City drew their third away pre-season match at Bideford this afternoon. After an eight day break to rest their injury-hit squad they were caught cold in Devon, falling behind after just five minutes to the Southern League newcomers. Kaid Mohamed had a ‘goal’ ruled out for offside but the home side should have increased their lead when the referee awarded a penalty following a challenge by Gethin Jones. However, City’s French trialist keeper saved the spot kick and just before the interval they won a penalty of their own when Mohamed was tripped by the Robins keeper. He confidently converted to send the game in all-square at the interval. The second half saw both sides create openings, Scott Murray being denied by Bideford’s keeper on several occasions, but neither could add to the scoring. Although City will be slightly disappointed not to have won the game they will be particularly boosted by the return to action of current joint player of the year Adam Connolly, who played the first 45 minutes having recovered from his summer knee operation.
City’s plan to have two experienced goalkeepers on its books for the 2010-11 season has been shelved after budget restraints prevented manager Adie Britton signing Terry Burton. The former Forest Green Rovers shot-stopper has featured regularly in pre-season and Britton had hoped to bring him in as competition to current no.1 Ryan Robinson. However, he admitted he would have to lose one or two members of his squad to allow for this and has decided to look to a cheaper option or loan signing should the need arise.
With the start of the 2010-11 Blue Square Bet Premier season now just over two weeks away, City’s preparation for their return to the top flight of non-league football will begin to take on a more focused outlook. With triallists Yan Klukowski and Mitchell Bryant now at Forest Green Rovers and Gloucester City respectively, the latter playing against City last week, the squad that travels down to Devon to face Bideford on Saturday is likely to be close to the one that begins the season on August 14 at Hayes & Yeading United.
The Robins are about to embark on their second attempt to make the step up from Western League football to the Southern League. The club spent three seasons at the higher level between 1972 and 1975 before the expense involved and increased travelling took its toll, and they had to back drop down. However, after lifting the Premier Division crown last season – their fifth title in the last nine seasons – the club once again applied for promotion and will compete in the Southern League Division 1 South & West this forthcoming season.
Their pre-season campaign so far has largely centred on the Joma South West Challenge Cup. They were drawn in a tough group containing Scottish Premier League side Kilmarnock and npower League 2 Accrington Stanley. They faced Killie first in a game that turned out to be something of a mis-match. From the start Bideford were outclassed although it took the Scottish side 16 minutes to take the lead. Kilmarnock then missed a penalty and when the hosts showed them how it was done from twelve yards it looked like they might make a game of it. Within two minutes though Killie restored their lead and were 4-1 up by half-time. Little changed in the second period and the final scoreline of 7-1 fairly reflected the game. It would have been with some trepidation that the Robins lined up against another full-time side two days later but this time they gave a much better performance that the 5-2 defeat does not really show. So, while the competition continued (in somewhat farcical circumstances with several clubs withdrawing) they faced Plymouth Parkway in a friendly that was anything but. The Peninsula League Premier side’s physical approach saw several Bideford players leave the field injured and even though they lost 4-1 the Robins will have been relieved to finish the game without any more casualties. Their last outing saw a comfortable 3-0 win over Bickleigh with trialist forward, and former City target, Jamie Mudge netting a hat-trick.
