|Evans head injury casts cloud over Yate friendly victory (31/7/07)
City suffered a pre-season injury scare last night when goalkeeper Paul Evans had to be taken to hospital suffering from concussion after landing heavily during the first half of the match with Yate Town. He played on for about 15 minutes after the incident but eventually had to be replaced and suffering from dizziness and sickness was taken to hospital during the half-time interval. With no replacement keeper on the bench his departure saw striker Phil Walsh done the gloves and he was rarely tested as City ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Lewis Hogg fired City in front on 24 minutes following up his blocked free-kick to drive the ball home from 20 yards. Ten minutes after the interval Dave Gilroy stabbed the ball home from close range after Chris Holland headed a corner goalwards. Playing their first pre-season game following three postponements Yate were well contained by City’s defence, although on the couple of occasions that they found a way through Walsh showed the holidaying Steve Jones he has competition for the stand-in keeper role with several smart saves. City completed the scoring in the final minute from the penalty spot – Adie Harris confidently converting after Mark McKeever had been tripped.
As expected City have arranged as extra pre-season outing. They will travel to Caerleon on Wednesday 1 August for a 6.45pm kick-off as the Welsh League side do not have floodlights as their Cold Bath Road ground.
Trialist Jason Wood has agreed to extend his stay with City until September in an attempt to earn a contract at Twerton Park. The former Yate Town midfielder has impressed City boss John Relish with his pre-season performances but needs to prove that he has overcome the medial ligament knee injury that he suffered last season. The 24-year old has attracted the interest of several other clubs, including Yate and Weston Super Mare, but has made it clear he wants to remain at City. As expected fellow summer arrival Paul Keddle has agreed to join City and is due to sign on non-contract terms next week.
Two first half goals from Craig Davidge gave City a 2-0 win over Gloucester City at Twerton Park this evening. The pre-season friendly held to help the Tigers following the flooding at their Meadow Park home was a competitive affair but City always looked the stronger side. The lower league club fell behind after 25 minutes when Davidge cut inside and fired ast keeper Sawyer. Nine minutes later he struck again with a well-place volley from a Mark McKeever cross. Darren Edwards headed over when well-place shortly afterwards and only once was Paul Evans tested, pushing a long-range effort over the bar. The second half was even more one sided with Sawyer saving brilliantly from a Dave Gilroy header and Davidge being denied a hat-trick by a goalline clearance. However, there were no more goals despite impressive performances from substitutes Jason Wood, Lewis Hogg and Phil Walsh.
John Relish looks set to bring his squad up to 20 players in the next few days by signing Paul Keddle, plus one of the other trialists, either Jason Wood, Justin McKay or Ben Davies. Left-sided defender Keddle was immediately identified as the prime summer target but one further player has significantly impressed the City boss to be offered terms. Relish is due to meet with chairman Geoff Todd today to discuss finances and hopes to secure the signings shortly.
City are trying to arrange a further pre-season match following last week’s cancellation of the Bitton game. They hope to face Welsh League side Caerleon next week. Details to follow.
A single goal seconds after City had made four substitutions was enough to condemn City to their third home pre-season loss against Hereford United last night. Unlike their previous defeats at the hands of Cheltenham Town and Bristol Rovers though this was a much more even contest where City matched the Coca-Cola League 2 side for long periods. The decisive goal came from Johnson, slipping the ball under Tony Malessa in the 67th minute, which was deserved as the Bulls produced their best spell of the game either side of the strike. The first half had been largely deviod of goalmouth action, although City once again showed spells of neat football with central midfielders Adie Harris and Scott Rogers impressing in particular.
Scott Partridge has undergone his second neck operation and is waiting for test results before putting a timescale on his return to action. The surgery to insert a second artificial disc in his neck, which was carried out on Monday, also uncovered an infection which had been causing last year’s top scorer severe pain and will delay his comeback but, with the 32-year old determined to return as soon possible, hopefully not for too long.
Friday’s pre-season friendly with Gloucester City has been switched to Twerton Park after the severe floods that have affected that part of the country left Meadow Park submerged under over five feet of water. The ground – which has flooded twice before in it’s 17 year existence – began to fill with water yesterday, and as of lunchtime today the water had almost reached the top of the goalposts. In addition, all gate receipts minus expenses will go to the Tigers to assist them in recovering from this disaster. The game will kick off at 7.45pm and is all pay for City fans as it will be treated as an ‘away’ friendly.
City’s lastest pre-season outing saw them ‘win’ the second half of their clash with Bristol Rovers by two goals to one, unfortunately the Coca-Cola League 1 side had totalled outclassed them in the first period to lead 4-0 at the break. Fielding ten of the eleven players who has won the play-off final at Wembley in May, Rovers tore City’s backline apart time and again and in addition to goals from Igoe (2), Lescott and Walker they also hit the bar, had a goal disallowed and forced a great stop from Paul Evans. At half-time the visitors changed their whole outfield team and within a minute of the restart Darren Edwards pulled a goal back. However, Rovers responded immediately through Rigg. And in a much more even half City secured a moral victory through trialist Jason Wood’s 25-yard strike on 75 minutes.
