An own goal by Mike Trought and a second half penalty saw City crash to their second self-inflicted defeat in two days this time at the hands of Cirencester Town. The game had been fairly even up to the 40th minute, with City starting brightly before the home side came back into the game, when a free-kick on the right was flicked beyond Justin Shuttlewood by Trought and into the net via a post. And just after the hour mark it got even worse for City and Trought when he was adjudged to have pushed former City player Mike Davis in the area allowing Robison to score from the penalty spot. John Williams crashed a shot against the post in the closing stages but it was another lifeless performance from City against desperately average opposition.
Three dreadful individual mistakes by current player of the season Matt Coupe condemned City to an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at home to Bedford Town this afternoon. The normally reliable centre-back made three errors of such startling ineptitude that it is still hard to believe how they happened. The first, after just two minutes, saw him allow a pass from Gary Owers to go under his foot. Bedford’s Dillon raced clear and rolled the ball past Justin Shuttlewood. Twelve minutes later he should have cut out a cross but only succeeded in slicing the ball to Rydeheard. Just three yards out he made it 2-0. Seven minutes before the break City pulled a goal back, John Williams heading home. Having dominated the game this should have been the start of a comeback, however right on the stroke of half-time an unmarked Dillon was allowed to restore the Eagles two goal lead. Coupe’s nightmare afternoon was completed five minutes after the break. He attempted to control the ball on the edge of the six-yard box only to give it straight to Dillon, who completed his hat-trick past a bemused Shuttlewood. The remainder of the game was largely played in the Bedford half but with ten players behind the ball the visitors easily protected the gifts they had been handed by City.
Midfielder Darren Hawkins looks set to return to Twerton Park on a one-month loan deal from Coca-Cola League 1 side Bristol City. The 20-year old spent three successful months with City last season, making 17 appearances and scoring 4 goals, before returning to Ashton Gate. However, he has failed to find a way into new manager Brian Tinnion’s side so, subject to a medical, he will link up with City again tomorrow.
City have announced a partnership with Bath Arsenal aimed at discovering the local stars of the future. The local side, who run teams from Under six to Under 17 and have over 400 members, will receive weekly coaching sessions from Gary Owers and the City staff with the aim of eventually bringing the best into the City youth set-up. The initiative is the latest venture arranged by Owers as he looks to increase the clubs profile in the community.
Striker John Williams answered his doubters in perfect style tonight by firing home the winning goal in a hard fought 1-0 victory over a typically physical Tiverton Town side. The summer signing has received more than his fair share of criticism which saw him confronting two City fans at Merthyr and substituted after an hour against Grantham following a dreadful performance. However, tonight his close range finish from a Steve Tweddle cross on the the stroke of half-time capped a much improved outing for the 36-year old. The goal gave City an advantage that they just about deserved, although both sides created several chances in the first half. The second half was nearly all City though as Tiverton, playing in City’s last season third kit after a mix-up with their shirts, were made to look second best in all departments. The second goal would just not come but apart from one brief scare when Matt Coupe was forced into a clearance off the line they comfortably defended the narrow advantage and the Yellows became increasingly petulant as the game drifted away from them.
In typical fashion City contrived to lose their first game of this fledgling season against easily the poorest side of the three they have so far faced. For the opening hour they and Grantham made it appear that football was not their first choice sport, although City just shaded this woeful show by virture of one Steve Tweddle shot that Ziccardi pushed to safety and the occasional glimpse that they had, at least, heard of the game football. Grantham had no such saving graces. However, on 61 minutes the otherwise solid Graeme Power conceded an unnecessary free-kick 22-yards out and Wooding curled the ball into the net. Stunned by this City brought on Reinier Moor and Ricky Hulbert and for the closing 20 minutes battered the Gingerbreads but were foiled by an inspired Ziccardi and some desperate defending. The follow-up to one Ziccardi save was a goalmouth scramble that saw Tweddle, Gary Owers and Hulbert all have shots blocked. And then the final move of the match saw Power’s close range header somehow turned over the bar by the keeper, leaving City to reflect on why they didn’t start playing for 70 minutes.
