City suffered their second defeat in a week on Saturday when they were made to pay for individual errors in a close fought game. City, who were narrowly beaten by Cheltenham Town in the FA Youth Cup 2nd round on Tuesday, set out in the right manner by attacking the Aldershot goal but strikes from Dave Peters and Kane Ingram were off the mark in a game where City were looking quite comfortable for periods. Aldershot were not totally out of it, showing good signs themselves and were duly rewarded with a goal on 35 minutes when City full-back Keiren Baggs allowed their winger to cross for an easy tap in for their striker. Ingram responded well with a free kick that flew narrowly wide just before the break. The second half was an even affair until Mark Hardyman and Rupert Mall were introduced for City. Hardyman forcing the keeper to make a good save and Mall creating some good opportunities. Ingram was then fouled in the box and dusted himself off to fire home the spot kick to level with just four minutes remaining. The game was heading for a draw when City pressed the self destruct button as Hancocks’ mis-placed back pass was collected by the Aldershot striker who must have thought Christmas had come early, making no mistake in slotting home the winner. City remain on top of the league by goal difference following the draw between Salisbury and Weymouth. (Thanks to Nigel Ashworth for the match report)
A stunning 25-yard volley by Jim Rollo (pictured), his first goal since January 2004, was not enough to prevent City losing 2-1 to Yeading at Twerton Park this afternoon in the FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round. His fabulous strike gave City the lead after 14 minutes but the Conference South side levelled within three minutes. City controlled the remainder of the half with Tony Bird and Scott Partridge both going close to restoring their lead. The early stages of the second period also saw City on top as Yeading tried to disrupt City with a series of late challenges. However, as the half progressed City lost their way somewhat and with 15 minutes left keeper Justin Shuttlewood was slow off his line to a long ball forward allowing Telemaque to bundle the ball home the winning goal.
City have signed Brislington winger Craig Davidge on non-contract terms and he was a non-playing substitute against Yeading this afternoon.
Local league rivals Chippenham Town have made a surprise offer for City’s top scorer Scott Partridge. However, unsurprisingly City have turned down this offer and manager John Relish has made it clear that Partridge is going nowhere. Even Bluebird’s manager Darren Perrin has admitted that the move is “dead in the water” and will have to go elsewhere in his desperate search for a striker to replace James Constable – once a target for City – who joined Walsall recently.
City’s trip to league leaders Salisbury City – cancelled from last month because the Wlitshire side didn’t fancy playing City – has been rearranged for Tuesday 24 January 2006 (ko 7.45pm).
A goal midway through the second half last night was enough to deny City a 3rd Round FA Youth Cup place and a tie with Wolverhampton Wanderers. Instead it will be Cheltenham Town who will face last season’s semi-finalists. In an evenly matched game City had the better of the first half but failed to turn this advantage into clear cut openings. And they were made to pay for this when on 70 minutes Parker’s burst of speed created a shooting chance which he placed beyond Eddie Quelch. City’s desperately tried to find an equaliser but it was the visitors who went close to increasing their lead on several occasions as their full-time status began to tell.
City’s captain Bobby Ford has quit Twerton Park and retired from football. The 31-year old former Oxford United and Sheffield United midfielder has started only six games this season due to a series of niggling injuries and this no doubt has played a part in his decision. In total Ford made 70 appearances (eight from the bench) for City, scoring a single goal, a 50 yard stunner in the final game of last season against Aylesbury United.
City’s clash with Aylesbury United this afternoon was abandoned after 80 minutes due to the dense fog enveloping Twerton Park. The game only went ahead following a morning pitch inspection but from the start it was played in murky conditions which only worsened as time went on. It appeared that match would reach its conclusion, however after about 77 minutes the referee consulted with his assistants then both captains before taking the players off the field. There was a short period of uncertainy as the game was not officially abandoned and the referee came back out onto the pitch 15 minutes later but conditions had not improved and he finally called a halt to the proceedings. Before this premature end the game had been as gloomy as the surroundings with only a first half shot against the post for the visitors and a City effort that keeper Rashid appeared to carry over the line coming close to breaking the goalless deadlock.
City’s 2nd round FA Youth Cup meeting with Cheltenham Town will take place at Twerton Park on Wednesday 23 November (ko 7.45pm). The winners will face last season semi-finalists Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 3rd round.
City have secured the services of Justin Shuttlewood to cover during Paul Evans’ three game ban. The ex-City goalkeeper has been turning out for Warminster Town this season but is set to play against Yeading in the FA Trophy, Tiverton Town in the League Cup and the league meeting with Hitchin Town following Evans’ red card last week against Bromsgrove. Shuttlewood made 15 starts and one substitute appearance during his previous 18 month spell with the club.
An extra-time goal by Dave Peters secured a 2-1 victory for City’s youth team in a lively FA Youth Cup encounter with Gloucester City at Meadow Park last night. The rescheduled meeting, after last week’s attempt was abandoned just 25 minutes into the game, saw 13 cautions and both sides reduced to ten men. It wasn’t until the 76th minute that the deadlock was broken when Adam Shackell headed home. Within moments Alex Lapham saw red for his second booking but the numbers were even again shortly afterwards as Dunsford suffered the same fate as the City captain. With just a minute left Green struck the equaliser taking the game into extra time. City restored their advantage through Peters midway through the first period and despite understandably tiring toward the end they held on to secure a 2nd Round meeting with Cheltenham Town.
