City’s dreams of a first ever appearance at Wembley Stadium died in the most heartbreaking fashion this afternoon as they lost 4-2 on penalties to North Ferriby United in the FA Trophy semi-final 2nd leg. The game itself finished 1-1 after extra-time, leaving the tie deadlocked at 3-3 on aggregate, but it was the Vanarama Conference North side who emerged victorious in the shoot-out to secure a place in the final against Wrexham. City got off to the perfect start when Nick McCootie headed home a Sekani Simpson cross with just two minutes on the clock. The rest of the half saw City come under an almost relentless ariel bombardment but Jason Mellor produced a number of excellent saves, the pick from Denton moments after the goal. When he was beaten on 42 minutes Denton’s header came back off the post and was hacked to safety. City had threatened occasionally on the break but couldn’t find a second goal that would have put them firmly in control of the tie. The second half opened with little change to the balance of the game and the pressure finally told in the 65th minute when another punt into the City area saw Phil Walsh challenge Denton only for the referee to view it as a foul and award a penalty. King sent Mellor the wrong way from the spot and the tie was all-square again. The hosts continued to look the likelier to add to the scoring, Mellor forced into further top class blocks, but, like in the first leg, as the half wore on City began to look the fitter side and into stoppage time they had two great chances to win the game, only for Ben Adelsbury and Andy Watkins to fail to hit the target. After Denton somehow managed to miss from a couple of yards out, although he was in an offside position, City enjoyed the better of the first half of extra-time. Their cause was helped when Fry picked up a second caution to leave his side a man short for the remaining 17 minutes. City couldn’t take advantage of this though, the closest they came when Ross Stearn’s shot was cleared off the line by Horne, and after 210 minutes of tense football the prize of a trip to Wembley came down to penalty kicks. And when Dave Pratt and Stearn missed City’s first two efforts it was the Villagers who took control, King and Jarman netting their opening two kicks. Although Ashley Kington and Frankie Artus were successful from 12 yards, Jason Mellor couldn’t keep out Bolder or St Juste to bring to a end their memorable FA Trophy run one game short of the dream prize.
City and North Ferriby United will meet on Saturday on the banks of the Humber Estuary in a winner takes all FA Trophy semi-final 2nd leg. After the eventful 2-2 draw at Twerton Park both sides go into the game knowing that victory will take them to the final at Wembley Stadium in four weeks time. When the villagers were two goals to the good an hour into the game last Saturday, City’s hopes of a first ever appearance at the National Stadium were on a knife-edge. However, when Dave Pratt was sent flying in the box by Grey the balance of the tie suddenly shifted. City’s top scorer confidently netted his 17th goal of the season from the penalty spot and the rest of the game was largely spent in the Ferriby half as the visitors desperately tried to hold on to their narrow advantage to take back north. To their credit it took a strike of the highest quality from Nick McCootie with five minutes left to finally break their resistance. Had the game gone on for another 10-15 minutes City would probably have added to their scoring – in the remaining five they twice came close to a third goal – but they will hope they can maintain this momentum when the tie resumes. The final half-hour proved they have the attacking quality to test Ferriby and, as they have showed in their run to this stage of the competition with wins at Bristol Rovers and Wealdstone plus a draw at Dover Athletic, away games hold no fear for the side.
Both sides were in action during the midweek with identical results, but this will have no bearing on Saturday’s clash. Whilst City were losing 2-0 to Paulton Rovers in the Somerset Premier Cup, the Villagers were suffering a setback to their Conference North play-off hopes, losing by the same scoreline to Hednesford Town at the Eon Visual Media Stadium. However, both sides made ten changes to their starting XI’s from the first leg as they understandably looked to ensure their players would be as fresh as possible for the second game.
City will once again only be missing the suspended Naby Diallo from the squad that will head north on Friday afternoon for an overnight stay. A lie-in on Saturday morning will be followed by a walk and quick team meeting before they head off to the ground. City’s director of football Adie Britton said, “Everything comes down to this one game and it really is the biggest the club has played in – there has never been one where the prize at the end is so huge. We are relatively happy with where we are after the first leg. It would have been nice to take a lead there but the main thing is we came out of the game with confidence. There is relatively little difference between our home and away form this season and North Ferriby’s ground is not the most intimidating place in the world. [First-team coach] Lee [Howells] and I usually talk to each other twice a day but at the moment it seems to be twice an hour. We have discussed the game at length and come 3pm on Saturday, I guarantee we will be prepared as best a part-time outfit can be.”
