To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the FA Cup the FA have launched a search to find the ultimate FA Cup Team of Heroes and are looking for the top 125 clubs to send their five nominations of players and one manager who have excelled in the competition for their club. And as one of the top 33 non-league clubs in the competition City will have the chance to include their FA Cup legends. The FA are looking for one goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, striker plus a manager from each club. For full details go to The FA web site. And to nominate your five City hero’s go to here.
A looping Adie Harris header 16 minutes from time helped City rescue a point in a 1-1 draw against fellow play-off contenders King’s Lynn at Twerton Park this afternoon. The Norfolk visitors had gone ahead after just three minutes when Nolan rounded Paul Evans before slotting home. This was a deserved advantage for King’s Lynn but as the game progressed they sat back and allowed City into the game. However, for all City’s efforts they struggled to create any clear openings. On 74 minutes, though, their perseverance finally paid off when two intial efforts were blocked by Linnett’s defenders only for the ball to loop up to Harris and his header dropped over the keeper into the net. After this both sides seemed content with a draw that leaves them both firmly in the play-off battle.
City have confirmed the admission cost details for their rearranged league meeting with Aylesbury United. The match, which was abandoned back in November after 80 minutes due to fog, will take place on Tuesday 14 February (ko 7.45pm) under Southern League Cup rules with Aylesbury entitled to re-imbursement of their travel costs and half of the net takings after match expenses. The Club appreciates that fans have already paid for the original match and have decided that reduced prices will apply. These are as follows: Season tickets holders free of charge – voucher A to be used; Stand – Adults £6, all concessions £3; Terrace – Adults £5, all concessions £2.50.
City will make a third attempt to play league leaders Salisbury City on Tuesday 28 March at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium after the Wiltshire side were forced to replay their abandoned Errea Cup game against Cirencester Town this coming Tuesday instead of facing City.
Despite the appearance of Andy Williams in black and white for the first time in 18 months, City exited the Errea Cup last night after an extra-time 2-1 defeat against Mangotsfield United at a freezing cold Cossham Street. City boss John Relish made six changes to the starting line-up that beat Gloucester City on Saturday and after surviving a lively start from the home team his side were soon on top, with Chris Holland, Alex Sykes and Scott Partridge all going close. Sykes missed another great opening early in the second half before he was replaced by Williams on the hour mark. Ten minutes later City finally turned their dominance into a goal, when Tony Bird turned and fired home from 18 yards. Further chances came to put the game beyond Mangotsfield but these were not taken and with five minutes left City were punished for this when, despite being several yards offside, ex-City striker Paul lobbed Paul Evans to level the scores. Partridge then wasted another opening to prevent the game going into extra time. Matt Coupe fired over and Graeme Power forced a smart block from Greaves in the first period of extra-time but five minutes into the second half Paul, again clearly from an offside position, raced away before crossing to give Seal a simple tap-in. City should have taken the game to penalties when Greaves missed a corner and stayed on the ground in an attempt to indicate he’d been fouled. The ball found it’s way to Gethin Jones, but from 40 yards he could only shoot wide of the unguarded goal and end City’s League Cup hopes for another season.
Bath City youth boss Ali Belcher was furious after his players were over run by an out of form Cardiff College side on Saturday. The Welsh side were two goals up within 25 minutes through two long range efforts whilst his side could hardly manage a single effort on goal. In a game where two City and two Cardiff players were sent off after an unsavioury clash, Belchers side had a mountain to climb after allowing Cardiff to dominate this otherwise well mannered game. Although Rupert Mall scored from the spot on the half hour Cardiff hit back immediately with a third almost from the re-start. The second half was just as miserable for city as they struggled to force their way through the Cardiff defence. Mall got a second goal but again the hosts broke free when City were throwing caution to the wind. Belcher said afterwards, “That was the worst performance I have seen in two seasons, it was totally embarrassing. I have no problem with the referee, in fact he was probably one of the better ones we have had this season. I and this club expect far better. Too many players have not been up to scratch recently and I will be making changes as soon as we can because this has been coming for some weeks now. Belcher’s assistant Nigel Ashworth echoed his feelings, saying, “Some players are not good enough and we will have some fresh faces in sooner rather than later, although we have thrown away league points recently, our main priority is to produce good young players and we had some questions answered today.”
