|Young Swans inflict first pre-season defeat on City (30/7/13)
City’s run of pre-season draws was ended this evening when a youthful Swansea City side struck twice in the closing 20 minutes to run out 3-2 winners. City shaded an entertaining first half and lead at the interval thanks to Dan Ball’s header from a Ross Stearn corner on 23 minutes. At the break ex-Roman striker Jake Reid was introduced but it was the visitors who drew level through Donelly within three minutes of the restart. Just eight minutes passed before City regained the lead though, Ben Addlesbury’s looping header finding the net. Josh Low then spurned two great openings to increase the advantage, twice racing clear on goal, only for keeper Zabret to block his first effort before the midfielder lifted the second chance over the bar. The same player then saw a shot come back off the foot of the post before Bray made it 2-2 with 18 minutes left. And it was the Premier League team who snatched the win eight minutes from time thanks to Donelly’s second goal.
City face a Premier League side for the first time since the summer of 2000 when Swansea City head down the M4 on Tuesday evening. Thirteen years ago Southampton provided the Twerton Park opposition for Nicky Brooks’ benefit match, with Graham MacLean putting the home side in front before the Saints fought back with goals either side of the interval to run out 2-1 winners. The Swans are sending an U21 side to Mayday Trust Park to give City another tough test with the 2013-14 Skrill South campaign less than three weeks away.
The 2012-13 season was without doubt Swansea’s most successful ever. Having returned to the top flight a year earlier for the first time since 1982-83 – becoming the first Welsh club to play in the Premier League since its formation in 1992 in the process – they finished in 9th place. However, it was in the Capital One Cup where the Swans secured the first major trophy in their 101-year history. Having beaten fellow Premier League sides Liverpool and Chelsea on the way to the final they met League 2 outsiders Bradford City at Wembley Stadium. The Bantam’s had dumped Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa out of the competition but there was no storybook ending to their run as they were outclassed by Michael Laudrup’s side, as reflected in the final score of 5-0. The win also earned the Welsh side a place in the Europa League – another first for the club – though they have been handed a tough draw against 16 times Swedish champions Malmo. The first leg of the 3rd Qualifying Round tie takes place at the Liberty Stadium this coming Thursday.
Swansea’s Under-21 side are managed by former Swans midfielder Kristian O’Leary, who made nearly 300 appearances for the club between 1995 and 2010. He has seen his young squad play four pre-season games, opening with a 4-2 win at Cinderford Town. This was followed by a 4-0 defeat against their counterparts from West Ham United before a Port Talbot side – including ex-City captain Gethin Jones – inflicted a second defeat thanks to two second half goals. On Saturday they travelled to the West Country to face Southern League side Chippenham Town. The Bluebirds also fielded a number of former Romans in Adie Harris, Iain Harvey, Lee Phillips and Leon Jeanne, and it was the latter who set up an equalising goal on 27 minutes to cancel out Swansea’s early strike. However, it was the visitors who grabbed the victory right on 90 minutes, a result they will be hoping to repeat in Bath on Tuesday.
Complete record against Swansea Town Reserves
City have met Swansea once before in a friendly match, although unusually it took place midway through the 2001-02 campaign rather than during pre-season. The game took place in early January and goals from Graham MacLean and Adrian Foster saw City run out 2-0 winners. The only competitive encounters took place between the two world wars when City and Swansea Town (as they were then known) Reserves were league rivals for four seasons. The Swans second string side proved far too strong for City though, winning seven and drawing one of the eight meetings, scoring 22 goals to City’s five.
City’s development squad friendly against Odd Down at Combe Hay Lane on Monday 29 July has been postponed.
The football academy is still looking for talented 16-18 year olds to join the Bath City Football Academy at Writhlington School. The academy offers players/students the opportunity to develop as players as well as academically. The full curriculum is open to all students, so A levels, as well as sport courses are available to academy players. Football academy players will train for 10-12 hours a week and play in the South West Counties Youth League on Saturdays. The scheme has been running for four years and has grown better and stronger each year. Four former academy players are now on the Performance course at Bath University and four of the current youth team are training with the first team. The growth and development of the academy has seen huge progress with many of the youth team regularly involved with the Under 21 squad, which forms a natural pathway from the youth team to the first team.
