April 2013

Canham calls time on City to concentrate on Robins coaching (29/4/13)

Marc Canham has brought his 3-year spell with City to an end to concentrate on his coaching career at Bristol City. The 30-year old joined City from Hayes & Yeading United during the summer of 2010 and made 121 appearances, scoring 11 goals. He said, “I’ll be leaving Bath City to focus on work and family life and I would like to place on record what a great three years I’ve had and thanks to everyone at the club and wish the club good luck in the future”. Chairman Manda Rigby added, “Marc goes with all our very best wishes, this certainly isn’t goodbye, we look forward to seeing him at matches next season.”

In-form Sutton ensure City finish 2012-13 season on losing note (27/4/13)

City’s eight game unbeaten league run was ended in emphatic style this afternoon at Mayday Trust Park as Sutton United inflicted a 4-0 defeat that was every bit as comfortable as it sounds. Although it was a disappointing way to end the season it did not affect City’s final placing of 11th in the Blue Square Bet South table. There was little indication of the final score during the first half as Charlie Griffin twice had the ball in the net only for an offside flag to halt the celebrations. In-between Jason Mellor produced an excellent save to deny Griffiths but on 33 minutes he was beaten, Griffiths scrambling the ball home from close range. City began the second half brightly but it was the visitors who struck seven minutes after the restart when Williams set up Griffiths to net via the right-hand post. Within 60 seconds it got even worse for City when Dan Ball’s under-hit back pass saw Mellow crash into Griffiths just inside the box. The keeper was fortunate to escape becoming City’s first red card of the season but was beaten from the penalty spot by Dundas’ confident strike. Just past the hour mark Williams took advantage of another defensive lapse to make it 4-0 and from then on the final whistle could not come soon enough for City although Kerry Morgan, Griffin and Ball all had chances to give City’s supporters something to cheer before the curtain came down on the season.

PREVIEW: CITY v Sutton United – Blue Square Bet South (25/4/13)

City bring the curtain down on their 2012-13 season this Saturday when red-hot Sutton United visit Mayday Trust Park. Midweek Blue Square Bet South results saw all the major issues decided, with Sutton’s win over Salisbury City ensuring the Wiltshire could not catch Welling United at the top of the table, although the Wings had already been celebrating despite not having mathematically secured the title. With Chelmsford City having guaranteed a play-off place on Monday evening, Dover Athletic and Eastleigh joined them and Salisbury with wins over Staines Town and Truro City respectively. And at the other end of the table a point for Tonbridge Angels was enough to see AFC Hornchurch join Billericay Town in a quick return to the Ryman League, with long since doomed Truro completing the relegated triumvirate.

Had either Dover or Eastleigh suffered a defeat during the week then the game between City and Sutton would have taken on much greater significance. A seven match winning run carried the U’s from mid-table obscurity to the edge of the play-off positions but it came just too late to put final day pressure on the sides above them. Had they sneaked into the top five it would have been all the more remarkable given they failed to win any of their opening nine league matches. Manager Paul Doswell has already publically announced where he believes his side fell short this season – scoring too few goals. Doswell said: “This season we have lacked the nailed-on striker who can finish the chances that we have created. And we’re talking a lot of chances. The likes of Craig Watkins and Harry Ottaway are great lads, but their record was just not good enough.” And he revealed that two new strikers have already agreed to join United in the close season, which he hopes will see the club mount a genuine title challenge next year.

City’s 2012-13 campaign has been an up and down one following relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier twelve months ago. Undoubtedly the low points were the FA Cup and FA Trophy exits to lower league opposition, Gosport Borough and Chesham United respectively, although it is possible that one of the two clubs could be in the Conference South next season via the Southern League play-offs. The FA Cup loss saw Lee Howells take over from Adie Britton as head coach, Britton taking on the mantle of Director of Football, and a brief improvement in form saw City climb back up to 6th place and the fringes of the play-offs. However, just one league win in the next eight games meant this was as high as they would go and, although relegation was never a serious danger, only their recent eight match unbeaten league run has given them a chance to grab a top ten finish. On a more positive note, topping the table during the opening weeks of the season helped exorcise the demons of the previous campaign somewhat and the 1-0 win over champions Welling United last month probably ranks as the best performance. It was the emergence of four young players that could be the lasting memory of the season though. Goalkeeper Jason Mellor, midfielders Noah Keats and Chris Allen and defender Dan Ball, have all stood out during the course of the year and, with the first two already signed for next season, could provide the basis of a promotion challenging squad in 2013-14.

