|Holland header enough for City to overcome Cirencester and conditions (31/3/07)
City took a massive step to securing Conference South football next season – and the Southern League title – with a narrow 1-0 win over Cirencester Town. A rock hard pitch and a strong wind blowing across the open Corinium Stadium was a great leveller but Chris Holland’s 54th minute header was enough to seperate the sides. With the conditions in their favour in the first half City dominated possession but it was the home side who twice came closest to scoring, only a fingertip save by Paul Evans and the post denying them. City had looked most threatening from set-pieces so it was no surprise that Holland came on at the interval and with nine minutes he rose highest to head home despite desperate efforts on the line by a Centurian defender and keeper. After this Cirencester understandably saw more of the ball but rarely troubled Evans and Scott Rogers, new boy Matt Prosser and Lewis Hogg all had chances to increase the lead.
A midweek hat-trick from striker target Marcus Palmer has forced City to look elsewhere to strengthen their forward options. The 19-year old was expected to join City yesterday but his three goals in Hereford United’s 6-1 Herefordshire Senior Floodlit Cup has caused a change of heart at Edgar Street. So, boss John Relish has turned his attention to Newport County youngster Matt Prosser. Also nineteen years of age, the striker has come up through the youth ranks at Newport and was a potential target for City earlier in the season.
City stretched their lead at the top of the Southern League to ten points this evening following a 2-0 win over Clevedon Town. Whilst an own goal from ex-City defender Billy Clark and a Darren Edwards header were seeing off the Seasiders, just up the road King’s Lynn title hopes were virtually ended by a 3-0 defeat against Yate Town. City took a while to settle but two goals in as many minutes gave them breathing space. First, Edwards driven cross was turned past his own keeper by Clark on 22 minutes, then a Scott Rogers cross was headed home by Edwards. To their credit the home side fought back and put City under spells of pressure but with Gethin Jones and Matt Coupe outstanding they rarely tested Paul Evans. A similar spell at the start of the second half soon fizzled out and City came close on several occasions to extending their lead. The game ended on a slightly sour note when Clevedon’d Danny Haines was sent off for two bookable offences.
City have lost a second striker for the rest of the season after Phil Walsh suffered a fractured hand in Saturday’s win over Corby Town. The 23-year old picked up the injury during the first half of the match and underwent an operation on Sunday to have it pinned. With teenage Hereford United striker Marcus Palmer’s arrival delayed until tomorrow, veteran front man Martin Paul started tonight’s game at Clevedon Town alongside Darren Edwards. The loss of a second striker, after Scott Partridge suffered a season-ending neck injury, may see City look to a further new arrival before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
City produced another excellent 45 minutes of football – followed by a forgettable second 45 – to easily brush aside the challenge of relegation threatened Corby Town by three goals to one at Twerton Park this afternoon. The visitors beat City’s title rivals King’s Lynn 3-0 in the week and for a couple of minutes they showed why, with only a flying save from Paul Evans denying them a first minute lead. However, from the moment the ball rebounded from the bar it was all City and they were three goals ahead by half-time. On six minutes a deflected shot by Lewis Hogg gave them the lead and then Phil Walsh stabbed home the second after 25 minutes, following a fine point-blank by General’s keeper Pledger from Darren Edwards’ shot. In between the goals Corby were reduced to ten men when midfielder Gray launched a prolonged tirade at the referee for the award of a free-kick that saw him receive two bookings. The third goal arrived six minutes before the interval when Adie Harris’ well-struck shot slipped through Pledger’s grasp. After the break City were content to play within themselves with games still coming thick and fast, and Corby grabbed a 71st minute consolation from Towers’ header.
City are set to bring in Hereford United youngster Marcus Palmer on loan until the end of the season. The 19-year old striker will switch to Twerton Park to provide forward cover after City lost top scorer Scott Partridge. Palmer has yet to play a first-team game for the Bulls after joining them in September 2006, having previously played for Cheltenham Town, but has been a regular scorer for their reserve side.
City have denied any interest in Mangotsfield United striker Robbie Claridge despite yesterday’s report in the Western Daily Press.
