City lost 3-1 to Burnley at Mayday Trust Park this evening in a game that will largely be remembered for two bizarre goals on the hour mark. The visitors led through a 56th minute Treacy goal when, after play was stopped for an injury to Burnley’s Trippier, Adie Harris inadvertantly lobbed the dropped ball restart over stunned keeper Jenson. The referee correctly awarded the goal but sportingly City allowed the Championship side to walk the ball into the net from the kick-off, although not before Jason Mellor had blocked Porter’s first effort. The rest of the game saw Burnley dominate and but for some wasteful finishing they could have won be a greater margin. To their credit City defended well despite the considerable pressure, making the full-time side work hard for their openings, and they could have grabbed a surprise lead just before the break when Sekani Simpson’s volley flew straight into the arms of Jenson. When the breakthrough goal arrived it came from a low skidding shot that Mellor will have been disappointed not to stop. After the exchange of goals, and with both sides having made wholesale changes, the game lost some of its fluency before the Clarets finished strongly, grabbing a deserved third from Wallace’s well-struck shot in the final minute.
Tomorrow evening sees City play their highest profile pre-season match of the summer when npower Championship side Burnley visit Mayday Trust Park. The Clarets will face Adie Britton’s men as part of their pre-season tour of the South-West before taking on Cheltenham Town on Saturday. With a 24-man first team squad making the journey down from the North-West the game will be a tough examination for City as the 2012-13 Blue Square Bet South season begins to hove into view, with the opening day trip to Welling United less than three weeks away.
As founder members of the Football League in 1888 Burnley have twice been crowned champions in 1920-21 and 1959-60. They also reached the European Cup quarter-finals in 1961 and it was between the end of World War II and the early 1970s that the club enjoyed its greatest success with a long uninterrupted spell in the top flight, alongside two FA Cup appearances. Relegation in 1970-71 ended this Division 1 stint and, although they bounced back two seasons later, this heralded a steady decline that culminated with the club coming within one game of losing their league status in 1987. Only a final day win over Leyton Orient – combined with defeat for Lincoln City – meant they wouldn’t be joining City in the Vauxhall Conference. No doubt driven by this close escape the Clarets began to climb back up through the divisions during the 1990s and 2000s and in 2009 they returned to the top fight after a 33-year absence thanks to a single goal win over Sheffield United in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium. Wins over Manchester United and Everton in their first two home games got the 2009-10 season off to a great start but it was their away form that was causing concern and they would pick up just four points on their travels. Their hopes were not helped when manager Owen Coyle left in January 2010 to join local rivals Bolton Wanderers and they were relegated back to the Championship after just one season. Despite being amongst the pre-season favourites Burnley finished the 2010-11 campaign in eighth place before another mid-table placing last season, this time 13th.
Burnley have enjoyed a good start to their pre-season campaign with wins over Altrincham and Bury. The opening match at Moss Lane against City’s former Conference rivals finished 4-1 to the Clarets with Austin (2), Ings and McCann on target. They were given a much sterner test by League 1 side Bury with only Ings’ goal eight minutes from time separating the sides. Burnley began the summer losing top scorer Jay Rodriguez to Premier League new boys Southampton in a deal reportedly worth around £7m. Since then manager Eddie Howe has brought in defender Luke O’Neill from Mansfield Town for an undisclosed fee, Leyton Orient winger George Porter, defender Jason Shackell from Derby County for a fee thought to be around £1.1m and Joseph Mills on loan from another of the Premier League newcomers, Reading.
Although this will be Burnley’s first meeting with City, they did twice visit Twerton Park in the 1990s to face Bristol Rovers. In 1993 they suffered a 3-1 defeat, Russell netting their consolation goal, then two years later a single Gareth Taylor goal was enough to send the Clarets back north pointless. Howe is likely to field 23 of his 24 man squad, Marvin Bartley the absent player due to an ankle injury he picked up in training. Adie Britton’s line-up will once again include several triallists as he looks to add the final touches to his squad ahead of August 18.
A City squad consisting mainly of development squad players travelled to Shepton Mallet yesterday and lost to a single goal three minutes from time. The Toolstation League Division 1 side, managed by City’s former Director of Football Andy Jones, enjoyed the better of a scrappy first half at Mallet’s Playing Field Ground, going closest midway through the half when Thorne forced a good stop from keeper Jason Mellor. The second half was more entertaining, City going close on several occasions before they failed to clear an 87th minute cross allwoing Willmott to fire home from 15 yards.