Complete record against Sutton United

Sutton’s last visit to Bath came during the final week of the 2007-08 season but in very different circumstances. City were still firmly in the hunt for a play-off place whilst United’s relegation fate had been decided several weeks earlier. Against all odds though it took Sutton just six minutes to go ahead, Dundas heading past Paul Evans, but when Sam Foley rolled the ball home to level the score six minutes later it looked as if City were back on course. However, the U’s hadn’t read the script and on 25 minutes hesitant defending allowed McBean to fire home, then four minutes before the break the same player went on a weaving run through the City defence to place the ball into the net. City threw everything at Sutton in the second half and on the hour mark Cuff saw red for a foul on Jason Wood that sparked a 21-man brawl. Six minutes later Phil Walsh headed home after a the ball had come back off the crossbar but City could not find another goal, although Dave Gilroy did have the ball in the net with a couple of minutes left only for a linesman’s flag to halt the celebrations. A week later a draw at Bishops Stortford saw City finish three points adrift of fifth place leaving them to wonder what might have been.

It’s Viva Las Vegas for City’s end of season presentation evening (23/4/13)

City’s end of season presentation evening will take place on Friday 3 May in Charlie’s from 7pm to midnight. The evening will include Blackjack and Roulette, Elvis tribute act Tim Bassett plus Bassett’s Allsorts and entry is FREE. Voting forms for the player of the season, supporters of the season and young supporter of the season will be available at Saturday’s final match of the 2012-13 season against Sutton United at Mayday Trust Park. The evening is sponsored by Bath City Venues and you can download a poster for the event here.

Late double sees City avoid final Staines on 2012-13 away record (20/4/13)

Goals from Mark Preece and Joe Lennox in the final six minutes ensured City finished their 2012-13 away schedule on a successful note with a 3-1 win over Staines Town. Gethin Jones’ early header had been cancelled out by Marsh’s penalty before the late excitement stretched City unbeaten league run to eight games. Charlie Griffin and Preece had already seen efforts blocked on the goalline before Jones’ flick header from a Marc Canham corner after 13 minutes opened the scoring. After this bright start City began to concede greater possession to the relegation-battling home side but keeper Jason Mellor was rarely tested and it was the Romans who came the closest to adding to the scoring when Griffin rounded Staines keeper Turner but could only shoot into the side-netting from a narrow angle. The second half saw little change in the pattern of play with City using their newfound defensive confidence to nullify Staines’ attacking threat whilst looking threatening on the break. They had a scare on 76 minutes when Preece appeared to handle in the box but two minutes later the referee did point to the spot after the same player tripped Marsh. He slotted the penalty past Mellor and suddenly the Swans scented victory. However, instead it was City who restored their advantage six minutes later when Preece fired into the roof of the net after his first effort from a Chris Allen corner was blocked. Then two minutes later Lennox burst forward before slipping the ball under Turner to make it 3-1. Results elsewhere saw Staines relegation fears disappear, meaning both sides could celebrate at the final whistle.

Keats puts pen to paper after poetic first season with City (18/4/13)

Noah Keats has become the second player to commit himself to City for the 2013-14 season. The 21-year old midfielder initially joined the club’s academy set-up after he came up through the youth ranks at his hometown side Exeter City. He was almost immediately identified as a first-team prospect and justifed this faith, becoming a regular starting XI player this season. Noah said, “I’ve really enjoyed this season, and looking forward to pushing on with the lads next season.” Chairman Manda Rigby commented, “Since joining in pre-season training, Noah has really impressed and commanded a first team place. We are delighted he is committing to Bath City for a further year.”

PREVIEW: Staines Town v CITY – Blue Square Bet South (18/4/13)

City’s final away game of the 2012-13 season sees them head up the M4 on Saturday to face Staines Town. Whilst last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Eastleigh was disappointing due to the timing of the Spitfire’s 94th minute equaliser it did stretch City’s unbeaten league run to seven matches and if Lee Howell’s side can secure positive results against Staines and in their final game of the season at home to Sutton United it would end an up and down season on a definite high note.