Complete record against Bideford
The clubs have met nine times in competitive matches, including four matches when they were league rivals during Bideford’s brief Southern League spell during the 1970s. The 1972-73 season saw both games drawn as the Robins finished in a very impressive fourth place, three spots ahead of City, whose hopes of an immediate return to the Premier Division following relegation the previous year never looked likely. The next season City managed to regain their Premier Division place, finishing runners-up to Wealdstone, although they did lose by a single goal to Bideford on New Years Day before restoring their pride with a 6-1 thumping in April as they closed in on promotion. The most recent meeting between the clubs took place during the 2001-02 season in an FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round tie. City got the game started in the worst possible way when Mark Hervin conceded a 9th minute penalty and was sent off by 18-year old rookie referee Simon Knapp. With no substitute keeper, striker Adrian Foster donned the gloves but could not stop the penalty giving the visitors the lead. To their credit City came back strongly and dominated the rest of the half, drawing level two minutes before the break from Gary Powell’s 20-yard free-kick. The second half continued in the same manner but the game took another turn on 73 minutes when Mike Wyatt received a second caution to reduce City to nine men. Even after this Sam Allison managed to miss a great chance when he took too long to line up a shot into the unguarded net after rounding the keeper and the Robins finally took advantage of their numerical superiority with two goals in the closing ten minutes from Southgate and Harvey. This was City’s first defeat against a Western League side since they’d lost by the same scoreline to Frome Town during the 1984-85 season.
Having had to pull out of Tuesday night’s match at Worcester City, City will go into the game at Bideford hoping that they suffer no more injury problems as the new season fast approaches. With Luke Ruddick (hamstring), Lewis Hogg (foot), Gethin Jones (ankle) and Lee Phillips (groin) already on the treatment table, Adie Harris (quad) and Sekani Simpson (dead leg) then picked up minor knocks during training. City will hope that current joint player of the year Adam Connolly will have overcome his summer knee surgery to play some part in either this game or Tuesday’s trip to Paulton Rovers.
For the first time in their history City players will take to the field next season with names and squad numbers on their shirts and the club has announced who will be sporting which number. The full list is: 1. Ryan Robinson, 2. Sekani Simpson, 3. Jim Rollo, 4. Matt Coupe, 5. Gethin Jones, 6. Adie Harris, 7. Scott Murray, 8. Adam Connolly, 9. Darren Edwards, 10. Lee Philips, 11. Lewis Hogg, 12. Hector Mackie, 14. Danny Webb, 15. Luke Ruddick, 16. Marc Canham, 17. Terry Burton, 18. Jake Reid, 19. Joe Burnell, 20. Sido Jombati, 21. Mark Badman, 22. Gordon Rieck, 23. Kaid Mohamed.
Blue Square are delighted to announce our bluesquare.com Stewards’ Cup competition for all clubs within the three Conference divisions. Our prestigious Glorious Goodwood race will take place at 3.40pm on Saturday 31st July – Live on Channel 4. To commemorate our new three year deal to sponsor the league we have created a prize fund for clubs centered around this showpiece race. Each club in the Blue Square BET Premier, North and South has been allocated a horse in the race. If your horse wins you will receive a cheque for £2000 plus an additional amount determined by a £100 bet on that horse. So for example a 20/1 winner would yield another £2000 for the lucky team. On Thursday 29th July – the first 28 horses that intend to run (in handicap order) will be declared for the race – meaning 40 clubs will be eliminated at this stage. City’s were given Global City in the draw made yesterday, who is listed at 40/1 with Blue Square Bet.
City have pulled out of next Tuesday’s friendly against Worcester City to protect its injury hit squad. Recent signing Luke Ruddick limped out of Friday night’s match against Gloucester City with a hamstring problem to join Lewis Hogg (foot), Adie Harris (knee) and Lee Phillips (groin) in the treatment room. And with Adam Connolly and Joe Burnell still to feature this summer due to on-going injuries Adie Britton has decided a week’s rest for his squad will be more beneficial than another match. This means City will next take to the field on Saturday at Southern League newcomers Bidford (ko 3pm).
Scott Murray netted the only goal of this evening’s pre-season match against Gloucester City at Twerton Park, turning the ball home from a Jim Rollo cross on the stroke of half-time to settle the low-key encounter. The game saw Murray get 90 minutes under his belt as did Marc Canham, after missing the last four matches whilst on an FA course, however City also suffered their first injury blow of the summer when Luke Ruddick limped off with a hamstring problem ten minutes into the second half. The match itself saw Jake Reid loop a free header well wide early on and this set the tone for the first half as neither side could stamp any authority on proceedings. Several long stoppages for knocks to the visitors did not help the flow of the game and it was out of the blue when Murray struck. The second half saw City up the tempo, Hector Mackie coming more into the game and giving them greater attacking intent, and he and Murray wasted good chances to increase their lead. Gloucester huffed and puffed without ever looking especially dangerous, although keeper Terry Burton did have to push one deflected shot over the bar, and when the referee brought things to an end nobody in the small crowd seemed particularly unhappy.