Tonight’s pre-season friendly at AFC Bitton was cancelled just a few hours before the 7.30pm kick-off. Despite several heavy showers during the day the Recreation Ground pitch was playable, understandably however the Toolstation Western League Premier Division side wished to protect their playing surface with the new season less than a month away. The postponement means City are next in action at Twerton Park on Friday (20/7) when they take on Coca-Cola League 1 side Bristol Rovers.
The draw for the 1st Round of the Setanta Shield has given City a home tie with Weston Super Mare. The Seagulls, who are managed by former City boss Tony Ricketts, will visit Twerton Park on Tuesday 9 October (ko 7.45pm). The winner of this meeting will then face a trip over the Severn Bridge to face Newport County during the week commencing 12 November. The draw for the 3rd Round was also made with either Basingstoke Town, Hampton & Richmond, Dorchester Town or Eastleigh potential destinations for City.
City are set to send out two of their most promising youth team players out on loan next season. Defender Adam Tyers and striker Tom Pursall, who both played a part in last week’s pre-season friendly win over Melksham Town, impressed sufficiently last season to be earmarked as potential first team stars. Tyers has already made his first team debut in a league cup tie with Clevedon Town and Pursall was the youth team top scorer last season with 17 goals.
City fans are once again being given the chance to help their team to success by joining the thriving Supporters’ Club. Last season’s Southern League title victory was helped in no small way by the Club, funding all the first team away travel, paying for improvements to the pitch, repairs and maintenance of the players changing rooms as well as organising the memorable end of season presentation evening. All members receive subsidised fares on the away travel supporters coach, discounts on all club merchandise – including the home and away shirts – and this season they will be entered free into a monthly draw with a great range of prizes. For full details click here.
City’s second pre-season outing of the summer ended in victory last night as goals from Dave Gilroy and Darren Edwards secured a 2-0 result against Screwfix Western League side Melksham Town. The win was slightly marred by the first half ‘sending off’ of Martin Paul. The striker was adjuded to have elbowed an opponent in the 20th minute which saw the referee instruct the City bench to replace him. Ironically, his replacement Gilroy opened the scoring on 38 minutes after trialist Justin McKay had charged down a clearance. The home side’s keeper Steve Perrin – who is likely to be City’s cover keeper during the 2007-08 season – made several good stops before Edwards completed the scoring after 65 minutes.
City’s 2006-07 matchday programme was named the best in the Southern League and, for the 5th successive season the best in the Premier Division. It was placed ahead of Mangotsfield United and Northwood in the annual awards from the Soccer Club Swap Shop. Overall, the publication was placed in 13th place – a rise of three places from last year – in the non-league list, with Northern League Division Two Marske United named the overall winner.
City’s youth team will open their pre-season campaign tomorrow evening (13 July) at Twerton Park (ko 7pm) against Cheltenham Town youth.
City began their pre-season campaign this evening with a 4-0 home defeat to Coca-Cola League 1 side Cheltenham Town. It took the Robins just ten minutes to opening the scoring through a Connor header. With regular choice no.1 Paul Evans still in South Africa, stand-in keeper Tony Melessa made several good stops after this but he was beaten again on the stroke of half-time when Lindegaard converted from close range. As is usual in early pre-season matches both sides made numerous changes during the second half – City introducing three of their four trialists Jason Wood, Ben Davies and Paul Keddle – but it was the visitors who continued the scoring as Finnigan made it 3-0 from the penalty spot on 64 minutes and nine minutes later Ben Gill made it four from a corner. City came close to grabbing a consolation goal toward the end of the game but Phil Walsh couldn’t quite apply the finishing touch to a great Craig Davidge cross.
Scott Partridge will miss the start of the 2007-08 season after suffering further neck problems that will require a second operation. The 32-year old striker had an artificial disc inserted into his neck three weeks ago to correct a prolasped disc problem that had sidelined him for final two months of last season. It had appeared the operation was a success but Partridge began to feel discomfort after City’s first pre-season training session and an MRI scan has revealed another prolasped disc and he will undergo a second operation in the next ten days.
Partridge will be the only missing player as City begin their new season preparations this evening against Coca-Cola League 1 side Cheltenham Town. City’s squad will include trialists Jason Wood, Ben Davies, Paul Keddle and Justin McKay.
City will start life as a Blue Square Conference South club with a trip to face Bromley. The big-spending Kent club are also in their maiden season at this level, having come up from the Ryman League last season via the play-off’s, but have already been installed as one of the pre-season favourites. Three days after that match their first home game will be against Eastleigh. City’s Christmas games will both be against Dorchester Town, away on Boxing Day and home on New Year’s Day, with a trip to Weston Super Mare inbetween. City final league game with be another potentially tough away trip to last season’s play-off semi-finalists Bishop’s Stortford. The full fixture list can be found on the Results & Fixtures link above.
As part of their Community Enterprise initative City will be taking the Southern League Championship shield around local schools. Organised by Community Enterprise officer Paul Gillings, the first school to receive a visit was Culverhay Boy’s School. The arrival of the shield caused much interest amongst the pupils, and on the day they were allowed to leave their school uniform in the wardrobe but only if they wore a City shirt instead.