February 2010

City up to third place after Mohamed and Gilroy clip Wings (27/2/10)

Goals from Kaid Mohamed and Dave Gilroy saw City record a hard fought win at Welling United this afternoon to lift them into the Blue Square South play-off positions for the first time since April 2008. With Gethin Jones missing through illness City lined up in an unfamiliar 5-3-2 formation but this superbly withstood everything the home side could throw at them, especially during the closing twenty minutes when the Wings put them under considerable pressure. City were good value for their victory though as, after a slow start, they always looked the more threatening side. Mark Badman, Darren Edwards and Mohamed had all tested home keeper Mitten but he could do nothing to stop the latter’s 41st minute shot from the corner of the 18-yard box that flew past him into the corner of the net. The second half continued with City on top, Sido Jombati seeing a deflected shot stop in the heavily sanded goalmouth before Mitten could gratefully fall on it and then the keeper produced another fine stop from teammate Sambrook’s mis-directed header. Having produced little attacking threat the Wings went more direct down the Park View Road slope and top scorer Whitnell should have levelled on 59 minutes, crashing a shot against the bar from close range. City then hit the woodwork themselves, Edwards heading a Connolly cross onto the foot of the post, and it looked like this miss would prove costly as Welling penned them back. However, City stood firm, the closest the hosts came when Ryan Robinson appeared to touch a free-kick onto the top of the bar, althought the referee awarded a goal-kick. Then in stoppage time as Mitten raced back after coming up for a corner substitute Hector Mackie broke clear down the right before crossing for Gilroy to sweep home his first goal since rejoining the club from Newport County on loan and ensure City would go into the penultimate month of the season sitting in third place.

PREVIEW: Welling United v CITY – Blue Square South (25/2/10)

Two of the Blue Square South in form teams meet at Park View Road on Saturday as City travel to Kent to face Welling United. City’s 2-0 win over Weymouth last Saturday stretched their unbeaten run to seven games to move them within one place and one point of the play-off positions. Whilst City were struggling to see off the Terras, Welling were having no such difficulties at Woking scoring five times without reply. This was their eighth league match without defeat which has lifted them from the fringes of the relegation zone to touching distance of the play-off places.

This is a real turnaround for the Wings as after just one win in their opening nine league matches plus an early FA Cup exit it looked like it would be a season of struggle. This poor start saw manager Andy Ford quit in early October citing, “my ambition of achieving a play-off place are not achievable within the constraints that are put upon this football club.” Welling turned to former player Jamie Day, declaring at the beginning of November that he was their new boss having agreed to switch from runaway Ryman League Premier Division side Dartford. However, this move proved somewhat premature as a day later they were forced to announce that the deal was on hold while the two clubs discussed compensation. On November 7 they finally got their man and Day was confirmed as their new manager. His reign at Park View Road got off to a perfect start with three successive wins without conceding a goal. He also brought in striker Andrew Pugh on loan from Gillingham who soon formed an excellent partnership with teenage forward Tom Whitnell. A hat-trick at Woking in the aforementioned 5-0 win was the highlight of Pugh’s loan spell but he returned to the Gills this week and City will hope that the Wings attack will be considerably weaker without him.

Complete record against Welling United

City will be hoping to end a three game losing streak at Welling. Last season two goals in the space of nine first-half minutes for the home side meant Dave Gilroy’s close range header after the interval was nothing more than a consolation. The previous year it was a single goal two minutes from time that gave the three points to the Wings, inflicting City’s first ever defeat as a Blue Square South side. It was back in 2003 that the sides had met prior to this but again it was the home side that finished victorious. Goals either side of the half-time break put them in control of the match before a penalty 15 minutes from time by debutant Darren Hawkins got City back into the game. And it was the same player who almost grabbed a stunning equaliser in stoppage time when his shot from fully 45 yards struck the underside of the bar before bouncing down on the line. City have enjoyed trips to Kent in the past including 6-2 and 5-1 victories during the 1994-95 season. Earlier this season when the sides met at Twerton Park, City finished on top thanks to goals from Gethin Jones and, five minutes from time, Chris Holland. A mistake by keeper Will Puddy gifting Welling a goal in-between these strikes.

City go into the match without influential midfielder Lewis Hogg as he completes his three-match suspension for the red card against Weston Super Mare but hope that striker Kaid Mohamed will be available again after missing the Weymouth game through illness. They are also likely to welcome back attacking midfielder Mike Perrott into the squad after he returned from his loan spell with Southern League Frome Town.

