City emerged victorious from their ‘away’ meeting with tenants Team Bath this afternoon but it took the introduction of Craig Davidge midway through the second half to seperate the sides. Mike Green had put City ahead after 26 minutes, shooting home from 12 yards, but Team Bath drew level six minutes from the interval through Neil Saunders. Both sides had goals disallowed early in the second half, Matt Coupe the unfortunate City player. However, with 20 minutes remaining Davidge raced away down the right before firing the ball across keeper de Villiers into the corner of the net. City did have a few nervy moments after this but held on to record their second win of the season and move up to third place.
Another season but the same old City at Twerton Park. In a match that could have been played in any of the last two or three seasons City were left frustrated this afternoon by their failure to break down a side determined to come away from Twerton Park with a goalless draw. This time the opposition was Northwood, despite having won their first two games of the season, and even though City had the vast majority of possession they couldn’t make the vital breakthrough. Lewis Hogg came closest in the first half with a long range effort and although Mark McKeever was a constant threat down the left flank this was the only time Northwood keeper Bullivant really tested.
One of the worse decisions you are likely to ever see on a football pitch meant City had to settle for a single point in their first Twerton Park outing of the season against Tiverton Town this evening. They had led through Scott Partridge’s 25th minute goal, hooking home from close range after Phil Walsh had headed a Mark McKeever free-kick goalwards, and looked capable of defending that narrow advantage despite the visitors dominating possession after the break. However, with 22 minutes remaining referee Mr Newell gifted the Devon side the opening they had been unable to create themselves when Jim Rollo blocked a Mason cross which Paul Evans picked up. Incredibly he viewed this as a deliberate back pass and from the resultant free-kick Bale fired the ball home through a crowded six-yard box. The referee had lost control of the game in the build-up to City’s goal when he was made to look a fool by his initial failure to get Tiverton’s wall back 10 yards and the constant moaning by Tivvy, led unsurprisingly by the thuggish Nathan Rudge, seemed to further undermine his authority. Clearly stung by the injustice of the equaliser City finally woke up in the final 20 minutes but, with Tiverton now content to waste time at every opportunity, only a shot by substitute Nat Pepperell that shakey kepper Rock pushed over the bar came close to restoring their lead.
City held their AGM this evening at Twerton Park and revealed that the club is exploring the possibility of redeveloping the ground in effort to clear it’s debts. With little progress in a search for a site for a new ground, chairman Geoff Todd explained that the board has turned it’s attention to making the best use of it’s current facility. The meeting, attended by around 40 shareholders, also discussed the losses of the last two seasons and passed a resolution to allow a member of the Supporters Society to be elected to the board in the future plus several amendments to the club’s constitution. Also present was assistant manager Adrian Britten and he answered a number of questions on the team’s hopes and aims for the fortcoming season.
City boss John Relish has reduced the size of his squad by sending out several fringe players to Southern League Western Division sides. Striker Ricky Hulbert has joined Paulton Rovers, with former youth team player Stuart Pearson switching to Tauton Town. The latter could be recalled by City if required. Also joining Taunton is pre-season trialist striker Justin Pritchard.
A goal in each half gave City a winning start to their 2006-07 league season yesterday, as they overcame newly promoted Corby Town. It took them just 14 minutes to open the scoring when Scott Partridge headed a Mark McKeever corner home. The Steelman has no answer to City’s slick passing play during a one-sided first half and were fortunate to go into the interval only one goal down. After the break the home side did improve, although only from set-pieces did they ever really threaten an equaliser. And City secured their third successive opening day victory nine minutes from time through Chris Holland’s looping header from another McKeever cross.
Boss John Relish looks to have completed his squad building for City’s tilt at the 2006-07 Southern League title with the signing of goalkeeper Richard Fey. The former Clevedon Town shot-stopper featured in several of City’s pre-season games and has been signed as cover for first choice no.1 Paul Evans. With Relish confirming that Fey’s signature will be his final one, it would seem to signal that striker Justin Pritchard has not done enough to earn a contract despite his four goals in pre-season. With City’s squad totalling 21 players, it is likely that several players will head out on loan deals before the season starts on Saturday.
City will go into next Saturday’s opening British Gas Business Football League meeting with Corby Town in confident form after they completed an excellent pre-season with a 5-0 drubbing of Welsh League side Cwmbran Town. The victory, the fifth of their eight summer fixtures, was built on a second half showing that Cwmbran had no answer to. The first half saw City dominate as well, but it wasn’t until a minute before the interval that Chris Holland’s towering header gave them the lead. Just past the hour mark Scott Partridge ran onto Lewis Hogg’s pass to roll home the second goal, then four minutes later the roles were reversed and Hogg’s flick into the roof of the net made it 3-0. Six minutes from time Matt Coupe headed the fourth and Craig Davidge’s 20-yard shot completed the scoring in the 87th minute.