According to a brief piece in today’s Western Daily Press City are preparing to make a bid for Mangotsfield United striker Robbie Claridge. Since top scorer Scott Partridge was ruled out for the rest of the season with a neck injury City have been looking to re-strengthen their front line and it appears the 17-goal hitman has become the no.1 target. Claridge, who has also played for Weston Super Mare and Brislington, has in total scored 80 goals in around 200 appearances for the Bristol-based club.
Scott Partridge has delayed surgery on his neck injury in the hope that rest will cure the problem. The 33-year old was diagnosed with prolasped discs in his neck which immediately ended his season and it was initially thought that he’d go under the knife this week. However, with the operation a risky procedure it will only be carried out if absolutely necessary and Partridge may seek a further opinion before making a final decision.
For the second time in three days City swept aside their opponents with a four-goal salvo – this time it was Merthyr Tydfil on the receiving end and they even had a proper keeper between the posts! City had already gone close on a couple of occasions before Gethin Jones curled a stunning shot into the net in the 29th minute. They easily held this narrow advantage to the interval and within five minutes of the restart Phil Walsh rose to head home to make it 2-0. City were now looking like a side about to move seven points clear at the top of the table and on 72 minutes Davies handled in the box under pressure from Darren Edwards and Lewis Hogg made no mistake from spot. City saved the best for last when in the final minute Edwards lifted the ball toward substitute Martin Paul who unleashed a stunning volley that crashed against the underside of the bar before bouncing down behind the line.
After two successive draws, plus the massive loss of top scorer Scott Partridge, City got their title ambitions back on track with a 4-0 hammering of relegation strugglers Wealdstone. All four goals came in a first half where the home side had to play with an outfield player in goal after Lee Carroll failed to turn up to the match. However, stand-in keeper Martin could not be blamed for any of as City rediscovered their goalscoring touch after Tuesday’s blank at Tiverton. Lewis Hogg started the rout on 15 minutes through a great individual goal then made it two with a deflected shot nine minutes later. Mark McKeever calmly turned home the third from a Darren Edwards cross with half an hour gone and three minutes before the interval he scored the fourth from close range. The second half saw City content to play within themselves although they almost conceded a goal when Phil Walsh was adjudged to have handled in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Paul Evans came to the rescue with a fine right-handed save from the spot kick to ensure his 20th clean sheet of the season.
City will be without top scorer Scott Partridge for the rest of the season after he was diagnosed with prolasped discs in his neck. The 18-goal hitman will undergo an operation next week to repair the problem and faces three months on the sidelines. The seriousness of the problem was only discovered following an MRI scan and it was revealed that he had risked paralysis when playing in the 4-0 win over Hitchin Town. The setback will see City boss John Relish look to bring in a new striker on loan for the reminder of the season after the board gave him the go-ahead to find a replacement.
City midfielder Steve Jones, one of City’s most consistent performers this season, also faces a spell out of action following the head injury he suffered in last Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at Tiverton Town. He was injured by an elbow from Tivvy’s thug defender Nathan Rudge, who incredibly escaped with just a yellow card for the shocking challenge, and could be missing for up to three weeks.
City’s failure to score in a game for the first time this year saw them drop two points in the goalless stalemate with Tiverton Town last night. In what was a very poor game which the home side just shaded the draw was a fair return for City and did increase their lead at the top the of league to four points. Tiverton started the game brightly although it soon descended into a midfield scrap with City never being allowed to settle. Craig Davidge did see one cross-shot land on the roof of the net and Jim Rollo had a shot deflected just over the bar, while Mark McKeever and Phil Walsh sent in weak efforts straight at Tiverton’s debutant keeper. Paul Evans also fielded a couple of tame efforts but also turned aside a free-kick at full stretch just before the interval. The second half was no more inspiring and midway through City lost Steve Jones with a facial injury following a typically ‘robust’ challenge from the Devon side’s resident thug Nathan Rudge. The home side appeared to sense they had an opportunity to topple the league leaders as the game went into the last quarter but lacked the quality to take advantage and City almost snatched an unlikely win but Darren Edwards’ stoppage-time shot was blocked. The game ended with the worrying sight of keeper Paul Evans limping off with a possible reoccurance of his back problem.