Romans captain, Andy Gallinagh, added, “We’ll go to their place with a lot of confidence after [the] fightback and it’s going to be a great game up there. It was disappointing to go 2-0 down but we showed real character and got back into the game. If it had gone on for another ten minutes we would have probably nicked a winner. We expected a tough match – they’re not in the semi-finals by chance, the same as us – so overall it wasn’t a bad result. With two-legged affairs, you’ve got to be in touch going into the second game and we have done that – it’s back to all square.”
Having been cheered on by the vast majority of the 1700+ crowd at Twerton Park, City are expecting upwards of 250 fans to make the long trip to East Yorshire. With Ferriby hoping for a four-figure crowd, appeals having gone out to Hull City (who are away at the weekend) followers to travel the ten miles under the Humber Bridge to back their Wembley challenge, their support will play a big part on a, no doubt, tense afternoon. Like City they have held admission prices to the usual league amounts – £12 adults with £6 for concessions and £3 for under-16s. Car parking is available at North Ferriby Primary School with all proceeds go to the school.
City made what they hope will be their only cup exit of the week this evening, losing 2-0 at home to Paulton Rovers in the quarter-finals of the Somerset Premier Cup. Ahead of Saturday’s FA Trophy semi-final 2nd leg at North Ferriby United, City rested the majority of their regular first team and in the end the Southern League visitors deservedly progressed to the last four. There was little in the way of goalmouth action to entertain the small crowd during the first half, although the visitors saw a header hit the post during the latter stages. However, the deadlock was broken twelve minutes after the restart when Paige beat Jim Rollo to a through ball to slot it past Josh Barrington. And 10 minutes later the same player converted Monelle’s cross to make it 2-0. City responded well but too often their neat approach play broke down in the final third allowing Paulton to see out the win with few scares.
The admission prices for tomorrow night’s Somerset Premier Cup quarter final against Paulton Rovers at Twerton Park (ko 7.45pm) are £6 adults, £3 concessions, £1 u-16’s.
City recovered from two goals down to draw 2-2 in the FA Trophy semi-final 1st leg against North Ferriby United at Twerton Park this afternoon and ensure the tie is finely balanced ahead of the second leg in Humberside next Saturday. The contrast in the two sides approach was clear during the opening exchanges, as City looked to pass the ball around whilst the visitors aimed long balls forward toward giant no.9 Denton. And it was the latter tactic that slowly began to gain the upper hand, although City almost took the lead on 23 minutes when Dave Pratt’s header flashed just the wrong side of the post. Two minutes later the Villagers took the lead, St Juste’s low cross turned into his own net by Dan Ball. City rarely threatened again during the half and when Ferriby began the second period on top it looked as if the game was slipping away from them. They should have been handed a way back into the game after 52 minutes when Denton committed a shocking tackle on Andy Gallinagh but incredibly only received a yellow. And City’s sense of injustice was deepened three minutes later when Denton flicked the ball onto St Juste to hold off Ball and beat Jason Mellor. However, five minutes later City won a penalty when Grey bundled over Pratt in the box. City’s top scored emphatically fired home the spot kick and suddenly the balance of the tie shifted in the Romans favour. Keeper Nicklin had to twice save well from Nick McCootie and Ferriby were now looking to run down the clock at every opportunity. But with five minutes left City deservedly levelled, McCootie collecting Gallinagh’s pass forward before unleashing a stunning dipping shot that had Nicklin grasping at thin air as the ball flew into the net via the underside of the crossbar. City went in search of a winning goal, Adelsbury forcing another good block from Nicklin and then seeing King almost head his cross into the net. They couldn’t find a third goal though but, with their Wembley dreams looking in tatters an hour into the game, it was a final result that keeps them firmly in the tie.
In their 125th anniversary season City will make history on Saturday when they face North Ferriby United at Twerton Park in the 1st leg of the 2014-15 FA Trophy semi-final. The clash with the Vanarama Conference North promotion hopefuls marks City’s first ever appearance at this stage of the competition and the prize of a Wembley Stadium appearance is on offer for the victors against either Torquay United or Wrexham at the end of next month.