City complete their home pre-season programme on Friday evening with a encounter against Blue Square Bet North side Gloucester City. The Tigers are about to embark on a second season at this level after their surprise Southern League play-off win over Farnborough Town in May 2009. Although they spent the majority of the 2009-10 campaign nervously looking over their shoulders at the drop zone a 2-0 win over Stafford Rangers in April guaranteed their safety with five games remaining. They may have hoped a second season at this level would have seen the logical swap to the Blue Square South but instead Worcester City’s move North means they will face at least another year of trips to Workington, Gainsborough and Blythe, although the anomaly of being 30 miles south of a team in the BSS has been rectified.
The new season will see the Tigers playing at their third different ‘home’ since being forced out of Meadow Park due to the floods that affected Gloucestershire in July 2007. After a year spent at Forest Green Rover’s New Lawn Stadium they switched to the Corinium Stadium in Cirencester for the last two seasons. However, Conference ground regulations meant that without around £50,000 worth of improvements – which understandably neither they nor Cirencester Town were prepared to fund – they could not remain there and continue at that level. With hopes of a new ground in Gloucester no more likely than when they were forced out of the area in 2007 the club needed a new home immediately to avoid being relegated back to the Southern League. To the dismay of some of their supporters they turned to local rivals Cheltenham Town and agreed a two-year deal to share the npower League 2 side’s Whaddon Road home. During this time it is hoped that plan to return to Meadow Park will come to fruition.
Former City striker David Mehew is in charge of the Tigers, having taken over from Tim Harris in June 2008, and recently signed a new two-year contract with the club. ‘Boris’ played 37 games for City, scoring eight times, in three separate spells. After leaving Twerton Park for the third and final time in the late 1990s he did the rounds with a number of non-league teams in the Bristol area. His assistant is another former City player in Adrian Harris who spent a month with City during the 1988-89 season having joined from Gloucester. During the close season Mehew lost the services of highly-rated right-sided player Lee Smith. He had been rumoured to be a target of City’s (although this could have easily come via the player himself if previously incidents are to be believed) but switched to their Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Forest Green Rovers. He moved quickly to replace Smith with ex-City midfielder/defender Mike Green from Weston Super Mare and also captured two former Seagulls in Tom Parrinello and goalkeeper Kevin Sawyer, returning to the club for a second spell, plus centre-back Ollie Barnes from Dorchester Town and attacking midfielder Darren Mullings. The Tigers have had a mixed pre-season so far with two draws and one defeat. They opened up with a 3-3 draw against Weston League Bitton but followed this with a 5-0 hammering by landlords Cheltenham. Last time out a free-kick five minutes from time gave them a 1-1 draw against Cinderford Town.
Complete record against Gloucester City
The two clubs have been regular league rivals since the post war years, the most recent meeting coming in March 2007 as City closed in on the Southern League Premier Division title. City came into that game on the back of ten wins in their last eleven outings, during which they’d only conceded two goals, and when they went ahead on nine minutes thanks to a Tomkins’ own goal it looked like another victory was theirs for the taking. However, a moment later keeper Paul Evans lost Alex Sykes’ hopeful punt forward in the sun and let it slip through his hands into the net. Craig Davidge restored City’s lead on 14 minutes with a stooping header only for another mistake by the home side, Chris Holland this time the culprit, to gift Gloucester another equaliser. Missing both Scott Partridge and Darren Edwards City couldn’t find another way past the visitors, who were by then happy to accept the luck they had got and settle for a point. Since then they have met twice in pre-season matches, the first shortly after the flood water had engulfed Meadow Park. The game was switched to Twerton with the gate receipts, tea bar and raffle takings all donated to the Tigers, where a Davidge double gave City a 2-0 win. Last summer City travelled up to Cirencester and won 2-1 thanks to goals from Richards Evans and Edwards.