City show patient side of game to overcome struggling Terras (20/2/10)

City had to endure a frustrating 74 minutes at Twerton Park this afternoon before they finally broke the resistance of rock bottom Weymouth to set themselves on the way to a 2-0 win and three more points in their Blue Square South play-off hunt. A first-half penalty miss by Darren Edwards did little to calm the increasingly impatient home supporters but the pressure was finally relieved when Adam Connolly fired home a 20-yard free-kick and then 60 seconds later Edwards made up for his penalty miss by converting Hecter Mackie’s cross. The beleaguered Terras understandably set out to stifle City from the outset and the hosts lacked the invention to overcome massed Blue ranks. Twice in quick succession visitors keeper Sandercombe produced excellent full length saves from Jim Rollo and Dave Gilroy midway through the half but this was as close as City came to breaking the deadlock. However, in first half stoppage time they should have gone ahead when Gethin Jones burst into the box only to be felled by Davies’ wild challenge, but Edwards saw his spot kick clip the outside of the post. Little changed after the interval and the game looked to be headed toward a disappointing goalless draw. Then with 16 minutes remaining Gilroy was fouled on the edge of the box and Connolly curled a beatiful shot into the top corner of the net. Within a minute Mackie made ground down the left to centre for Edwards to cooly slot the ball past Sandercombe. Edwards almost made it three on 83 minutes, Sandercombe saving well from his neat flick, and in stoppage time Weymouth managed their first shot on target which summed up their attacking threat. The win lifts City up to 6th place, one point off the play-offs, ahead of next weeks tough looking trip to in-form Welling United.

PREVIEW: CITY v Weymouth – Blue Square South (18/2/10)

The footballing circus that is Weymouth FC rolls into Bath on Saturday with a familiar face newly in charge but whether he is the ringmaster or just a head clown remains to be seen. Since City comfortably won 2-0 on the South Coast back in October, the Terras have had another change of owner plus their third manager of the 2009-10 season. For most clubs this would be quite an upheaval but against the backdrop of the last three or four years it is about par for the course at the Wessex Stadium.

When the sides last met Weymouth’s whole future was very much in doubt and the day after goals from Chris Holland and Darren Edwards left them rooted to the foot of the Blue Square South table they applied to go into administration. A final desperate appeal was also made for new investors which saw local financial planner Chris Ryan step forward – initially with former director Shaun Hennessy then property developer Steve Beasant – and their offer was accepted by the Weymouth board in November. At the same time the club’s players were paid for the first time in six weeks and it finally appeared they were moving forward. They also had a massive boost on the pitch with a 3-0 FA Trophy win over bitter local rivals Dorchester Town. However, nothing is ever that straightforward with the Terras and just as this deal was set to be completed a letter from former owner Malcolm Curtis made it clear that if Ryan and Beasant took over he would immediately move to reclaim the £221,000 owed to him and if the club could not pay, wind it up. Part of the reasoning behind this appeared to be Ryan’s intention to challenge Curtis’ loans and the land deal that saw him acquire the Wessex Stadium while in charge. All this time a second offer had been on the table from former Cambridge United owner George Rolls. Curtis’ letter also explained Rolls had no such plans and was therefore being looked on much more favourably. A few days later the Ryan offer had been rejected and Rolls was the new owner of Weymouth Football Club.

Rolls, who owns Trade Recruitment, became chairman at the U’s in January 2009 and four months later watched his side run out at Wembley Stadium to face Torquay United in the Conference play-off final. They missed out on a return to the Football League with a 3-1 defeat and Rolls’ reaction to this was to sack manager Gary Brabin, who had just been named Blue Square Premier Manager of the Year. Amid rumours that Rolls then offered the job to three different candidates ex-Leyton Orient boss Martin Ling took over only to sensationally quit nine days later blaming Rolls for his departure. Two days later Rolls also departed the club to start a four month exile from football that ended 190 miles south at Weymouth. On the pitch results were beginning to show signs of improvement with just one defeat in five games, including taking four points off Dorchester Town over Christmas and New Year, showing that manager Ian Hutchinson was starting to lead the club in the right direction. This saw him and assistant Andy Mason offered new contracts by Rolls at the start of January. However, even as this announcement was being made cracks in the relationship between the popular manager and Rolls were beginning to appear when it was revealed the latter had signed three new players without consulting Hutchinson. Therefore it probably came as no surprise to long suffering Terras fans when two weeks later the management duo were sacked.

