Not surprisingly, after the recent snowfall that has affected most parts of the country, this afternoon’s league clash with Tamworth has been postponed. The cancellation means that Paul Bodin will now miss the FA Trophy 3rd Round with tie with Yeovil Town, as that game becomes the final one of his five-match ban.
City finally recorded their maiden away victory of the season as a Jimmy Fraser strike seconds before the half time interval gave them a 1-0 win over Clevedon Town in a scrappy, but hard-fought, Boxing Day encounter. On a bitterly cold day, and with a strong wind blowing across the Seasiders open Hand Stadium, any hopes of entertaining football disappeared on the dreadful surface, but after weathering the home sides early forays, City began to gain the upper hand. As in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newport County, Sal Bibbo produced another faultless display that denied Clevedon any successes from their few opportunities. The only goal of the game came as the interval loomed after City had won a series of corners. The final of these was only cleared as far as Davis. His cross found Colbourne and, after his effort was blocked, the ball fell to Fraser whose low shot beat ex-City keeper Hervin. The second half saw City in control, limiting Town to a series of half chances although with just a single goal lead there was always a danger that an equaliser could come. However, the final whistle ended that threat and City’s travelling support (which accounted for around three-quarters of the 682 crowd) cound finally enjoy a trip (albeit only a short one) back to Bath.
The Clevedon victory made it a Boxing Day double for City after their Reserve side had recorded an excellent 3-1 victory over Keynsham Town in the morning. The Screwfix Division 1 league leaders, who were previously unbeaten and boasted a 100% away record, found themselves 2 goals down after just 10 minutes, through strikes from MacLean and Hopkins. The visitors, managed by former City player Paul Hirons, pulled a goal back just before the break but a third goal on 85 minutes from Cleverly sealed the three points.
A difficult week for City ended with some Christmas cheer as goals from Mike Davis and Martin Paul gave them a 2-0 victory over Newport County. The opening strike came after just three minutes when Paul found space down the left and Davis headed his cross home. Seventy minutes later City sealed the game, Paul rolling the ball home from two yards after keeper Mountain had failed to hold Fraser’s shot. In between the Welsh side had dominated the game but found Sal Bibbo equal to everything they could produce. A series of excellent stops by the keeper continually fustrated County, as he kept his first home league clean sheet of the season. The win lifts City back into the top half of the table.
The FA have confirmed that Paul Bodin will face a five match ban for his double sending off against Cambridge City and Welling United. The ban will begin against Clevedon Town on Boxing Day but the player manager should be available for the FA Trophy clash with Yeovil Town, unless any of the intervening games are postponed.
17-year-old Bath City goalkeeper Liam Bull has been named in England’s under 19’s squad of 32. The young stopper has been selected after a nation-wide search by F.A scouts which then involved three selection courses which reduced the numbers of players from hundreds down to just 32. The final course took place last weekend at England’s H.Q Lilleshall.
Despite Chairman Steve Hall and secretary Quentin Edwards personal appearance at the hearing to argue City’s case, the appeal against the three point deduction imposed by the Dr Martens League was today dismissed by the FA. The punishment, inflicted due to the 47 second appearance of unregistered James Hughes in the 3-1 victory of Burton Albion in November, sees City drop from 8th place to 12th.
Paul Bodin’s dismissal in the match will see him facing a four or five match ban, and he will join Martin Paul on the sidelines, as his booking in the game was his fifth of the season and will lead to a single game off. Also on the suspension front Jon Holloway and Mark Harrington will miss Saturday’s clash with Newport County, after their booking and sending off, respectively, at Cambridge City a fortnight ago.
Bath City Supporters’ Club have elected four new members onto its commitee. Joining Martin Brush (chairman), Paul Hannam (vice-chairman), John Skinner, Phil Weaver, Terry Mullan and Rodney Pitman are Terrie Kerridge, Mark Bladwell, Dennis Hibberd and Martin Powell.
Having never previously been sent off in his 17 year career, City boss Paul Bodin saw red for the second time in the space of four days. Following his deserved dismissal against Cambridge City on Tuesday he again received his marching orders for a 59th minute challenge on Welling’s Riviere. Despite appearing to have won the ball cleanly referee G Evetts pointed to the spot then showed a red card to a stunned Bodin. Dolby made no mistake from the spot to register what turned out to the only goal of the game. Bodin’s departure had evened up the numbers after United’s Edwards had been dismissed on 30 minutes for lashing out at Martin Paul after the striker had legitimately challenged keeper Knight. Prior to this the home side, playing down the considerable Park View Road slope, had looked the more likely to score, but after the interval, and still with their man advantage, City had three great chances to grab a lead. A mistake by Hone almost let in Paul, only Watts’ great tackle saving his teammate blushes, and City’s top scorer then dragged a shot wide with only Knight to beat. In between Bodin had had City’s clearest opening, running onto Allison’s lay-off only to see his shot clip the top of the Welling bar. However, once Bodin was removed from the action City allowed their fustration to take over and, with the Kent side time-wasting at every opportunity (which, naturally, the referee did nothing about), they failed to again trouble Knight. At the final whistle Holloway and Bibbo (who seemed to spend the time after the goal involved in ‘healthy banter’ with the Welling fans) had to be pulled away from a furious exchange with the referee, which will no doubt get City into further trouble. And now time for my rant (been a while since the last one) – I guess from a side whose manager condones his players involvement in on the pitch brawls, minor activities like diving and time-wasting are probably practiced in training, so I’m sure he’s pleased with himself that they both came off so well yesterday. Lets get that Conference place back at any costs, lads.