Having reached the halfway stage of their pre-season campaign City manager Adie Britton is now looking toward their opening Blue Square Bet Premier match at Hayes & Yeading United on August 14. The signings of Jake Reid and Scott Murray during the week has almost completed the squad with just decisions on trialists Yan Klukowski and Mitchell Bryant left to make. The game should see the return of Marc Canham after he missed the last four friendies whilst completing an FA A Licence course but fellow midfielder Adam Connolly is unlikely to feature having only resumed training this week following a summer knee operation. He is pencilled in to play a part in the match at Worcester City next week. Gate receipts from the game will be shared between the two clubs.
The current Miss Bristol Amy Willerton visited Twerton Park last week to pose in City’s new kit ahead of the sponsors draw at the end of this month. She was joined in the photo shoot by City midfielder Hector Mackie. 17-year old Amy will take part in the 2010 Miss England Finals on September 1 in Birmingham, competing against 59 other girls from around the country. To view the pictures click here. The Sponsors Draw will take place on July 31 and details can be obtained through the club on 01225 423087 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
City suffered a 4-0 defeat in their fifth pre-season outing at Twerton Park this evening against npower League 1 side Exeter City. However, City matched their higher division opponents for the first hour of the game in another useful workout ahead of their maiden season in the Blue Square Bet Premier. They fell behind on just eight minutes when Logan headed past Ryan Robinson. Both sides played some neat football after this and although the visitors had the greater possession City twice went close to equalising through Kaid Mohamed before the interval. At the break City introduced Scott Murray and he immediately showed his quality with one dangerous cross that was scrambled to safety. Jake Reid then flicked a header against the bar but this was as close as City would come as the Grecians began to take control. They had spurned several openings before a close range finish from Dunne made it 2-0 on 70 minutes. Watson then curled home the pick of the evening’s goals after 82 minutes before grabbing his second and Exeter’s fourth five minutes later.
Prior to tonight’s match City confirmed that former Bristol City midfielder scott Murray has signed a one-year deal with the club.
As widely rumoured former Bristol City winger Scott Murray has been confirmed as the mystery player in talks with manager Adie Britton and he is set to make a 45 minute appearance for the club in tomorrow night’s pre-season match against Exeter City. The Aberdeen-born 36-year old made over 350 appearances for Bristol City and also had spells with Aston Villa, Reading, Cheltenham Town and Yeovil Town in a distinguished league career.
Former Team Bath and Salisbury City striker Jake Reid (pictured) has become the first of City’s summer trialists to sign a contract for the 2010-11 season. The 23-year old netted his first goal for the club in Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Almondsbury Town. However, as expected Sean Clohessy has left the club after being released from his contract. The right-back only joined from Salisbury City at the beginning of July but after signing a one-year deal he began to attract the interest of several league clubs and City agreed to cancel his contract. Today he signed a pre-contract with npower League 2 side Southend United, although he cannot finalise his Shrimpers move until a transfer embargo is lifted on the club.
City look set to pocket in the region of £35,000 after the Premier League announced a solidarity package with The Football Conference worth £6m over the next three seasons. The funding will be structured in the following way: £1.2m per season provided as funds to support all Football Conference clubs and £800,000 per season committed to a new club development fund to which all Conference clubs can apply. This follows the £1m payment made to the Football Conference during the 2009-10 season which saw Premier clubs receive £35k and North and South club £6K each.
