Match Preview – Eastbourne Borough (H)

Bath City welcome Eastbourne Borough to Twerton Park this Saturday, as Jerry Gill’s men look to record back-to-back wins and follow up the 1-0 success against Weston-super-Mare at the Optima Stadium 11 days ago.

Borough have been languishing in the relegation zone this season and are currently four points off Taunton Town and safety. The Sports have the further disadvantage of having played four games more than the Somerset club, so they have it all to do if they are to retain their status as a National League South side.

But they will themselves also be hoping for back-to-back victories this Saturday, having overcome Farnborough 2-1 at home last week – their first win in seven, since a 2-1 result at Welling United on 16 December.

Borough’s hopes will be boosted by the news that the club has just signed forward Jake Hutchinson on loan from Queen of the South, subject to international clearance. Hutchinson played for the Sports on six-month loan contract from Colchester United last season, and scored 13 goals in all competitions before going to Aldershot Town of the National League for the second half of the campaign.

He’s one of five recent additions from Adam Murray, who replaced Mark Beard as manager last month. Pierce Bird, Finn Ballard-McBride and Ollie Turner all made their debuts in last week’s win over Farnborough, with Siya Ligendza on target from the penalty spot in his fifth outing. Ligendza and Bird have followed Murray on loan from former club AFC Fylde, who won the National League North last season.

These new recruits have taken the Sports to 37 players used this season, and they’ve made an eye-watering 99 changes across line-ups from their 30 games – 23 more than any other side in the NLS.

City, who have made just 40 alterations in 28 league games, are boosted by the capture of Ewan Clark on a permanent contract that runs until the end of next season. In Ewan’s first game back in Black and White after his brief return to Bristol City, he showed signs of the early season form that made him a fans’ favourite in Twerton, and backed up that performance with the statistic of supplying the cross that gave Cody Cooke his 50th goal for the club, City’s 400th away goal in the NLS – and City all three points.

Saturday’s match against Eastbourne is the return fixture in the league this season. In August, City won 2-1 at Priory Lane, courtesy of Jordan Thomas and a Cody Cooke penalty. Last season, City took all six points from Eastbourne, winning 2-0 at home and 4-3 away despite training 3-1 at half-time. The season before that, Boro’ won their home fixture, but that is their only win against City since a 1-0 turnover at Twerton Park in March 2018.

Advance tickets for the match will be on sale through the website, and you will save £1 on the entrance fee by buying ahead. So get it booked, and we’ll see you at Twerton Park on Saturday afternoon to cheer on the Romans back up into the play-off places!

Who – Bath City v Eastbourne Borough
When – Saturday 3 February, 3pm
Where – Twerton Park