Marley Watkins has signed for Blue Square Bet Premier Hereford United after trialling with them for a few weeks. At the end of last season, City offered him a further deal, but Marley later expressed his wish to play full time football if he could find a club to take him on. As he is under 24 and was offered a continuance of contract, Marley is still registered to City for the upcoming season. Before he went on trial for Hereford, they were told in writing what City would require in compensation in terms of an up front fee and sell on clause were they to sign him. They acknowledged this, and agreed in further dialogue that what was being asked was very reasonable and would not be an issue were they to choose to sign Marley. However, the offer they have now made is nowhere near the amount previously discussed, so City have no option but to reject it, and go to tribunal, unless a more acceptable offer is made between now and the tribunal date. Marley wants to emphasise how much he has loved playing at Bath City, and the club genuinely wishes him all the best in his future career.
City have signed 20-year old left-back Danny Ball after he impressed during City’s opening pre-season games. A product of the Ashton Gate side’s acadamy he signed a professional contract in 2010. Despite an injury-disrupted 2010-11 season he had this contract twice extended until the end of last season when he was released by the Robins. Ball said, “I would like to thank Bath City, and especially Adie [Britton], for bringing me to the club after showing their interest in me. I aim to repay the faith they have shown in me and am looking forward to proving myself by helping the club to have a successful season.”
Charlie Griffin netted his second pre-season goal this evening as City were held to a 1-1 draw by Cirencester Town at a warm and sunny Corinium Stadium. He fired past Centurion’s keeper Bath on 32 minutes, after an excellent cross from triallist Kerry Morgan. This cancelled out Collier’s fortunate 7th minute opener for the home side when his header was parried by Glyn Garner only to rebound back off the striker into the net. City dominated the game against the Southern League Division 1 South & West side for long periods with Josh Klein-Davies going close on several occasions after the interval. City’s line-up included former Bristol City and Darlington left-back Aaron Brown, who almost signed for the club last season following the financial troubles of the North East club.
City’s next pre-season outing will be the Development squad’s trip to Shepton Mallet on Saturday before the first team is in action again when Championship side Burnley visit Mayday Trust Park on Tuesday 31 July (ko 7.30pm).
Following Saturday’s double-header against Cinderford Town and Odd Down that belatedly got City’s pre-season campaign up and running, tomorrow night sees Adie Britton’s squad travel up the A46 to continue their preparation for the 2012-13 season against Cirencester Town. Having fielded two (almost) entirely separate squads in the two previous games, comprising first team, development squad and Academy players, plus a number of triallists, it is likely to be a more streamlined group that travels to the Corinium Stadium, which may include Marc Canham and Jason Mellor who were both unavailable at the weekend.
The Centurions endured a difficult 2011-12 season which culminated with relegation back to the Southern League Division 1 South & West. A heavy opening day defeat to St Albans City set the tone for the season and, as they suffered a series of injury blows, just one win in their first fourteen league outings left them rooted to the foot of the Southern League Premier Division. Their fate was sealed with a 1-0 home loss to fellow strugglers in early April. The end of their two-season Premier Division spell saw chairman Steve Abbley consider stepping down following 16 years at the helm or returning the club to the Hellenic League to reduce the costs of travelling, paying the officials and playing budget. He openly admitted that he had failed to interest the town of Cirencester in Southern League football but, after a meeting shortly after relegation was confirmed, the club agreed to remain at that level with a revised budget.
The meeting with City will see the Centurions making their third outing of the summer and the first two have promisingly both ended in victory. They opened with a meeting with a young Forest Green Rovers side at the Corinium Stadium. After Kerry Morgan – who featured for City at Odd Down on Saturday – struck the bar from a free-kick for the visitors early on, Cirencester went ahead on 26 minutes through Parker’s crisply struck shot from 15 yards. Rovers levelled after 58 minutes when Morgan’s cross was headed home by Moore but the Centurions were not to be denied and six minutes later Allard netted after keeper Brown spilled a cross. On Saturday they made the short trip to Fairford Town and immediately carried on where they left off against Forest Green, controlling the opening 15 minutes, culminating in Shepherd heading them in front. Just another eight minutes passed before Mortimer-Jones made it 2-0. Although they created further chances this was the final score in a second impressive performance.
