City brought the curtain down on their 2014-15 season this afternoon with a 1-1 draw against long-since relegated Staines Town at a warm and sunny Wheatsheaf Park. In a season that will mainly be remembered for the run to the FA Trophy semi-final it was a fitting low-key end to the Vanarama Conference South campaign. The opening 10 minutes flattered to deceive as City started strongly, Phil Walsh forcing a smart stop from keeper Turner and Nick McCootie seeing his shot cleared off the line. However, on 10 minutes the home scored a goal out of nothing, Buchanan picking the ball up 30 yards out before unleashing a stunning shot that flew over Jason Mellor into the net. Unsurprisingly, lifted by the goal Staines enjoyed a good spell after this but couldn’t increase their lead and four minutes before the interval City levelled. Dave Pratt held off several challenges on the left side of the area before teeing up Ashley Kington to stroke the ball under Turner. The second half was largely forgettable as City edged possession but Staines had the better chances in front of goal without really troubling Mellor. Just as the game – and season – was drifting to its conclusion City twice nearly grabbed the victory. Pratt had the ball in the net on 90 minutes, converting Andy Watkins’ driven cross, only for the linesman to raise an offside flag and moments later Kington’s low shot was turned around the post by Turner. The draw – remarkably Staines’ first in the league at home all season – saw City finish in 14th place with 53 points from their 40 games.
Have you ever dreamt of playing at Wembley Stadium? Well, thanks to Football Conference sponsors Vanarama, you could be on the pitch to kick for £50,000 at the Vanarama Big Day Out on Sunday 17th May! Three lucky winners will win a trip for two to the Vanarama Big Day Out to watch the Promotion Final, with a tour of Wembley Stadium, hotel and meal for two and travel included in the prize. But that’s not all, the three winners will each have two shots at winning £50,000 on the Wembley pitch at half time of the Promotion Final.
To be in with a chance of winning, just answer the following question: In which city is Wembley located?
Text the word KICK and A, B or C to 82055. Texts cost £1.50 plus one standard network rate message and 50% of the profit from the texts (34p) will go to Prostate Cancer UK.
The Vanarama Big Day Out, featuring the Promotion Final, will bring the curtain down on a fantastic debut season for Vanarama as sponsors of the Football Conference. For full details of the competition visit www.vanarama.co.uk/latest-news/KickFor50k.html.
Following yesterday’s game against Sutton United, City held their end of season award presentations with Dave Pratt once again picking up the Supporters Player of the Year. He also won the Golden Boot for his 22 goals this campaign. The Players Player of the Year was Chas Hemmings and the Managers award went to Frankie Artus. The three Youth team awards went to Sam Higgins (Parents player), Ryan Bole (Players player) and Tom Thorne (Managers player). Supporter of the Year was won by Bob Chester, Young Supporter of the Year by Thomas Baer, Club Volunteer of the Year by Ron Davis and Young Club Volunteer of the Year by Paige Gillard.
City ended their 2014-15 home campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Sutton United after Chris Allen was sent off with less than a minute on the clock. His challenge on Scannell was timed at 18 seconds and, after the visitor’s players and bench had calmed down, the referee showed him a red card. Despite this City created the first opening when Dave Pratt lifted a shot over the bar moments later, but it was Sutton who struck first on 15 minutes. Jason Mellor appeared to get a hand to Spillane’s speculative volley only for the ball to drop under the crossbar. Any latecomers would have struggled to realise the U’s had a man advantage, although Mellor did redeem himself with two good stops from the goalscorer and Theophanous. City were then further frustrated by the referee when, with Naby Diallo in a great position in the Sutton box, he stopped play as players squared up back near the halfway line. The cause of the incident appeared to be an off-the-ball trip by Southam on Nick McCootie but, after consulting with both his assistants, Mr Atkin took no action and just restarted play with a drop ball. The second half saw City begin to gain the upper hand and on 55 minutes they wasted a great chance to level. A ball forward caught Sutton keeper Howe in no-mans land but Pratt could only roll the ball against the outside of the post with the unguarded goal gaping. Pratt then saw a header grasped by Howe under the crossbar before the keeper was rescued by his defence, clearing the ball off the line after he failed to deal with a cross. Understandably as the game reached its latter stages City began to tire but poor finishing by Sutton kept the scoreline at 1-0 until, with six minutes left, Fitchett’s low shot found the net to secure the victory.
A reminder to all City supporters that if you purchase a 2015-16 season ticket by Saturday 18 April you will be entered in a £100 prize draw. For full details of the prices and to download an application form click here or on the link on the front page of the website.
City ended a four-game winless run against Ebbsfleet United at Twerton Park last night thanks to Dave Pratt’s 21st and 22nd goals of the season in a close-fought 2-1 victory. After a quiet opening the game burst into life just past the quarter hour mark with two goals in less than sixty seconds. City struck first when Frankie Artus was tugged back by Clarke in the area and Pratt fired home the resultant penalty. Straight from the restart the Kent side drew level, Lewis tapping home after Jason Mellor parried Gooden’s well-struck volley into his path. Both sides then struck the post, Rooney for Ebbsfleet and Pratt for City, as the balance of the game swung back and forward during the remainder of the half. With the big-spending visitors knowing that anything less than a win would finally end their already slim play-off hopes it was perhaps no surprise that they began the second half strongly. However, they found a City defence in resolute form, Artus epitomising this effort was a fabulous last-ditch tackle when Lewis looked certain to score. So, instead it was City who regained the lead on 72 minutes. Nick McCootie showed great determination to dispossess Acheampong on the left side of the area and his low cross when slid home by Pratt at the far post. This seemed to knock the stuffing out of Ebbsfleet with City comfortably seeing out the rest of the game and keeping alive their chances of a top ten finish.
