City bounced back from their tame defeat against Salisbury City on Saturday in perfect style this afternoon by beating Team Bath 4-0 in their ‘away’ Twerton Park meeting. They got off to the perfect start when Scott Partridge scored from close range after just six minutes. The rest of the half saw the University side play their usual neat football but it was always City who had the greater cutting edge, with Phil Walsh twice going close and Jim Rollo flashing a long-range effort just wide. The second goal finally arrived 20 minutes after the interval when Walsh shot home from Andy Sandell’s cross. A dreadful mistake by Team Bath’s keeper Chitty gifted Partridge his second goal twelve minutes from time and with two minutes left Sandell scored the pick of the afternoon’s goals with a sweet 25-yard shot.
This afternoon’s game saw City manager John Relish complete his two-match touchline ban for verbally abusing a match official during his previous club Merthyr Tydfil’s clash with Grantham Town back in February.
City suffered their first defeat of the season this afternoon as they were easily beaten 2-0 by Salisbury. A deflected shot by Widdrington that gave Andy Fisher no chance gave the Whites the lead after 31 minutes and Tubbs increased their lead early in the second half. City’s afternoon was capped off by the ridiculous dismissal of Matt Coupe seven minutes from time. Having been booked earlier in the half he complained to the referee about a challenge by a Salisbury player and, despite several warnings from Mr Linington, wouldn’t shut up eventually giving the official no option but to show him a second yellow card.
With first chioce keeper Paul Evans sidelined for a few weeks City have brought in former player Mark Bryant in as cover for Andy Fisher. They have also signed former Team Bath striker Caleb Kamara-Taylor and he featured for the final 16 minutes of this afternoon’s clash with Salisbury City.
City will get the chance to exact some revenge for one of their more embarrassing FA Cup defeats in recent years after the Preliminary Round results today. Cinderford Town’s 5-3 victory over Almondsbury means they will face City at Twerton Park in the 1st Qualifying Round on Saturday 10 September. The sides met in the same competition back during the 1995-96 season at the 4th Qualifying stage and the Gloucestershire team, in their first season in the Southern League, produced the shock of the round with a 3-2 win over then Conference side City. Cinderford went on to narrowly miss a meeting with Premiership giants Aston Villa, losing a 2nd Round replay to Gravesend.
City’s goalkeeping injury problems that so blighted the early stages of last season – they had to field six keepers in the opening few months – have returned with the news that Paul Evans will be sidelined for several weeks with a hamstring injury. The shot-stopper, who played such a large part in City’s 940 minute run without conceding a goal that ended at Yate on Tuesday, picked the injury against Clevedon Town in pre-season. He has been playing through the pain barrier but treatment at Cardiff City during the week has revealed the seriousness of the problem. His place between the posts will be taken by Andy Fisher, although he is recovering from a finger injury suffered during a warm-up before the Yate match.
City lost their 100% record this evening but remained top of the table after a 1-1 draw against ten-man Yate Town. The home side lost Jefferies after just 24 minutes for an off-the-ball incident but took the lead through Pritchard in first half stoppage time. This was no less than Yate deserved as City turned in a desperately poor performance during the first period, however after the break they finally began to play. The equaliser duly arrived just past the hour mark through Scott Partridge’s close range finish and after this it was all City. They couldn’t find a second goal though and had to be content with maintaining their unbeaten start to the season and place at the top of the table.
City have allowed young midfielder Sam Duggan to join Western League Odd Down on a month’s loan.
City maintained their perfect start to the season this afternoon at Twerton Park with a narrow 1-0 victory over Chesham United. The decisive goal came after just 23 minutes when Scott Partridge shot home from a low Andy Sandell cross and although the visitors saw a lot of possession Paul Evans was rarely troubled in the City goal. In fact, Partridge came closest to adding to the scoring when his second half shot following a great run hit the inside of the post. With Merthyr Tydfil and Cirencester Town, the only other two 100% sides before the game, failing to win the result lifts City to the top of the Southern League Premier Division for the first time since September 1999. The clean sheet, City’s ninth in a row covering the end of last season as well, also means they have now gone 895 minutes since they last conceded a goal.
