With heavy rain forcast for the West Country overnight and during the morning City’s Skrill Conference South clash with Weston Super Mare at Woodspring Park tomorrow is subject to a 10am pitch inspection. The outcome of the inspection will be posted on here as soon as it is available.
City have also confirmed the price structure for U16s which which was ommitted from the website. Admission for U16s, when accompanied by a paying adult, is just £1.00. Tickets for this deal must be obtained from the ticket office (the charge at the turnstile will remain £3).
City look set to be without defensive lynchpin Dan Ball for several months after he suffered a fractured collar bone during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Eastleigh. The 22-year old was stretchered off the pitch in the 71st minute and after an initial consultation at Southampton General Hospital he travelled back to the West Country with the team. The full extent of the injury was confirmed following an x-ray at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. He has an appointment with a consultant at the end of January and it is hoped he will be fit to return to action by the end of February.
City will look to bounce back from their desperately unlucky defeat at title-chasing Eastleigh on Saturday when they head to the seaside on New Year’s Day to face a quick return match with Weston Super Mare. Ross Stearn’s strike against his former club on Boxing Day was enough to give City a 36th win against the Seasiders in 42 meetings and they will hope for victory number 37 to remain firmly amongst the Skrill Conference South play-off chasing pack. However, they will face a Weston side no doubt lifted after recording a first league win since November against bottom side Dorchester Town two days ago. Weston dominated the first half but only had Ash’s 22nd minute header to show for their efforts. And just when the Magpie’s appeared to be getting back into the game Makoni was sent off for a second booking and five minutes later Kingston doubled Weston’s lead. Then by the 80th minute Dorchester had been reduced to eight men, Jermyn also for two cautions and Walker a straight red for a tackle even his manager labelled ‘horrendous’. Weston could only add one more goal though, a stoppage time strike from Camper, but the win was enough to lift them back into the top ten, just a point behind City albeit from three games more.
Complete record against Weston Super Mare
Over the years City’s players have clearly shown great restraint in their New Year’s Eve celebrations, with just three defeats in the last twenty games on the opening day of a new year. The most recent of these came in 2011 when promotion-chasing Newport County were beaten in a Conference Premier meeting. The Welsh side looked the stronger during a poor first-half but City’s backline held them at bay and twelve minutes after the interval took a shock lead. Kaid Mohamed beat the offside trap from the impressive Adie Harris’ header to slot the ball through keeper Thompson’s legs. With eight minutes to go, though, Newport levelled, Reid sliding home Knights cross, and they were suddenly looking the more likely winners. However, City managed to win a 93rd minute corner and, after Danny Webb’s effort had been cleared off the line, Jones was perfectly placed bury a close range header to secure a remarkable victory. Going back a little bit further the 3-1 win over Worcester City in 1990, thanks to goals from Paul Randall, John Freegard and Gary Smart (three of the 112 scored by the trio that season) began a run of 14 successive league victories, a record City would probably quite like to repeat in 2014.
1st Prize: 50″ Smart 3D 50″ LED TV – 02885 – Colin Voutt
2nd Prize: £250 Cash – 04623 – Howard Spandley
3rd Prize: Thermae Bath Spa Twilight Package for 2 – 02276 – Emma Hargreaves
4th Prize: Free MOT from Newbridge Auto Centre – 03725 – T Adams
5th Prize: Bath City Home Shirt – 04482 – Kelly Treby
6th Prize: Bath City Away Shirt – 04369 – A Connolly
7th Prize: Bath City Signed Football – 04487 – Shane Morgan
8th Prize: A meal for 2 with a bottle of wine at The Bird In Hand, Saltford – 04613 – Ian Smith
9th Prize: £25 Meal Voucher at Tilleys Bistro – 04641 – Mervyn Pierce
10th Prize: £25 Meal Voucher at Tilleys Bistro – 00989 – Poppy
11th Prize: Pamper Party Invitation for 7 people from The Body Shop – 03914 – Andy Field
12th Prize: £5 voucher from The Sausage Shop, Green Street, Bath – 04937 – Phil Newman
13th Prize: Bottle of Whisky – 02616 – A Gallinagh
14th Prize: Bottle of Vodka – 00108 – D J Rose
15th Prize: Bottle of Gordon’s Gin – 04969 – Rob Branch
16th Prize: Bottle of Merlot – 04557 – Kindly donate back to Bath City FC
17th Prize: Bottle of Pinot Grigio – 01550 – Dunlop family
18th Prize: Bottle of Pinot Grigio – 04809 – Ken Rayner
Over £1000 was raised in a short space of time and our thanks to everyone who supported the Bath City Christmas Draw of 2013. Also special thanks to Domino’s Pizza who sponsored the tickets.