Pre season begins on July 24th, so if you want to be part of the future of Bath City please contact Billy Clark on 07968 086836 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Football Conference takes great pleasure in announcing its new Title Sponsor for the next three seasons – global online payment company Skrill. The newly named leagues will now be known as The Skrill Premier, The Skrill North and The Skrill South. Headquartered in London, and with a customer base worldwide in excess of 35million, Skrill leads the way in global online payments. Individuals and businesses can pay and get paid globally with Skrill. Customers can also send and receive money worldwide in 200 countries and 40 currencies, securely and at low cost, without revealing their personal financial details. Skrill is an online payment company but does not offer credit or loans. You can find out more by visiting www.skrill.com.
Brian Lee, Chairman of the Football Conference commented on the signing of contracts “With the new season fast approaching, we are pleased to welcome Skrill. Patience has been the key element throughout negotiations by those members of the Board tasked with finding a new Title Sponsor. Everyone at the Football Conference has been confident one would be secured. Throughout the whole process, the most important factor was to make the right decision, not only to safeguard all that is good about our competition but the chosen sponsor possesses the qualities we seek after a long line of previous trusted partners. We were mindful we needed a company displaying an image and work ethos which suits the modern game, our clubs and their sponsors, whilst not forgetting our ever growing number of supporters. We sincerely believe we have found such a company in Skrill. May I personally welcome them on behalf of our membership”
On behalf of Skrill, Siegfried Heimgaertner, President and CEO Skrill Group was enthusiastic to be joining such a well known brand in the English game. He said: “At Skrill we believe in bringing access and opportunities to our customers. Whether it’s paying businesses or transferring funds to family and friends our service is quick and great value for money – the two things that we think embody the Football Conference. By teaming up with the Football Conference we want to bring non-league football to more fans and enable them to support and access their local team in new and exciting ways. In our view the Football Conference is the most dramatic league in the UK and we are proud to be its title sponsor for the next three seasons.”
Brian Lee concluded by stating; ”Skrill is a worldwide brand. I am sure they will during their time as Title Sponsor become well known throughout the game, let alone the Football Conference. Skrill join us at a very exciting time, with a host of other new sponsors, corporate and affiliate; and we are positive Skrill will attract other brand names who wish to be part of our ever growing football family. I am excited for our member clubs that we are able to deliver what we as a Board promised. Now I ask our clubs in turn to embrace Skrill and work with them.”
An equaliser twelve minutes from time denied City victory this evening as they drew their third pre-season outing against a Bristol City Under-21 side. After a bright opening from the Robins, City enjoyed the better of the first half, Mark Preece heading a corner narrowly wide before Ross Stearn crossed for David Pratt to head home on 17 minutes. Stearn was a constant menance for City, with Pratt and Andy Watkins also causing the youthful visitors problems with their pace and movement. However, City couldn’t add to the scoring and as the second half progressed the Robins began pose a greater attacking theat. Jason Mellor had produced several good stops but on 78 minutes he couldn’t keep out Ewagnignon’s low shot.
City have added a third pre-season outing for their development squad. They will take on Odd Down at Combe Hay Lane on Monday 29 July (ko 7.45pm).
On the back of two very promising performances against Bristol Rovers and Plymouth Argyle, holding the npower League 2 duo to deserved draws, City’s third summer outing sees a Bristol City XI side visit Mayday Trust Park. The Robins are likely to field a mixture of Academy and Youth players, which may see the return of popular former City midfielder Marc Canham. The 30-year old spent three seasons with the club before ending that spell in April 2013 to concentrate on his coaching role at Bristol City’s Academy.
The 2012-13 season was one that everyone connected to the Ashton Gate club will want to forget. After coming desperately close to claiming a place in the Premier League in 2008 – losing the play-off final by a single goal to Hull City – they suffered progressively lower Championship finishes. This culminated in finishing rock bottom back in May to end a six-year run in the second tier of English football. Midway through the season former Republic of Ireland international midfielder Sean O’Driscoll took over as manager and a run of five wins and two draws in ten games briefly raised hopes that they could avoid the drop. However, they could not maintain this improvement and a 1-0 defeat to Birmingham City confirmed their fate with three games remaining. O’Driscoll was handed the task of restoring the Robin’s Championship place and his first move of the close season was to sign Arsenal teenager Jordan Wynter, before capturing defender Aden Flint from local rivals Swindon Town. Republic of Ireland Under-21 defender Derrick Williams became the third summer arrival at Ashton Gate when he switched from Aston Villa.