The Villagers will provide stern opposition for City, coming into the game on a 10-match unbeaten run, the last four without conceding a goal. Their run to the FA Trophy semi-final began with a 6-2 win over Northern Premier League Mickleover Sports before they faced either Vanarama Conference North or South opponents the rest of the way. Boston United were overcome 2-0 in a replay after the sides had drawn 1-1 at Grange Lane before Hyde FC were beaten by the same scoreline. Next up were Farnborough and, after Ferriby keeper Nicklin had produced several excellent stops, they struck twice in eleven minutes to secure a quarter-final place for the second successive season. A year ago dreams of further progress were dashed by Gosport Borough, but this time there was no such heartache against Ebbsfleet United. Both sides saw efforts hit the underside of the bar during an eventful game and with four minutes left, just when it looked to be heading for a replay, Ferriby were awarded a penalty following an elbow by Fleet’s Clarke. King calmly slotted home the penalty to secure their semi-final place.
Should the Humberside-based club emerge triumphant from the clash with City they will because just the third side to play in both the FA Vase and FA Trophy Final. It was the 1996-97 season when they reached the old Wembley Stadium in the Vase, losing 3-0 to Whitby Town. Three seasons later they won the Northern Counties East League Championship and promotion to the Northern Premier League. They enjoyed steady progress at this higher level, winning Division 1 in 2004-05 then the Premier Division in 2012-13. The club then received a further boost in late 2013 when it was taken over by Steve Forster and his wife Eman, the daughter of Hull City owner Assem Allam, to help provide the stability needed to take the Conference North side to the next level. Their ambitions were clear for all to see as they ended that campaign in the runners-up spot, just three points behind champions AFC Telford United, only for an injury-ravaged team to lose the semi-final play-off 3-0 to Guiseley on aggregate.
Both sides look set to go into the match with nearly a full squad from which to choose, with City just missing the suspended Naby Diallo. Whilst City were involved in the remarkable 7-4 win over Farnborough on Tuesday, the Villagers were enjoying a well-timed free week. Although the majority of City’s expected starting XI were rested for the Farnborough game, the performances of a number of players, not least four-goal star Nick McCootie, will have given Head Coach Lee Howells several tough decisions to make before he names his side.
There are still places available on the Supporters’ Club coaches to the 2nd leg at North Ferriby on Saturday 28 February. To book a seat either email Martin Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org or by ringing Bas on 07881728689.
Supporters should note that parking at Twerton Park tomorrow is limited to those with a car park season ticket or reserved place.
A reminder for City fans that they have until the end of February to purchase vouchers for the ‘Vanarama Conference Promotion Final’, to be staged at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Sunday 17th May at at an amazing discount price of £10 for Adults and £5 for children under 16 years. Vouchers will be redeemable in due course for actual event tickets at the Vanarama Big Day Out featuring the Vanarama Conference Promotion Final. There is nothing more to pay for your ticket! Contact the club to purchase vouchers or for further details.
City’s U18 side are in action on Saturday against Weymouth at Odd Down Playing Fields (ko 10.30am).
City warmed up for their FA Trophy semi-final 1st leg against North Ferriby United with a remarkable 7-4 win over Farnborough at Twerton Park this evening. The result was even more astonishing given that City rested the majority of players likely to start against the Villagers on Saturday. Boro took early advantage of City’s unusal starting XI when Pat Keary failed to deal with a ball over the top allowing Page to steal in. He was brought down by keeper Conor Thompson but the ball broke to Theophanous to slot home. Ten minutes later, though, City were level, Zak Evans flicking home Ross Stearn’s free-kick, and then the floodgates opened. Nick McCootie lifted a shot past Barnes on 28 minutes then ten minutes later made it 3-1, latching onto a great Ben Adelsbury pass. He struck his third and City’s fourth from close range in the 42nd minute and there was still time for Adelsbury to curl home a fifth goal with Barnes stranded in no-mans land. Seven minutes into the second half Farnborough defender Brice pulled with a hamstring injury which gifted McCootie a clear run on goal to slide home his fourth goal. City then introduced last weeks FA Trophy goal heroes against Dover Athletic, Dave Pratt and Chas Hemmings, and it was the latter whose chip made it 7-1 on 76 minutes. To their credit Farnborough did not let their heads drop and Bennett twice beat Thompson in the final ten minutes before the game finished in a suitably bizarre manner, the young keeper pushing the ball over his own line after initially parrying a close range shot.
