Two soft goals and a needless sending-off contributed to City finishing on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline against Cambridge City today at Twerton Park. The visitors had already come from behind through a Simpson brace when City captain Mike Trough was shown a straight red card for stamping on a Cambridge player. It had all looked so different when Danny Cleverley fired City ahead around the half hour mark after new signing Mitch Counsell’s header had come back off the post. However, hesitancy in the City defence minutes later allowed Simpson to head past Mark Bryant. Cambridge’s second goal was even more of a gift, Matt Coupe giving the ball away to Simpson on the edge of the box and he easily struck it home. City ended the game with half-fit centre-back Gary Kemp playing up front but even their horrendous injury problems could not hide another desperately disappointing performance.
In another move aimed at overcoming their horrendous injury problems City have signed Worcester City midfielder Mitch Counsell. With Jim Rollo joining the sicklist following Monday’s defeat at Dorchester, 21-year Counsell has signed non-contract terms and goes straight into the squad to face Cambridge City at Twerton Park tomorrow. Rollo (thigh), Iain Harvey (broken ankle) and Russell Milton (broken collarbone) will all definitely miss he match, with Steve Tweddle, Paul Milsom, Gary Kemp, Mark Salter and Jason Eaton also struggling. At least two of this group will most likely have to feature on the bench. The situation is worsened with the news that recent acquistion Andy Taylor’s brief stay could be over as he has been on trial with Cheltenham during the week.
City suffered their first defeat of the season this afternoon as a goal 15 minutes from time gave Dorchester Town a throughly deserved 1-0 victory. After Frankie Bennett had seen his point-blank header pushed away by keeper Ormerod in the second minute it was almost all the home side. Only a combination of poor finishing and desperate defending kept the game level but on 75 minutes Browne rose above Mark Bryant to head home a right-wing corner. Having created nothing for over 70 minutes City suddenly woke up and went close on several occasions to grabbing an undeserved equaliser. The best of these fell to Dan Cleverley but he shot wide when teed up perfectly by a low Steve Bridges cross.
For the second successive Saturday of this new season City fought out a largely uneventful goalless draw, this time at Twerton Park against Crawley Town. With the reward of a place in the Conference Division 2 for the top 13 Dr Martens Premier Division sides, it seemed that both teams were more worried about not losing the game than actually looking to win it. The visitors dominated possession in the first half without ever really threatening City’s goal. The second half saw new signing Andy Taylor replace Drew Shore and his arrival did at least help City improve. The most likely source of a goal came from the traditional flapping of long serving Crawley goalkeeper Andy Little (still the worse keeper in the DML?) but twice he got away with woeful handling errors. Both sides did come within a few inches of grabbing an unlikely winner in the closing minutes. Paul Milsom fired a Frankie Bennett free-kick just wide and then a turn and shot from a Crawley player (?) flew narrowly wide of Mark Bryant’s left-hand post.
City’s new recruit is former Manchester United youngster Andy Taylor. The 20-year old spent five years at Old Trafford before being released at the end of the 2001-02 season. He then spent last year with Conference side Northwich Victoria. He has signed for City on a short-term basis to help them out during the current injury crisis.
With confirmation that Russell Milton has a broken collarbone that will sideline him for six weeks, City boss Alan Pridham has begun moves to strengthen his squad. Milton, who sustained the injury in the celebration that followed his 2nd goal against Weston on Tuesday, joins Iain Harvey (broken ankle) and Gary Kemp (back) on the long-term injured list. With Paul Milsom (thigh), Jason Eaton (ankle) and Mark Salter (ankle) also struggling to be fit for Saturday’s home clash with Crawley Town, Pridham is facing a injury crisis less than a week into the new season.
A freak injury to two-goal star Russell Milton took some of the shine off City’s 3-1 victory over Weston Super Mare as their home campaign got off to a winning start. The ex-Cheltenham Town midfielder had just fired home the third of a stunning trio of goals for City but in the celebration that followed appeared to badly injury his shoulder and had to be stretchered from the pitch. He had opened the scoring for City after 20 minutes with a cracking 25-yard free-kick only for Weston to level with a soft goal from Sorbara. Having had the best of the first half City struggled to maintain this upper hand in the second and it was the visitors who looked the likelier to grab a goal. This was until the 76th minute when Steve Tweddle collected a long ball forward before unleashing a 30-yard dipping volley that gave keeper Jones no chance. Milton’s effort, with five minutes left, was no less spectacular but the end result was considerably more painful.
