Even if Bobby Zamora does return to the Memorial Ground tomorrow after his month long stay at City, his impact on their promotion bid cannot be understated as he scored his seventh and eighth goals in just six games to help them to a 3-1 victory over Grantham Town. With a strong blustery wind blowing around the Gingerbreads open South Kesteven Stadium, quality football was at a premium. After Zamora had gone close in the opening minute the ball seemed to spend as much time bouncing around the running track as on the pitch, although twice long clearances beat the City backline but Grantham failed to convert the chances. After 35 minutes City broke the deadlock, Harrington found space down the right and his cross was headed home by Clode. Into first half stoppage time City doubled their lead. A Bodin ball over the top sent Zamora clear and, with the Grantham defence appealing for offside against the retreating Paul, he lifted a stunning 30 yard lob over Ziccardi. He should have put the result beyond doubt shortly after the break after running through the Town defence but Ziccardi saved well at his feet and Davis could only put the rebound wide. On 73 minutes Grantham pulled a goal back, Gray firing home after Jackson had misjudged a cross, and for a spell City suddenly looked vunerable. However, with Towler and Skidmore, in for the injured Lloyd, outstanding at the back, City withstood the onslaught and with nine minutes remaining scored the vital third. A move involving Davis, Clode and Bodin finished with Mehew crossing for the unmarked Zamora to head past Ziccardi.
With tomorrows trip to Grantham set to be Bobby Zamora’s final game for City, following his hugely successful loan spell, Paul Bodin has moved swiftly to strengthen his front line by signing David Mehew from Forest Green Rovers. Boris was released by the Conference strugglers on a free transfer and has committed himself to City until the end of the season. This will be Boris’ third spell at Twerton Park following a brief loan spell during the 1987-88 season and a 10 game run at the end of the 1996-97, when his three goals and impressive performances helped City come within a point of avoiding relegation.
City moved into the quarter final of the Dr Martens Cup with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Gloucester City. Paul Bodin again fielded a largely second string side although it was loan star Bobby Zamora who gave them the lead, neatly controlling a Fidell Richards cross and slotting home. Richards then made it two a minute later, converting a Jimmy Fraser center at the near post. Two good saves from Elliot Jackson kept the two goal lead intact before Eddie Howell knocked home the third goal after Tigers keeper Gannaway had parried a Richards header. Bodin and Steve White made brief appearances from the bench but couldn’t help City to further goals.
City have applied for a place in the Screwfix League as they look to reform their reserve side for the 2000-01 season. If successful a Bath City reserve side will compete in division one of the Western League for the first time since the 1991-92 season. Having finished fourth that season, as well as a semi-final place in the league cup, financial reasons forced City to disband the side. The reserves briefly reappeared in the Avon Combination League in the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons, but in recent years City have used their youth side as cover for the main squad.
City came within two minutes of ending Ilkeston’s unbeaten home record before a Christian Moore equaliser meant they had to settle for a 2-2 draw. The star of the show was again Bobby Zamora as he grabbed another two goals, taking his tally to five in four games. The first came on the half hour mark when he ran clear from a Bodin pass to fire an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net. This lead, however, lasted for just three minutes as former Bristol Rovers player Devon White capitalised on an uncertain City defence to lob Elliot Jackson. On 63 minutes City regained their lead, Zamora matching his predessor at Rovers, executing a perfect lob over Ilkeston’s stranded keeper. Two stunning saves from Jackson helped maintain the lead and Davis was inches away from reaching a Paul cross to add a third goal. With just two minutes remaining City’s resistance broke when an offside looking Moore rounded Jackson and rolled the ball into an open net. In stoppage time City almost grabbed a winner but Lloyd’s goalbound shot from a Bodin corner was cleared off the line. The draw leaves City 12 points behind Boston, who only managed to put six goals past Crawley.
