City v Maidstone United Preview

Bath City return to Twerton Park on Saturday following two weeks on the road which saw a return to winning ways in the League at Braintree followed by a hard fought Cup tie at Shaftesbury being safely negotiated.

Having played league leaders Dartford in our last home fixture we now welcome second placed Maidstone United who, like their Kent rivals, are unbeaten so far. Chelmsford, Billericay and Oxford have all fallen to the Stones as well as facing City in the first weeks of the season.

Last Saturday Maidstone won 3-1 at Chichester City of the Isthmian League in the FA Cup and now face Dartford in the next round on the same day as we welcome Frome Town to Twerton Park..

The Kent club made their first visit to Bath back in 1972 and were regular visitors for the next sixteen years but the two clubs then went their separate ways.

After a short stint in the Football League, bankruptcy led to Maidstone’s expulsion and the formation of a new club which slowly climbed back up the pyramid via the Kent and Isthmian Leagues.

After a brief reacquaintance with City in 2015/16 there was another gap while the Stones played in the National League and following their relegation we locked horns again three years later but they were one of several clubs who we never met in the curtailed 2020/21 season.

If any motivation is required for the match one simply needs to look at City’s record at home to Maidstone which is probably worse than against any other club in this division. There have been only three victories in the seventeen league matches played at Twerton with goals by Andy Provan and Martin Wheeler way back in 1978 marking the only occasion when we have scored more than once!

However, our last two meetings have hopefully seen the start of a dominance by City in these matches. Goals by Frankie Artus and Sam Pearson secured a 2-0 midweek win in February 2020 at the Gallagher Stadium which virtually secured us a place in the play-offs while five months earlier there was a 1-1 draw at Twerton. City left it very late that day equalizing in the sixth minute of time added on with Ryan Brunt giving a tutorial on how to take a penalty.

Attendances at Twerton this season are averaging over 1100 which is the 4th best in the League and the support for the team is clearly being appreciated by Jerry Gill and his players. Tickets for Saturday’s match can be  purchased here.