City’s third and final pre-season meeting with Football League opponents takes place on Tuesday with Exeter City the visitors to Twerton Park. The npower League 1 side are led by Paul Tisdale who spent five seasons with City’s former tenants, the now defunct Team Bath, before being named the Grecians manager in June 2006. At the time the club were in the Football Conference having been relegated from the Football League at the end of the 2002-03 season. In 2004 the club entered a CVA and its future was in serious doubt. However, a dream FA Cup 3rd Round tie with Manchester United in January 2005, in which they drew 0-0 at Old Trafford before bowing out 2-0 in the replay, raised enough money to clear their debts by the end of that year. Tisdale (brother of former City player Peter Tisdale replaced Tottenham bound Alex Inglethorpe and took the Grecians to the play-off final in his first season in charge. They lost to Morecambe despite taking the lead but a year later returned to Wembley – beating local rivals Torquay in the semi-final – this time defeating Cambridge United by a single goal to reclaim their League 2 place. Their success continued as they finished runners-up to Brentford in the 2008-09 campaign. Last season a quick return to League 2 looked on the cards for much of the campaign but an 82nd minute goal against Huddersfield Town in the final game of the season safeguarded their survival.
Tisdale – who turned down an approach from Championship club Swansea City last month – has been busy during the summer trying to ensure there will be no repeat of this last gasp escape next year. Birmingham City goalkeeper Artur Krysiak, ex-Crewe Alexander defender Billy Jones, young winger Jake Thomson from Southampton and Blackpool striker Daniel Nardiello have all headed to Devon. They have also been boosted by the return from injury of David Noble. The midfielder missed all of last season with a cruciate knee ligament injury but Tisdale still signed him midway through his rehabilitation and hopes this faith will pay off this season. Noble and Nardiello both impressed in Exeter’s opening pre-season match, a 3-0 win over Clevedon Town, and also on the scoresheet in the game was ex-Bristol Rovers striker Jamie Cureton on trial with the Grecians. One name in the Exeter squad that may be vaguely familiar to some City fans is Bertrand Cozic after he played in the opening two pre-season matches for the club in 2002, netting in the 3-0 win over Swindon Supermarine, before dropping off the Twerton Park radar. The Frenchman subsequently played for Team Bath before joining up with Tisdale again in July 2006.
Complete record against Exeter City
Despite their relative geographical closeness the clubs have not met during pre-season but they have faced each other five times in competitive matches. The most recent of these was a Western Counties Floodlit League Cup game in the 1980-81 season in which City ran out 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Webber, Keith Brown and Bryan Wade. Exeter have the dubious honour of being the only League club that City have beaten twice in the FA Cup. The first win took place in a 5th Qualifying Round tie during the 1922-23 season – City’s second as a Southern League club and Exeter’s third in the Football League – with goals from Dick Williams and Dilly Woodward seeing them earn a trip to Barrow. 35 years later the clubs were draw together in the competition again and the result was once more 2-1 to City, Len Pickard and Gordon Boseley on target for the Romans.
City collected their second draw in 20 hours as they were held by newly promoted Almondsbury Town. The Zamaretto League Division One South/West side took the lead after five minutes when Matt Coupe brought down an opponent just inside the penalty area, the resulting penalty was coolly converted, sending Terry Burton the wrong way. Like last night, City responded almost instantly. Triallist Toby Osman avoided a couple of challenges in midfield before slipping the ball to Jake Reid. He took a touch before hitting a sweet strike across home keeper Jones. Debutant Joe White had already spurned an early opportunity, but he made no mistake second time around. Mitchell Bryant worked his way to the byline before cutting it back to White, who smashed the ball into the top corner. Reid shot just wide in City’s only other main chance of the half, Almondsbury fought back with a couple of free-kicks landing just off target. The second half started explosively when City sub Darren Edwards and a home side defender had to be separated following a 50-50 challenge, but their reactions caused referee Stuart Jack to order both from the field. After deep discussions with both managers, both players were allowed to remain on for the rest of the game. Chances were few and far between before City re-introduced White, and he made an instant impact. A neat interchange of passing ended in Jombati laying it off for White, who intelligently turned a defender and calmly drove the ball home. Almondsbury responded with what looked like a consolation goal – a superb effort from 25 yards which dipped over back-tracking Burton. The home side then shocked City by grabbing a last gasp equaliser. Former City winger Mark McKeever sent in a hanging cross which, following a bit of a scramble, was prodded home from a couple of yards. Trialist winger Rico Best made his debut for City at a second half substitute. (Thanks to Mark Stillman for the report)
City drew their latest pre-season outing 2-2 at Southern League South & West side Mangotsfield United last night. Despite fielding a strong side they twice fell behind, firstly in the opening minute when an unmarked Knighton converted from close range. This advantage lasted only a minute though as Yan Klukowski netted his second pre-season goal. Lee Phillips twice went close to putting City ahead but on 24 minutes the home side regained their advantage, poor marking allowing Page to head home a corner. On 56 minutes City once again drew level thanks to Danny Webb’s back post header from a Lewis Hogg corner and despite dominating the rest of the game they couldn’t find a winning goal, Mitchell Bryant coming the closest in the final minute only to be denied by a smart save from Greaves.
