November 2003

Owers leads from the front to fire City to FA Trophy success (29/11/03)

Gary Owers got off to the perfect start as City manager with the opening goal in the 2-1 FA Trophy victory over Gloucester City at a damp Twerton Park this afternoon. His low shot put City ahead after just 11 minutes and although the Tigers levelled within 90 seconds, Mark Bryant allowing Wilkinson’s header to squirm under his body, Dan Cleverley’s 18th minute shot from an Alfie Carter cross soon restored their advantage. Bryant pulled off a stunning save toward the end of the half to make for his earlier error and the second half saw City comfortably contain the Dr Martens Western League side to reach the 3rd round of the Trophy.

Owers and Jones appointment signals Smarty departure (28/11/03)

Former assistant manager Gary Smart has followed Alan Pridham out of Twerton Park following the appointment of Gary Owers as the new player manager on Wednesday. The departure of the 39-year old, who has been caretaker boss since the sacking of Pridham two weeks ago, ends a 10-year association with the club. He spent nearly eight years with City between 1988 and 1996, making nearly 300 appearances and scoring 71 goals during that time.

Before even taking charge of his first match Gary Owers has experienced an injury set back with the news that top scorer Steve Tweddle is unlikely to play again before Christmas. He was stretchered off against Nuneaton Borough two weeks ago with an achilles injury and hopes that the damage was not severe have proved optimistic. A scan has revealed a tear between the calf and achilles which will sideline him for at least another four weeks.

City’s trip to Cambridge City, postponed last Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch, has been rearranged for Tuesday 13 Janaury 2004 with a 7.45pm kick off.

Gary Owers is named as new City boss (26/11/03)

The Board of Bath City FC are delighted to announce the appointment of Gary Owers as the new manager of Bath City Football Club. The Board were impressed by both the number and quality of applications and considered their decision over several days. Gary attended a board meeting last night where the appointment was made. He will take on the post as player manager with former Bristol Rovers and Bath City player, Vaughan Jones, taking on the assistant Managers role. Chairman, Steve Hall said, ‘Gary came across as a very level headed and professional young man, who we feel has the ambition and ability to motivate the playing staff and take the club forward to conference status.’

Waterlogged pitch stops Cambridge trip just before it begins (22/11/03)

A 9am pitch inspection at Cambridge City’s Milton Road ground has seen this afternoons Dr Martens Premier Division clash between the Lilywhites and City postponed. Heavy overnight rain has left the pitch waterlogged and with a forecast of more to come an early decision to prevent City making a long wasted journey was made. The cancellation means City will next be in action at Twerton Park next Saturday in the FA Trophy tie with Gloucester City.

Somerset Premier Cup success is welcome break from league struggles (18/11/03)

Goals from Gary Owers, Jason Eaton and Matt Coupe saw City progress into the quarter-finals of the Somerset Premier Cup tonight with a straightforward 3-0 victory over Welton Rovers. The opening goal arrived in the closing minutes of the first when, with a slice of luck that has been so absent in recent league games, Welton’s keeper allowed an Owers shot to slip through his grasp into the net. Eaton slid home the second goal midway through the second half before Coupe fired in via a post in the final minute.

Latest injury setback sees top scorer Tweddle sidelined for fortnight (17/11/03)

City have suffered yet another injury blow with the news that top scorer Steve Tweddle faces at least two weeks on the sidelines after picking up an achilles injury during Saturday’s defeat against Nuneaton Borough. The former Chippenham Town striker, who has scored six goals this season, was stretched off with five minutes remaining in the game and although the injury is not as serious as initially feared he will join Andy Williams and Iain Harvey on the injured list.

The draw for the 3rd round of the Dr Martens Cup was made at the weekend and has given City a home tie with Western Division Cirencester Town. The game will take place on Tuesday 9 December (my birthday) with a 7.45pm kick off.

Post Pridham era begins with improved performance but same end result (15/11/03)

To prove the old adage that when you’re struggling nothing goes right, City’s first game following the sacking of Alan Pridham ended in an undeserved 3-1 defeat against Nuneaton Borough. For long periods City looked much more like the title contenders than the poor Midland’s side but the familiar defensive frailities gifted Collins two unmarked set-piece headers in either half. In between Jason Eaton’s first goal since February 1 had briefly drawn City level. The game ended with two further blows for City as top scorer Steve Tweddle was stretchered off with a leg injury and a fluke Whittaker strike made it 3-1.

Twerton Park return of City legend Randall to celebrate book launch (14/11/03)

City goalscoring legend (oh, how they could do with him now) Paul Randall has been added to the list of former stars set to appear at Twerton Park tomorrow to celebrate the release of Stars in Stripes, the complete history of Bath City Football Club. The book, written by Kerry Miller, will be officially launched following tomorrows clash with Nuneaton Borough. ‘Punky’, who scored 112 goals in 210 games during his five seasons with City, will be joined by Glyn Broom, Vic Brown, Micky Burns, Ken Dagger, John Freegard, Tony Gough, Paul Gover, Bill Horton, Peter Higgins, Dave Palmer, Dave Payne, Ivor Prosser, Tony Ricketts, Nigel Ryan, Dave Singleton, Gary Smart, Colin Tavener, Ron Walker, Martin Wheeler and Dave Wiffill.

Pridham Sacked – Official Club Statement (12/11/03)

At a meeting of the board of directors of Bath City Football Club held yesterday evening at Twerton Park, the decision was taken to relieve Alan Pridham of his duties as team manager. The Board wishes to place on record its sincere appreciation for all of Alan’s enthusiasm and hard work for the club. In particular it recognises the magnificent efforts during his first season, when he accepted the job with a scratch team, and little money to work with, and steered the club to safety with a memorable win at Worcester on the last day of the season. Unfortunately, however in recent months results have been very poor, with only 2 points taken from the last 7 games. In view of this the Board feels that for the club to achieve their goal of a place in the new Conference set up for next season, a change of manager is now necessary. Assistant Manager, Gary Smart, has been asked to take charge of team affairs in a caretaker capacity, and the club will be advertising for a new manager, and hope to make an appointment as soon as possible. Applications are invited c/o Chairman, Steve Hall, at Bath City Football Club.