City have finally captured Mangotsfield United captain Scott Hendy after they upped their initial bid of £2000 to £5000. It looked as if the highly-rated defender defender would remain at Cossham Street but following Alan Pridham’s failure to land Chippenham Town’s Tom Gould for a similar fee he switched his attention back to the Bristol born centre-back and he has now agreed terms at Twerton Park. The signature comes despite a similar bid for Hendy from City’s next opponents Weston Super Mare.
City have rejected an increased bid for striker Paul Milsom from Dr Marten League rivals Tiverton Town. Tivvy upped their offer to £1500 but this is still well short of the club’s valuation for the player.
In common with eight of the eleven Dr Martens Premier Division games played on this opening Saturday, City and Chelmsford had to be content with a share of the points as they played out a goalless draw at a sunny New Lodge. In front of a pitiful first day crowd of 312, including around 50 City fans, neither side could create more than a handful of half chances with Matt Coupe going the closest for City ten minutes before the break. Having just about shaded the first half City were pushed back more in the second by the home side but failed to really test Mark Bryant and a draw was a fair result.
Amongst the two players making their debuts for City was centre-back Adam Howarth. The 19-year old former Cheltenham Town defender signed a contract this week after featuring in all but one of the pre-season friendlies.
City completed their pre-season campaign with a goalless draw against SK Torhout during their short European adventure in Belgium. The game was played in tremendous heat and after both sides had shots cleared of the line in the opening the ten minutes, Mike Trought the unfortunate City player, the contest was played at a leisurely pace. Although City had the majority of possession they couldn’t turn this into clear chances and the draw was a fair result. Following the game all the players and officials from both sides headed the Torhout’s training ground for a barbeque and in every respect it was a well-organised and successful trip.
Chippenham Town centre-back Tom Gould has turned down a move to Twerton Park despite the Bluebirds accepting a £5000 bid for the player. And another possible target, former Cardiff City defender Gethin Jones, will not be joining City after he signed for league rivals Merthyr Tydfil.
The injury that Iain Harvey received in Tuesday’s friendly defeat against Cirencester Town has been confirmed as a broken left ankle that will see the midfielder sidelined until at least Christmas. His ankle was also dislocated, although the clean nature of the break means he will not need an operation. And City suffered a second injury blow with the news that centre-back Gary Kemp will definitely miss the start of the new season with groin and back problems. The former Newport County player has not featured in any of City’s pre-season matches after picking up the injuries in the first training session of the summer. He is due to see a specialist in Nottingham tomorrow to try to solve the problem.
City boss Alan Pridham has met with £5000 target Chippenham Town defender Tom Gould and is now waiting for the players decision on a move to Twerton Park.
Another target of Pridham, Mangotsfield United captain and centre-back Scott Hendy, looks set to remain at Cossham Street after their chairman Roger Pullin turned down a £2000 bid for the player.
City boss Alan Pridham has made a move to reverse the trend of players moving from Twerton Park to Hardenhuish Park by offering £5000 for Chippenham Town centre-back Tom Gould. The 22-year old, who has previously played for City making eleven appearances during the 1999-2000 season, was named the Bluebirds players’ player of the season last year having arrived from Team Bath during the 2002 close season.
City have turned down the bid from Tiverton Town for Paul Milsom. The four figure offer turned out to be £1000 (shock horror!) but this has not tempted City into parting company with the player.
Influential midfielder Iain Harvey looks certain to miss the start of the new season after he was carried off with a serious ankle injury midway through the first half of tonights friendly against Cirencester Town. It seemed an innocuous challenge near the centre-circle but immediately it was clear that Harvey was in trouble and the initial thought was that he has either dislocated or broken his ankle. The game itself was almost as painful for City as they conceded four second half goals to finish 4-1 losers against the Dr Martens Western Division side. All this after a stunning volley from Steve Bridges had given the lead at the interval.
According to a piece in todays Western Daily Press City have received a four figure offer from fellow Dr Martens Premier Division side Tiverton Town for Paul Milsom. The big striker, who grabbed City’s goal in Saturday’s friendly defeat versus Carmarthen, has already turned down overtures from Conference club Forest Green Rovers following a trial at The Lawn, so whether he will be interested in a move to another DML club remains to be seen.
Despite finishing on the wrong end of the 2-1 scoreline City produced a much improved display in their first ever meeting with League of Wales side Carmarthen Town. The visitors took the lead after just two minutes, Moss heading past Mark Bryant but from then on it was almost all City. Several chances came and went before five minutes after the break Paul Milsom got on to the end of a great Frankie Bennett cross to fire City level. Carmarthen regained the lead on 64 minutes through a deflected Davies shot. A fingertip save by ex-Yeovil keeper Tony Pennock from a Mark Salter header denied City a deserved equaliser in the closing moments but it was still a vastly improved effort after the last couple of friendlies.