Complete record against Bristol City/Bristol City Reserves
Unlike their rivals from the blue half of Bristol, City have not been regular pre-season callers to Mayday Trust Park, although the last game was just two years ago. Despite the visitors having played the previous evening they fielded a strong side but a single goal from former Robins legend Scott Murray was enough to give City a morale-boosting win. The last competitive encounter between the clubs was a Somerset Premier Cup tie in November 2001 that City edged by a single Iain Harvey goal after extra-time at a bitterly cold Ashton Gate but it is the two-game 2nd Round FA Cup tie back in 1986 that remains the biggest meeting. In front of over 10000 fans at Ashton Gate, City were under the cosh for long periods but as the game reached the closing minutes they were only a single goal down. Up popped Paul Bodin to write his name into City history with a stunning volley from a Dave Payne cross that earned City a money-spinning replay. Unfortunately City were unable to stage this replay at Twerton Park and three days later they returned to Ashton Gate. This time there were no such heroics and a disputed penalty plus two late goals gave the Robins a 3-0 victory.
Mayday Trust Park saw another League 2 side held on Tuesday evening as City and Plymouth Argyle played out an entertaining goalless draw. Both sides struck the frame of the goal on several occasions, City as early as the opening minute when a mistake by Branston allowed Andy Watkins a clear sight of goal only for his shot to strike the left-hand post. The opening exchanges were dominated by City, Watkins twice going close and Noah Keats seeing a goalbound shot blocked, Will Hailston firing the rebound over the bar. As the half progressed Argyle came more into the game, John bringing the first save out out of Jason Mellor. A flurry of half-time substitutions by both teams preceded the Devon side’s best spell of the game. This culminated with Hourihane firing a 61st minute shot against the foot of the post and Nelson crashing the rebound against the bar from 12 yards. After this escape the game was more evenly balanced, in fact it was City (now fielding a completely different XI to the one that started the game) who finished the stronger, McCormick saving well from Lewis Shipp and Dave Pratt before Dan Ball looked to have won it for the Romans, rounding the keeper only to see his shot cleared off the line.
City are back in action on Tuesday evening for their second pre-season outing, with Plymouth Argyle heading up from Devon to give Lee Howell’s squad another stern test. Having produced an impressive performance against fellow npower League 2 side Bristol Rovers last week, goals from new signings Ross Stearn and Andy Watkins earning them a deserved 2-2 draw, City will hope for a similar showing as they continue the early stages of the their build-up to the 2013-14 season.
In common with the Pirates, Plymouth are coming off a difficult 2012-13 campaign where they only avoided dropping into the Football Conference on its final day. Despite a 1-0 defeat at Rochdale, they finished in 21st place, a single point above the relegation zone. As recently as the 2007-08 season the Pilgrims were a top half Championship club. However, successive relegations between 2009 and 2011, during which they also went into administration, saw them back in the bottom tier of the Football League for the first time since 1996.
Manager John Sheridan, who joined the club in January 2013 and signed a new three-year contract in May, has been already been busy this summer looking to arrest the club’s slide, signing goalkeeper Luke McCormick from Oxford United and ex-Oldham Athletic striker Lewis Alessandra. He also twice turned to Yeovil Town, bringing forward Reuben Reid back to the club on a season long loan, the 24-year old having spent the final part of last season at Home Park, and midfielder Dominic Blizzard in on a free transfer. Plymouth began their pre-season campaign at Tiverton Town yesterday, triallist Warren Feeney netting the only goal of the game just after half-time.
Complete record against Plymouth Argyle
The match will be the first friendly clash between the clubs since they played out a goalless draw in July 1992, but the most famous meetings came in the FA Cup during the 1977-78 season. City’s poor recent record in the competition – they hadn’t reached the 1st Round proper in eleven years and gone out at the first stage the previous two seasons – meant they began at the preliminary stage. However, wins over Taunton Town, Bridport, Swaythling Athletic (after a replay), Dorchester Town and Merthyr Tydfil earned them a home tie with the Pilgrims. This was their first meeting with a league side since it was a regular occurance during the 1960s. City came into the game unbeaten in 19 matches and, in front of over 8000 fans in Twerton Park, held the Third Division side to a goalless draw. As so often in the FA Cup, though, City’s best chance was gone and Plymouth ran out comfortable 2-0 winners in the replay three days later.
