City moved into the 2nd Round of the Dr Martens Cup at the expense of Witney Town after a 3-1 victory at Twerton Park tonight. Despite falling a goal behind after 20 minutes direct from a corner, two goals from Sam Allison and a Owen Bryan strike gave City a deserved win. Allison’s first came from a delightful chip 10 minutes before the break and he then converted Mike Davis’ cross from close range to put City ahead. Substitute Bryan volleyed home another Davis centre with 12 minutes remaining to complete the scoring. City also saw Jimmy Fraser and Davis denied by the woodwork as they created numerous chances to given the scoreline a more convincing appearance. The result gives them a trip to Newport County on Wednesday 13 December in the next round.
Paul Bodin made the most of his unexpected rest day on Saturday, helping Wales to victory in the Coral Eurobet Home Nations Masters tournament held at the London Arena yesterday. City’s boss joined former internationals Ian Wright, Bryan Robson, Glen Hoddle, Ally McCoist, Neville Southall and Liam Brady, plus ex-City star Jimmy Nicholl (!), amongst other in the competition screened on Sky. And it was his goal that opened the scoring in the final, as his team finished 5-3 winners over Ireland.
Back at Twerton Park City have signed highly rated Team Bath midfielder Jamie Gosling. The 18-year old, who has already grabbed 10 goals this season for the Screwfix League Division 1 side, was formally on Bristol Rovers books as a schoolboy and went straight into City Reserves for Saturday’s win at Cadbury Heath.
In one of just two Screwfix Division 1 games that survived the weekend downpours City Reserves recorded a 2-0 victory over Cadbury Heath that lifts them to 3rd position. They opened the scoring five minutes before the interval, Wayne Cleverly running clear before firing home. And, on a predictably heavy pitch, City sealed the win when Ben Sammet turned and curled a 25-yard effort into the top corner.
Heavy rain in the London area denied City the chance of a morale boosting maiden away win of the season – a waterlogged Surrey Docks Stadium pitch causing the postponement of the clash with Fisher Athletic. One player who will be relieved is under-fire striker Graham Colbourne who would have missed the match due to work commitments.
City title hopes have suffered a serious blow asfter they were deducted three points for fielding an ineligble player in the recent clash with Burton Albion. James Hughes, the player in question, made a 47 second appearance after replacing Mark Harrington in stoppage time, in the 3-1 victory on Saturday 4 November. Hughes, who was signed from Team Bath, had also featured in the FA Cup tie against Forest Green Rovers the previous week, but was registered for this cup competition. City have appealed against the penalty, which also included a £50 fine, and until the outcome of this is known the Dr Martens Premier Division table will not be adjusted.
Last night City Reserves overcame Corsham Town by six goals to two. Despite twice falling behind goals from Eddie Howell and Luke Scott saw City go into the interval level. The second half was one way traffic as a Josh Jefferies double and strikes from Brad Newman and Owen Bryan gave City their biggest win of the season.
Fielding a mix of first and reserve team players City comfortably progressed to the 3rd Round of the Somerset Premier Cup with a 5-2 victory over Screwfix League side Street at Twerton Park tonight. A close range strike from Graham MacLean opened the scoring after 20 minutes, before goals from Scott Walker and Simeon Allison gave City a three goal advantage. Nicholls pulled one back for the visitor before the break. The second half saw Walker twice go close with free kicks and it wasn’t until the 75th minute that City grabbed their fourth through MacLean’s neat finish. The final five minutes saw both sides score, Seymour firing home for Street and Sam Allison heading in City’s fifth after good work by Walker.
If City can get past Witney Town in the 1st Round of the Dr Martens Cup next week they will face a trip to Newport County in the 2nd Round. The match is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 12 December.