Scott Partridge ended his six match goal drought with a strike in each half to help City to a comfortable 4-0 Somerset Premier Cup win at Western League Bishop Sutton last night. In a game which City dominated from the start Martin Paul and Adie Harris both struck the bar before, in first half injury-time, Partridge coolly finished to put them ahead. Two goals during the opening minutes of the second period from Paul and Phil Walsh put the result beyond doubt and Partridge grabbed his second midway through the half.
City’s youth team secured a place in the 2nd Round of the FA Youth Cup and a meeting with Cheltenham Town with a 2-1 extra-time victory over Gloucester City last night. Full details to follow.
The draw for the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy has paired City with Conference South opposition in the shape of Yeading. The Middlesex-based side won the Ryman League last season and made national headlines when they faced Premiership giants Newcastle United in the FA Cup 3rd Round but they have had a mixed start this season, currently lying 16th in the Conference South, with five wins from their first fourteen games. The match will take place at Twerton Park on Saturday 26 November.
Bath City Youth returned to the top of the South West Counties Youth League after an excellent away win at previously unbeaten Salisbury City on Saturday. Manager Ali Belcher rang the changes with FA Youth Cup duty in mind and it paid dividends almost immediately with when Mark Branton’s well-struck cross found an unmarked Rupert Mall to head home from six yards. Salisbury were very physical and gave a good account of themselves but found an in form Eddie Quelch hard to beat in the City goal. City held the lead into the break and were then involved in a dogged game that saw the referee giving free kicks all over the park. Belcher introduced defender Adam Tyers in the second period and it was Tyers who got the vital second goal on 68 minutes when he superbly stretched and volleyed home after being set up by Ingram following a Lapham free kick. City then had striker Tom Pursall sent to Hospital to receive 11 stitches in a cut eye and he also broke his nose in the same challenge. As with the Hereford game the City bus and spirited players arrived at the Hospital to collect Pursall and travel home with what may be a vital three points come the end of the season. (Thanks to Nigel Ashworth for the match report).
In a flashback to the lively meetings between City and Bromsgrove Rovers back in both clubs Conference days yesterday’s FA Trophy tie saw three red cards following a 20-man brawl. For 89 minutes the game was largely forgettable as goals from Tony Bird and Jon Holloway put City firmly in control of the game but a challenge between Paul Evans and Bromsgrove Hadland near the touchline sparked the incident. Suddenly every player apart from visitors keeper Lee Evans and Scott Partridge was involved in a mass punch-up. When the officials finally separated the sides City’s Evans and Gethin Jones were dismissed along with Rovers’ Benbow. Steve Jones donned the keeper’s gloves for the closing moments of the game which passed with little incident. Before this fun and games City had comfortably secured thier progress into the 3rd qualifying round without ever really having to get out of first gear. Bird fired them ahead on 11 minutes with a sweetly struck 18 yard shot from Andy Sandell’s cross and then on the stroke of half time Holloway headed home a free-kick. Bird and Sandell both hit the crossbar in the second half as the game appeared to be heading for a quiet conclusion. Then the players realised what City versus Bromsgrove clashes were supposed to be like.
City Youth’s FA Youth Cup 1st Round meeting with Gloucester City, which was abandoned after 25 minutes last week, has been rearranged for Tuesday 15 November (ko 7.45pm).
Weather brought a halt to City Youth’s much anticipated FA Youth Cup 1st Round clash with Gloucester City last night but not before the sides had played for 25 minutes. Heavy rain before the kick-off had left puddles on the Meadow Park pitch but the referee still began the game. However, it was soon clear that conditions were too bad and, with the score still goalless, proceedings were halted after 25 minutes, to the disappointment of the reasonable sized crowd. A new date will arranged in due course.
After firing blanks in their last two games City finally rediscovered their goalscoring touch this afternoon to run out 3-0 winners at Northwood. Adie Harris headed home an Andy Sandell free-kick on 18 minutes to put City ahead. The rest of the first half was largely forgettable but after the break the home side looked more threatening with Paul Evans forced to make several good saves. With nineteen minutes left City doubled thier lead, Sandell’s right foot shot finding the corner of the net and four minutes later Jon Holloway put the game beyond Northwood, firing home after the keeper could only parry Sandell’s shot. Substitute Martin Paul then headed against the post with his first touch as City finished the game strongly.
City have been drawn away to Tiverton Town in the 3rd Round of the Errea Cup (formerly the Southern League Cup). The match will take place on Wednesday 30 November (ko 7.45pm).
John Relish has boosted his squad with the arrival of versatile former Exeter City player Barry McConnell. The 27-year old, who can play on either wing, up front or at full-back, spent 10 years with the Grecians before being released this week just after a testimonial match against Charlton Athletic. He made his debut in today’s victory at Northwood but missing from the squad was Chris Holland after he was shipped out to Conference South strugglers Weston Super Mare. The former Team Bath defender has been hit by a number of niggling inuries this season and has joined Weston on loan in an attempt to recover his match fitness.
Andy Sandell has been training with Coca-Cola League 1 outfit Swansea City this week which could lead to a dream move into the professional game. The 22-year old signed for City from Paulton Rovers for £1500 during the summer and he has been one of the club’s more impressive players during their indifferent start to the season, and this form has attracted the attention of the Swans. Sandell hopes to return to Wales for further training during the coming weeks with any possible deal having to wait until the transfer window opens again for League clubs in January.
The FA Youth Cup 1st Round match between City Youth and Gloucester City will take place on Tuesday 8 November (ko 7.45pm) at Meadow Park. The winners will face a home tie in the 2nd Round against either Swansea City or Cheltenham Town.