Staines come into the game with their Blue Square Bet South place all but secure after a campaign that, in common with many sides in the division, has seen them flirting with the relegation places. Having begun March with a 3-1 loss to Chelmsford City they then saw several games fall victim to the weather which left them back in the bottom three. However, the Swans responded in the best possible fashion, winning three successive games, scoring a remarkable 14 goals in the process, including a 7-1 victory over Hayes & Yeading United. In-between these wins they also lifted the Middlesex Senior Cup with a 2-0 win over Ashford Town. It looked certain this winning run would continue when Farnborough travelled to Wheatsheaf Park without a recognised goalkeeper but instead Staines crashed to a dispiriting 2-1 loss. They bounced back from this defeat to earn a point against champions-elect Welling United – coming back from two goals down – but then a 1-0 reversal against fellow strugglers Tonbridge Angels meant they were still firmly involved in the relegation battle. This made the trip to second bottom Billericay Town a huge match last weeked and a 90th minute winner from Brown meant Marcus Gayle’s side was the one celebrating at the final whistle.

Complete record against Staines Town

City will be looking for a first ever win at Wheatsheaf Park having drawn once and lost once in their previous two visits. The first of these was in an FA Trophy 3rd Round tie during the 2003-04 season. At the time City were struggling near the foot of the Southern League and, having already crashed out of the FA Cup to a Ryman League Division 1 side, Thame United, it came as no real surprise that a single goal in the 11th minute by Pye was enough to end their interest in the Trophy as well. The home side could even afford to miss a stoppage time penalty after Mike Trought had been red carded for pulling Ibe as he set himself to score. The second visit came in November 2009 with both sides having enjoyed giant-killing FA Cup wins a few days earlier – City at Grimsby Town and Staines over Shrewsbury Town – and it took them both 45 minutes to get over these exertions. But after a forgettable first half the game livened up after the interval. Sekani Simpson and Kaid Mohamed had both gone close for City before the latter scored following a goalmouth scramble on 65 minutes. However, City could not maintain this lead as ten minutes later Scarlett fired in a free-kick from 20 yards.

LMG Jewellery Football Tournament at Mayday Trust Park this weekend (15/4/13)

LMG Jewellery and The Be Group are hosting a football tournament involving the firm’s Bath and Eastbourne branches, as well as the ATFC Lions to raise funds for Bath City FC. On Saturday 20th April, during Bath City’s away match at Staines, LMG are renting the pitch at Mayday Trust Park to host three 45 minutes matches. The games kick off at 2pm with spectators encouraged to donate £2 to watch. Every penny raised on the day is going to Bath City FC in a bid to help the club with this season’s running costs.

Manda Rigby, Bath City FC Chairman commented “I hope the day is very successful, both fun and inspiring, for those playing, and those watching. We are really grateful to the Be group and hope to meet some of them relaxing in the bar when the team coach gets back from Staines.” Each player in the tournament will donate £5 of their entrance fee to the club. The bar is also open from 1pm with a chance to watch Premiership football in the afternoon.

The Be Group, celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year, is the UK’s largest organisation specialising in the professional management of insurance claims for damage, loss or theft including jewellery, watches, collectables, art and antiques through their Bath based brand LMG Jewellery. Their Head office is in Eastbourne with further offices in Dublin and Sydney. Marketing Manager for the Be Group, Shaun Mulvey, said “We wanted to mark our 20th year in business by giving back to a community that has given us so much. Bath City FCs plight is something very close to our hearts as we have a huge number of football fanatics within the organisation. A charity football match seemed to fit the bill perfectly and we’re hoping to put on a great show, as well as raising as much money as we can.”

Manda Rigby further commented that “Bath City FC is delighted that this international company are helping to raise money for the club and do their bit for a great local cause.” The third team in the tournament, the Aberystwyth Town FC student team, ATFC Lions was set up by students in 2008 as the Black Lion FC. The team represents Aberystwyth Town FC by playing in various fans tournaments across the country to strengthen the links between students and Aberystwyth residents. Later in the evening Charlie’s, the club’s hospitality suite, will be open with a DJ and drinks promotions at no extra charge. So please come down and support the club! Click here to downlaod a poster for the event.