City will face Clevedon Town at Twerton Park twice in four days following the draw for the last eight of the Somerset Premier Cup. The cup tie will take place on Tuesday 20 February before the Seasiders make the short trip to Bath again on Saturday 24 February.
And two more of City’s postponed games have been rearranged. The trip to London to face Fisher Athletic is now planned for Tuesday 6 February, and Tuesday 3 April will see City travel to Havant & Waterlooville.
City set up a mouthwatering clash with Conference leaders Yeovil Town as they overcame Cambridge City with a single Martin Paul strike three minutes before the break. But again they did it the hard way, playing for an hour with 10 men after the dismissal of Paul Bodin. City’s player manager saw red after lashing out following a crude challenge by Cambridge boss Tovey. Up to this point City had dominated they game with Allison, Walker and Paul all missing great openings. Not surprisingly, the sending off saw the visitors come into the game, Bibbo pulling off one stunning save to deny Cambridge. However, they grabbed a goal their earlier dominance deserved when Paul ran clear to fire past Davies. The second half saw City pressed back but, with Towler and Lloyd outstanding and Bibbo producing a number of fine blocks, they stood firm. In fact, the closest either side came to scoring was when Davis’ shot cannoned back off the bar and was hacked to safety. Five tense minutes of stoppage time was finally brought to an end by referee Andrew Turner and City could begin to look forward to a long overdue return to Legoland.
City completed their third successive home victory over early season league front runners but visitors Moor Green could count themselves unlucky to leave Twerton Park with no reward for their efforts. Having taken the lead in the 10th minute, Jon Hollway firing home after a corner fell invitingly to him eight yards out, City should have taken control of the game, but Moor Green came back strongly. They had already seen one effort come back off the post and gone close on several other occasions before a poor punch by Bibbo was turned into the net after 35 minutes. The second period saw City continue to struggle but suddenly two goals in the space of five minutes turned the game their way. The one flowing move they produced all afternoon began with Walker collecting a Towler clearance before sending a 40 yard pass to Paul down the right, and his low first time cross was swept home by Sam Allison. Allison, in in place of Colbourne, was then instrumental in the third goal five minutes later. He dummied a low ball in the box and Paul turned and his low shot found the corner of the net. City suffered few scares after this, although they also looked unlikely to add to their lead, and the result lifts them to 6th place.
City have rearranged their Dr Martens Cup 2nd Round clash at Newport County, cancelled to make way for the FA Trophy replay against Cambridge City next week, for Wednesday 10 January. The League match against the Welsh side has also been confirmed for Wednesday 28 February. Both games will kick off at 7.45pm.
City Reserves have also arranged two of their recently postponed matches. They will face Wellington at Twerton Park on Wednesday 7 February and then travel to Street on Tuesday 13 February. Also, their Boxing Day meeting with league leaders Keynsham Town will now kick off at 11.30, giving City fans a chance to watch this match before heading to Clevedon for the first team game.
City produced another patchy away performance but grabbed a second chance to overcome Cambridge City when Graham Maclean fired home a 90th minute equaliser. In a game that was given extra spice with the news that the winners would face Conference leaders Yeovil Town in the next round both sides tried to play football on a very difficult pitch. MacLean missed one great chance but it was the home side who dominated the early exchanges. Bramble had already crashed one effort against the bar and it was no surprise when Wardley collected the ball in space 25 yards out and unleashed a shot that flew past Bibbo. City continued to struggle, with MacLean and Colbourne making little headway against the Lilywhite’s solid back-line, and had to thank Bibbo on a couple of occasions for keeping the deficit at one. The second half continued in a similar vein and when Mark Harrington was sent-off for his second bookable offence Cambridge seemed happy enough to sit on thier lead and try to catch City on the break. A number of openings came and went and just as it looked like City had run out of ideas, substitute Hughes collected the ball in the box and his cross-shot was driven home by MacLean from three yards.
The replay will take place at Twerton Park on Tuesday 12 December (7.45pm), which means the Dr Martens Cup tie at Newport County, scheduled for the following night, will now be played at a later date.
A pitch inspection at 1.30pm has ruled Cambridge City’s City Ground pitch unplayable, so tomorrow’s FA Trophy 2nd Round clash has been postponed. The teams will make another attempt to play the tie on Monday 4 December at 7.45.