Having only returned from a month loan with Gloucester City two weeks ago Alex Sykes made a goalscoring return to Meadow Park this afternoon to set City on their way to a deserved 2-0 win. His thumping shot on 22 minutes was added to five minutes later by Scott Partridge after Phil Walsh had set him up. For once it was a game where City made the most of the chances they created and having established a two-goal advantage were content to sit back on a pitch that made decent football difficult. This led to the second half being largely uneventful, although Paul Evans was forced into one fine save from a long range effort and strong Tigers penalty claims were waved away by the referee. The only other highlight came midway through the half when a helicopter landed in the car park.
In news almost as welcome as this afternoon’s win over Gloucester City, centre-back Chris Holland has returned to City following two and a half months on loan at Weston Super Mare. The former Team Bath defender joined the Conference South strugglers back in November 2005 to get match fit and went on to play 15 times, scoring a single goal. He was named on the bench today, replacing Phil Walsh a couple of minutes from time to play in an unfamiliar centre-forward role.
Swansea City target Andy Sandell could be sidelined for up to two weeks after he picked up a rib injury in Tuesday’s goalless draw at Merthyr Tydfil. The 21-year old winger, who has been carrying a foot injury that he suffered in the Christmas clash with Chippenham, received a knee in the chest early in the Merthyr game and had to be replaced at the interval. He is a major doubt for Saturday’s meeting with Gloucester City, will almost certainly not be risked in next weeks Errea Cup trip to Mangotsfield United but may be in contention for a return against King’s Lynn on 28 January.
City and Merthyr Tydfil produced a typically lively encounter this evening but neither side could break the others rearguard and had to settle for a point apiece. The hosts forced the pace early on with Paul Evans called into action on several occasions but as the half progressed City got more into the game. Scott Partridge and Tony Bird both went close toward the end of the half but City suffered a blow at the interval when Andy Sandell was forced from the action with a hip injury. The second half saw both sides come create openings with only a stunning last ditch tackle by Jim Rollo denying the home side. City’s best opening saw Bird win possession on the touchline and fire the ball across the face of goal where a Martyr defender got the vital touch ahead of Phil Walsh to deflect it away for a corner. The point sees City move back into the play-off positions for the first time since September.
2002-03 player of the season Andy Williams is set to make his return to City colours in next weeks Errea Cup meeting with Mangotsfield United. The 28-year old wide player has overcome a serious knee injury and completed his first 90 minute outing on Saturday in Bradford Town’s 6-2 defeat against Bridport. Whilst he is still a month away from full fitness a run out in the Cossham Street game, where a number of first team regulars are likely to be rested, is a strong possibilty.
City’s home meeting with Aylesbury United, abandoned back in November after 80 minutes due to fog, has been rearranged for Tuesday 14 February (ko 7.45pm).
City’s youth side recorded their first win of 2006 on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over Cirencester Academy. Rupert Mall put them ahead in the first half before an own goal doubled their advantage after the break. Kyle Ingram struck his 19th goal of the season to make it 3-0, with Cirencester grabbing a consolation in the final minute.
City’s maintained their unbeaten start to 2006 yesterday with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Mangotsfield United at Cossham Street. Once Tony Bird fired them ahead on 31 minutes, after Phil Walsh had found him out with a great diving header, they rarely looked like relinquishing this advantage against the fast-fading Bristol side. This was a deserved lead as City made most of the early running on a heavy pitch with Scott Partridge going close before this and Matt Coupe spuring a great chance just before the interval. The early stages of the second half saw Mangotsfield come more into the game and City did have a few worrying moments but these nerves were settled twenty minutes from time when Walsh pounced on a loose ball to slide a low shot into the net.