City continue the build-up to their return to the top level of non-league football with back-to-back trips to North Bristol to face Mangotsfield United tomorrow evening then Almondsbury Town on Saturday. Both games are likely to see City fielding further trialists as Adie Britton begins the task of trimming his squad down to the planned 18-19 players that will take on the task of competing in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
The meeting with Mangotsfield will see City travel to Cossham Street for the first time since April 2007 when they were on the verge of the Southern League championship. They needed a win to secure the title but were made to wait another few days after a goalless draw. This was the first stalemate in the 14 competitive meetings between the clubs, stretching back to the first clash in the FA Cup in 1974. City won that 3rd Qualifying Round match 3-1 which started a run of eight successive victories before the Mango’s won the first ever league meeting during the 2005-06 season. They have also been regular pre-season opponents with nine meetings since the late 1980’s. The last of these took place two summers ago when goals from Dave Gilroy and Stuart Douglas helped City to a 2-1 victory.
Complete record against Mangotsfield United
Since the clubs were Southern League Premier league rivals Mangotsfield have slipped back into the South & West Division following relegation at the end of the 2008-09 season, finishing in 10th place under the leadership of Phil Bater. There will be a few familiar faces in the United line-up including former City defender Scott Hendy and ex-Weston Super Mare manager Andy Gurney. The game against City will be their second summer outing after a comfortable 5-2 win against Toolstation League Division One side Roman Glass St. George.
By contrast Saturday’s match with Almondsbury will be the first time the sides have met. The Almonds are about to embark on their first season in the Southern League after winning the Hellenic League title last season. They opened their pre-season campaign on Tuesday with a 6-0 defeat against nPower League 2 side Aldershot Town.
City’s squads for the two games may include former Salisbury City forward Toby Osman and Clayton Fortune, who faced City while playing for Weston Super Mare last season and was part of the Almondsbury side who played Aldershot, alongside the number of trialists that have already played in the matches against Cardiff City and Bristol Rovers. Marc Canham is also likely to feature after being unavailable for the Rovers match but last season’s joint player of the year Adam Connolly is still a week away from a return to action after his summer knee operation.
A goal just 47 seconds into his first appearance for the club by Lee Phillips set City on their way to an impressive 2-0 win over nPower League 1 side Bristol Rovers at a showery Twerton Park this evening. He neatly converted Sido Jombati’s cross with the 1000+ crowd still finding their places and they then witnessed an entertaining first half. Both sides created several openings with Rovers’ neat passing giving City another good work out. Unlike last week’s clash with Cardiff City though City were giving as good as they got and probably shaded the first period. The Pirates made eight changes at the interval and began the second half on top but couldn’t find a way past trialist keeper Terry Burton. City then ensured the win with seven minutes left when man of the match Hector Mackie combined with Jake Reid to set up Yan Klukowski who slotted the ball past Mike Green.