City have completed the signing of former Swansea City striker Nat Pepperell despite interest from a number of local non-league clubs, including Weston Super Mare and Tiverton Town. The 18-year old also had trials with Plymouth Argyle and Yeovil Town during the summer but following his impressive 45 minute outing againt Paulton Rovers on Tuesday City moved quickly to secure his services on a one-year contract.
City will have to pay around £4000 for the services of Lewis Hogg following an FA transfer tribunal decision. The 23-year old midfielder, who has been City’s star performer in pre-season, left Conference South Weston Super Mare to join City, despite interest from several other clubs, in May but the clubs were unable to agree on a transfer fee so the decision was made by an independent tribunal.
City recorded their fourth successive pre-season victory on Tuesday evening by two goals to nil against Paulton Rovers. They took just 13 minutes to go ahead, an unmarked Phil Walsh heading home from a corner. With former Swansea City trialist striker Nat Pepperell looking impressive City could have increased this lead but it wasn’t until 12 minutes after the interval that a long ball forward sent Scott Partridge running clear and he confidently lobbed keeper Rendall.
City came through their latest pre-season outing unscathed on Friday night at Larkhall Athletic but it was still a lively encounter that saw the Western League side reduced to ten men midway through the second half. The dismissal followed an off the ball incident involving Matt Coupe and he received a caution for his part in the flashpoint. This incident apart the game was played in a competitive but fair manner with City running out comfortbale 3-0 winners. Justin Pritchard struck his 4th pre-season goal in the first half with a shot from the edge of the box that keeper Tucker allowed to squirm through his grasp. Second half goals from Lewis Hogg and Kane Ingram completed the victory.
Former youth team striker Ingram, who has netted two goals in pre-season so far, looks set to be loaned to Toolstation League Bitton AFC after appearing for them in their 3-2 win over Merthyr Tydfil last week.
A series of injuries picked up in City’s five summer outings so far has led them jokingly suggest they should cancel the rest of their pre-season programme. Five players have picked up knocks of varying seriousness, with Jon Holloway the most worrying. He suffered a broken hand in an accidental fall against Hallen which leaves him touch and go to make City’s opening game of the season at Corby Town on August 19. Gethin Jones and Craig Davidge picked up leg injuries in the Hallen game, both courtesy of late challenges, but luckily escaped serious injury. They join Scott Rogers (ankle) and Mike Green (knee) on the casualty list.
City have published their accounts for the years ending 2004 and 2005 and they show considerable losses. The 2003-04 season saw the club lose just under £50,000 and the following season the deficit increased to £85,000. The club will hold an AGM on Monday 21 August in Randall’s at Twerton Park. The meeting will also see an EGM held where proposals to amend the club’s Articles of Assocation will be considered.
As part of the build-up to their 2006-07 South West Counties Youth League season City’s youth side will meet opposition who have travelled 4,700 miles for the game. Whitman College, based in Walla Walla, Washington, will face City at Twerton Park on Wednesday 9 August as part of their two-week tour of England. The side is coached by Bristol-born Mike Washington and they will also play Paulton Rovers and Bridgwater Town during their stay, plus make a trip to visit Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium. Further information can be found here.
City suffered a triple injury blow this evening in their latest pre-season outing at Screwfix League Hallen AFC, with Gethin Jones, Jon Holloway and Craig Davidge all picking up knocks. Jones received a leg injury following a late tackle just five minutes into the match, Holloway suffered a dislocated finger early in the second half and Davidge turned his ankle midway through the half. The game itself ended with City winning by five goals to three. Davidge put them ahead after 21 minutes with a stunning 20-yard strike. The home side levelled moments after the restart before Phil Walsh’s close range finish, following a strong run by Lewis Hogg, made it 2-1. Again Hallen came back and made it 2-2 with 15 minutes left only for Scott Partridge to restore City’s lead on 82 minutes. This advantage lasted just two minutes but goals from Hogg and Jim Rollo in the final three minutes finally saw City see off their Bristol-based opponents.
Midfielder Scott Rogers is unlikely to feature again for City in pre-season after picking up a minor calf tear against Bitton AFC last week but he should be fit for the opening league match at Corby on August 19.