Last-gasp equaliser denies City battling Eastleigh victory (13/4/13)

A goal in the fourth and final minute of stoppage time denied City a hard-fought win over play-off chasing Eastleigh at Mayday Trust Park this afternoon. They had led from just past the hour mark thanks to Charlie Griffin’s penalty but finally succumbed to pressure from the visitors, Watkins lashing the ball home from 15 yards. Although the timing of the goal was disappointing the Spitfires did deserve at least a share of the points to keep their promotion hopes alive. Jason Mellor was constantly the busier of the two keepers, the pick of his saves in the first half a fine diving stop to keep out McAllister’s curling effort. Noah Keats twice went close for City as well as the game reached the interval scoreless. The second half continued in a similar pattern, the once again excellent Dan Ball denying Green with a perfectly timed tackle as the full-back looked certain to score. Then against the run of play City opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Beckwith clearly blocked Ryan Charles’ cross with him arm. Knowing that a defeat would be a major setback to their play-off hopes Eastleigh’s protests against the decision were long and vociferous but once they had died down Griffin calmly sent Flitney the wrong way from 12 yards. Mellor then twice produced top class saves, turning Zebroski’s shot away and blocking Reason’s close range effort with his legs, and when McAllister headed over from just a few yards out midway through stoppage time it looked as if City would hold on for a battling win. However, moments later another cross into the box was not dealt with and when it dropped kindly for Watkins he blasted an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net to spark joyous celebrations from the Hampshire side’s players and travelling supporters.

Keeper Mellor becomes first player to sign for 2013-14 season (12/4/13)

With just two weeks left this season City have begun to turn their attention to the 2013-14 campaign with goalkeeper Jason Mellor putting pen to paper on a new one-year deal. The 24-year old joined City from Clevedon Town last summer, initially as understudy to Glyn Garner. However, he took over the no.1 shirt in November and has been one of the Romans outstanding performers during the second half of the 2012-13 season. Mellor said “I am very pleased to be signing again for Bath City. I feel I have had a decent season so want to see that continuing into next season. I feel the club can achieve great success over the next few seasons and am pleased that it has shown faith in me to be part of that success. We have a great bunch of lads at the moment, it would be good to keep as many as possible together and give it a really good go.” Chairman Manda Rigby added, “Since giving Jason his chance earlier this season, he has repaid the faith put in him. We are very pleased he has committed to us for next season and hope that he develops his potential even further.”

Extra game and free £100 draw incentive for 2013-14 season ticket renewals (11/4/13)

City have announced that ticket prices for the 2013-14 will remain unchanged and are once again offering extra deals for existing season ticket holders. Supporters who renew their season ticket before 31 May will get an extra game free and those that renew before the final game of this season (April 27) will also be entered free into a £100 draw. The free season ticket for under-11s when accompained by a paying adult has been extended to under-16s and all season ticket holders will get free entry to Academy (U21) and Youth (U18) games at Twerton Park. To download further information and the application form click here.

PREVIEW: CITY v Eastleigh – Blue Square Bet South (11/4/13)

Whilst City’s unbeaten six league game run has now put to bed any lingering Blue Square Bet South relegation fears it came just too late to see the Romans make a late run at the play-off places. However, they will still have a small say on which clubs make the post season. Having put a dent in Chelmsford City’s hopes last Saturday, the side who leapfrogged them into fifth place during the week, Eastleigh, now visit Mayday Trust Park looking to keep alive their Conference Premier promotion dreams.

If the Spitfires do win a place in the top flight on non-league football for the first time in their history it will mark a extraordinary turnaround in fortunes this season. A summer spent strengthening their squad saw them widely considered the favourites to land the 2012-13 Conference South title but a mixed start ended with manager Ian Baird being relieved of his duties in September 2012, to be replaced by ex-Stevenage Borough manager Richard Hill. Despite winning his opening two games in charge the team still struggled for consistency and when they lost five successive league games either side of the turn of the year they found themselves only kept off the foot of the table by crisis club Truro City. However, a 5-0 home success over Billericay Town began a run of six wins out of seven games to finally kick-start their season. The remarkable closeness of the Conference South table saw this run lift them to sixth place, just two points behind fifth place Boreham Wood. Another slight dip in form, including defeats against Hayes & Yeading and Tonbridge Angels, followed but they come into the game with City on the back of four consecutive wins. The most recent of these came this week against Truro City. Stars of the game were two of the Spitfires big summer signings, Jai Reason scoring twice and former Newport County striker Craig McAllister also netting in the 3-1 victory. With two games in hand on fourth place Weston Super Mare and three home games after Saturday’s visit to Bath against sides in the bottom nine places it would seem a play-off place is very much theirs to lose.