Complete record against Cirencester Town
The Corinium Stadium has been a frequent destination for City in recent years, either in pre-season or during the three years they were Southern League rivals between 2004 and 2007. In fact, they twice visited the ground during the 2009 close season, first to face Cirencester then former tenants Gloucester City. The former match ended 2-1 to the hosts, as the teams exchanged goals in the first-half thanks to goalkeeping errors, triallist Aaron Cornwall on target for City, before a strike early in the second half settled the result. Prior to that the clubs have met three times in pre-season, with Jerry Gill, Mark Harrington and Stuart James all on target in the 3-1 win at the Corinium Stadium in 1997. A year later at Twerton Park City ran out 4-0 winners, Graham Colbourne registering a hat-trick and Jimmy Fraser also on the score-sheet. The 2003 encounter was marred by an ankle break suffered by City midfielder Iain Harvey. It was an innocuous challenge near the centre-circle that caused the injury midway through the first half. City had led at that point thanks to a stunning volley by Steve Bridges only to concede four times after the break to cap a poor night for the team.
City’s second match of the day ended in a 1-1 draw at a warm and sunny Lew Hill Memorial Ground this afternoon against Western League Odd Down. The starting XI included four first team players, Jim Rollo, Gethin Jones, Adie Harris and Luke Cummings, alongside a number of Academy youngsters, Development squad players and triallists, including former Newport County winger Kerry Morgan. The first half was light on golamouth action as both sides tried to knock the ball around on the heavily grassed surface. The major incident of the opening 45 minutes saw a flare up between the sides but once order was restored the game reached half-time goalless. Within six minutes of the restart though the hosts went ahead when City failed to deal with a low ball across the box. City suffered a further blow as Gethin Jones limped off with a knee injury picked up in the build-up to the goal. Understandly boosted by the goal the Down created several chances to extend their lead but with 15 minutes left Will Hailstone shot home from a narrow angle to level the scores. The home side could have won the game late on but for an excellent save by Academy keeper Lewis Pierre and several last ditch blocks in the follow-up.
City opened their 2012 pre-season campaign with a 4-1 win over Cinderford Town in a behind closed doors friendly at Mayday Trust Park this morning. Ahead of their second game at Odd Down in the afternoon City fielded a strong starting XI comprising mainly first team players along with Noah Keats from the development squad and two young triallists, Danny Ball and Giani Kapika. It took just ten minutes for City to go ahead, Charlie Griffin heading home a corner and twelve minutes later fellow new signing Josh Low burst through the visitors backline to round the keeper and walk the ball into the unguarded net. The third goal came just after the half hour mark as Adam Connolly produced a stunning 30-yard dipping shot before Cinderford pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time. Glyn Garner was forced into an excellent close range block early in the second half as the pace of the game understandably began to slow. Another triallist Josh Klein-Davies – back at City after a short loan spell in 2008 – spurned a great chance on the hour but the former Bristol Rovers striker was on target two minutes from time, holding off several defenders to slot home and complete the scoring.
City will belatedly begin their preparations of the 2012-13 season tomorrow with a behind closed doors match at Mayday Trust Park in the morning before making the short trip to the southern edge of Bath to face Western League Odd Down in the afternoon. City will field a different squad in both games, comprising of the first team, U21 development and Academy players, plus a number trialists.
Despite their close proximity the afternoon game will be the first pre-season encounter between City and the Down since 1995, although they did meet in an eventful Somerset Premier Cup tie in November 2002. Odd Down are currently in the Premier Division of the Toolstation Western League having won promotion from Division 1 in 2009-10 when they finished runners-up to Wells City. Under the leadership of former City reserve team manager Lee Burns they have enjoyed two top ten finishes back in the Premier Division. They began their pre-season campaign with an impressive 1-0 win over Southern League Paulton Rovers last Monday, Simpson netting the decisive goal just before the interval, in a game spoilt by a high wind and heavy pitch.