History Book gives City fans chance to remember glory days (11/11/03)

Stars In Stripes, the complete history of Bath City, will be officially launched after Saturday’s match with Nuneaton Borough. Written by Kerry Miller the book charts the history of the club from 1889 to the end of the 2002-03 season and will cost £19.95. The launch will be attended by a number of former City stars including ex-management team Tony Ricketts and Dave Palmer, striker John Freegard, 1977-78 Championship winning team players Micky Burns, Paul Gover and Nigel Ryan, plus many others. All will be available to sign the book.

“Who do you think you’re kidding Mister Pridham … (8/11/03)

…if you think we’re staying up. We are the fans who go to every game. We are the fans who suffer all the pain. So, who do you think you are kidding Mister Pridham, if you think we’re staying up.” When the highlight of a game is coming up with the above to the Dad’s Army tune (which should be playing as you read this) you know it’s been another afternoon to forget. After dominating the first 15 minutes City allowed Hednesford to score with their first attack, conceded a second on the stroke of half time plus two more in the second half to end up on the wrong end of a 4-0 scoreline. Bet you can’t get the tune out of your head now!

Increased Mangotsfield bid sees Hendy join homeward bound club (5/11/03)

Scott Hendy has become the second player to return to his first club in 24 hours after City accepted a £5000 offer from Mangotsfield United. City had turned down a bid for the centre-back before the clubs met in the FA Trophy on Sunday but the increased offer which matches the amount City paid the Western Division side for the players services 10 weeks ago was sufficient to make them change their mind.

City will meet Gloucester City in the 2nd round of the FA Trophy after the Tigers recorded a 4-1 extra time victory over Rothwell Town last night.

Former Southend striker Salter heads back to roots with Frome switch (4/11/03)

Summer signing Mark Salter has ended his brief spell with City by rejoining his first club Frome Town for an undisclosed four figure fee. The striker arrived from Southend United back in June following nine months with the Third Division outfit but has struggled to make an impression with City, scoring just twice in eleven starts. With last seasons top scorer Jason Eaton returning to full fitness the 23-year old has become surplus to requirements and will return to the Western League club where he made his name, scoring 86 goals in just two and half seasons.

Contrary to the news piece below City’s friendly against Taunton Town will actually take place on Wednesday 5 November (ko 7.45pm).

Tigers or Bones await City in FA Trophy 2nd round clash (3/11/03)

Following yesterdays 3-1 victory at Mangotsfield United at Cossham Street, City will face either Gloucester City or Rothwell Town at home in the 2nd round of the FA Trophy after todays draw. The sides meet tomorrow night in a 1st round replay at Gloucester’s Meadow Park after drawing 1-1 on Saturday. The victors will face City at Twerton Park on Saturday 29 November 2003 (ko 3pm).

Tomorrow night will also see City in action as they travel to Taunton Town for a friendly match. The game will kick off at 7.45pm.

Player of the year Willow faces operation to overcome groin problem (3/11/03)

Just when it appeared City were over the worst of the horrendous injury problems they have suffered this season they have been rocked by the news that Andy Williams faces surgery to a groin problem. The injury is the same one that prematurely ended his professional career with Swindon Town. Last seasons player of the year has battled through the pain barrier to play this season but with his performances suffering he has admitted that an operation is now necessary. The winger is likely to be sidelined for at least a month.

An experienced head helps remind City what it like to win a Trophy match (2/11/03)

Two Gary Owers headers and a stunning Alfie Carter strike helped City win their first FA Trophy tie since December 2000 as they beat Mangotsfield United 3-1 at Cossham Street this afternoon. Their cause was given a boost after just 10 minutes when the home side were reduced to 10 men, striker Edwards seeing red for an off the ball elbow on Matt Coupe. With the slope and elements in their favour during the first half City were soon dominating the match. The opening goal arrived after 23 minutes when Owers headed home a perfect Russell Milton Corner. Ten minutes before the interval a weaving run by Carter ended with him firing a cracking 20 yard shot into the top corner. If the Field were to find a way back into the game they needed a goal early in the second half but it was City who struck again with a carbon copy of the first goal. Further chances came and went for City before Mangotsfield grabbed a consolation goal in the closing moments when Sims scrambled the ball home after Mark Bryant had pushed a shot onto the bar.

City turn down surprise Mangotsfield bid to recpature Hendy (1/11/03)

Tomorrows FA Trophy opponents Mangotsfield United have had a surprise bid for defender Scott Hendy rejected by the City. Hendy only arrived at Twerton Park from Mangotsfield back in August for a fee of £5000 and it appears his absense from City’s last couple of games has led to the Cossham Street club believing he had been frozen out of City’s plans. However, manager Alan Pridham has dismissed this idea insisting that it is illness that has left the 25-year old on the sidelines.

Another centre-back involved in a tug-of-war between the two sides is Gary Kemp. The former Newport County player joined Mangotsfield in September in attempt to get fit after missing the opening month of the season with a back injury. Whilst the deal is not a loan agreement, Kemp was a non-contract player with City, it was expected that he would return to City in due course. Therefore it was agreed that he would not face City in the Trophy 1st Round clash. Understandably United are keen to field the experienced defender but it appears that the final decision rests with the player. Pridham has made it clear that if Kemp has any hopes of playing for City again he will not feature.