City’s disappointing finish to the 2014-15 campaign continued this afternoon at York Road as two early goals sent them slipping to a 2-0 defeat against Hayes & Yeading United. The hosts knew that victory would ensure their Vanarama Conference South status for another season and they got off to the perfect start when Inman headed home a corner after just six minutes. Only another six minutes had passed when a fluke goal doubled their lead. Morgan’s punt forward from just inside the City half should have been easily dealt with by Jason Mellor but as he back-peddled he slipped and by the time he’d regained his footing the ball had taken a tennis ball style bounce over him into the net. The rest of the half saw Hayes happy to defend this advantage so it wasn’t until after the interval, with the introduction of Ross Stearn, that City at last began to threaten, the substitute firing a free-kick straight at Smith a couple of minutes after his introduction. City’s best chance came on 54 minutes when Nick McCootie broke clear. However, the ball got away from him down the slope which allowed Smith to block his first shot, the striker then heading the rebound wide. Stearn then struck the underside of the crossbar with another free-kick seven minutes later which turned out to be the closest they could come to pulling a goal back. Hayes saw several half-chances come and go after this but by then they had done more than enough to secure the win.
City will hold their 2014-15 End of Season Awards in Charlie’s Bar at 5.45pm on Saturday 18 April 2015, following the final home fixture of the campaign versus Sutton United. Voting forms are available from the club office, ticket office and at the turnstiles before the home fixtures versus Ebbsfleet United on Tuesday 14 April and Sutton United and can be downloaded here. All entries must be received by 3pm on Saturday 18 April 2015.
The Football Conference is proud to announce that “The Vanarama National League” is coming to a ground near you! In a rebranding initiative, which will under-line the competition’s status at the pinnacle of the semi-professional game; and linked to a community programme the length and breadth of the country, the Vanarama National League will engage fans not only of the competition’s 68 member clubs but football throughout the UK and beyond. The new “Vanarama National League” will officially take its place in the football family on June 6th and the changes will include a new look logo, whilst acknowledging the past it looks to the future, to strengthen the competition’s identity. The Vanarama National League will also launch a new broadcasting company, NLTV, which will be the first fully dedicated broadcasting channel focusing solely on the 68 member clubs, creating a regular narrative for the competition that will run throughout the whole season and lastly, in yet another first, the competition will create the all new NLTV Broadcasting Academy.
Brian Barwick, the incoming chairman of the new Vanarama National League says “I am delighted to be joining at this vibrant time with this exciting new branding. It offers so much to our existing partners whilst at the same time opening up potential new opportunities. I look forward to steering this great competition to new levels of awareness and visibility.”
A further resounding endorsement for this level of the game and in support of the new branding initiative, BT Sport have agreed a new three year deal with the competition which will extend the live coverage of matches and feature a regular weekly highlights show to be broadcast on a Sunday evening,
Tony Kleanthous, board director responsible for broadcasting said, “We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with BT Sport and indeed embracing their expertise and experience. NLTV’s aim is to launch a very affordable internet subscriber portal in 2016 where fans anywhere in the world can keep up to speed with what’s going on across the activities of all member clubs and everything which affects them, their players and even their fans. The NLTV daily show will include short clips, podcasts and updates from clubs around the country and our new digital platform will also feature highlights from every game every week so you never need miss the action.”
Steve Norris Commercial director at BT Sport said “We are proud to continue our sponsorship of this level of the game with a significant further investment for another three years. We are also pleased to support the academy initiative which underlines our commitment not only to grass roots football but the future education for all the young students out there who want a helping hand up the sports broadcasting ladder.”
Chairman of Vanarama David Bernstein says “My extensive involvement in football over the years has allowed me to be connected with a wide range of initiatives. I am particularly excited by this announcement and the Broadcasting Academy is an educational project to which Vanarama is proud to extend its support. We have demonstrated our commitment to football and their communities up and down the country and want to continue working with an organisation whose vibrancy and ethos matches our own.”
The final words come from the outgoing Chairman of the Football Conference, Brian Lee, who will complete his tenure at the end of this current season “Our announcement around the name change, broadcasting channel and academy excites me and I sincerely hope it excites the football world. I know I am passing on this organisation in good shape and there is much more to come with the positivity showed so far it can only be more exciting for our clubs, our fans and the future of our game”.
City failed to score in back to back games for the first time since the opening week of the season to slide to a 2-0 defeat against promotion-chasing Havant & Waterlooville at Westleigh Park on Bank Holiday Monday. After a low key opening to the game the hosts showed their intent when Donnelly struck the post with a 30-yard free-kick on 16 minutes. However, City should have taken the lead two minutes later as Naby Diallo’s cross found an unmarked Andy Watkins just six yards out but he could only shoot straight at keeper Young. Frankie Artus faring no better with a follow-up effort. The deadlock was broken nine minutes before the interval when Chas Hemmings lost possession in the middle of the pitch which allowed Donnelly to advance and unleash a skidding shot from 30 yards that found the corner of the net. Watkins spurned another good opening before half-time but if City hoped that would signal a comeback, especially playing down the slope with the wind behind them in the second half, they were to be disapppointed as that turned out to be as close as they could come again to scoring. Mellor produced a stunning fingertip save to deny Cornick but with 16 minutes left he was beaten again from long-range by the same player to secure the three points for the Hawks.
If you haven’t already bought your ticket for the Bath City FC Legends Evening on Friday 10 April at Twerton Park you will need to be quick as just a few remain for the event celebrating the club’s 125th anniversary. Over 20 former Romans will be at the event, including Peter Rogers, Colin Tavener, Paul Randall, Paul Bodin, Scott Partridge and Jim Rollo. For full details click here and for a tickert order form here. Alternatively call on 01225 313247 or 07786 092836.