Complete record against Odd Down AFC
The aforementioned Somerset Premier Cup game remains the only competitive meeting so far between the clubs. City came into the 2nd Round tie on the back of a long wasted journey to Grantham Town the previous Saturday and fielded a strong starting XI. After a goalless first half, largely thanks to a series of excellent stops by Down keeper Westlake, City went ahead on 66 minutes through a Jim Rollo header. In control of the game now it took several more fine saves from Westlake to deny City and suddenly two goals in the space of a minute turned the game on its head, Wilson shooting home from close range and Whitecliffe firing a stunning volley past Mark Bryant. City then produced two quick fire goals of their own through Andy Mintern and Jason Eaton in the final five minutes but a minute later Whitecliffe struck again to take the game into extra-time. Westlake continued to perform heroics in the home goal, a penalty save from Eaton the highlight and with just two minutes City failed to deal with a Thomas free-kick and Wilson stabbed home the winning goal. Ironically Odd Down’s next fixture was against City’s reserve side and, with no first team fixture, manager Adam Pridham sent out an almost identical side, which this time comfortably beat the hosts 6-1, although not before they had gone a goal down. The three pre-season encounters, all during the mid-1990s, saw City run out winners on each occasion.
In light of the cancellation of the Friday night’s pre-season friendly against Crystal Palace, City have now confirmed their playing arrangements for the weekend. They will now be playing two matches on Saturday 21 July, one a closed door practice match in the morning at MayDay Trust Park, followed by a pre-season friendly at Western League Odd Down AFC (ko 3pm) where all supporters are welcome. A mixture of academy boys, development squad, triallists and first team will be present at both games.
Following a long conversation between City chairman Manda Rigby and Crystal Palace today, the club has accepted the Eagles sincere apologies for the late withdrawal from Friday’s pre-season friendly and their reasons for doing so. To make up for costly cancellation Palace have agreed to send a strong first team to Mayday Trust Park to face City during the 2012-13 season, and provide possible assistance with loan players during the campaign. With the financial impact of the cancellation mitigated by the actions of Palace, City are now attempting to get the footballing side of pre season back on track, urgently searching for opposition to replace the fixture. Any news will be posted on this site, Facebook and Twitter as soon as it is available.
Joe Burnell has agreed to a new deal to remain with City for the 2012-13 season, adding much needed versatility to the squad. The former Bristol City skipper joined City during the summer of 2010 having made over 250 appearances for the Robins. Injury restricted the 31-year old to just 21 starts during the 2010 campaign but last season was a first-team regular, playing in both midfield and the centre of defence. This versatility will be vital for the Romans during the forthcoming season with budget restrictions likely to see a much reduced size of squad. Joe said, “I am really delighted to be with Bath again next season, having thoroughly enjoyed my time with the club, both with staff and fans, and hope for a successful 2012-13 season.”
Two players who finished the 2011-12 season with City could remain in the Blue Square Bet Premier after playing for Hereford United at the weekend. Marley Watkins and Andy Gallinagh both featured for the Bulls in the 1-1 draw against Yeovil Town, with the former particularly impressing.
City have had their pre-season campaign disrupted before it even started and face losing up to £6000 after Crystal Palace pulled out of Friday night’s match at Mayday Trust Park. The Eagles were due to face Adie Britton’s men on their return to London following a Devon-based training camp, but poor weather in the South West disrupted these plans and saw them head home today. However, rather than agree to return to Bath to fulfil the commitment the Championship side are now looking for a fixture nearer home on the same night. With City hoping for a crowd of around 600 for the the game, in addition to turning down two functions at the ground plus another potential high profile friendly, the decision by Palace will see them miss out on around £6000 that they can ill-afford in their current financial position. And the short-notice cancellation means City are unlikely to be able to find alternative opposition which will have a major impact on Adie Britton’s pre-season plans. City are now likely to open their pre-season at Cirecnester Town on Tuesday 24 July (ko 7.45pm).
One of City’s most impressive performers during the closing months of last season has committed himself to the club, with centre-back Mark Preece agreeing a new one-year deal. The former Bristol Rovers trainee joined City last summer from Mansfield Town but struggled to hold down a regular first team place and spent a month on loan with Weston Super Mare toward the end of 2011. However, on his return to Twerton Park his form improved and he was ever-present for the final three months of the season. Preece said, “I am really looking forward to next season and want to get us back to the Conference Premier.” And Adie Britton added. “I’m very pleased with Preece in pre-season, his levels of fitness are considerably better than last year and we should see the quality of player he was prior to his operation at Mansfield. His aerial ability will be key for us.”
