. It got worse for the keeper a minute later when he felled a clean through Tweddle and rightly received a red card. The recent signing got up to convert the penalty and City should have been home and dry. They weren’t.
City have confirmed what it will cost to watch City next season and have added an extra incentive for those supporters who are quick off the mark to purchase a season ticket. In addition to the usual discount on season tickets bought before 30 June this year there are further savings for tickets purchased by 3 May. Under this Super Saver scheme you will save £20 on all adult or OAP/student tickets. For all price refer to the table below.
To download an application form just click here
City have also confirmed that, after the success of last years event, the draw to become the club’s main sponsor will take place on Tuesday 20 May. To get full details of the Sponsors Draw contact Sandra Young at the club on 01225 423087.
Mike Trought, Iain Harvey and Jim Rollo have all signed new one year contracts, with an option on a second year, that will see them remain at Twerton Park for the 2003-04 season. They join Jamie Gosling, Andy Williams, Steve Tweddle, Matt Coupe, Drew Shore and Dave Toomey who are all already under contract for what should be City’s final season in the Dr Martens League. Further signings should be confirmed in the coming weeks.
City’s reserve side put their difficult week behind them to beat Dawlish Town by four goals to nil at a sunny Twerton Park this afternoon. All the goals came in the second half as Steve Tweddle grabbed a brace to register his first strikes in a City shirt. Dan Cleverley also netted and Simon Gilbert scored the pick of the goals from 25 yards. Reserve team boss Lee Burns, who has confirmed he will be leaving at the end of the season, missed a second half penalty in the one-sided encounter.
In the Dr Martens Premier Division Ilkeston Town’s 3-0 victory at Folkestone Invicta see the Kent side definitely facing Eastern Division football next season. Wins for Hastings United, Halesowen Town, Hednesford Town and Weymouth has tightened up the battle at the bottom and dragged City’s next opponents Grantham Town right back into the heart of it. At the top Tamworth had an excellent day. With Chippenham and Stafford both losing they moved a step nearer the Conference and while this was happening they beat Havant & Waterlooville 1-0 in the FA Trophy semi-final first leg.
City have surprisingly withdrawn their reserve side from the Screwfix Direct Western League to join the new Severnside Midweek League that will begin next season. City, along with Chippenham Town, Newport County, Gloucester City and Cirencester Town, have committed themselves to the new set-up and a number of other clubs, including Forest Green Rovers, Swindon Supermarine and Clevedon Town, have been invited to join. The move is aimed at giving manager Alan Pridham a greater chance to monitor his whole squad and increase the standard of football but it will almost certainly see the management duo of Lee Burns and Nigel Gillard leave the club. The move has also been condemned by ex-reserve box Dave Hobbs and a number of City’s supporters.
Jamie Gosling’s trial with Cheltenham Town appears to be going well after the star midfielder scored for the Nationwide Division Two side’s reserves in a 6-0 victory over Swindon Town reserves. He will remain at Whaddon Road training for the rest of the week.
Recent signing Dave Toomey has joined Swindon Supermarine on loan until the end of the season. The striker, who joined City from Barry Town at the end of January, will help the Western League side in their relegation battle after they contacted Alan Pridham looking for a deadline day deal. However, with Toomey under contract until the end of next season Pridham has confirmed the move is only temporary and his absence will give younger strikers such as Dan Cleverley and Josh Jefferies a chance to play in City’s remaining six games.
Another player who will see out the remainder of the season at Western Division level is Gary Thorne. The club captain has been on loan at Merthyr Tydfil for a month and City have agreed to extend the deal until the end of this campaign. Again Pridham has indicated that the arrangement does not rule out the current player of the season returning to Twerton Park, although his contract does run out in the summer.