Rolls immediately set about finding a new manager and it looked as if vastly experienced Jimmy Quinn was first choice. A press conference was set up but with Quinn unable to make the long journey to Weymouth due to car trouble, Rolls withdrew the offer and instead rookie manager Jerry Gill was appointed a week later. Gill made over 200 appearances for City during the 1990’s before going on to have a successful league career with Birmingham City, Northampton Town and Cheltenham Town. He got off to the perfect start at Weymouth with a 3-1 win over fellow strugglers Lewes but since the defeats against Eastleigh, Staines Town and Basingstoke, a 6-0 home reversal, have put him right under pressure less than a month into the job.

Complete record against Weymouth

City and Weymouth have a long history with the game back in October the 152nd meeting between the sides. City have the better of the overall record with 63 wins to Weymouth’s 47 but the last meeting at Twerton Park during the 2003-04 season saw the Terras run out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Phillips and Tully. City have to go back to September 2001 for their last home win over Weymouth. They went into the match without a victory in their opening nine league games but goals from Jamie Gosling and Adrian Foster gave them a 2-0 lead at the interval. With Gary Thorne, in particular, outstanding City withstood Weymouth pressure until 15 minutes from time when Laws fired home after Mark Hervin could only parry a header. City had to endure several nervous moments after this but managed to hold on for a much-needed success.

Before Saturday’s match their will be a minutes applause for former City and Weymouth manager Brian Godfrey who passed away last week.

In-form Robinson the saviour as Hawks held at Twerton Park (16/2/10)

City keeper Ryan Robinson produced a series of superb saves this evening to earn City a point in a 1-1 draw with Havant & Waterlooville at Twerton Park. The Hawks produced one of the best visiting performances against City this season but found Robinson in inspired form. And this was after City had got off to a perfect start as Darren Edwards headed them into an 8th minute lead. He turned in Scott Barlett’s cross to register his 21st goal of the season. The in-form Hampshire side were soon testing City though with their neat passing game and series of threatening set-pieces. Robinson blocked Tiryaki’s shot with his legs then held Tabiri’s skidding effort well on the wet pitch. Another Edwards header almost doubled City’s lead on 25 minutes but just as they appeared to be subduing Havant’s threat their most impressive player Williams hooked the ball over his shoulder for a 33rd minute equaliser. The second half saw City looking second best in most departments but against Robinson was keeping them at bay, denying Williams after a mistake by Matt Coupe and then producing his best save of the evening to turn away Tiryaki’s fiercely struck shot. Dave Gilroy twice came close to grabbing an undesevered winner for City on his return to the club, heading a Gethin Jones centre wide then charging down a clearance by Hawks keeper Howe only for the ball to loop agonisingly across the face of goal. This would have very harsh on the visitors and for the second home game in a row City were happy to settle for a point at the final whistle.

City have rearranged their trip to Lewes for Wednesday 24th March (ko 7.45pm).

PREVIEW: CITY v Havant & Waterlooville – Blue Square South (14/2/10)

Tuesday evening will see City make their second attempt to entertain Havant & Waterlooville following the postponement of the original date between Christmas and New Year. Since a frozen Twerton Park pitch brought that scheduled clash to premature halt the Hawks have run into good form that has kept them on the edge of the Blue Square South play-off hunt. They ended a run of just one league win in 12 outings coming from a goal down to beat Bromley 2-1. This was followed with a morale-boosting single goal win over local rivals Eastleigh then a Manny Williams hat-trick fired them to a 3-2 victory against struggling Worcester City. And they made it four wins on the spin by again coming from behind, this time to defeat free-falling Bishop Stortford 2-1 at Westleigh Park. With relegation threatened Lewes the next visitors to Hampshire Shaun Gale’s side would have been confident of making it five successive wins. However, a goal deep in stoppage time by the Rooks ensured they headed back along the South Coast with a deserved point from a 1-1 draw. The run has lifted the Hawks to 13th place just seven points off the play-off positions with two or three games in hand on all but one of the teams between them and the top five.

Complete record against Havant & Waterlooville/Waterlooville

City should go into the game with their squad strengthened by the return of striker Dave Gilroy on loan from Newport County and will also hope that Chris Holland has recovered from the illness that forced him to miss yesterday’s 2-1 win at Maidenhead.