City have announced a sponsorship agreement with Inter Payroll, the British payroll services provider, to take effect from the start of the 2010-11 season. The clubs’ home and away shorts will sport the Inter Payroll logo. Inter Payroll’s Chief Executive Mikael Anderson said,”We are absolutely delighted to be entering into such an important relationship with a football club with such colourful history. Bath City are all about winning and the same is true for Inter Payroll. This deal brings two leaders of their respect fields together, Bath City gives the Inter Payroll brand a truly national platform with exposure over a wide variety of distribution channels.” To view further information on their services visit www.interpayroll.co.uk.
City’s busy summer has continued with the arrival of striker Lee Phillips from Cambridge United. The 29-year old forward made his name with Weymouth, netting 33 goals in 67 appearances, before spending spells with Exeter City, Torquay United, Rushden & Diamonds and, last season, Cambridge. He was released by U’s last month and could play a part in tomorrow evening’s friendly with Bristol Rovers at Twerton Park as City continue their build up to the 2010-11 Blue Square Bet Premier season.
Former Bristol City and Wycombe Wanderers captain Joe Burnell has agreed to join City for the 2010-11 season. The 29-year old midfielder, who has also played for Northampton Town, Oxford United and Exeter City, has played over 250 Football League games and can also operate in defence. He missed a large part of last season at Exeter with a groin problem but should be ready for a return to action before the end of City’s pre-season campaign.
One summer signing who looks unlikely to remain with City is ex-Salisbury City defender Sean Clohessy. The highly-rated 23-year old signed a one-year contract last week but since then has attracted the interest of several Football League clubs and City are unlikely to stand in his way of a return to professional football.
City make their second outing of the 2010 summer when Bristol Rovers return to their former home on Wednesday evening. The match will be the Pirates opening pre-season match but City will still expect a tough encounter with Paul Trollope set to bring a strong squad to Twerton Park before they head to Scotland for a two-game tour.
Rovers are preparing for their fourth season in League 1 after returning to the third level of English football back in 2006-07. They spent much of last season on the fringes of the play-offs before finishing in 10th place. This represented their highest finish since the 1999-2000 season and they will look to be genuine play-off contenders during the forthcoming season. Trollope has had a busy summer, signing Gary Sawyer from Plymouth Argyle, Charlton midfielder Harry Pell, Fulham midfielder Wayne Brown and Watford forward Will Hoskins., and all are likely to feature against City.
Complete record against Bristol Rovers
The clubs have been regular pre-season opponents, the most recent meeting taking place last summer. A young Rovers side raced into a two-goal lead within 30 minutes thanks to a brace from Sean Rigg (he was also on target two years earlier during the last friendly). City created a number of openings to get back into the game but in the end had to settle for a late consolation when Darren Edwards fired home from a narrow angle with a couple of minutes remaining.
As in their opening pre-season match against Cardiff City, City are likely to field a number of trialists including former Forest Green Rovers goalkeeper Terry Burton, who played the second half against the Bluebirds last week. Sido Jombati and Darren Edwards are both likely to play a part in the match having returned from holiday and City will also hope Adam Connolly and Lewis Hogg can have overcome minor injuries to get their first run outs of the summer.
A goal early in each half saw City lose their opening pre-season match 2-0 to Cardiff City at Twerton Park this evening. Boothroyd put the nPower Championship side in front on just four minutes before Burke slid home a second goal shortly after the interval. The visitors also had a goal disallowed midway through the first half and were denied by several smart stops by Ryan Robinson but never looked like inflicting a heavy defeat on City, despite the obvious gap in class. City fielded 19 players, Gethin Jones, Hector Mackie and Adie Harris impressing particularly, as City lined-up in a 4-5-1 formation with trialist striker Jake Reid up front on his own. Other trialists included former Forest Green Rovers keeper Terry Burton, Yan Klukowski, Paulton Rovers’ Ben Lacey, Mitchell Bryant, ex-Reading midfielder, and Alex Kite. Mackie came closest to grabbing a goal for City with a 20 yard effort that few narrowly wide late in the first half.