City have signed experienced striker Charlie Griffin as they continue to build their squad for the forthcoming 2012-13 Blue Square Bet South season. The Bath born 33-year old began his career with Wiltshire neighbours Chippenham Town before enjoying successful spells with Woking, Forest Green Rovers, Newport County, Salisbury City and Stevenage, who he helped to promotion to the Football League in 2010. He also played in the Football League for Swindon Town and Wycombe Wanderers. Manager Adie Britton said, “Charlie has always scored goals and gives us options in our forward play. We can give him the environment to get the best out of him.” And Charlie added, “I am very pleased to have signed for Bath City. After speaking with Adie, I knew it was the right move for me, the club is ambitious and I am really looking forward to next season for what it will bring the club, and the opportunity it gives to me.” Charlie is to be sponsored by the Bath City Supporters Club.
Paul Stonehouse, who was released by City at the end of last season, has joined newly promoted Conference North side Oxford City, where he will team up with another of City’s squad from last season, Jamie Cook.
City’s Youth team have been drawn away to Cheltenham Saracens in the Preliminary Round of the 2012-13 FA Youth Cup. The match will take place the week commencing Monday 3 September.
The strategy document recently released by City highlighted the increasing need for more volunteer help on match days and at other times during the week. There is already a team of supporters who help with maintenance and repairs at the ground, help in the office and perform various duties on match days and it is hoped to extend this during the coming months. A skills bank database is being set up of supporters who would be willing to volunteer their time in any of the following areas.
In the office
- temporary cover due to absence
- extra help with fronting the office on matchdays
- an experienced book keeper
Assisting with the Bath City Lotto – many members pay with a local agent or at a participating newsagent or pub and the club is looking for someone who can collect the money from these outlets.
Telephone selling – this would probably be suited to someone with prior experience, who could be based either at the club or at home.
- someone to host visitors to the board room and sponsors lounge
- programme sellers
- turnstile operators
- the club mascot, Bladud, is at present looking rather forlorn and we are desperately searching for someone willing to don his costume and continue his fine work of previous seasons!
- filming of matches, as the regular cameraman may not always be present
Official guide – there are frequent requests to the club for a tour of the ground, such as from school groups and visitors to the city, and someone carrying out this role would release office staff from the duty.
The club is looking for volunteers who will be committed, reliable and flexible. Many of the above tasks would require some initial training provided by the club, possibly in the form of shadowing someone already carrying out the task. And there maybe supporters who have particular skills in other areas which they feel they could volunteer. If you think you can assist the club in any way or have any questions about the roles, please contact Martin Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ahead of their first full season, City’s U21 Development squad will play two pre-season friendlies, both against local Toolstation Western League opposition. The University of Bath based side will make the short journey to Premier Division Odd Down on Saturday 21 July before heading to Somerset a week later to face Division 1 club Shepton Mallet. Both games kick off at 3pm.
With less than two weeks until the first pre-season match, City have added another piece to their squad with captain Gethin Jones committing himself to the club for the 2012-13 capmapign. The 30-year old defender joined City in June 2005 and is now only four games short of becoming just the 20th player to make 300 appearances for the Romans. Jones said, “I love this club, I love the fans, I love everything about it and couldn’t leave without putting right the wrongs of last season”. Manager Adie Britton added, “Geth has been with us for 7 years and has experience of helping us win promotions. I am delighted he has joined us again”.
City will begin life back in the Blue Square Bet South with a trip to Kent to face last season’s defeated play-off finalist Welling United following the publication of the 2012-13 fixture list today. They will then face successive home games against two sides who endured a difficult 2011-12 season, Maidenhead United and Havant & Waterlooville, the former only avoiding relegation due to the demotion of Kettering Town to the Southern League. The Christmas and New Year period will see renewed rivalry with Weston Super Mare and Dorchester Town, before they complete the regular season at Mayday Trust Park against another 2011-12 play-off side, Sutton United. For the full fixture list click on the Results & Fixtures link above.