City outplayed title chasing Eastleigh as the Silverlake Stadium this afternoon but returned to the West Country empty-handed thanks to two headed goals either side of a Josh Low strike. The Romans afternoon didn’t get off to the best start when they were forced to wear an old red shirt of the hosts after the referee viewed their purple kit too similar to Eastleigh’s blue. However, from the moment a free header from Mark Preece tested home keeper Flitney in the 2nd minute it was the visitors who dominated every area of the game. It was very much against the run of play, then, when on 15 minutes Strevens headed home from Batt’s cross to put Eastleigh in front. However, this goal did not alter the pattern of the match and with Eastleigh unable to cope with the pace and movement of Low and Andy Watkins it was no suprise when they combined for the latter to stab home an equaliser after 29 minutes. City continued to press after the interval and when the Spitfires big summer signing Fleetwood was shown a straight red for kicking out at Sekani Simpson just past the hour mark the game was there for the taking. However, City suffered a blow of their own ten minutes later when Dan Ball was stretchered off the pitch after falling awkwardly and this seemed to spur Eastleigh into their first decent spell of the game. And this culminated in substitute Collins heading a Reason free-kick past Mellor to restore their lead. City had to throw everything they could at the hosts now and deep into stoppage time looked to have earned a great chance to grab a deserved point. Watkins raced clear of Eastleigh’s lumbering defence and, after knocking the ball past Flitney, went down under the keeper’s despairing dive. The custodian must have been expecting to join Fleetwood in an early bath but instead the referee booked Watkins for a dive and with it ensured Eastleigh would hold on for an unmerited victory.
City bring an up and down 2013 to a close tomorrow with a tough looking trip to second place Eastleigh. However, with the Ross Stearn inspired one nil win over Weston Super Mare on Boxing Day stretching City’s unbeaten Skrill Conference South run to nine games they will travel south in confident mood of denting the Spitfires title hopes and sending out a positive signal to their play-off chasing rivals.
Pre-season the Spitfires were widely regarded as the Skrill Conference South title favourites but they enter 2014 playing catch-up to Bromley. Manager Richard Hill spent the close season bringing a number of high profile names to the Silverlake Stadium, including Will Evans from Hereford United, Dagenham & Redbridge’s Ben Strevens, former Stevenage and Forest Green forward Yemi Odubade and star striker Stuart Fleetwood, dropping down to the Skrill Conference South from Luton Town. With highly-rated midfielder Jai Reason, who scored 19 goals last season, and experienced front-man Craig McAllister already on their books the club looked to have the firepower to blow away any opposition. However, the foundation of their title challenge has been the defence, conceding just 13 goals in their opening 18 games. By contrast, only Eastbourne Borough in the top ten have netted fewer goals, with Reason once again the side’s top scorer. Given that the 23-year old is rumoured to be a January transfer window target for a number of League One and Two clubs, Hill – who signed an 18-month contract just before Christmas – will no doubt be keen for his new arrivals to find the target more regularly in the second half of the campaign.
The style of their season was characterised in the opening two games – single goal victories over Sutton United and City. A disappointing 2-0 defeat at Basingstoke Town followed but five wins and a draw in their next six games – conceding just two goals – lifted them to the top of the table. A mixed October, where they picked up just four points from a possible nine and crashed out of the FA Cup to Conference North Oxford United, allowed Bromley to overhaul them but four wins in their last five league games has ensured they are still in touch with the Lilywhites, the current gap seven points but from two games fewer. They have also progressed to the last 16 of the FA Trophy thanks to wins over Maidstone United, Bury Town and, most impressively, in-form Conference Premier side Gateshead. Standing in their way of a quarter-final place is fellow Skrill Conference South side Dover Athletic.