Bath City Football Club has teamed up with BBC Radio Bristol & Somerset to raise money for CLIC Sargent with a charity football match on Sunday 21st July. The main event is a football match between BBC Radio Bristol & Somerset XI vs Curo Housing XI, kicking off at 1pm followed by an auction. The BBC’s team is made up of sports presenters Geoff Twentyman and Richard Hoskin, with a helping hand from former Bristol Rovers striker David Mehew, and Bristol’s television chef Dean Edwards.
The Curo football team play matches against other Social Landlords and Curo Suppliers such as Touchstone Property, Taylor Wimpey and Merlin Housing Society as a Social event mainly. However when Darren Scadding’s 3 year old son, George, was Diagnosed with Cancer in June 2012 they looked at raising funds for CLIC Sargent who have provided a support network for the family and worked closely with Bristol Children’s Hospital. After a long battle George passed away on the 15th January 2013 and so a fund was set up in his name, where they have currently £6.5k and their target of £10k.
The money raised will go to charity very close to the staff at Curo. CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. They provide clinical, practical and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. Kiren Fernandes, Fundraising Manger said “Since setting up Georgie’s Fund Darren and his family have raised almost £6,000 – which is absolutely fantastic! The money raised to date could fund a CLIC Sargent social worker for 8 weeks for families based in Bristol and Somerset. Our CLIC Sargent social workers are there from the moment of diagnosis, and help families understand and cope with the emotional, practical and financial effects of cancer, through treatment and even in the case of bereavement”. Darren commented on the work CLIC Sargent do, “everybody at Curo and CLIC Sargent have been supportive to me”. For those who can’t attend the day but want to donate to this great cause can do so online at www.justgiving.com/georgescadding just remember to include gift aid to help raise even more money.
Gates will open at 12 noon with a large car park at the ground, with food and drink available in the Charlies (main bar) with a burger outlet inside the ground. After the game in Charlies there will be chance to mix with the players and representatives of the charities followed by an auction.
City began their pre-season campaign with a encouraging 2-2 draw against Bristol Rovers at a warm and sunny Mayday Trust Park this evening. Two of City’s summer signings, Ross Stearn and Andy Watkins, were on target as the Romans more than held their own against the League 2 side. In fact, the opening ten minutes were played almost exclusively in the visitors half, David Pratt and Stearn trying their luck from long range. Just when Rovers were beginning to get into the match City took a 14th minute lead. Stearn was upended by a clumsy Santos challenge just inside the box and he got upe to fire home the penatly kick. Rovers drew level on 26 minutes when Richards hooked the ball across goal to give Brunt a simple tap-in, with the City players vainly appealing the ball had gone out of play. City came desperately close to regaining the lead in the last action of the first half when Stearn’s free-kick was deflected onto the bar and Dan Ball’s header from the rebound was cleared off the line. And it was Rovers who went ahead two minutes into the second half, Harold shooting low past Jason Mellor after the ball broke to him in the box. This lead lasted just three minutes though as Pratt sent Watkins clear to confidently slide the ball past Gough. Mellor produced an excellent stop from Clarkson shortly after the same player had seen a goal-bound shot blocked as regular substitutions disrupted City’s play. However, they held out to secure a deserved draw in front of an 1100+ crowd, boosted as expected by a large contingent who had made the short trip from Bristol.
City have added one further home pre-season match with Swansea City visiting Mayday Trust Park on Tuesday 30 July (ko.7.45pm). The Premier League side, and current Football League Cup holders, will send a squad over the Severn Bridge consisting of Under-21 and Academy players but it will be another stern test for Lee Howells’ team ahead of the 2013-14 Conference South season. The full list of City’s home friendlies is:
Tuesday 16 July v Plymouth Argyle – ko 7.45pm
Monday 22 July v Bristol City XI – ko 7.45pm
Tuesday 30 July v Swansea City XI – ko 7.45pm
Saturday 3 August v Carmarthen Town – ko 3pm
Admission prices for the Bristol Rovers and Plymouth Argyle games are adults £10, concessions £5 and U16 accompanied by an adult £1. However, supporters who buy a programme at the Rovers match can get into the Plymouth match for £8/£4/£1 on its production. For the remaining three pre-season matches admission prices will be £7/£4/£1.