City bounced straight back from Saturday’s FA Trophy exit with a hard fought 2-0 victory over Weymouth, to record their fifth successive league win. The goalscoring hero was loan star Bobby Zamora but it was once again the crossing of Mike Davis that helped City maintain their title challenge. He had already produced one stunning centre that Zamora headed narrowly over before another pinpoint cross found the young striker and this time he made no mistake, heading powerfully into the roof of the net. This breakthrough came with just 20 minutes remaining but just another nine minutes passed before the second goal arrived. A Bodin corner was flicked onto Zamora and he turned and fired in a shot that was deflected into the bottom corner. This was no less than City deserved as they overcame a poor first half performance to pen the visitors back for long periods. The only incident of note in the first half was when the referee adjudged that a Weymouth defender had handled a foot inside his area, only to bottle out and award a free kick on the edge of the box. A disallowed goal (don’t know what for) and a series of fine saves from Terras keeper May in the second period looked set to deny City until Zamora’s double strike. The other good news for City was another four figure crowd, also the fifth in a row, with 1133 braving a freezing Twerton Park.
For the third time this season City showed that they can compete with the best the Conference has to offer, pushing Rushden & Diamonds all the way, before going out of the FA Trophy 2-1 to the Northamptonshire side. The game turned in seven second half minutes when the visitors grabbed two goals to turn around a one goal half time deficit. Collins headed home a free kick on 66 minutes before sub Aldridge fired home the second from close range. Prior to this City had, despite the money and full time professional status of their opponents, throughly deserved their lead. The goal came after 24 minutes and was of the highest quality. A Bodin pass was flicked on by White and Paul cut inside the last Rushden defender before lobbing a stranded Turley. With both defences on top chances were few and far between although Fraser almost finished a Bodin free kick, before Collins should have done better than stabbing the ball weakly at Jackson when well placed. After the two goal blow City’s heads didn’t drop and they could consider themselves unlucky not to grab an equaliser. Davis fired straight at Turley after a strong run and White’s back header was saved well. The closest they came was in injury time from a Bodin free kick that struck Turley’s bar before being pushed away by the relieved keeper.
A representative match between an FA XI and a British Universities side could feature four City players. Martin Paul, Mike Davis and Jon Holloway have all been selected for the FA team, and teamate Pater Tisdale, who is a student at Bath University, is facing a trial for University side. The match takes place on January 31 at Taunton Town’s Wadworth Road ground.
Last night City’s promotion hopes received a boost with Worcester City’s surprise 3-2 victory over fifth place Burton Albion, ended the Brewers unbeaten home record. League leaders Boston also lost last night but, unfortunately, only in a friendly to the mighty Stamford.
City recorded their biggest win of the season to move back into second place in the league, putting seven goals past Crawley Town, who also lost their keeper in the first half after handling outside his area. By this point City were four goals up as Martin Paul grabbed a 15 minute hat-trick and Bobby Zamora opened his City account. Paul’s first came courtesey of a defelcted shot on 5 minutes, before he twice converted Zamora crosses from close range. He then returned the favour centering for the on-loan striker to smash home the fourth. Any faint hopes that the Sussex side had disappeared when keeper Little caught a Bodin long ball a yard outside his box, giving the referee no choice but to send him off. Having put their smallest player in goal, the resultant free-kick was headed home by Holloway. The second half saw Bodin and Zamora strike the bar before Towler headed the sixth from a Davis cross. The seventh and final goal came from Harrington after he finished from eight yards after a great run by Zamora. There was still time for the stand-in keeper to produce fine saves from Paul and Zamora as City just failed to match last seasons eight goal thrashing of Boston. Margate’s defeat at Dorchester saw City leapfrog them into second place, seven points behind leaders Boston who won 2-1 at Salisbury.
City ended Newport County’s unbeaten home league record that stretched back to April 1998 with a single strike from Mark Clode. The goal, Clode’s first for City, came 10 minutes from time when the midfielder converted Mike Davis’ cross at the second attempt. This capped a determined City performance as both sides struggled to produce decent football in the wet and windy conditions. The first half saw City get the ball in the net but Jimmy Fraser’s ‘goal’ was ruled out for offside, and the same player and debutant Bobby Zamora both fired high and wide when well placed. The home side should have gone into the break ahead when Jackson completely missed a clearance giving Dale a clear sight of an empty net but he delayed long enough for Towler to get back and clear his shot. City picked up the tempo into the second period and began to dominate possession but apart from a couple of Zamora headers they failed to really test Mountain. A couple of late challenges from both sides saw the game threaten to boil over but City kept their composure to grab the vital goal. A series of City corners after this kept the pressure on and they comfortably held out until the final whistle. With all City’s promotion rivals winning as well City remain in third place.