Uncharacteristic mistakes from Paul Evans and Chris Holland cost City two points in this afternoon’s meeting with Gloucester City that finished 2-2. City had been gifted the lead themselves on nine minutes when Tomkins sliced the ball into his own net from a Holland header across goal. However, within 60 seconds Evans allowed a speculative long-range effort from ex-City winger Alex Sykes to go straight through his hands into the net. Five minutes later City were back in front when Holland again got on the end of a Mark McKeever cross to return the ball into the six yard box for Craig Davidge to head home. Holland went from hero to villian 14 minutes later when his mistake allowed Griffin to race clear and beat Evans at his near post. The visitors should have been reduced to ten men just before the interval when Webb, who had already been booked, lunged in on Sekani Simpson but the referee, who was weak all afternoon, bottled the simple decision. The second half failed to match the first in incident as City dominated possession but, missing their three top scorers in Scott Partridge, Darren Edwards and Lewis Hogg, rarely tested Tigers keeper Johnston. Gloucester did look dangerous on the break in flashes but equally failed to trouble Evans and eventually were happy to settle for the point and frustrate City until the final whistle.
Despite dropping two points City increased their lead at the top of the British Gas Business League to three points as their closest rivals Team Bath went down to a surprise 3-0 defeat at Yate Town.
Last night saw Twerton Park stage the second in a series of Soccer on the Screen night’s hosted by Ken Loach. The world renowned film director and City fan was joined by actress and former pop star Clare Grogan at the showing of Gregory’s Girl, in which Clare starred. The audience of around 70 watched the film and then had the opportunity to ask Ken and Clare questions. The next Soccer on the Screen night is a showing of Ken Loach’s own film My Name Is Joe on 27 April. All proceeds of these evenings go to the Bath City Supporters Society.
Scott Partridge will face a spell on the sidelines after a scan on his neck injury failed to identify the cause of the problem. City’s top scorer complained of a tingling sensation in his arms and legs before the Hithcin game two weeks ago but an MRI scan on Wednesday proved inconclusive and he will now see a consultant and undergo a CAT scan next week. His absence along with Darren Edwards’ one game suspension will see Phil Walsh and Craig Davidge lead City’s attack in tomorrow’s home clash with Gloucester City.
In an on-going attempt to actually play some games of football City have announced dates for their two outstanding fixtures. They will travel to Tiverton Town on Tuesday 13 March (ko 7.45pm), which was the original re-arranged date, now the Devon side are no longer in Errea Cup action that night. And on Wednesday 11 April (ko tbc) they will make a third attempt to face Northwood in North West London.
City have missed out on the signature of Melksham Town teenager Mike Perrott after he choose to join Team Bath.
City’s top scorer Scott Partridge will undergo a scan today to try to determine the cause of a neck problem that led to his substitution in City’s last outing against Hitchin Town.
Whilst City were left frustratedly kicking their heels this afternoon Team Bath moved to within two points of them by easily dispatching a woeful Mangotsfield United side by three goals to nil. Despite the recent drier weather overnight rain in London was enough to leave Northwood’s pitch unplayable and mean for the second time this season the game had to be postponed. City’s tenant’s took full advantage of this by comfortably dispatching Mangotsfield in front of a crowd boosted to over 200 by a large number of City fans (and players) who had suddenly found themselves at another loose end.
City manager John Relish hopes to capture promising Melksham Town star Mike Perrott. The 18-year, who can play either right wing or up front and is the current captain of the Wiltshire Under-18 side, has had talks with City and been offered non-contract terms. However, several other clubs are also chasing the teenagers services, including City’s tenants and title rivals Team Bath, Conference South side Salisbury City and Conference proper outfit Forest Green Rovers, although the latter two are not believed to have approached the youngster yet.
City have rearranged their trip to Mangotsfield United, postponed from earlier this week, for Tuesday 17 April (ko 7.45pm). Also, according to Tiverton Town’s website their home meeting with City has been moved to Wednesday 11 April due to their continued invovlement in the Errea Cup.