City make an early start to their preparations for the 2010-11 Blue Square Bet Premier campaign at Twerton Park on Thursday (ko 7pm) with nPower Championship side Cardiff City the opposition. The Bluebirds narrowly missed out on becoming the first Welsh club to reach the Premier League last season, losing 3-2 to Blackpool in the play-off final at Wembley despite twice being in front, but will no doubt treat a pre-season clash with City as some consolation.
This narrow miss was all the more remarkable as it came against the background of a winding up order from HMRC that is still causing newspaper headlines as recently as this weekend. The club is now under the control of Malaysian owners, with Datuk Chan Tien Ghee taking over as chairman on 27 May 2010 from Peter Risdale, and they paid around £6m to stave off a previous winding-up order in June. However, an unpaid PAYE tax debt, understood to be £1.3, looks set to see them back in court next month and has seen a transfer embargo placed on the club. Although the noises coming out of the Cardiff City stadium are understandably positive this uncertainty can hardly be helping manager Dave Jones pre-season planning.
Last season saw the Bluebirds move into the newly built Cardiff City Stadium after 99 years playing at Ninian Park. The 27,000 capacity stadium, which the football club share with the City’s rugby team, the Cardiff Blues, is part of a £100m development built on the site of Cardiff Athletics Stadium. The first match to be played there was a pre-season meeting with Celtic in July 2009 and it has already hosted international football with Wales meeting Scotland last November.
Complete record against Cardiff City
City have faced Cardiff three times in competitive matches, once in the Welsh Cup and twice in the FA Cup, although they regularly met the Bluebirds reserve side in the Southern and Western League between the 1st and 2nd World Wars. The most recent meeting took place in November 1992 when City produced one of their biggest giant-killing acts thanks to goals from Graham Withey, Jerry Gill and Deion Vernon giving them a 3-2 win. The sides have been frequent Twerton Park pre-season opponents in recent years, although not since 2006 when a Lewis Hogg goal earned City a 1-1 draw. The previous meeting two years before had also finished level ending a run of four wins for the Welsh club. The biggest of these came in 1999 when Cardiff ran out 8-3 winners. They had taken the lead on five minutes but Martin Paul, Mark Harrington and Mike Davis all struck to put City 3-1 up. The visitors pulled a goal back just before the interval and then went on to net six goals without reply in the second half, inflicting an embarrassing defeat on Paul Bodin’s side.
Manager Adie Britton is likely to field a 20 or 21 man squad for the game with new signings Sean Clohessy, Danny Webb, Luke Ruddick and Marc Canham all set to make their first appearance in City colours. A number of trialists are also expected to feature including former Bristol Rovers youngsters, striker Joe White and defender Alex Kite.
Sean Clohessy has become City’s fourth summer signing after switching to Twerton Park from Salisbury City. The right-sided defender joins former teammates Danny Webb and Luke Ruddick in moving from the demoted Wiltshire club. After beginning his career as a trainee with Arsenal the 23-year old spent four seasons with Gillingham, where he made 43 first team appearances. He joined Salisbury in May 2009 after a successful loan spell there the previous season but after they were thrown out the Blue Square Premier for financial reasons he choose to remain at that level with City.
Today’s publication of the 2010-11 Blue Square Bet Premier fixtures has given City a low-key start for their return to the top level of non-league football with a trip to Hayes & Yeading United on Saturday 14 August. Fittingly though it will see City return to Church Road where they played their last away game at this level back in April 1996. Three days later they will begin their Twerton Park campaign with the visit of Rushden & Diamonds before York City become the second former Football League club to travel to Bath on the Saturday. City’s Christmas and New Year opponents are Blue Square South champions Newport County and they will finish the regular season with a home game against Mansfield Town on Saturday 30 April. For the full fixture list click on the Results & Fixtures link above.