City have confirmed that they will be applying for a place in next seasons new-look Conference set-up. The changes proposed by the Conference involve the formation of a one or two division second tier to the current one. All 66 clubs currently in the Dr Martens, Unibond and Ryman Premier Leagues have been approached and depending on the number responding positively either a Conference Division 2 (comprising of 22 clubs) or a North and South Division (44 clubs) will be formed. Membership of the league will depend on various criteria, including current stadium facilities (okay), club finances (hmmm, getting better so should be okay), community (okay), and playing record (see finances!). To read a copy* of the letter (borrowed unashamedly from Ciderspace) sent out to the all the clubs click here. The move comes following the FA’s rejection of a similar change earlier in the year despite the majority of clubs being in favour of this option. Being realistic, whilst this change would be good news for City (and any other clubs involved) whether it actually happens is still unclear as the self-serving interests of the three feeder leagues will no doubt come into play sooner rather than later.
*Please note this is not an exact copy!
Goals from Jason Eaton and Dan Cleverley saw City continue their recent revival with a 2-1 victory over early season league leaders Crawley Town yesterday at Broadfield Stadium. Both came after errors by Red Devils keeper Little, failing to gather Stuart James’ 30th minute corner then spilling a Jamie Gosling’s cross-shot just after the hour mark. The home side had began the game strongly but found Mark Bryant in excellent form, producing a series of fine saves. He was finally beaten by a Hockton header with ten minutes remaining but City held out for that period plus nearly five minutes of stoppage time to record a deserved victory.
City were left rueing missing a number of first half chances as they were held to a 1-1 draw by high-flying local rivals Chippenham Town in yesterdays Boxing Day encounter. Twice Bluebirds keeper Bittner produced stunning saves to deny Gosling and Thorne, although he could do nothing to prevent Eaton heading City level on 13 minutes after ex-Romans striker Paul had given the visitors the lead two minutes earlier. In front of a crowd of nearly 2000 the second half saw Chippenham produce a greater threat with their uncomplicated direct approach but the best chance still fell to City, Williams dragging a shot just wide after a surging 50-yard burst forward. The draw moved City up two places to 14th in the Dr Martens Premier Division table.
City second string side fared less well in their local derby against Team Bath earlier in the day. Despite taking a first half lead through Jefferies the University based side levelled through Lewis before the interval and then goals from Prince (2) and Laverty helped seal a 4-1 win for the full-time outfit.
The mammoth effort to raise £250,000 and regain control of the club has been given a boost by City’s majority owner Corporate Equity. With just another £34,000 required the Supporters Society has been given an extension to the 31 December deadline. They will now have until 31 January 2003 to boost the £216,000 alrady raised. Anyone who wishes to make a contribution to the campaign should contact the club on 01225 423087.
A stunning strike by Paul Milsom began an almost unbelievable comeback for City as they overturned a 2-0 and 3-2 deficit to beat Newport County by four goals to three at Twerton Park yesterday. The match, City’s first win in eleven matches, looked to be heading for a similar outcome to the previous weeks clash with Dover as the Romans dominated the first half but found themsleves trailing at half time. Williams, Lewis, Gosling and Eaton all spurned chances only for County to score from their only two openings, Rose finishing from close range after Bryant had failed to hold Walker’s swerving shot and Fowler firing home from 12 yards. Desparate for inspiration from somewhere Milsom stepped up. Taking Gosling’s pass first time he smashed an unstoppable 20 yard shot into the roof of the net 10 minutes after the break. The same two players were involved nine minutes later and Eaton applied the finishing touch. However, with 13 minutes left City found themselves behind again as Eckhart headed home a Shephard cross. Unlike so many matches this season City did not give up and after Gosling was tripped in the box on 83 minutes he stepped up to make the score 3-3 from the spot. And within 60 seconds City went ahead for the decisive time. Eaton’s deep cross picked out an unmarked Bennett and his header flew past Mountain.
The win over Newport Countys saw latest signing Drew Shore make his debut as a second half substitute. The 20-year old left-sided midfielder has switched to Twerton Park from Division 3 bottom side Bristol Rovers.
The Bath City Supporters Society has just two more weeks to raise the remaining £45,000 needed to buy back control of the club from majority shareholder Corporate Equity. With the 31 December deadline looming £205,000 has already been raised but one last effort is required if the £250,000 target is to be reached. Two current activities aimed at boosting the total are a sponsored run by Terry Mullen and the City Archive videos now on sale. Terry will be running the 15 miles from Chippenham to Bath on Boxing Day before the two sides meet in their Dr Martens League clash that afternoon. To sponsor him e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. And the first two volumes of the City Archive videos are now on sale from the club priced £12.99 each (or £23 for the pair). Contact the club on the usual number or e-mail Steve Skinner at email@example.com to order these excellent videos.