Complete record against Eastleigh/Swaythling

City’s first ever win as a Conference South side came against Eastleigh during their first home game of the 2007-08 season. That game has gone down in City folk law as the last time Jim Rollo was on the scoresheet. Rollo’s stunning 25-yard screamer (which was named the goal of the season that year) put City ahead on 28 minutes before Darren Edwards converted Mark McKeever’s low cross to make it 2-0 seven minutes after the interval. Since then the Spitfires have enjoyed their trips north, only a stoppage time strike by Danny Carey-Bertram denying them a win the following season before two early goals saw them record a comfortable 2-0 win early in the 2009-10 season.

Griffin double not enough to prevent City suffering County Cup defeat (9/4/13)

City missed out on a place in the Somerset Premier Cup final this evening when they lost 3-2 to Paulton Rovers at a cold Winterfield Road. Unsurprisingly both sides opted to rest a number of 1st team players – only keeper Jason Mellor and top scorer Charlier Griffin were retained from the starting XI at Chelmsford City on Saturday – and the game rarely got above mediocre. Mellor almost gifted the hosts the lead with a poor goal kick after six minutes but could do nothing to prevent Billing heading home three minutes later. Ten minutes after this Griffin beat Paulton’s offside trap to draw City level and that was how the game remained until the interval. Within two minutes of the restart a great shot by Vincent restored the Southern League side’s advantage and on the hour mark ex-City striker Josh Jefferies bundled the ball home from close range to make it 3-1. Griffin fired a free-kick against the bar as City looked to find a way back into the game and when he headed into the net with two minutes left an unlikely comeback looked possible. However, Paulton managed to run out the clock without any major scares to secure a final place against either Bridgwater Town or Taunton Town next month.

PREVIEW: Paulton Rovers v CITY – Somerset Premier Cup Semi-Final (7/4/13)

City will look to maintain their excellent recent run of results on Tuesday evening when they turn their attention to the Somerset Premier Cup and look to reach the final for the first time since the 2007-08 season. Standing in the way of a meeting with either Taunton Town or Bridgwater Town in the final at Clevedon Town’s Hand Stadium next month is in-form Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South & West side Paulton Rovers.

The Bristol-based are enjoying a great season, coming into the tie firmly amongst the battle for a play-off place and promotion to the Southern League Premier Division for the first time in their history. They currently sit in fourth place in the table and look to be in a three-way fight for the final two play-off places with Merthyr Town and Yate Town. Manager Nick Bunyard – who made a couple of first team appearances for City during the 2000-01 season having come up through their youth set-up – has led his team to seven successive league victories, including wins over fellow play-off hopefuls Swindon Supermarine, Shortwood United and Cirencester Town. This record is all the more remarkable given the last four victories have come in the space of just eight days, although their most recent win – a single goal success over Cirencester on Saturday – saw an understandably tired looking performance. And with another three league games scheduled in five days after the clash with City it would be no surprise if Bunyard looked to keep a number of his first team players fresh ahead of these more important games. With City head coach Lee Howells already intimating the youngsters who have earned the club’s passage through the competition would likely keep their place at Winterfield Road, the game could be test of which squad has the greater depth.

Complete record against Paulton Rovers

City and Paulton’s last meeting in the competition was the aforementioned 2007-08 final. The sides initially met at Woodspring Stadium – home of Weston Super Mare – but with the match finely balanced at one goal each eight minutes into extra-time, a floodlight failure forced the abandonment of the game. City won the coin toss to decide the venue for the replayed game so they reconvened at Twerton Park a week later. Dave Gilroy put City ahead after ten minutes, stabbing the ball home from the edge of the area despite lying on the ground. City wasted several chances to extend their lead but any worries that the game would follow the pattern of the first attempt, where Paulton got stronger as the game progressed, were dispelled on 53 minutes when Gilroy struck his 26th goal of the season to make it 2-0. And City’s season was rounded off in memorable style when Martin Paul rose above former City player Rob Cousins to head home Scott Rogers’ cross in the 90th minute, claiming his 113th goal for the club to become its second all-time record scorer.