City will also travel to Mangotsfield United (Tuesday 6 Aug – 7.45pm) and Bideford Town (Saturday 10 Aug – 3pm), and the development squad will play two friendlies at Shepton Mallet on Thursday 24 July and Bridgwater Town on Wednesday 7 August (both games ko. 7.45pm). All the games are subject to change so please check the website before travelling.
City begin their preparations for the 2013-14 Conference South season on Friday night as League 2 side Bristol Rovers make the short trip to their former home, Mayday Trust Park. The Pirates have become regular summer friendly opponents and are normally well-supported, as a number of their followers enjoy a nostalgic evening at the ground their club spent ten years, between 1986 and 1996, in exile. The connection to this period is boosted with John Ward back in the Rovers managerial chair, having previously been in charge during their final three seasons in Bath.
Rovers have endured a turbulent couple of seasons since they were relegated from League 1 in May 2011, following four seasons in the third tier of English football. Former Torquay United manager Paul Buckle was the man handed the task of steadying the ship at the Memorial Stadium, but the team won only six of their first 23 league games and, in January 2012, Buckle was dismissed from the club, to be replaced by ex-Scotland international Mark McGhee. He presided over an upturn in form for Rovers, which saw them go from relegation contenders to finishing in mid-table, including beating Burton Albion and Accrington Stanley 7-1 and 5-1 respectively in the final two home games of the season. The club went into the 2012-13 season optimistic of mounting a promotion challenge but, when they failed to win any of their opening nine games of the campaign, they were once again struggling at the wrong end of the table. Their form improved slightly, with three wins and a draw in their next five outings, but one further victory in the following eleven matches saw McGhee sacked, moments after a 4-1 defeat at York City in December 2012, with Rovers lying in 23rd position. This time Rovers turned to a more familiar face, Ward returning to the club he managed between 1993 and 1996. Having picked up just 18 points from a possible 66 prior to his appointment, Rovers took 41 from 66 to secure a mid-table finish. This run saw Ward sign a new one-year rolling contract.
The meeting with City will also mark the beginning of the Pirates pre-season campaign, ahead of their opening league match at Exeter City on August 3, but they will hope to hit the ground running having spent this week in Lincolnshire at training camp. Ward has been very quiet in the transfer market over the summer, largely looking to retain the services of his existing squad including a number of promising youngsters. One new arrival at the Memorial Stadium was Darrell Clarke, the 35-year old becoming Ward’s assistant having led Salisbury City to promotion from the Conference South last season.
Complete record against Bristol Rovers
Although the two clubs have not met in a competitive match since the 1994 FA Cup tie that saw the Rovers run out comfortable 5-0 winners against their landlord in front of over 6700 fans at Twerton Park, this will be the eight pre-season meeting in the last ten years. A run of four successive wins for the Pirates was ended in 2010 when a goal from Lee Phillips, just 43 seconds into his first outing for City, was added to by Yan Klukowski’s neat finish seven minutes from time to complete a 2-0 win. The last meeting was in 2011 when City enjoyed the better of the first half, hitting the post twice through Scott Murray and Phillips, although in-between Anyinsah fired across Glyn Garner into the corner of the net to put the visitors in front. The second half saw Rovers control the game, Brown netting their second just after the hour mark, and despite several further openings this is how the match finished.
With the first pre-season match against Bristol Rovers at Mayday Trust Park just three days away, Mark Preece and Jim Rollo have become the latest two City players to agree a new deal for the 2013-14 season. Former Bristol Rovers and Mansfield Town centre-back Preece formed an excellent defensive pairing with Dan Ball during the second half of last season, during which he also netted five goals. The 2013-14 season will mark the 12th full campaign Jim Rollo has been a City player, during which time he has amassed 477 appearances for the club, and he will fulfil a player coach role next season. Both players have expressed their delight at remaining City players and are looking forward to a successful Conference South season. The deals are subject to paperwork.