Steve Jones headed home his first goal for City last night to give them a hard fought 1-0 victory over Merthyr Tydfil. The defender had only been on the pitch a few minutes when he rose highest to beat keeper Morris to Bobby Ford’s 68th minute corner. The home side could justifably feel somewhat hard done by as apart from the opening 20 minutes they had looked the likelier to score. Three incidents of note showed that it was going to be City’s night. Midway through the first half Carter’s point-blank header produced a stunning save from Justin Shuttlewood. Ten minutes before the interval the Martyrs were gifted the chance to take the lead when City failed to deal with a hopeful ball into the area. This lead to Matt Coupe’s clumsy challenge on Shepherd that was a clear penalty. However, Keddle could only fire the spot kick high over the bar. The second half continued with Merthyr edging the game but after they had fallen behind to Jones’ strike luck continued to elude them. With eight minutes remaining Carter’s header left Shuttlewood beaten only to rebound off the inside of the post and away to safety. This was the last scare for City and they could soon celebrate their best start to a season since 1976!
City opened their 2004-05 Southern League campaign with a 2-1 victory over Banbury United at a warm and sunny Twerton Park this afternoon. The goals came in either half from Steve Tweddle and a John Williams penalty in a game that City should have won by a greater margin. Several chances had come and gone when Tweddle ran onto a long ball foward to fire past keeper Tricker after 30 minutes. Williams should have increased City’s advantage before the break but made up for this miss on 66 minutes, converting from the penalty spot after man-of-the-match Graeme Power had been tripped in the box. This preceeded City’s best spell of the game but they failed to turn this into further goals and Banbury pulled one back with four minutes left when Wallbridge blasted the ball into the roof of the net. However, City comfortably held out and should have scored again through Reinier Moor, but he shot wide when clean through.
City’s search for a new striker, with top scorer Scott Partridge sidelined for several months, has ended with the signature of Exeter City youngster Reinier Moor. The 21-year old former Republic of Ireland youth international impressed in the friendly against Forest Green Rovers and has put pen to paper on a one-year deal. City beat several other interested clubs to sign Moor, who made 10 starts and 25 substitute appearances, scoring six goals for the Grecians.
Off the field City have appointed a new director. John Reynolds, the owner of local building firm J Reynolds (Western) Limited, is a lifelong City fan and joins the current six members of the board immediately.
Hopes that a few weeks rest would allow keeper Paul Evans to overcome his knee injury have been dashed after a scan revealed bone growth on his thigh bone and beneath his knee cap. The South African 30-year old will need an operation to cure the problem that will see him sidelined for three to six weeks. City moved quickly to investigate the problem to avoid a similar scenario to that which saw striker Scott Partridge’s knee injury go unchecked for several months and has left him on crutches and missing until well into the new season.
City completed their long pre-season campaign with a seventh goalless outing out of eight in a 0-0 draw with Forest Green Rovers. The hot and sunny conditions meant the game only occasionally rose above a leisurely pace and despite City matching the Conference side they rarely looked like adding to their pitiful summer total of just three goals. The game saw two new trialists, both from Exeter City, don the black and white stripes. Striker Reinier Moor showed a couple of neat touches before being withdrawn on 42 minutes witha groin strain and midfielder Adam Faux’s main contribution as a second half substitute was to get into an altercation with former City favourite Jon Holloway. The closest City came to breaking the dealock was ten minutes from time when keeper Perrin could only half reach a Ricky Hulbert cross, only for the ball to fall just behind the incoming Steve Tweddle. Other than that Justin Shuttlewood comfortably dealt with all the Rovers could produce and Mike Trought came through his first full 90 minutes of the summer.
City drew their sixth blank in seven pre-season games last night as they lost 1-0 to Southern League Division 1 West side Yate Town. In a match that defied it’s friendly tag on several occasions (almost all involving former City midfielder Paul Chenoweth) the deciding goal came from Bennett on the stroke of half-time after Justin Shuttlewood failed to hold Dave Elsey’s (another ex-City player) free-kick. City started brightly, Dean Stevens going close and Matt Coupe seeing a header cleared off the line, but they quickly faded. With the home side’s rough tatics, diving and time-wasting, plus an incredibly fussy referee the game couldn’t end soon enough.
City’s first choice keeper Paul Evans will miss the start of the new season after being told to rest a knee injury for three weeks. The South African born stopper picked up the injury in last weeks friendly win at Clevedon Town and it has failed to respond to treatment. With Justin Shuttlewood one of the team’s more impressive pre-season performers City have cover in this area but may need to bring in another keeper to sit on the bench.
City’s youth team have announced a number of pre-season friendlies beginning with a trip to Radstock Town this Wednesday (4 August, ko 7.30pm). For a full list go to the youth team page.