For the second time this season against Gosport Borough, City saw a one goal lead at the interval disappear during the second half as they conceded three goals without reply. Despite resting top scorer Dave Pratt to avoid a possible booking that would rule him out of the FA Trophy semi-final 2nd leg in two weeks time and losing Andy Watkins to an injury picked up in the pre-match warm-up, City took the lead on 36 minutes, Ross Stearn racing clear of the Gosport defence before confidently firing past Ashmore. The hosts had created a number of chances during the first period but their equaliser just 30 seconds after the restart owed a great deal to luck. Jason Mellor did well to turn Paterson’s shot onto the post only for Andy Gallinagh to poke the ball into net as he tried to clear. This seemed to knock City out of their stride and ten minutes later another piece of good fortune for Borough gifted them the lead, the ball deflecting into the path of Bennett to give him a simple finish. Nick McCootie was denied an equaliser by Ashmore late in the game before a poor clearance set-up Wooden for his side’s third goal deep in stoppage time.
The Football Conference is pleased to announce, Vanarama.co.uk, the UK’s leading van leasing company, have been shortlisted for a Sports Industry Award for their title sponsorship of the Football Conference – ‘The Vanarama Conference’. The Vanarama Conference is shortlisted in the category or the ‘Best Sponsorship of an Event or Competition’ alongside BMW’s 2014 Ryder Cup golf partnership and Stella Artois work as The Official Beer Supplier of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
The sponsorship was brokered by London-based sports marketing consultancy SportQuake who also manage the day-to-day activation. As a result of the partnership, which is in its first year and has been extended to include the 2015-16 season, Vanarama’s brand awareness amongst football fans currently tracks at 25%. In addition to contractual rights including monthly manager and player awards, training wear branding and extensive stadium presence at all 67 Football Conference clubs, Vanarama’s fan-driven sponsorship activation has included set piece activations around key calendar dates.
Thanks to Vanarama, famous faces including Michael Owen, Robbie Savage and Matt Le Tissier were amongst more than 2,000 who tweeted their support for the Non-League Day campaign #Thumbsup4NLD and Vanarama also backed Football Conference clubs playing in the FA Cup to raise awareness in the wider football community. Innovative Football Conferences prize giveaways, including Santa’s Van and Van-en-Tine’s Day, operated through Vanarama’s social media account have resulted in a growth in followers of 1,800% since the season kicked off.
Football Conference Chairman Brian Lee said: “Recognition from the Sports Industry Awards is no less than Vanarama richly deserve. As a sponsor and a partner, they have engaged with the Football Conference, its member clubs and most importantly our loyal fans with the fun values that we stand for. Whilst football headlines at the top level in this country is dominated by finance, the priority for the Football Conference is to share and celebrate the value of our national sport in a way that is enjoyable and exciting. Their contribution has been at times, witty, funny, catchy and even cheeky. It is refreshing to see this likable element permeating throughout our game. We know from the response our fans have made they appreciate the accessibility between all we do spearheaded by our title sponsor”.
“There is a terrific synergy between the Football Conference and Vanarama, so It is vantastic to see the Football Conference shortlisted alongside the Ryder Cup and Wimbledon at the Sports Industry Awards. I would like to congratulate all at Vanarama, SportQuake and our own staff at the Football Conference on this achievement, for it has been a team effort.” Vanarama Brand Director Steve Mark said: “As title sponsors of the Vanarama Conference, we’re very proud to support all 67 clubs across three divisions. Vanarama recognises that it is the fans who make football and we’re delighted with the way Football Conference fans have engaged with us since the start of this season. To be shortlisted for a Sports Industry Award, the industry’s most prestigious award, alongside brands including BMW is testament to the hard work of all involved. I look forward to Vanarama’s partnership with the Football Conference as we approach the business end of this season, next year’s competition and beyond.”
The Sports Industry Awards night takes place on Thursday 30th April, 2015 at Battersea Evolution.
Bath City FC are going to include in their match day programme for the game against North Ferriby United on Saturday 21st February, a 4 page centre spread of advertisements and good wishes, each one eighth of a page in size – details of size are:
Must be Landscape not Portrait
The advertisement could include your name / family name / local organisation and wishing Bath City FC success in the FA Trophy Semi-Final. The cost is just £50+VAT and the club would need the artwork / information by Tuesday 17th February. This is your chance to have your name and good luck message in the programme for this historic match. There are only 32 spaces, which are being offered to businesses as well. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity.
Please contact Bob Chester on 07786092836, by text on Friday until 4pm, or by phoning at other times. You can also see Bob at Gosport and your last opportunity will be at the Farnborough game on Tuesday evening.