Complete record against Swaythling/Eastleigh
If City are to record a second victory of the Christmas/New Year period they will have to do it at a ground at which they have never previously won. This will be their sixth visit, with just three draws (including one against the club in their former incarnation as Swaythling) and two defeats so far in Hampshire. Last season they were blown away during a one-sided first half. It took just 11 minutes for the hosts to take the lead, Scannell racing clear before beating Glyn Garner. Within four minutes it was 2-0 as McAllister netted after Garner could only parry an initial shot. City had been second best in every department but on 33 minutes they were handed a lifeline when Flitney couldn’t hold a Josh Low shot and Chris Allen fired the loose ball into the roof of the net. However, on 39 minutes the Spitfire’s restored their two-goal lead, Reason converting Scanell’s cross from eight yards. The second half began with Garner producing an excellent save from Binns but City were beginning to look a greater threat going forward. The second goal would not come though. Low, Sean Canham and Kerry Morgan all going close and when they had a strong penalty appeal turned down fifteen minutes from time hopes of a comeback finally began to fade.
A 55th minute header from Ross Stearn against his former club gave City a hard fought 1-0 win over Weston Super Mare at Mayday Trust Park this afternoon. The first half was low on goalmouth action as City understandably looked rusty having not played for nearly three weeks and the visitors failing to take advantage of their greater possession. Stearn did test Seagulls keeper Irish with an early shot and also fired a free-kick narrowly over the bar. As the half progressed City began to exert a bigger influence on the match and within ten minutes of the restart a vollyed cross from Andy Watkins was superbly headed home by Stearn to break the deadlock. The game livened up after this and Jason Mellor produced several excellent saves whilst City had a strong penalty appeal turned down when Watkins appeared to be hauled down in the box and the same player had a shot which hit the outside of the post. The closing stages saw City withstand considerable pressure from Weston before they could celebrate stretching their unbeaten league run to nine games and remain firmly in the Skrill Conference South play-off hunt.
City have rearranged their trip to Hayes & Yeading United for Tuesday 4 February 2014 (ko 7.45pm).
The board of Bath City FC met on Monday evening and they are delighted to announce that former managing director Paul Williams has been invited back onto the board and elected as chairman of Bath City. The appointment follows a period when the club had lost the support of many individuals and groups which are so important to a club like Bath City and the appointment of Paul is seen as an important first step in focusing all concerned on the main task of achieving a sustainable future for Bath City FC.
A lot has unfortunately been in the media in the last 24 hours and it has highlighted a number of challenges that the club faces at this time, and the fact that the club has not been unified. Paul has the trust of everyone at the club and is a figure that everyone can work with. We are confident he has the leadership qualities that can galvanise and unite all the different elements of the club at this difficult time. However this is not just down to leadership, Bath City will only progress if all the different facets of the club make a positive effort to work with Paul and the board for its long term future.
Beyond Bath City, Paul is also a well-known and popular figure amongst the wider football world, and has enjoyed good relations both locally with the Somerset FA, and nationally with the Conference. Paul has also played a pivotal role in the creation of the Academy and the Board believe it is vital that the Academy and the Development squad, together with Bath City Youth should all flourish, as the clubs footballing future depends on the success of this set up.
Ultimately of course, Bath City is a football club that exists on the goodwill of its fans. The team is on a great run at present, and we would hope that some of those who have become disillusioned in recent times will now return to the club, starting with the Boxing Day match at home to Weston-super-Mare (ko 3 pm). With a good weather forecast, everything is set up for a great local derby, so please make every effort to be there and see the beginning of a great second half to the season.
Following the late cancellation of the game at Hayes & Yeading United on Saturday, City will hope to finally end their 19-day break from action when Weston Super Mare head to Mayday Trust Park for the Boxing Day clash. Despite their continued inactivity City remained in eight place, just four points away from the play-off place places, but they will be keen to get back on the pitch and extend the eight game unbeaten league run as the 2013-14 Skrill South season approaches its halfway mark.