(For a fuller preview go here for the one before the previous scheduled date)

City dig deep to secure important Maidenhead victory (13/2/10)

City had to withstand a spirited second half fightback from Maidenhead United before they could claim a vital three points with a 2-1 victory this afternoon. Goals in the final five minutes of the first half from Kaid Mohamed and Darren Edwards – his 20th strike of the season – had put City in control of the game before a Knight header made for a tense final half hour. On a difficult playing surface neither side had impressed until a piece of quality finishing on 43 minutes. Magpies keeper Tardif could only half-clear an Adam Connolly free-kick to the striker and he picked out the top corner with a perfectly weighted lob. And it got even better two minutes later for City when Edwards headed home a Connolly corner from close range. Edwards spurned a good chance to make it three on 55 minutes and from then on the home side began to dominate. They had gone close on a couple of occasions before Knight flicked home a Bradshaw centre to make it 2-1 after 63 minutes. From then on it was backs against the wall for City with a scuffed clearance by Ryan Robinson almost gifting Wall an equaliser in the 75th minute. The City keeper showed the better side of his game in the closing minutes, bravely cutting out Bradshaw’s cross at the feet of Wall. This was the last close escape for City as they held on to claim the win and climb to seventh place in the Blue Square South table.

Gilroy makes City return in Douglas swap deal with Newport (12/2/10)

Dave Gilroy is to make a return to Twerton Park after City agreed a six-week swap deal with Newport County. Heading in the other direction is Stuart Douglas for the same period of time. The 27-year old former Bristol Rovers striker joined the Exiles duing the summer having netted 50 goals in 98 appearances for City. However, he has found his first team opportunites limited over the Severn Bridge, making just four league starts scoring twice, and he spent a loan spell with Weston Super Mare earlier in the season. Douglas has suffered an injury-hit second campaign with City, scoring just once and mainly making cameo appearances from the bench. Due to international clearance the deal is due to go through on Monday meaning Gilroy should be avaiable for the home game with Havant & Waterlooville on Tuesday 16 February (ko 7.45pm).

City have signed former St Albans City midfielder Hector Mackie on non-contract terms and he goes straight into the squad to face Maidenhead United tomorrow.

Midfielder Mark Badman has become the first City player to commit to the club for the 2010-11 season, putting pen to paper on a new one-year deal.

City legend Brian Godfrey passes away following long cancer battle (11/2/10)

Brian Godfrey, who led City to their 1977-78 Southern League Championship, has passed away aged 69 after a lengthy and courageous battle against Leukaemia. After a long and successful playing career, including three caps for Wales, he made his first move into management with City in May 1976. And in just his second season in charge he masterminded their first league win since 1960 and came within just a few votes of securing the club a place in the Football League. He moved onto Exeter City the following season and enjoyed further success there and subsequently with Weymouth and Gloucester City. He retired to Northern Cyprus five years ago where he died in the early hours this morning. He will never be forgotten at Twerton Park and all our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

PREVIEW: Maidenhead United v CITY – Blue Square South (11/2/10)

City go into their clash with Maidenhead United on Saturday as one of an incredible thirteen clubs who could still genuinely hold Blue Square South play-off ambitions. Whilst Newport County continue their seemingly unstoppable march to the title, just ten points separate the current occupants of second place Chelmsford City and Basingstoke Town who lie in 14th position. With so many other clubs involved in the race for a top five place anyone of them that puts a run of wins together could break away from the pack and City will hope to do just that. They come into the game on the back of two wins and two draws in their last four outings as the defence finally showing signs of its previous seasons standards with three successive clean sheets.

With the bottom five clubs at the foot of the table beginning to slip away from the rest Maidenhead currently lie in a sort of no-man’s zone. They have a cushion of ten points to the relegation places but as manager Johnson Hippolyte confirmed they are still looking over their shoulders nervously to avoid being sucked into an end-of-season battle to retain their Blue Square South berth. They boosted these hopes with a 4-0 win over fast-fading Bishop’s Stortford last Saturday but lost striker Keiron St Aimie with a torn hamstring which has left Hippolyte desperately short of options up front. Fellow front-man Keiron Knight is also struggling with a groin problem and he could only manage just over an hour as the Magpies slipped to a single goal defeat at St Albans City on Tuesday evening. These problems have forced Hippolyte to re-register himself as a player, although he has also boosted his squad with the capture of attacking midfielder Adam Bernard following his release from Hemel Hempstead. Another recent new arrival is Bulgarian midfielder Ivaylo Dimitrov from Bulgarian B West club Vihren Sandanski and he made his debut at St Albans.