City are in the FA Trophy semi-finals for the first time in their history after beating Dover Athletic by two goals to one at Twerton Park this evening. First half headers from Dave Pratt and Chas Hemmings gave City a two-goal advantage at the break before Sterling halved the lead with 21 minutes remaining. However, City withstood everything the Vanarama Premier side could throw at them after this, the last five minutes with just ten men following Naby Diallo’s second successive red card, to move within 180 minutes of a Wembley final appearance. Despite (or, perhaps, because of) the late heartbreak on Saturday, City dominated the opening 30 minutes of the game. Whites keeper Walker dropped an early cross allowing Andy Watkins to head home only for the referee to spare his blushes by awarding a free-kick against City. Moments later Pratt was pushed over in the box by Orlu only for the referee to wave play on this time. However, City continued to press and justice was done on 24 minutes when Watkins crossed for Pratt to glance a header past Watkins. And five minutes later it got even better for the home side when Hemmings rose highest to flick Chris Allen’s free-kick into the net. Hemmings then crashed a free-kick against the crossbar as City looked to drive home their dominance. The rest of the half saw Dover finally come into the game and after the break they began to gain the upper hand. It wasn’t until the 69th minute though that they pulled a goal back, and that only from a rare mistake by Phil Walsh that allowed Sterling to fire a low shot into the corner of the net. Dover were now pumping the ball toward the City box at every opportunity but clear cut chances were few and far between. Even when Diallo was harshly cautioned for a trip to see red, Dover could not make their man advantage count. In fact, it was City who came closest to adding to the scoring when Ross Stearn broke clear only for Walker to block his shot. Moments later this was forgotten as the referee’s whistle signalled jublilate scenes amongst players and supporters as City continued on their remarkable FA Trophy adventure.
City will be home in the first leg of the semi-final against North Ferriby United on Saturday 21 February before travelling to the East Riding of Yorkshire a week later on Saturday 28 February.
The winners of tomorrow night’s FA Trophy replay between City and Dover Athletic will face Vanarama Conference North side North Ferriby United in the two-legged semi-final.
City have rearranged their two outstanding Vanarama Conference South fixtures. The will travel to Weston Super Mare on Tuesday 10 March then a week later entertain Bishop’s Stortford at Twerton Park. Both games kick off at 7.45pm.
City’s Director of Football, Adie Britton will be appearing on Made in Bristol TV’s Subs Bench Extra programme tomorrow (Monday) to talk about the 3-3 FA Trophy draw at Dover. The show also features Bristol Rovers club commentator Dave Rogers and highlights of their Conference victory over Lincoln. Made in Bristol can be found on Sky 117, Freeview channel 8 and Virgin 159. The Subs Bench programme goes out at 7pm and is repeated at 10pm.
City came within a couple of minutes of a first ever FA Trophy semi-final appearance this afternoon only for 10-man Dover Athletic to strike twice and ensure the sides would have to meet again in a replay at Twerton Park on Tuesday evening. The home side started strongly and on seven minutes Payne shot them in front even though he was clearly offside when the ball was flicked through to him. Dover saw several further chances come and go in the first half but their hopes received a setback in stoppage time when the goalscorer inexplicably threw a punch at City keeper Jason Mellor to receive a straight red card. Almost immediately after the break City’s man advantage began to tell and on the hour mark Andy Gallinagh cut inside to fire them level. And eleven minutes later Ross Stearn’s shot from 18 yards put the rampant Romans in front. And when Stearn netted his second on 82 minutes with a perfectly executed lob a place in the final four looked certain to be City’s. However, with three minutes left Orlu headed past Mellor to give Dover a lifeline. And in the fourth minute of stoppage time former City striker Jake Reid’s shot squirmed from the grasp of Mellor to level the scores. There was still time for Naby Diallo to see red for a high tackle before the referee’s whistle brought a remarkable game to its conclusion.
Vanarama are delighted to announce that the winner of the Vanarama Conference South Manager of the Month award for January is Lee Howells of Bath City.
Lee Howells has had a good month as Bath City boss and his team have a trip to Dover Athletic this weekend in the FA Trophy. On the announcement of the award Lee said, “I am very pleased to have won this award. It was a great month with Vanarama Conference South and FA Trophy results and was a good team effort from all involved.”