Standing in their way is a Weston Super Mare side also harbouring realistic play-off hopes, currently sitting just a single point behind City, albeit having played three games more. Having finished in the bottom half of the table in seven of their first eight seasons at this level – including three where they ended the term in the bottom three but kept hold of their Skrill Conference South place – last year the Seagulls enjoyed a breakthrough campaign, finishing in 7th place. In fact, with just three games remaining they were in 4th place and their supporters must have been dreaming of possible trips to Luton Town, Wrexham and Cambridge United. However, a 4-1 defeat at champions-elect Welling United (inspired by a hat-trick from former City striker Kurtis Guthrie) dented these hopes and Chelmsford City, Eastleigh and Sutton United took advantage to overhaul Weston during the final two weeks of the season.
The Seagulls lost star player Ross Stearn to City during the summer and then began the 2013-14 season with two defeats in their opening three games before four successive league victories catapulted Craig Laird’s side into the top three. Since that run though they have recorded just two further league wins from thirteen outings. They also crashed out of the FA Cup to Western League Brislington, losing 3-2 at Woodspring Park thanks to an injury-time penalty. They did enjoy some success in the FA Trophy, the 2-1 win at Southern League Division 1 side Tiverton Town – their first victory in the competition since 2006-07 – earning them a 1st Round tie with Skrill Premier side Aldershot Town, where only a 93rd minute equaliser denied Weston a famous scalp. In the replay back in the West Country the Shot’s raced into a 3-0 lead before the hour mark but Weston showed their battling spirit as goals from Kirk and Plummer reduced the deficit to a single goal with 18 minutes left. Both sides saw openings come and go but it was the higher division side who grabbed the vital next goal, taking advantage of Jamie Laird’s poor back header, before adding a fifth in stoppage time.
Complete record against Weston Super Mare
Fittingly given it was during their most successful ever league campaign Weston ended a 102 year wait to finally beat City on their home turf last season. It was the Seagulls 25th visit to Bath and strikes from former City striker Kane Ingram were enough to send them back to North Somerset with a first victory despite Charlie Griffin’s penalty sandwiched between the goals. Normal service was resumed just under two weeks later as City recorded their 35th win in 41 games between the sides. It took them just eight minutes to go in front when a great run and cross from Josh Low was converted by Tom Nichols to open his account for the club. And four minutes later it got even better for City as Charlie Griffin headed home a Low corner to make it 2-0. The home side got back into the game after 26 minutes when Gethin Jones tripped Price in the box and Stearn fired the penalty past Jason Mellor. The second half saw the Seasiders press in the early stages but it was City who grabbed the vital next goal, Low heading a 70th minute cross from Noah Keats into the net. And the convincing victory was sealed in stoppage time when substitute Mike Stephenson shot home following good work from Nichols and Kerry Morgan.
The Great West Programme & Memorabilia Fair is to be held at Mayday Trust Park on Monday 30 December between 10.30am and 1.30pm. Some of the country’s leading dealers will be present with a wide selection of big match, league and non-league programmes and memorabilia. City’s Supporters’ Club will also have a stall with a wide range of club programmes available. Entrance is just 50p (free for U16s) and further details can be found here.
At a board meeting held on Thursday 19th December, Chairman Manda Rigby offered her resignation as Chairman and director of Bath City Football Club, which was accepted by the board of directors. Moving forward a board meeting will be held on Monday evening, 23 December, to discuss the implications of this development, and to appoint a new Chairman. We will issue a further statement after this meeting has taken place. We would like to place on record our thanks to Manda for all the hard work she put in during her time as Chairman of Bath City Football Club, and we wish her all the best in the future.
Amongst City’s squad for the wasted trip to Hayes & Yeading United this afternoon was Nat Jarvis after he signed from Conference North side Brackley Town. The 22-year old striker began his career with his hometown club Cardiff City and enjoyed a successful loan spell at Newport County, including a Wembley appearance in the 2012 FA Trophy final. He joined Brackley on his release from the Bluebirds during the summer but found his opportunities with the Saints limited and has joined City on a non-contract deal.
