Following the failure to capture Chippenham Town’s Steve Tweddle and Weymouth’s Lee Phillips, City’s search for a new striker has ended with the loan signing of teenage Bristol Rovers frontman Dave Gilroy. The 19-year old, who has signed to the end of the season and looks set to make his debut against Tiverton Town on Saturday, has made three appearances for the Pirates this season. He also spent a spell on loan at Clevedon Town, ironically after Rovers choose the Western Division side over City to release the youngster to in December. It now just remains to see whether City have got themselves another Bobby Zamora (staying up – yay!) or a Gareth Hopkins (just don’t go there).
Chippenham Town have accepted an increased offer from City for their striker Steve Tweddle but it remains unclear whether the player wants to leave the Wiltshire club. The U-turn by Chippenham comes two weeks after they turned down a bid of £3000 for the highly-rated striker and although the new offer has not been disclosed it is thought to be a considerable increase. Both clubs are now waiting on a decision from Tweddle.
City’s relegation plight took a turn for the worst last night as they dropped into the bottom four after Hednesford Town recorded a single victory at mid-table Worcester City. A mistake by the Worcester keeper on the stroke of half time allowed Craven to score the only goal of the match.
City’s top scorer Adrian Foster is facing a possible 28-day ban after he was sent off in his first ever outing for the Reserves against Exmouth Town on Saturday. The 13 goal striker was dismissed 20 minutes from the end of the game, which City won 3-2 to maintain their promotion push, after he was adjudged to have elbowed an Exmouth defender in an ariel challenge. The possible draconian punishment, in contrast to the normal 3 match ban, comes as the game comes under the control of the Somerset FA. City are set to appeal against the sending off.
It has been reported that City have had an undisclosed bid for Steve Tweddle accepted by Chippenham Town. This comes just a week after the Wiltshire side turned down a £3000 offer for the highly rated striker, although it is still unclear whether the player has agreed to a move to Twerton Park. More details to follow when available.
The draw for the semi-final of the Somerset Premier Cup has handed City an away trip to Dr Martens Western Division side Clevedon Town. The match will see a number of players on both sides come face to face with their former club. In the Seasiders ranks are former City players Mark Clode, Sam and Simeon Allison and Jamie Mills, and lining up for City are ex-Clevedon stars Mark Hervin, Paul Milsom and Mak Badman. The match will take place at the Hand Stadium on Tuesday 9 April. The other semi-final is the all Western League clash between Team Bath and Street.
City’s latest new arrival enlisted to help in their relegation battle is Yeovil Town midfielder Matt Stowell. The former Rushden & Diamonds player goes straight into todays reserve match against Exmouth Town where Alan Pridham will watch him with a view to giving him a starting place in City’s next league game versus Tiverton Town next Saturday. City have also turned down approaches from Clevedon Town, Chippenham Town and Weston Super Mare for midfielder Mark Badman.
City progressed into the semi-finals of the Somerset Premier Cup as they came from two down to beat Mangotsfield United by three goals to two. At a wet and windswept Twerton Park two goals from ex-City player Dave Elsey appeared to have given the Western Division side an unassailable advantage. However, a Jason Drysdale free-kick on the stroke of half-time got City back into the game. City levelled after 58 minutes when Graham MacLean got the faintest touch to divert a Lee Collier free-kick home. And the comeback was completed six minutes later when Adrian Foster headed powerfully past United keeper Dyson. City spurned further chances to increase their lead and were thankful that Seal’s late shot came back off the post.
City have announced that donations to the Bath City Supporters Society have now topped the £100,000 mark in the continuing aim to regain control of the club. The Society, that has until 31 December 2002 to raise the £250,000 needed to buy the 51% shareholding interest held by Corporate Equity, are still looking to supporters for donations and have also approached local businesses for their interest in the scheme. A ‘thermometer’ will be put up on the side of the Main Stand shortly to keep track of progress.
Hednesford striker Neil Davis was again City’s nemesis this afternoon as he scored the single goal that gave his side a vital 1-0 victory. Davis, who scored four against City earlier in the season, fired home in the ninth minute and for all City’s possessional dominance it was enough to see them leave Keys Park pointless and right back in the relegation mire. It was a depressingly familiar story for City as they outplayed their opponents for long periods of the game without ever really threatening an equaliser. The nearest they came was a Gosling shot against the bar before Hednesford’s goal, Harvey firing over following a neat back heal by Milsom and a goalmouth scramble in injury time. Oh, and it was really foggy – especially at the Hednesford end!
