Jerry’s thoughts ahead of Ebbsfleet game

Good morning and welcome back home after a week of being on the road with our last three games.

My welcome to Twerton Park is extended to Dennis, his staff, players and supporters from Ebbsfleet Utd. We are expecting a really interesting tactical game with both sides trying to play football in what we perceive is the right way. The result for both sides is the priority for different reasons. We trust they have a safe journey to and from Bath today.

Two weeks ago saw us go to Dartford on the Saturday and it was another strong away performance from the lads, again all that was missing was goals. We played some really good attacking football and dominated the possession and for long spells in the game had them camped in at one-nil. Their second goal came as we pushed more numbers upfront chasing an equaliser. Of course, we were disappointed with the result but the good chances that we created shows that we are not lacking in confidence and positive play in general as a team.

Tuesday night saw us play Welton Rovers away in the Somerset Premier Cup. We fielded a strong side but also gave valuable minutes to key players returning from injury and ones that needed competitive game time like Will Fuller and Tom Richards. It was a very one-sided game in terms of territory, possession and attempts on goal on what can only be described as a tricky surface!! We won the game by the odd goal, but having had 20 plus attempts on goal to their 1 or 2, the scoreline doesn’t really tell the story. A deserved congratulation to Dan Ball, who made his 300th appearance for Bath City on the night and was given the captain’s armband as a mark of his achievement.

We now face a semi-final game over at Frome Town which I know they will be keenly looking forward to, following our convincing win against them earlier in the season here in the FA Cup.

Saturday v St Albans was a real body blow and bitter pill to swallow. I think that has to be our best all-round performance from us for a long time, yet we still lose the game. Admittedly, our defending for the first goal against was really poor but from there on in our luck just wasn’t with us yet again.

After conceding a freak deflected second, the character and spirit of the team to draw level before halftime was so good to see. That took real resilience and togetherness to do so. Just after the break, we again were by far the better side, following my change of shape first half. Cody scored a good goal which was wrongly given offside which would have meant they would have to come out then.

The big turning point of course was our penalty miss on 84 minutes, which would have won us the game. The sucker punch, another freak deflected winner for them in injury time. As Ian (St Albans manager) said after the game, it was us that should have taken the three points, but yet again we were left deflated and amazed at the outcome.

I can’t ask any more from the players; they are giving their all and actually playing really well. We had a total of 20 shots v St Albans but it’s at the back where we need to be more ruthless and also get a bit of lady luck for a change. We all remain positive and will be ready for today’s tough challenge after a bright week’s training.

Congratulations to Jack Batten who made his 200th appearance for Bath City, I am hoping that Zak will be back in the squad for today after missing last Saturday with Covid. Ben Seymour will be another few weeks and hopefully Tom Richards is ok following a heavy whack on his calf in the game. The other absentee will be Alex Fletcher who has a pre-arranged very important family commitment to attend.

Let’s all pull together and create a wonderful atmosphere for today’s game that the players can feed on. They will need us all in parts of the game where we may suffer but rest assured they will be giving it all physically and mentally in trying to get a positive result. Thanks for all your kind messages of support – it means a lot