A goal by Andy Sandell sixteen minutes from time was enough to give City a deserved victory over a disgracefully dirty Tiverton Town side tonight and make it two wins out of two in this fledging season. The Devon side finished the game with just nine men after the type of thuggish performance that they are becoming increasingly well known for in Southern League cirlces. It had all been very different in the opening twenty minutes as Tiverton produced some excellent football, time and again cutting their way through City’s defence. However, second choice keeper Andy Fisher was only forced into one difficult save and as City started to get on top Tivvy’s more familiar uglier side began to surface. Phil Walsh and Scott Partridge missed good openings but on the half hour Winter’s blatent body check on Gethin Jones as he raced clear should have seen Town reduced to ten men, Baffingly the referee only booked him and within minutes Holloway’s lunge at his namesake in a City shirt was equally fortunate to only receive a caution. Midway through the second half a Tivverton player finally saw a card the same colour as his shirt when Wills’ foul on Jim Rollo received a straight red. The decisive goal arrived on 74 minutes when Partridge crossed for Sandell to place a firm header past Ovendale. Partridge should have doubled this lead when clean through but fittingly the game ended with another Tiverton player receiving his marching orders, as Holloway’s clattered into Adie Harris to earn a second caution.
City got their Southern League season off to the perfect start this afternoon as two first half goals from Scott Partridge and a late strike from substitute Alex Sykes fired them to a 3-0 victory over Grantham Town. A familiar wind and rainswept scene greeted City to the souless South Kesteven Stadium but they used these conditions perfectly in the 29th minute when Gethin Jones’ corner evaded the flapping Ziccardi, allowing Partridge to head home from six yards. A minute before the interval excellent work by Andy Sandell saw his low cross find Partridge and he converted the chance. The second half saw the elements favour the home side but they rarely threatened Paul Evans’ goal and this frustration got the better of Carruthers who was sent off twenty minutes from time for an unnecessary lunge on Matt Coupe. City capped the afternoon off perfectly with five minutes left when Sykes curled a great left foot shot into the corner of the net to make it 3-0.
City’s league meeting with Banbury United has been moved to Friday 2 September (ko 7.45pm) to avoid clashing with England versus Wales the following day.
City received a setback on the eve of the new season when loan target Lewis Haldane pulled out of a deal to move to Twerton Park, instead teaming up with former City boss Gary Owers at Forest Green Rovers. City had spent a week negoiating to bring the 19-year old Bristol Rovers striker to the club only to be told yesterday that he had decided to join to the Conference side.
City manager John Relish has confirmed that Bobby Ford (pictured) has retained the captains armband for the 2005-06. He was vying for the position with Jim Rollo, who has been appointed as club captain. Whilst Ford is not the most vocal of players he has clearly impressed Relish in the same way he did with his predessor Gary Owers, who first named him captain at the start of last season. Rollo’s role will see him act as the point of contact between Relish and the players.
On the back of City’s pre-season goalscoring struggles boss John Relish has moved to increase his options up front with the loan signing of Bristol Rovers forward Lewis Haldane. The 19-year old has signed open-ended loan deal and looks set to partner Scott Partridge in Saturday’s league season opener at Grantham Town, with Martin Paul still struggling to overcome a calf injury that saw him miss the weekend win over Clevedon Town.
City left it to their last pre-season outing but finally produced an impressive performance in this afternoon’s 1-0 victory over Clevedon Town. The decisive goal came after just six minutes when Jon Holloway headed home a Bobby Ford corner but it could easily have been a much greater margin of victory. Andy Sandall was denied by a stunning save by former City keeper Ray Johnston in the first half, rattled the crossbar with a thumping second half effort and Scott Partridge had a late strike ruled out for offside. A further bonus was an excellent showing by trialist striker Phil Walsh. The son of Bristol City legend, and former City player, Alan Walsh linked well with Partridge on a number of occasions and could be the answer to City’s search for a tall striker. The only worry (there had to be one) was Bobby Ford being withdrawn on 30 minutes due to a back injury, but hopefully it is not serious enough to keep him out of next weeks Southern League opener at Grantham Town.
A first half penalty miss by Scott Partridge and a second half goal from Welton Rovers saw City stumble to their fifth successive friendly defeat tonight. When Partridge was tripped in the box after 23 minutes it looked like City’s pre-season goal drought was at an end but keeper Allard pushed his spot kick away for a corner. The keeper also denied Bobby Ford and Jim Rollo went close with a well-struck effort as City dominated the first half. The second half continued to be played mainly in the Welton half but from a breakaway after 70 minutes they took the lead and for all City’s efforts they couldn’t prevent, however you try to defend it, another embarrassing summer defeat. The game did see the first appearance in a City shirt for Gethin Jones, as a half-time substitute, but Martin Paul missed the match due to tweaking his calf in the pre-match warm-up.
Following in the footsteps of his predessors Alan Pridham and Gary Owers, John Relish faced City fans in a meet the manager question and answer session last night. Along with new chairman Geoff Todd he faced around 50 City supporters, covering such topics as the make-up of his squad, the continued search for another striker, his opinion of futsal (!), how soon he hopes to see City in the Conference South and (most importantly) whether the looks at the website and forum. He doesn’t.
The evening also saw the draw for a place in the 2005-06 team photo and the winner, who will add a touch of much needed glamour to the line-up, was Kelly Treby.