The official awards panel said, “After the first few games of this current season, ‘The Romans’ looked to be certain relegation candidates. So it is proof, if ever proof was needed, by having self-conviction and an appetite to turn things around, this award is so well deserving and on reflection one of the most satisfying to be handed out this season. Affectionately known as Archie by all in the game he has brought about new enthusiasm to players and fans alike with a terrific set of results taking the club to within reach of the play off positions and also to the quarter finals of the FA Trophy with superb underdog victories along the way.”
Congratulations Lee Howells of Bath City on winning this award and we wish him the very best for the rest of the season.
City make the long journey to Kent on Saturday looking to create a piece of history and reach the FA Trophy semi-finals for the first ever time. Standing in their way are Vanarama Conference side Dover Athletic.
The Whites come into the tie as one of the form teams in the Vanarama Premier, last Saturday’s narrow defeat at Lincoln City ending a 13-match unbeaten league run that had lifted them from the relegation zone to 8th place, just four points off the play-off places. During this spell they also reached the FA Cup 3rd Round, losing 4-0 at home to Premier League side Crystal Palace in front of the live BT Sport cameras. Whilst City’s own impressive unbeaten record was coming to end at Whitehawk on Tuesday evening , 70 miles further along the south coast Dover were spared a tough home game against Grimsby Town, having declared their pitch unplayable 36 hours earlier.
Wins over Gloucester City, Bristol Rovers, Wealdstone and Altrincham have seen City reach the quarter final of the FA Trophy for just the second time since the competition began in 1969-70. It was 25 years ago when they last graced this stage before Stafford Rangers ended hopes of further progress with a 2-0 win at Twerton Park. Dover’s record in the competition is no better than City’s having also only once got this far before. However, back in 1997-98 season the Whites beat Barrow on penalties in a replay in Cumbria to reach the last four. There they met Cheltenham Town and despite taking the lead in the first leg in Gloucestershire, two controversial goals turned the tie around. The Robins raced into a 2-0 lead at Crabble and, although Dover pulled two goals back to level the leg, they exited the competition 4-3 on aggregate.
Having rested the majority of the game’s likely starting XI against Whitehawk, City Director of Football Adie Britton urged his Bath City players to have no regrets when they head back West on Saturday evening. He said, “The players believe we can do it, so we have got to make those thoughts and dreams a reality. We feel a sense of momentum and are all desperate for the run to go on. You have been able to see that attitude in every round so far. The Gloucester home replay was a bad day for us but we somehow found a way to win. We were magnificent throughout at Bristol Rovers, then started strongly at Wealdstone before fighting to protect our lead. And in the last round against Altrincham, we held on against a very strong team before finding a way to turn it around in the last half-hour.”
If the game ends in a draw the replay will take place at Twerton Park on Tuesday 10 February (ko 7.45pm).
This Valentine’s Day league sponsors Vanarama are giving you the chance to go to the football with your loved ones. Vanarama will be giving away two VIP tickets to every fixture across the three Vanarama Conference leagues, with the launch of their #VanentinesDay campaign. Including our forthcoming match against Gosport Borough.
To be in with a chance of winning this prize all you need to do is follow Vanarama on Twitter and retweet their post about the game on Twitter. The #VanentinesDay competition will open on Wednesday 4th February and close at 11:59pm on Monday 9th February. Winners will then be announced on Vanarama’s website at 1pm on Tuesday 10th February.
This competition is open to both home and away fans so make sure you enter for a chance to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a VIP experience. Good luck!
Despite making nine changes to the starting XI from Saturday, ahead of the massive FA Trophy quarter-final at Dover Athletic on Saturday, City could count themselves unlucky to lose 2-1 to promotion hopefuls Whitehawk this evening. The Romans included five U21 and youth players in their starting line-up, including two making their first team debut, and for the majority of the first half the Hawks, playing down the slope, dominated proceedings. However, for all their possession they struggled to break down City’s backline and only Robinson’s 29 minute strike separated the sides at the interval. And after the break City suddenly began to pose an attacking threat of their own, with Nick McCootie shooting wide when well-placed on 52 minutes. Whitehawk appeared to have doubled ther lead in the 57th minute, only for Nanetti to get booked for diving in the build-up, but moments later Mills fired home to make it 2-0. Within 60 seconds though City were back in the game, Naby Diallo breaking down the right to cross for Ross Stearn to shoot past Ross. The balance of play had shifted firmly toward City and twice McCootie came close to levelling the scores. With four minutes left another Diallo cross saw Stearn flash a shot inches wide and with it City’s last chance. Mills spurned a great chance to add a third before a second Hawk was booked for diving in stoppage time.