Jamie Gosling continued his excellent pre-season form with another stunning strike in City’s 2-0 victory over Bristol Rovers this evening at Twerton Park. The 30-yard shot with three minutes remaining in the game doubled City’s lead after Jason Eaton had fired them ahead just before the hour. This was no less than City deserved as they dominated the game against a young Rovers side that failed to get a threatening shot on target all night. The Worst Team in the League (Officially) had their keeper to thank for preventing an even heavier defeat as he produced a series of excellent saves, although Eaton also missed a clear cut first half chance. The match also saw City kept their fourth clean sheet in five friendlies and the return to action of Frankie Bennett and Jason Drysdale. Next stop in City’s warm-up campaign is at Cinderford on Saturday (ko 3.00pm).
City continued their impressive pre-season form with a 5-0 victory over Bashley at the Hampshire sides Recreation Ground this afternoon. All the goals came in a one-sided second half after the Dr Martens Eastern Division side had had the better of the opening period. Twice the bar came to City’s rescue but after Gary Horgan’s 57th minute shot put them ahead the floodgates opened. A push on Dean Birkby two minutes later allowed the same player to double the lead from the penalty spot. Gary Thorne, in his first appearance of the summer, headed home a third soon afterwards and Dan Cleverley made it four after 77 minutes. The final goal was the pick of the bunch, Jamie Gosling collecting the ball just inside the Bash half, advancing on goal before unleashing a 20-yard shot past the home keeper.
Two more players have put pen to paper to commit themselves to City for the forthcoming season. Chris Honor has completed his move from Basingstoke Town and Iain Harvey has finally signed after a slight delay whilst personal terms were sorted out.
City have announced that contrary to initially freezing admission prices for the fourth successive season and adult spot on the terrace will rise 50p to £7.00.
The reserve friendly match against Port Talbot on Friday 2 August has been cancelled. The side will now face Worle St Johns the following day.
A goal from Jamie Gosling, his third in three pre-season outings, with sixteen minutes remaining helped City to a 1-0 win at Twerton Park over Second Division Swindon Town. It was another encouraging performance from City against a largely reserve Robins outfit with trialist strikers Guiseppe Sorbara and Dean Birky impressing particularly. The latter especially produced one moment of high class with an overhead kick that brought back memories of one of the best ever goals scored at Twerton Park by the striker against Southport in 1994. This effort was saved by Swindon’s keeper but he could do nothing to prevent Gosling firing home from close range after Jim Rollo had turned a weak clearance back toward goal 15 minutes later. Inbetween City had an escape when Mark Hervin saved a poor penalty kick after Gary Kemp’s clumsy challenge conceded a spot kick.
Before the game City completed the signature of left-sided defender Mike Trought. The former Bristol Rovers put pen to paper on a one year deal despite late interest from Weston Super Mare.
The fans forum section of this web site has a new look as of tonight. Replacing both the open and (underused) members only forums is a single board provided by ezBoard. Both members and non-members can post on the new boards, however I would urge any City fan who intends to post regularly to register. Please read the rules and instructions on how to join in the Web Page & FOrum Announcement section. The new forum can be found at: http://pub11.ezboard.com/bbathcity .
A single goal around the hour mark condemned City to defeat in their second friendly against Leyton Orient at a sunny Twerton Park this afternoon. The match, arranged by City Supporters Club chairman Martin Brush and his cousin, Orient manager Paul Brush, was decided when Fletcher turned a low cross past Mark Hervin after 61 minutes. This was slightly hard on City as they matched a strong O’s side for long periods. The closest either side came to scoring in the first half was when Dean Birkby’s 25-yard shot was tipped onto the bar by giant American keeper Feuer, although at the other end Nugent saw a header cleared off the line. The well-grassed pitch made flowing football difficult although Jamie Gosling impressed before limping off toward the end and the game also saw highly rated Frome Town striker Giuseppe Sorbara line-up in City colours. City’s next warm-up match is against Swindon Town on Wednesday 24 July (ko 7.30pm).
Yesterday saw City Reserves begin their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 victory ar Cadbury Heath. Goalscorers were Simon Gilbert and Wayne Cleverly.
City’s pre-season build-up has been dealt a blow with the news that Gary Thorne is struggling to make the opening match of the forthcoming season against Ilkestone on August 17. The current player of the season and club captain sat out Tuesday’s win over Swindon Supermarine with knee ligament trouble and is now in a race to be fit for the trip to Derbyshire.
Should Thorne fail to recover in time City boss Alan Pridham already has two new defensive targets in his sights. Mike Trought, a 21-year old left sided defender released by Bristol Rovers at the end of last season, and former Swindon Town apprentice Bryan Smith both features for 45 minutes against Supermarine and are likely to feature again against Leyton Orient on Sunday (ko 2.00pm).
Two players heading away from Twerton Park are Graham MacLean and Gary Powell. MacLean, who returned to the club last summer but missed a large part of the season though injury, and Powell, who made 29 appearances in the first half of last season before losing his place to Jason Drysdale, are both heading to Paulton Rovers.
Last nights match against Swindon Supermarine saw the debut of City’s new home kit for the forthcoming season. The Branded Sports produced strip features the logo of new sponsor Bentley Jennison Chartered Accountants. Whilst (obviously) still basically black and white stripes the kit now has predominately black sleeves and a white collar. To see it in its full glory click here. Both this and the new yellow and blue change shirt will be available from the club shop during Sunday’s game against Leyton Orient for the bargain price of £35.00 each. Thanks to Chris Stillman for the photo and Commercial Manager Dave Elder for modelling the shirt.
