Mark Hervin will turn out for a Gillingham reserve side against Norwich City’s second string at Carrow Road tonight as the second division side consider a move for the in-form keeper. This comes as his possible move to Crewe Alexandra received a blow when the 1st division strugglers offer of a three month deal was turned down by Paul Bodin. The deal involved Hervin signing for Alexandra then returning to City on loan until the end of the season. With no fee involved, and Hervin out of contract at the end of the season, it was clearly a move aimed at avoiding paying a penny for the keeper. As Bodin had already agreed a fee with Crewe boss Dario Gradi this proposal was immediately rejected by City. However, if no other side comes in for Hervin before the end of this season a free transfer to someone looks an almost certain outcome. And there’s me thinking only the likes of Man Utd and Aston Villa (re Brighton) like to piss on smaller clubs given a chance.
Nuneaton Borough continued their relentless march to the Nationwide Conference as they comfortably beat City 3-1 at Twerton Park. Although the scoreline flatters Borough slightly it was their finishing that was the difference between the two sides. After a even first half two goals in the opening ten minutes of the second period effectively ended City’s hopes, and a third soon afterwards showed why the Midlands side are so far clear of their nearest challengers. City fans were finally given something to cheer about in the closing minutes when Borough keeper Williams was sent off for handling outside his box and Paul Bodin scored from the resultant free kick. The defeat leaves City in fourth place and too far behind Nuneaton to worry exactly how many points it is. City now face a 10 day break before another league leading team arrive at Twerton, when Clevedon are the visitors in the semi-final of the Somerset Premier Cup on March 2.
City’s hopes of moving back into second place and closing the gap on leaders Nuneaton were shattered tonight as they crashed 5-3 to in-form Salisbury City. The visitors tore City to shreds in the first half to lead 3-0 at the break. A Graham Colbourne strike on the hour briefly gave City hope but two more goals left City trailing 5-1 and, despite a goal by Mike Davis and a second for Colbourne, facing their heaviest league defeat of the season. And that’s all I can bring myself to write about it. Thank you and goodnight.
City are facing a mini injury crisis as they prepare for tomorrows games against Salisbury and the vital visit of Nuneaton to Twerton Park on Saturday. Most serious is the news that top scorer Martin Paul could be out of action for up to four weeks after an accident at home left him with a scalded neck. He, along with Peter Tisdale, who punctured his lung in a training incident, and Lee Vickerman missed Saturday’s win at Burton, where Stuart James limped of with an injured back.
Steve White’s ninth goal of the season gave City a 1-0 win over Buton Albion in a disappointing game at Eton Park yesterday. His well taken goal cam three minutes before half-time and, despite considerable pressure from the home side in the second half, it was a lead City never looked like relinquishing, even with top scorer Martin Paul missing after scalding himself in an accident at home. Only a Holmes effort that Bodin cleared off the line ever threatened Hervin’s 17th clean sheet of the season. The win keeps City in third place as both Gloucester, 1-0 at Grantham (hooray!), and Nuneaton, 4-0 at home to Cambridge, both won.
Before the game a City supporters side took on their Burton counterparts but, unlike the main side, couldn’t record a victory, going down 5-3. The goals came from a Godwin penalty, which modesty almost prevents me from saying I won (and I didn’t dive), and two Weaver (jnr) strikes.
In the Somerset Premier Cup City have been drawn at home to last seasons runners-up Clevedon Town in the semi-final. The tie against the Dr Martens Midland Division leaders will take place on 2 March. And the game against Boston United on 27 February has been postponed due to the Lincolnshire side’s continued progress in the FA Trophy. No new date has been arranged yet.
City made extremely hard work of beating Brislington and, in the end, had to thank Mark Hervin as he saved three penalties and scored one to see City through to the semi final of the Somerset Premier Cup. The game had finished 2-2 after extra time after City twice came from behind through goals by Mike Davis and Graham Colbourne. Both sides had chances to win the game in normal and extra time but the score remained level. In the shoot out Hervin, Davis and Elsey scored and, despite boss Bodin’s miss, this was enough as three times the Crewe target guessed correct and saved the home sides effort.
For the second week in succession a goal 10 minutes from time denied City a vital win as Grantham Town grabbed an equaliser to hold City to a 1-1 draw. Jimmy Fraser’s first half goal had given City a deserved lead but their inability to turn possession into clear cut chances cost them in the end. With Nuneaton Borough winning 1-0 at Dorchester, City now lie 20 points behind the leaders in third place and today may be one missed opportunity too many. Attention can turn away from the league for a bit as City next make the short journey to Brislington for a reunion with ex-boss Tony Ricketts in the Somerset Premier Cup quarter final.
City keeper Mark Hervin could be in line for a move to 1st Division Crewe Alexandra after he was watched by a club scout at Nuneaton Borough on Saturday. His assured performance impressed the scout and a move in the coming weeks is a possibility. Whilst City would not stand in Hervin’s way they would want a fee for the player whose skills have been vital in helping City earn the best defensive record in the Dr Martens Premier Division. City boss Paul Bodin said, “It’s pleasing when people come to see our players because it shows we are making progress. We have got a young team but I would always encourage them to move to a Nationwide club.” As yet no contact has been made between the clubs, and this is not the first time rumours of league scouts watching City players has surfaced this season, but a move for Hervin does seem a strong possibility.