For the fifth successive time City will begin a new season on the road following the publication of the 2013-14 Conference South fixtures this morning. They will travel to Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday 17 August before beginning their Mayday Trust Park campaign three days later against Eastleigh. Weston Super Mare provide the Boxing Day and New Years Day opposition. City complete their league schedule with a first ever trip to Concord Rangers on Saturday 26 April. The full fixture list can be found on the Results & Fixtures link above.
The Football Conference and BT Sport have agreed a two-year deal for the new channels to show 30 live matches a season from the Conference Premier. BT Sport will host live broadcasts from the grounds for 25 league matches, plus both legs of the play-off semis and the Promotion Final at Wembley, from the start of the 2013-14 season in August. The deal will bring live football from the 5th tier, immediately below League Two, to a much wider audience than ever before, which will enable greater opportunities for marketing and sponsorship deals.
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “We are delighted that we’ve been able to invest in the Non-League game and play our part in helping community clubs to flourish. We are not just interested in the glamour of the Premier League; we’d like to bring the excitement and grit of the Conference Premier to a new audience, as well as its existing strong fan base. There are some terrific clubs in the Conference Premier and some fantastic stories and characters, which we aim to develop in our coverage.”
Brian Lee, chairman of The Football Conference, said: “We welcome the opportunity to be joining the revolutionary BT Sport, which we are sure will be a ‘game changer ‘ for ourselves and BT Sport. We feel that the prospect of showcasing our wonderful brand of live football to a potentially mind-blowing number of viewers can only enhance our product. We hope sponsors of clubs and competition alike recognise the huge step that we are now undertaking. We sincerely hope this is the start of a long and fruitful partnership for both parties.”
The new season promises to be a classic battle for promotion to the Football League. FA Cup giant killers of last season Luton Town will be out to end their exile from the Football League alongside the Mariners from Grimsby Town, who will feel they have stayed long enough in the Football Conference. New boys Barnet, with Edgar Davids at the helm, will no doubt be out to make a quick return, starting the new season at their new stadium, “The Hive”. Big spenders Forest Green Rovers will be out to repay their “green millionaire” Dale Vince, who is bankrolling the Gloucestershire village side, with the promised land of the Football League the only objective for manager David Hockaday. Wembley Promotion Finalists finalist’s Wrexham, will again turn to their experienced players such as Brett Ormerod, Dean Keates and player manager Andy Morrell to achieve their dream whilst Kidderminster Harriers, runners up last season, will be hoping to go one better this time around under the guidance of manager of the year, Steve Burr. Chester FC and FC Halifax Town return with new identities to the highest tier of the Conference after their trials and tribulations of recent years and it will be a challenge for both alongside established clubs in the Conference Premier.
BT Sport will show 38 exclusively live football matches from the Barclays Premier League, including 18 of the ‘top picks’ from August 2013 for three seasons. The channels will also show live FA Cup, Europa League and Scottish Premier League matches, as well as top tier live football from Germany, Italy, France, Brazil, Australia and the USA, plus action from the FA Women’s Super League.
The Supporters Society are to be commended for commissioning work both on models of ownership, and possible stadium sites. We are delighted that on the latter the work they did, as far as has been made public, completely supports what we have been saying for the last 18 months, that Mayday Trust Park unfortunately can not be made sustainable and the best option for the club’s continued existence is to build a new stadium. However, on the former, this is entirely the wrong time to have any kind of uncertainty about ownership models, so we welcome the subsequent endorsement of the major shareholders for the Board’s three year plan. We trust that the support they have given takes away the nervousness of staff, whether they be footballing, voluntary, bar, office, club administration. In addition, we want our community and commercial partners, and those who can facilitate the success of the new stadium, development partners, professional advisers, banks, local authority, to be confident about the future of the club. As we all agree that achieving sustainability is the most important element for the club right now, and that a new stadium is the major key to achieving that, we really want to see everyone working towards that aim, and being able to focus on that over the next 2 years off the pitch. On the pitch, we have assembled a superb squad with a balance of youth, experience, skill and strength to take us into the new season, we can’t wait!
A lot of you have contacted us, thank you for your support, the plan is to release a further document at the appropriate time, covering answers to frequently asked questions and further clarification of various points and we will be available to chat at pre-season friendlies. Hope to see a lot of you Friday 12th July v Bristol Rovers.