Griffin header ensures City maintain excellent late season form (6/4/13)

City continued their excellent end of season form with a 1-0 win at Chelmsford City this afternoon. Charlie Griffin headed the only goal of the game four minutes into the second half before City withstood all the play-off chasing home side could produce to stretch their unbeaten run to six games. In an even first half Jason Mellor was called into action early on, getting down well to turn Cook’s low shot round the post, before Gethin Jones headed a Aaron Brown free-kick narrowly wide. City had a fortunate escape on the half-hour mark when Slabber’s close range header hit the underside of the bar before bouncing down onto the line then into the grateful arms of Mellor. City finished the half strongly though, Josh Low sending a dipping half-volley just off target and Noah Keats testing keeper Searle with a well-struck shot. And the interval didn’t halt City’s momentum as on 49 minutes Low’s perfect cross has headed home by Griffin from six yards out. Keats almost added a second shortly afterwards but the last half hour of the game was largely played in City’s half. However, for all their possession the hosts rarely threatened an equaliser with Jones, Dan Ball and Joe Burnell surperb at the heart of the Romans defence. A couple of shots into the side netting and a half-hearted late penalty appeal were about all the Clarets could muster as City saw out the victory with a minimum of worry.

PREVIEW: Chelmsford City v CITY – Blue Square Bet South (4/4/13)

City’s penultimate away league game of the 2012-13 season sees them make the long trip across the country to Essex, where they will face play-off chasing Chelmsford City. After topping the table during the open month of the campaign, City have flirted with both the play-off places and the relegation zone without ever being truly involved with either so it is fitting that they currently sit nine points away from both. A top ten finish is now the realistic aim and City will hope a positive result against the Clarets will keep them on target for that goal.

Chelmsford will be equally – if not more – determined to secure a victory as they look to close in on a fourth play-off appearance in their five Conference South seasons. This looked a formality back in February but since then their form has dipped and they now look to be in a four-way battle for the final two play-off positions, along with Boreham Wood, Weston Super Mare and Eastleigh. The Clarets presently hold a four-point advantage sixth-place Boreham Wood and with four of their remaining six games at home – all against sides currently in the bottom half of the table – they are still in the driving seat. However, having missed out on the play-offs during the final week of last season they will be fully aware of how quickly these positions can change. Their confidence coming into the game with City will not be helped by back to back 3-0 defeats over Easter, albeit against two of the three clubs ahead of them and with self-inflicted incidents early in both games. Against champions-elect Welling United they lost skipper Clark to a red card for a two-footed tackle after just three minutes. Four minutes later Wings scored through ex-City striker Jake Reid and, although to the Clarets credit they held out for nearly an hour, a second goal from Reid was soon followed by a Hughes-Mason strike to complete the scoring. Three days later they managed to keep eleven players on the pitch against Dover Athletic but a missed penalty by top scorer Slabber with the game still goalless was equally costly as two errors by keeper Searle, the latter allowing another former Roman, Danny Webb, to net, condemned them to a second heavy reversal.

Complete record against Chelmsford City

Melbourne Stadium has proved to be a productive hunting ground for City in recent years, scoring three goals in three of their last four visits (even if one of these games did end in defeat). And even when they only scored once this was in the memorable play-off semi-final 2nd leg in May 2010 that completed a 3-0 aggregate victory. The first of these three-goal hauls came during November 2008 season with the Clarets five points clear at the top of the table. City’s victory was all the more remarkable as they played the final 20 minutes – plus five minutes stoppage time – with Steve Jones in goal after Paul Evans was red carded in the aftermarth of the home side’s 2nd goal. The Clarets showed why they topped the Blue Square South table, winning two corners in the opening minutes, although it was City who spurned a great chance to open the scoring on six minutes when Gethin Jones was denied by hosts keeper Gay. This was a rare foray into Chelmsford’s half as City’s injury-forced 4-4-1-1 line-up struggled to cope with the pace and power of the Essex side. They had already hit the post before Rainford headed them in front after 20 minutes. However, rather than ramming home this advantage Chelmsford seemed to fade after the goal and six minutes before the interval Miller handled Chris Holland’s header to gift City a penalty. Stuart Douglas’ weak effort was saved by Gay but Richard Evans fired home the rebound. Douglas redeemed himself within just nine seconds of the start of the second half when he bundled the ball home at the second attempt. On the hour mark it got even better for City as Matt Coupe headed Richard Evans’ corner back across goal for Gethin Jones to nod home. City were now defending their lead heroically only for the referee to hand Chelmsford a lifeline, penalising Sekani Simpson for a challenge on Keeling in the box. Rainford fired home the penalty and as he attempted to grab the ball from Paul Evans he went down holding his face. After consulting with his linesman Mr Parker sent the big South African off and Steve Jones took over the gloves. The stand-in keeper kept Chelmsford out though, showing faultless handing on two or three occasions, to give City a memorable victory.