City’s faltering season was given a boost with the news that Adrian Foster may make a sooner than expected return from injury. Last years top scorer looked set to be out of action until the New Year following an operation on his achilles tendon which has troubled him all season. However, the 31-year old hopes that following his latest visit to the specialist he will able to resume full training this week, which could put him in line for a first team return against Chippenham Town on Boxing Day.
Tonights match between Welton Rovers and Bath City Reserves was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
Yesterday’s performance was better but the end result was exactly the same as the previous weeks tame surrender against Welling. A goal of vastly different quality in each half was enough to give Dover Athletic a 2-0 victory and leave City just one point above the relegation zone. Milsom and Eaton both went close early on only for the home side to take the lead on 30 minutes when Day fired a stunning 25-yard shot into the top corner. Before the break loan striker Lewis brought a smart stop out of keeper Hyde and into the second half a looping Milsom header bounced back off the crossbar. This was as good as it got for City however, as even the introdution of Gosling from the bench failed to lift them to an equaliser. Home front-man Tyne had already missed two great openings to extend his sides lead but in stoppage time he won a challenge with Bryant 30 yards out and his shot had just enough on it to trickle into the unguarded goal.
With a performance reminiscent of the worst days of last season City’s miserable run continued in a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Welling United. Both goals came in the second half, the first an own goal from Chris Honor and then a close range finish from Booth. Sandwiched inbetween was yet another penalty miss by City. The culprit this time was Dan Cleverley as his weak effort was easily saved by Knight in the Wings goal. Apart from that neither keeper had a difficult save to make which just about sums the game up.
Last weeks new signing Michaeel Jackson has already been shipped out on loan, joining keeper Mark Hervin at Cirencester Town. After making just one reserve team appearance he has switched to the Western Division side in an effort to gain match fitness!
The auction held at Twerton Park this evening in aid of the Supporters Society raised over £4400. In a well attended night hosted by former Bristol Rovers captain and now Radio Bristol sports presenter Geoff Twentyman over 30 lots went under the hammer ranging from signed shirts and footballs by Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Southampton, Leeds and the two Bristol clubs to 1966 World Cup, Blue and Tears for Fears memorabilia. The biggest earners of the night came in the shape of the Tears for Fears lot which went for £1080 and a signed Blue CD which reached £470. With the admission receipts and raffle the night should raise nearer £5000. Having been there myself (and outbid for the Man City shirt!) can I just thank Pete McCormack and Steve Skinner for all their hard work in making the excellent night possible.
An upbeat meeting held at Twerton Park last night in front of over 100 City fans heard that the Supporters Society has just another 28 days to raise £61,000 and reach the target of £250,000 needed to buy back control of the club. Having already raised an incredible £189,000 through individual, business and celebrity donations the Society now needs to make one final push to reach the magic quarter of a million figure. This will allow them to buy out the club’s majority shareholder Corporate Equity. The next event aimed at boosting funds is the auction being held at Twerton Park tomorrow night. For details and a full list of the items on offer click here.
18-year old striker Matt Lewis has joined City on a month’s loan from league side Kidderminster Harriers. The highly rated youngster has just completed a month at Dr Martens Western League side Evesham United, where he scored six goals in just seven appearances. According to an unofficial Harriers web site Matt is a gangly (6’1) striker very much in the mould of Lee Hughes.
City’s long trip to Grantham Town, postponed ten days ago due to a waterlogged pitch, has been rearranged for Saturday 8 March 2003.
The draw for the 2nd round of the Les Phillips Cup has given City Reserves a home tie with 1st division Hallen. The date of the match has yet to be arranged. The reserve side will be in action tomorrow night (4/12) in a hastily arranged friendly against Calne Town at Twerton Park (ko 7.45pm).
Alan Pridham’s tactic of fielding almost his whole first choice team as punishment for that Somerset Premier Cup defeat against Odd Down saw the same opposition beaten 6-1 at Twerton Park yesterday. Just Jason Eaton, Jim Rollo and Andy Minturn were missing from first clash, with new signing Michael Jackson, Iain Harvey and Paul Milsom lining up in their places. Fears of a repeat performance were kindled when the Downers went ahead in the first minute but goals from Jamie Gosling, Milsom and Harvey saw City lead 3-1 at the interval. The second half saw further goals from substitute Josh Jefferies, an own goal and a second for Harvey to complete a display that may have saved the City career of a number of City’s players.
The new face in the match was Michael Jackson who has signed for City from Third Division strugglers Swansea City. The 22-year old midfielder was formally with Cheltenham Town and made just one substitute appearance for the Swans.