This afternoon’s Skrill South match between City and Hayes & Yeading United has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. A pitch inspection at 12.45pm found the Kingsfield Stadium unplayable leaving City’s players, officials and supporters to make a quick about turn and head back to Bath. City are next due to be in action on Boxing Day when Weston Super Mare visit Mayday Trust Park (ko 3pm).
The draw for the quarter-finals of the Somerset Premier Cup has given City a trip to Toolstation Western League Division 1 side Cheddar FC. In common with the 2nd Round when City faced Larkhall Athletic, this will be the first ever competitive meeting with the Cheesemen, who are in their second season in the Western League after winning promotion from the Somerset Senior league in 2012. The tie will take place in the week commencing February 25.
City’s U21 development squad enjoyed a 5-2 win over their counterparts from Weston Super Mare at Mayday Trust Park on Tuesday evening.
City return to action on Saturday following a two week hiatus with a trip to sixth-place Hayes & Yeading United looking to pick up where they left off a fortnight ago. Despite the break City remain in eighth position, three points off the play-off positions with games in hand on the majority of the teams above them, including sixth place Hayes. And hopes of increasing their Skrill South unbeaten run to a ninth game will undoubtedly be boosted by the return of top scorer Ross Stearn and defensive lynchpin Dan Ball from suspension.
Their Middlesex-based opponents have already endured a 2013-14 season of contrasting emotions, on and off the pitch. The club are now in a third season playing at Woking’s Kingsfield Stadium whilst they develop a new home on the site of one of their previous grounds following the merger of Hayes FC and Yeading FC in 2007. They had hoped to begin this campaign at the Sharda Glass Community Stadium however a couple of weeks before the start of the season admitted the ground would not be ready. A revised timescale of Christmas was announced but at the end of August it was revealed that the club would need to find £2m just to complete the work on the half-finished main stand. At this stage all work on the stadium stopped and a mediator has had to be brought in to act as a go-between in negotiations between Hayes & Yeading and MC Contracting. So, at this stage there is still no timescale for when the club can return home.
Against this background of uncertainty the team itself has performed admirably under rookie manager Phil Babb. The former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland defender was a surprise appointment back in May 2013 with no previous coaching experience, having retired from playing in 2004. However, after a mixed start to the season, losing three of their opening four games, they recovered well to pick up fifteen points from a possible eighteen and establish themselves amongst the group of sides chasing a play-off place. Since then they have won three and lost three league games, before drawing their first match of the season at Chelmsford City, where they were only denied the three points when a late effort was controversially ruled out by the officials. United’s top scorer, Jake Reid, will be familiar to City followers having spent a short period with the Romans at the start of the 2010-11 season before returning to the club during the 2013 close season on trial. However, he signed for the fellow Skrill South side Hayes in August and has netted eight times for the club so far this season.
Complete record against Hayes/Yeading/Hayes & Yeading United
This will be the eleventh time City have faced the merged club and they have won just one of the previous ten encounters, although they did come within three minutes of doubling this victory tally at the Kingsfield Stadium last season. After the pitch survived a late inspection both sides looked to pass the ball on the difficult surface but it was always City who possessed the greater attacking intent. Chris Allen fired narrowly wide before Josh Low’s snap shot was well claimed by keeper Hall. On the half-hour though City went ahead when Mark Preece rose highest to head Marc Canham’s corner into the roof of the net. Jason Mellor had to be alert to deny N’Diaye shortly afterwards but another Low shot which struck the angle of post and bar saw City end the half on top. The home side started the second half in improved fashion and just before the hour mark a neat build-up ended with N’Diaye sliding the ball past Mellor for an equaliser. City twice had the ball in the net only for borderline offside decisions to go against them but on 68 minutes Canham’s pass sent Low clear on goal to restore their lead with a low shot past Hall. The hosts increasingly committed men forward in search of a second equaliser and with just three minutes left Mellor misjudged a high free-kick allowing Bygrave to turn the ball home.
City have rearranged their Development Squad meeting with Weston Super Mare at Mayday Trust Park for Tuesday 17 December (ko 7.45pm). The match was originally scheduled for the beginning of the month but was cancelled due to the Seagull’s FA Trophy replay at Aldershot Town. The clash will provide a fitting warm-up for when the first team’s meet on Boxing Day in Bath for a Skrill South encounter.