The club has faced some off the field issues this week with plans for the redevelopment of Maidenhead including the area currently occupied by their York Road home. They first played at the ground in 1871 and it is believed to be the oldest continuously-used senior association football ground in the world. This has not stopped PROM (Partnership for the Rejuventation of Maidenhead) continuing to include the historic ground in their masterplan for the town. However, the club have made it clear in a statement from the board that they are going nowhere and with Trustees in charge of the freehold (a situation that sounds familiar to sporting fans in Bath but for the opposite reason) it looks as if they will remain at York Road for the foreseeable future.

Complete record against Maidenhead United

This will be City’s second trip to Berkshire to face the Magpies this season having drawn them in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy. City set the tone for their afternoon by missing a 23rd minute penalty, Darren Edwards the guilty party. City missed further chances and paid for this when a mistake by keeper Ryan Robinson gifted St Aimie a goal on 69 minutes. This single strike was enough to settle the tie and give Maidenhead their first ever win over City at the ninth attempt. The return league match at Twerton Park back in August was also settled by one goal with Edwards netting after 65 minutes to bag City their first win of the campaign.

City will be without influential midfielder Lewis Hogg following the tackle by ex-City striker Josh Klein-Davies in the meeting with Weston Super Mare ten days ago. Both players were sent off in the incident but Hogg’s three-game ban has become irrelevant after he underwent a scan on the injury that could sideline him for up to a month. On the plus side they will hope that attacking midfielder Hector Mackie will get the all-clear to take some part in the game. The University of Bath student has been training with the club for the past few weeks as he returns from a serious knee injury picked up whilst with Weymouth in pre-season.

Play-off rivals can’t be separated in goalless Twerton Park clash (6/2/10)

Play-off rivals City and Dover Athletic couldn’t be separated this afternoon at Twerton Park as they battled out a goalless draw. On the balance of play City will be the happier with the point as the Kent side dominated much of the game only to be denied by several excellent saves by Ryan Robinson. He saved Birchall’s shot with his legs on nine minutes but could only watch as Gethin Jones cleared Schulz’s towering header off the line moments later. The visitors should have been reduced to ten men on the half-hour when Welford – who had already been booked – caught Jones in the face with his elbow – having done the same to Chris Holland early in the game. In keeping with his performance all afternoon though the referee Mr Linden sided with the Whites and merely gave the clumsy centre-forward yet another talking to. Having been under the cosh for most of the half City could have taken the lead on 34 minutes when Kaid Mohamed raced clear only to overhit his square ball to an unmarked Darren Edwards. Dover continued to look the more threatening after the break but twice in quick succession Robinson blocked efforts from Birchall and Welford again with his legs then tipped a well-struck Wallis shot over the bar. Dover also wasted several other clear openings but in the final minute City nearly stole the three points when Stuart Douglas broke into the box only to be pulled down by Schulz. However, to nobodies real surprise in the ground the referee waved play-on to ensure that Dover were not denied the point that was the least they deserved from the game.

City boost squad with capture of versatile Seagull Bartlett (5/2/10)

City have once again turned to league rivals Weston Super Mare to strengthen their squad as they approach the critical final third of the season. Scott Bartlett has made the short switch to Twerton Park and will go straight into the squad for tomorrow’s meeting with Dover Athletic. The 30-year old, who can play on either side of the defence or midfield, spent most of his career with Salisbury City, where he played over 400 games. Work commitments forced him to depart the Whites in February 2009 and, despite interest at the time from City, he choose to join Weston. However, with the Seagulls rock bottom of the Blue Square South he has followed former teammate Adie Harris down the A368 to Bath.

PREVIEW: CITY v Dover Athletic – Blue Square South (4/2/10)

Two successive wins over St Albans City and Weston Super Mare has lifted City right back into the Blue Square South play-off picture and they can further state their claim on one of the coveted top five places with victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Dover Athletic on Saturday. After the first two months of the season the Whites would have considered a play-off place the minimum of their ambitions as they sat atop the table with just one defeat in their opening eleven league games. However, after this flying start their form began to stutter and although they held on to second place until the turn of the year (as champions-elect Newport County disappeared in the distance) this was mainly due to the inconsistency of clubs below them. Their season hit an embarrassing low point on Boxing Day when they suffered a 6-2 defeat at relegation strugglers Lewes. Since they have steadied the ship slightly with a revenge with over the Rooks in the return fixture and a 4-0 thrashing of perpetual underachievers Havant & Waterlooville, but losses to play-off rivals Chelmsford City and Woking has left their grip on a top 5 place looking increasingly tenuous.