City’s ambitious move for highly-rated Chippenham Town centre-forward Steve Tweddle has failed after the player decided to remain with the Bluebirds. The 30-year old, who is captain of the Western Division side, was reported to be tempted by the move but following a meeting at Hardenhuish Park City’s offer of £3000 was turned down by Chippenham chairman Malcolm Lynus. Alan Pridham will now turn his attention to two other unamed targets, with a midfielder and striker lined up to arrive before tomorrows match at Hednesford.
City back-room clear out has continued with physio Terry Hardwell departing from the club. And with City’s attempt to bring in a new coach to replace Andy Eisentrager no nearer succeeding, reserve team boss Dave Hobbs has stepped up into the assistant manager position.
A last minute strike by reserve striker Dan Cleverly helped City come from behind to record their first home league victory since November against Welling United at Twerton Park this evening. The 89th minute goal, after Welling’s keeper had spilled a Jason Drysdale free-kick, capped a great fightback by City after they had gone behind to a scrappy first half strike. Despite long periods of possession it looked like being a familiar story until with just under 20 minutes left City received a rare piece of good fortune. Milsom’s close range shot appeared to have been cleared by a United defender but the linesman said it had crossed the line and City were level. The win leaves City in 18th place but is perfect preparation for their vital trip to Hednesford on Saturday.
Earlier in the day Alan Pridham continued his mini clear out by allowing midfielder Bradley Thomas to move to Weston Super Mare in a month long loan deal.
After the debacle that was the 1-0 defeat against Newport IOW four days earlier City bounced back well to earn a point in a 1-1 draw with Folkestone Invicta at Cheriton Road yesterday. Showing the spirit and effort that was so absent against Newport, City came from a goal behind and went on to dominate the second half without getting a desperately needed break in front of goal. The game appeared to be following a depressingly familiar pattern as, after a bright start, City found themselves a goal down when Gary Thorne turned a 24th minute corner into his own net. However, City responded well and a minute before the break Paul Milsom’s stunning 25-yard chip drew them level. The second half saw City push the home side back but Milsom and Adrian Foster were both denied by smart stops from Wieticha and Harvey, Drysdale and Foster also spurned good chances.
City look set to field their 37th different player of the season at Folkestone Invicta tomorrow after securing the services of Rob Cook on a months loan from Basingstoke Town. The former Forest Green Rovers midfielder signed in time for the trip to Kent and looks certain to line-up alongside Iain Harvey, Lee Collier and fit again Jamie Gosling in the middle of the Ceriton Road pitch.
Another Basingstoke player appears not to be on his way back to Twerton Park. Mike Davis, who returned to The Camrose after his months loan ended a week ago, failed to agree terms with City and has now made another loan move to Western Division mid-table side Mangotsfield United.
With City’s battle to preserve their Dr Martens Premier Division status looking increasingly desperate manager Alan Pridham has instigated a mini-clear out of his backroom and playing staff. Coaches Any Eisentrager and Dave Burns have both been realeased and midfielders James Zabek and Dave Watts have also left Twerton Park. The moves came after a meeting between Pridham and the clubs board following last nights defeat against Newport IOW. The meeting, that lasted into the early hours of today, saw the former Paulton Rovers manager position discussed but he confirmed his intention to remain at City and the board decided to back the under-fire boss. An announcement on who will replace Eisentrager and Burns will be made next week.
City 0-1 Newport IOW. Complete and utter crap.
City’s increasingly desperate battle against relegation took another turn for the worse with a 2-1 defeat against Stafford Rangers at Marston Road this afternoon. Despite the game being in doubt until a 10am pitch inspection City couldn’t blame the surprisingly okay surface and, with just Mark Hervin absent from their strongest current line-up, neither could missing players be used as an excuse. In the end the reversal came as too many players just failed to perform against an equally average Rangers side. After a reasonably bright start City found themselves increasingly under pressure as the first period wore on and Kiely stabbed his side in front with almost the kick of the half. City levelled around the hour mark with their only piece of real quality in the whole game. Andy Williams collected the ball down the right flank and, having beat three defenders, he lifted his shot over keeper Price into the corner of the net. Briefly City regained the upper hand but this counted for nothing when with ten minutes remaining Ryder fired a shot beyond reserve keeper Ray Johnson and sealed the win for the home side.
City received a blow prior to todays defeat at Stafford Rangers with the news that keeper Mark Hervin has a hairline fracture of his wrist that will sideline him for 4-6 weeks. The injury occured in the 1-0 loss against Kettering Town back at the beginning of December but was only diagnosed this week. Also missing from the trip to Stafford was Mike Davis after his failure to agree a pay-off deal with Basingstoke Town meant his expected move to City was put on hold.