City have confirmed that their Annual General Meeting will take place on Monday 30 December 2013 at Mayday Trust Park beginning at 7.30pm. The club has also announced a 12-game season ticket deal giving supporters a chance to watch the last 12 home games of City’s promotion challenge for just £10 a game. An adult ticket will cost £120, concession £80 and Student/U-18 £56. For further information please email email@example.com or phone Phil Weaver on 07867 546088.
An injury-time equaliser denied City a second win over Boreham Wood in a week at Mayday Trust Park this afternoon. The goal came moments after Joe Burnell was sent off as City were left to rue a number of refereeing decisions that allowed the visitors to return to Hertfordshire with a point. For 45 minutes there was no sign of the drama to come as both teams struggled to produce anything close to quality football. Missing both top scorers David Pratt and Ross Stearn, plus defensive lynchpin Dan Ball, City’s closest effort saw Josh Low’s 3rd minute lob drift narrowly wide before Jeffrey fired over for Wood when well placed. With the game looking set to reach the interval goalless both sides struck in first half stoppage time. Boreham opened the scoring when Aaron Brown and Nunn tussled for the ball in the City box and referee Mr Hulme pointed to the spot from where Noto made no mistake. Within 60 seconds though Brown’s deep free-kick was fired into the roof of the net by Andy Watkins to restore parity. The second half was less than a minute old when Mark Preece’s header from a Brown corner put City ahead. City were now in control of the match with shakey keeper Russell spilling several crosses before redeeming himself with an excellent save from Brown. The game threatened to boil over on a number of occasions which played a part in the five minutes of stoppage time. Ben Adelsbury just failed to get on the end of a Low cross at the start of this additional time then two minutes later Burnell received a second caution for kicking the ball away as a free-kick was awarded. No doubt still re-organising from this blow City failed to deal with the resultant free-kick allowing Wood’s Brown to scramble the ball home to the obvious delight of his teammates and the visitors bench.
City will look to record a quick-fire Skrill South double over Boreham Wood on Saturday when the sides meet for a second successive week. Whilst few amongst the sparse crowd of 151 in Hertfordshire last weekend could have claimed the game was overly entertaining, the Andy Watkins inspired victory meant all those whose allegiances were Roman travelled back West in a happy frame of mind. The win stretched City’s unbeaten league run to seven games and lifted them five places into the final play-off spot. By contrast the result saw Boreham Wood slip into the relegation zone thanks to Chelmsford City’s win over Farnborough, but they exhibited enough in the clash to show that City will have to perform well to emerge victorious once again.
Complete record against Boreham Wood
The Wood have been in action since the previous meeting, albeit with a much changed side in a Hertfordshire Senior Cup 2nd Round at Berkhamstead. One player who did feature against City, Lipman, put the visitors in front after just three minutes but the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division side levelled on 14 minutes. Lipman restored Wood’s lead 12 minutes later and when new loan signing from Arsenal, Jeffrey, made it 3-1 within a minute of the restart the game looked to be over. However, a mistake by Doolan allowed the Comrades a lifeline and only a brilliant save by Courtnage in the final minute prevented the game going into extra-time.
City’s efforts to find a replacement game for their postponed meeting with Ebbsfleet United on Saturday 14 December have proved unsuccessful meaning the game against Boreham Wood will be their final pre-Christmas home match.
City’s Skrill South clash with fellow play-off challengers Ebbsfleet United scheduled for Saturday 14 December has been postponed due to the Kent’s side continued involvement in the FA Trophy. The Fleet beat Gloucester City 3-0 to earn a 2nd Round trip to Whitstable Town on that date. A new date for the game will be confirmed in due course. City are attempting to rearrange a fixture for that date and any news will be announced on the website.
Tomorrow night’s U21 development squad match against Weston Super Mare at Mayday Trust Park has been cancelled due to the Seagulls FA Trophy tie against Aldershot Town, with number of the side due to face City in the Weston 1st team squad for the 1st Round replay. This means Saturday’s Skrill South clash with Boreham Wood will be the final chance to see a City side in pre-Christmas action at home as they look to record a quick-fire double over the Wood and strenghten their play-off challenge.