Next Match – Torquay United (A)

Bath City travel to Torquay United this weekend in an intriguing Vanarama National League South clash.

Following relegation in May, Torquay kept hold of 17 of their squad and were installed as one of the favourites for promotion. A run of seven wins from eight in all competitions across August and September saw the Gulls rise to third but they’ve faltered since. Four successive away defeats have seem them slip down the table and heaped pressure on manager Gary Johnson, who marked five years in charge in September.

The hugely experienced boss clinched a sixth promotion in 2019 to take Torquay back to the National League. Having replaced former City boss Gary Owers, United stormed to the title, losing eight games en route – a contrast to the half dozen defeats already this term. A Promotion Final loss to Hartlepool in 2021 prevented a return to the EFL and last year they tumbled out of the division despite a strong finish. They need to rediscover this fighting spirit but know a win should take them into the play-off spots this weekend.

Bath City have occupied a spot in the top seven for most of the season and will close the gap to Yeovil to four points with a win on Saturday. Jerry Gill will hope his charges extend their strong goalscoring record this season. Only Worthing have prevented the Romans from netting which has aided a rise to third with nearly a third of the season played. City have scored in all seven of their away league contests this term and Scott Wilson leads the quest for National League South Golden Boot – he has 10 league goals to date.

Another Scott will be fondly remembered by both sets of fans. Scott Partridge scored 16 in 45 outings for the Gulls in the 90s followed by 78 in 170 for the Romans between 2004-2008. Other former notable players across both clubs include Richard Bourne and Ken Allen. Both won the Southern League with City in 1978 – Allen also played in the most infamous Torquay match of all-time. At the end of the 1986/87 campaign, the first season of automatic relegation from the Football League, United came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Crewe Alexandra, Paul Dobson’s equaliser arrived in lengthy injury time caused by full-back Jim McNichol receiving treatment having been bitten by police dog Bryn, who thought his handler was in danger.

The last meeting between Bath City and Torquay United also included late drama. In front of 3,492 at Twerton Park, City’s highest home attendance in National League South by a distance, the Romans trailed 2-1 with eight minutes remaining to the league leaders, who’d also seen Jake Andrews sky a penalty over. Anthony Straker put City back on terms from the spot before Ryan Brunt touched in a winner to send the stadium into delirium. Bath’s last two games at Plainmoor haven’t quite hit those excitement levels – a 1-0 loss in August 2018 nearly a decade after a 2-0 FA Trophy defeat. Kevin Nicholson lined up for the hosts in the latter – he spent a brief spell at City in 2015 before managing the Gulls for two years.

It promises to be a lively encounter on the Riviera so come along and see if Bath City can continue their strong start! A supporters coach will be making a day of it – book your spot via Bath City FC Supporters Club ( and cheer on the Romans in Devon.

Saturday 4 November – Torquay United v Bath City, Vanarama National League South.
Venue – Plainmoor, KO 3pm.