Board statement regarding Bath City Community Sports Foundation (3/4/13)

Bath City FC regrets to announce that the Bath City Community Sports Foundation, a charity set up to support community initiatives, is having to review its future after it failed to put in its funding application to the Football Conference league on time. Over a number of months, the football club board received no answer from the Foundation trustees to a number of requests for joint meetings to discuss the future direction of the Foundation, and only received the Foundation’s application 3 days before the deadline. As the application was three quarters incomplete, the Board asked the league for a 48 hour delay, which was graciously granted. The whole board finally met with some of the Foundation members on Sunday afternoon, 24 March, two days after the deadline, to make a last desperate attempt to finalise the application and its financial commitments. In the end, following the advice given by the charities adviser, it has been agreed that it was not possible to meet the extended deadline. The Foundation does excellent work in the community with disadvantaged and young people, and the club sincerely hopes that it can keep going with other contributions before it can apply for funding from the league next year.

Director and former Chairman, Geoff Todd, commented “It was during my chairmanship that we began to develop community initiatives that we hoped would have mutual benefits for the club and the wider community. The announcement in 2010 that there would be Conference funding to extend these projects was warmly welcomed, and an idea that there should be a separate Limited company to deliver our community work had merit, but required a shared vision that reflected both the club’s and community’s priorities. The Limited company has now morphed into the Bath City Community Sports Foundation and, despite some wonderful work, there must be question marks as to whether an organisation that bears Bath City’s name is really working closely enough with the club to achieve what we all want for both the club and community. So it is a source of personal regret that this year we as a city will not benefit from this substantial funding and I will be meeting with funders to explain why the club’s community funding has been set back and what we hope to deliver in the future. The recent resignation of trustees is a cause for concern and I hope that the Foundation can fulfil all its existing obligations. It is a lesson we all must learn, that the Foundation which bears our name has to work in partnership with the club, to avoid a repeat of something which was both regrettable and avoidable.”

City and Salisbury in entertaining Bank Holiday goalless draw (1/4/13)

City held second place Salisbury City to a goalless draw at Mayday Trust Park this afternoon to stretch their unbeaten run to five games. Both sides played their part in an entertaining game, the visitors forcing several excellent saves from Jason Mellor whilst Charlie Griffin was only denied by the bar. City shaded the first half, their passing game contrasting with the Whites more direct approach, but too often their attacks were halted by an offside flag. On several occasions they did create dangerous openings without testing former City keeper Will Puddy and it was Mellor who was forced into an great double save late in the half. With the Whites knowing that anything less than a win would almost certainly end their title hopes they began the second half with more urgency, an offside flag denying Rob Sinclair, McPhee heading narrowly wide and Stuart Sinclair firing over after Mellor had blocked another McPhee header. The game took a slightly surreal twist midway through the half when it was interrupted by a yellow smoke bomb thrown on the pitch then the Salisbury manager launching into a verbal attack on a steward. It took City until the final fifteen minutes to threaten again but as Salisbury committed more men forward they began to get back in the game and with 14 minutes left they nearly broke the deadlock. A swift break saw Josh Low feed Joe Burnell down the right and his far post cross was headed toward goal by Griffin only for the ball to loop against the bar before bouncing to safety. Moments later Low made room in the box but appeared to be caught in two minds whether to shoot or lay the ball off to Griffin and the danger passed. Both sides continued to search for a winning goal but neither keeper was tested again despite several nervous moments in each area, leaving them with a point each that in circumstances will please City more.