City began their pre-season campaign with a 3-0 victory over Dr Martens Western Division side Swindon Supermarine at Hunts Copse this evening. Two second half strikes from Jamie Gosling plus a first half goal from French trialist Bertrand Cozic gave City a comfortable start to their warm up games. In all City fielded 19 (I think) players with just Mark Hervin and Jim Rollo lasting the full 90 minutes, including further trialists Dean Birkby, Lewis Rossiter and Gary Horgan.
As expected former Forest Green Rovers striker Jason Eaton has completed a move to City from Basingstoke Town. But it has also been confirmed that defender Darren Carr will not be joining City after he decided to retire from the game.
City’s Supporters Club have announced a number of special deals to encourage fans to travel to away matches next season. As usual they will be running subsidised coaches to every away game but in addition to paying for each trip individually there will be 10, 15 and 20 game tickets available. There are also reductions for supporter club members and family bookings. For further information, plus details of the first two trips of the season to Ilkeston and Chippenham, go to the away travel page.
On the pitch City are closing in on a deal to sign former Forest Green striker Jason Eaton. The 33-year old, who has been released by Basingstoke Town, looked set to be heading for Chippenham but turned down the Wiltshire clubs offer and expressed an interest in a move to Twerton Park. Two further possible new arrivals are Chris Honor and French trialist Bertrand Cozic. Both have been training with City and could play in tomorrow nights opening friendly at Swindon Supermarine (ko 7.30pm).
City have also confirmed that contrary to initial reports former Brighton defender Darren Carr has not actually signed for the club. He has trained with the squad but has yet to make a definite decision on whether he is to continue playing football.
Sam Allison is looking for second chance with City after training with the squad last week. The 21-year old striker left Twerton Park back in September 2001 after publicly falling out with manager Alan Pridham, ending up at Dr Martens Western Division side Clevedon Town. However he left the Seasiders at the end of the season and, following a call to Reserve boss Dave Hobbs, headed back to the Romans. He faces stiff competition for a forward place in Pridham’s squad with Adrian Foster, Paul Milsom, Dan Cleverley and Frankie Bennett all already signed on plus Dean Birkby also looking to earn a return to his former club.
City boss Alan Pridham as boosted his defensive options with the signature of vastly experienced centre-back Darren Carr. The 33-year old Bristol born player has made over 300 League appearances for several clubs, including Bristol Rovers, Sheffield United, Chesterfield and Brighton. Following his realease from the South Coast club at the end of the 2000-01 season he spent three months with Dover Athletic before joining Rushden & Diamonds as a non-contract player for the rest of last season. When Pridham found out Carr had moved to Warmley he contacted him and, despite interest from several Conference clubs, he has signed a one-year contract with City.
For the first time since they returned to the Southern League five years ago City will face a trip away from Twerton Park in the opening game of the season. Ilkeston Town will be the destination on Saturday 17 August before they face Havant & Waterlooville three days later in their opening home fixture. Another home clash against Folkestone follows on August 24 and they then face a local derby at Chippenham on August Bank Holiday Monday. The return fixture against the Wiltshire based Premier Division newcomers takes place on Boxing Day, with a New Years Day trip to the South Coast to face Weymouth beginning 2003. City’s final game of the season is against last seasons runner-up Tamworth. The full fixture list can be found here.
City have annouced that season tickets sales are 30% up on the same time last year. A combination of the good end to last season plus the interest generated in football by the World Cup has helped boost the sales. As a result the deadline for reduced price tickets has been extended until July 7.
As the City squad return to pre-season training this evening there will be a familiar face amongst the players – Dean Birkby coming back Twerton Park attempting to impress manager Alan Pridham. He originally joined City in the summer of 1994, topping City’s scoring table with 19 goals that season. The following season saw him struggle to recapture this form and he headed to Yeovil Town in January 1996 for a fee of £10,000. Birky has recently been playing in Australia. Two further new faces joining him are Cirencester based midfielder Gary Horgan and former Real Madrid youngster Lewis Rossiter. 19-year Rossiter has arrived at City on the recommendation of last seasons top scorer Adrian Foster.
One player who won’t be joining the training session is Lee Collier. The midfielder, who made 16 appearances last season scoring one goal, has joined Clevedon Town.
City have been surprisingly named 8th favourites to lift the 2002-03 Dr Martens Premier Division crown. Despite only avoiding relegation on the final day of last season they have been priced at 16/1 to return to the Conference that they left in 1997. Dover Athletic have been named as 10/3 favourites with Tamworth, Crawley Town and Havant & Waterlooville following the Kent club. At the other end of the betting Weymouth and Chelmsford City are quoted at 40/1 and 66/1 respectively. The full odds are:
10/3 Dover Athletic; 7/2 Tamworth; 9/2 Crawley Town, Stafford Rangers; 5/1 Havant & Waterlooville; 11/2 Newport County; 7/1 Hinckley United; 16/1 Bath City; 18/1 Ilkeston Town, Moor Green, Worcester City; 20/1 Cambridge City; 22/1 Hastings Town; 25/1 Hednesford Town; 28/1 Chippenham Town, Folkestone Invicta, Grantham Town, Tiverton Town, Welling United; 33/1 Halesowen Town; 40/1 Weymouth; 66/1 Chelmsford City.