For the second successive home match City overcame one of the early season pacesetters, as two Martin Paul goals and another Scott Walker stunning strike gave them a 3-2 victory over Crawley Town. The win came despite City failing behind in the first half, Hynes firing home after Bibbo could only parry a long range effort. But two goals in the final five minutes of the first half saw City head into the interval ahead. First Walker ran from just inside the Crawley half before unleashing a 25-yard swerving shot that flew past keeper Little, and four minutes later Paul got ahead of Ugbah to lift the ball past Little from the corner of the six-yard box. Crawley showed why they were the league leaders before the game when Woolf latched onto a through ball to beat Bibbo around the hour mark, but 10 minutes from time City grabbed the winner. A long ball found Paul on the edge of the box and his volley beat Little and went in off the far post. Paul had a great chance to seal the win, and complete his hat-trick, Little blocking his close range effort, but City comfortably held on for the victory that lifts them up to sixth place.
The decision to sell Twerton Park has been put off until early in the New Year following the monthly meeting of City’s directors last night. With the prospective purchasers of the ground down to just two – following the withdrawal of widely rumoured favourite, Tesco – a decision on the future of City’s home since 1932 was expected. However, with hopes of an 11th hour rescue package still alive, the meeting set a provisional date for the extraordinary general meeting, in which shareholders will vote on the plan, of 25 January 2001.
On the pitch boss Paul Bodin has raised hopes that City’s own Lord Lucan may make an appearance before 2001. Phil King, signed from Kidderminster Harriers in the summer, has yet to make a first team appearance, following a series of niggling calf problems. The ex-England B international has made a couple of reserve team starts, plus some unsubstantiated sightings in the bar, and hopes to be fit in time for City’s festive period. Breath holding … er, no.
City increased their unbeaten league run to six games, but failed to break their away duck, with a 1-1 draw with King’s Lynn at a wet and windy Walks Stadium yesterday. Despite a promising start, Fraser, twice, and Colbourne testing home keeper Nower, the financially troubled side took the lead after 25 minutes when Bush converted Puttman’s cross. This preceeded the Linnett’s best spell of the match but City’s defence stood firm. The interval allowed City to regroup and they began to gain the upper hand. A Paul header flew inches wide then Holloway was denied by Nower. However, the City midfielder got his revenge on 59 minutes when he got on the end of a Bodin free-kick to flick home the equaliser. Further chances fell to Walker, Fraser and Paul but City couldn’t find the second goal and, when Lloyd’s attempted clearance flew inches over Bibbo’s goal, they almost threw the draw away. Away from the game, and for Fraser’s (not Jimmy) benefit, I won £5 on the coach raffle which made the 10 hour round trip well worth while.
This Tuesday’s Dr Martens Cup 1st Round clash with Witney Town at Twerton Park has been moved back a fortnight to Tuesday 28 November. The Oxfordshire club are playing in an FA Trophy replay on the original date.
City full back Mark Clode has suffered another injury set back, aggrivating his knee injury in training. The ex-Swansea man originally suffered the injury in training but had looked to have recovered after a two-week break. Mike Davis may also be on the sidelines for another couple of weeks following the rib injury he sustained in the FA Cup defeat at Forest Green.
City’s opponents in the 2nd Round of the FA Trophy will be Cambridge City, after the Lilywhites overcame Gloucester City 1-0 in the 1st Round of the competition. The tie will take place at Cambridge on Saturday 2 December.
City bounced back from their FA Cup exit at Forest Green with an excellent 3-1 victory over previously unbeaten Burton Albion, showing that they may yet have a say in the Doc Martens title race. Having got off to the perfect start, Graham Colbourne racing through a static defence to slot the ball home after just three minutes, City were then pushed back for long spells. However, the reshuffled backline, with Peter Tisdale switching to right-back and Kevin Lloyd moving into the centre, stood firm and Martin Paul almost doubled the lead five minutes before the break after a great run by Jimmy Fraser. Around the hour mark City did grab their second, Scott Walker firing in a stunning 20 yard drive that gave Duke no chance, but a minute later a header from a corner gave the visitors a lifeline. Unlike recent performances City heads didn’t drop and ten minutes later they restored their two goal advantage, Paul heading a Fraser cross past Duke. Only a great block by Tisdale denied Clough after Bibbo had gone AWOL but City could have further increased their advantage, with Paul forcing a fine stop out of Duke. The win lifts City to eighth, nine points behind leaders Crawley.