The FA Trophy has provided a welcome distraction from their league struggles, although hopes of a really memorable run were ended last weekend by Stevenage Borough. Their adventures in the competition took them from a Kent derby against Dartford all the way to Fleetwood – a 670 mile round trip – with another successful meeting with Havant in-between. Although the last 16 meeting with the Blue Square Premier leaders ended 4-1 to Borough the scoreline failed to reflect the Whites efforts as they shocked their high-flying opponents by taking the lead on 26 minutes. However, the home side responded with two goals before the interval then made it 3-1 shortly after the restart. To their credit Dover did not let their heads drop and created several opportunities to get back in the game and only when Stevenage netted a fourth in the final minute could they truly relax. The other cup competitions have not proved as profitable for the Whites this season with a 4th Qualifying Round exit in the FA Cup to league rivals Eastleigh and, more recently, a Kent Senior Cup defeat to Folkestone Invicta after fielding mainly Academy players.

Manager Andy Hessenthaler has done his best to prevent the Whites squad stagnating with a steady stream of arrivals and departures throughout the season. Recently he moved to bring in a new goalkeeper with the capture of Ross Flitney from Croydon Athletic, which is likely to hasten the departure of previous no.1 Lee Hook who has been transfer-listed since November. Defender Craig Cloak has been shipped out on loan to Ashford Town following a long-term injury and summer signing from AFC Wimbledon Tom Davis was released then quickly snapped up by Bromley. One new acquisition is Crystal Palace midfielder Hakeem Adelakun who joined on a month’s loan from the troubled Championship side. Whilst all this has been going on on the pitch the club confirmed that their Crabble stadium has been given an A-grade by the FA. This will mean there should be no repeat of the disappointment the club suffered in the late 1980’s when they were denied promotion to the Conference for failing to meet the required ground standards. And, as most City fans will recall, the beneficiaries of this decision were their opponents on Saturday.

Complete record against Dover/Dover Athletic

City go into the game with a score to settle after the heartbreaking nature of their defeat in Kent back in September. They went into the game struggling to field eleven fit players against a Dover side who had won their opening six home games. However, with new Romanian signing – and future cult hero amongst a section of City fans – Florin Pelecaci making his debut and midfielders Lewis Hogg and Marcus Browning in unfamiliar left-back and centre-back roles respectively City came within a few seconds of grabbing a fully deserved points. After an even first-half they had fallen behind to a Birchall strike on 65 minutes. They never gave up though and when a superb lob by Darren Edwards a minute into stoppage time drew them level it looked as if the game would end 1-1. Instead in the further time added on for City’s understandable celebrations Birchall took full advantage of a push on Matt Coupe missed by the officials to fire home and deny City in the cruellest fashion. Dover have to go back to October 1994 for their last (and only in their current incarnation) victory at Twerton Park. That game was a 2nd Round tie in the Bob Lord Trophy and for 90 minutes it looked as if the game would end goalless as after a bright start City were increasingly thankful to keeper Dave Mogg for repelling the visitors with a string of excellent saves. However, even he could do nothing about Hall’s stunning 25-yard shot as the clock ticked beyond 90 minutes, although in truth there weren’t too many City fans unhappy at avoiding a long trip to Kent for a midweek replay in a competition of which they had little interest.

Hogg sees red but City edge out Weston thanks to Mohamed header (2/2/10)

A 35th minute Kaid Mohamed goal was enough to see City to their customary win over Weston Super Mare at Twerton Park this evening but the victory was marred slightly by the sending off of Lewis Hogg midway through the second half. The lowly visitors had shown their intentions with just five minutes gone when Rand was lucky to escape with just a booking for a dreadful tackle on Moahmed. To their credit City refused to get dragged down to Weston’s level and as the half progressed began to impose themselves on the game. After going close on several occasions they finally broke through ten minutes before the interval when a pinpoint cross by Sekani Simpson was headed home by Mohamed. Although the Seagulls did improve somewhat after the interval City still looked comfortably in control of the game before it threatened to get out of hand on 71 minutes. Ex-City striker Klein-Davies caught Hogg with a shocking late tackle then as the two players squared up threw himself to the ground holding his face. The referee brandished a red card to Klein-Davies but then, fooled by his theatrics, also dismissed Hogg. The understandably incensed City midfielder had to be dragged away from confronting Klein-Davies and it was over five minutes before the game could be restarted. Within moments of it getting underway Darren Edwards wasted a great opening to double City’s advantage but despite one or two nervous moments after this they saw out the remainder of the game without too many concerns.

Latvian midfielder Andrejs Stolcers has turned down City’s contract offer and joined Blue Square Premier side Hayes and Yeading United.