City frittered away another two league points this afternoon at Twerton Park as they were held 1-1 by Bedford Town in a game they should have comfortably won. They were guilty of missing a host of chances, including a second half penalty by Andy Sandell, which allowed the visitors to level with a scrappy strike by Priestnall 17 minutes from time. The first half was especially one-sided but City only lead through a Tony Bird header ten minutes before the interval. However, with twenty minutes left it looked as if City would grab the vital second goal when Scott Partridge was tripped in the box, only for Sandell’s weak penalty to match Partridge’s attempt when the sides met earlier in the season. Three minutes later the Eagles were level and they could have even stolen the three points with two great openings in stoppage time.
Alex Sykes was amongst the City substitutes this afternoon following his return from a loan spell at cash-strapped Gloucester City.
In a small piece in today’s Daily Star it claims that Swansea City’s manager Kenny Jacket has agreed a £100,000 transfer for for Andy Sandell. The deal would smash City current transfer record, the £80,000 they received in various installments from Southampton for Jason Dodd, although Sandell’s previous club Paulton Rovers would be entitled to 50% of the fee. However, before both clubs start planning how to spend this windfall it should be pointed out that the article in the tabloid newspaper refers to City as a Conference South club, so maybe be wishful thinking on more than one level.
Talks will take place over the next week or so between City and Coca-Cola League 1 side Swansea City to decide on the future of Andy Sandell. The left winger, who has missed City’s last two matches with an ankle injury, only joined City in the summer from Paulton Rovers but a series of impressive performances have attracted the attention of several league sides, with Swansea always leading the chase. Now the transfer window for league sides has re-opened Swans manager Kenny Jacket has spoken to City boss John Relish and a deal is looking increasingly likely.
If Sandell does leave, one possible alternative, Mangotsfield United’s Chris Lane, will not be replacing him after he confirming that he has ‘no interest’ in switching from Cossham Street to Twerton Park.
Last season’s top scorer John Williams (pictured) paid an emotional tribute to City fans after returning to Twerton Park with his current club Evesham United on Monday. The well-travelled striker scored 19 goals for City, including a stunning second half hat-trick in the 4-2 win against Chippenham Town in April, and it was clear from the warm ovation he received when substituted on 58 minutes that he is still highly regarded amongst the City faithful. He said, “It was quite touching, I didn’t know I commanded that sort of respect, playing for a non-league club. I always had a lot of respect for the Bath fans and the reaction when I came on and came off was a real tear-jerker for me. I just want to thank the supporters. When I was there we [nearly] got to the play-offs and for most people that isn’t good enough. But we gave the fans some good times, especially in the FA Cup, and it’s nice to see they appreciate it.”
City are set to reject a second bid from local rivals Chippenham Town for top scorer Scott Partridge. The Wiltshire side made an offer for Partridge, whose strike against Evesham United on Monday left him two goals short of a half-century for City in just 84 appearances, back in November which was labelled ‘derisory’ by the board and with this sligntly increased second bid still well below City valuation of the player it looks certain to be rejected.
Goals from Gethin Jones and Scott Partridge saw City bounce back from their two holiday defeats to begin 2006 in winning fashion. Visitors Evesham Utd, who included former City top scorer John Williams in their line-up, had already been reduced to ten men through captain O’Toole’s two cautions when Gethin Jones headed home his first City goal on 39 minutes. It looked as if City had doubled this advantage moments later when Partridge crossed for Phil Walsh to fire home but the linesman ruled that the ball was over the byline before Partridge centred. City continued to take the game to the Midland’s side after the break and with 15 minutes left they made the result safe through Partridge’s header after keeper Adey could only parry Jim Rollo’s shot.