Despite their disappointing 2nd Qualifying Round exit at Merthyr Tydfil in this seasons competition City can claim to have the third best success record in the FA Cup. Of the 301 games they have played since they first entered the cup in 1890 (a 4-1 defeat to Kidderminster) they have won 165, which gives them a win ratio of 54.82%. Only fellow non-league sides King’s Lynn (58.73%) and Salisbury City (55.77%) can lay claim to better records. This compares to Arsenal (53.96%), Manchester United (53.87%) and Liverpool (53.69%). The complete top 10 is:
2. Salisbury City Played 208, Won 116 = 55.77%
3. BATH CITY Played 301, Won 165 = 54.82%
4. Merthyr Tydfil Played 216, Won 118 = 54.63%
5. Hastings United Played 140, Won 76 = 54.29%
6. Boston United Played 229, Won 124 = 54.15%
7. Arsenal Played 417, Won 225 = 53.96%
8. Hendon Played 280, Won 151 = 53.93%
9. Everton Played 386, Won 208 = 53.89%
10. Manchester United Played 401, Won 216 = 53.87%
(Only clubs which have played at least 100 games are included.)
City will hope to have British Gas Business League top scorer Darren Edwards in their squad to face Halesowen Town on Saturday after Yate Town accepted their latest offer for the striker. They will open talks with the 26-year old today after their fourth offer, believed to be around £4500 with another £1500 should City get promoted this season, was successful. If the deal is successful it will finally end City’s search for a front man to partner Scott Partridge that has taken in Dave Gilroy, Andy Baird, Jamie Mudge and Howard Forinton.
City have also put in seven days notice to approach Taunton Town’s top scorer Steve Cook, who scored the Somerset side’s winning goal against City in last week Somerset Premier Cup clash.
Following his 90th minute equaliser in Saturday’s meeting with Tooting & Mitcham United, Arek Zarczynski completed the job last night by scoring the only goal in City’s 1-0 replay victory. In a largely poor quality game he stabbed home a Scott Partridge cross-shot on the hour mark via the post. Scott Rogers had hit the bar in the first half with a dipping shot but the game was largely dominated by the defences. After the goal Tooting did see most possession without ever looking particularly threatening, only an optimistic late penalty appeal giving the small band of City supporters a nervous moment.
City still do not know their 1st Round proper opponents after last night replay between Maidenhead United and Farnborough Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
If City can beat Tooting & Mitcham United in their 3rd Qualifying Round replay tomorrow night they will face another trip east to face either Maidenhead United or Farnborough in the 1st Round proper. Those sides also meet again tomorrow after drawing 1-1 on Saturday and if Maidenhead are victorious it could mean City having to travel to York Road twice in the space of three days as they are due to face the Magpies in a league clash on Tuesday 19 December.
An injury-time goal by Arek Zarczynski following a great Craig Davidge run salvaged City’s FA Trophy hopes at Twerton Park this afternoon. They looked to be heading out the competition to an against the run of play first half strike by Vines for Tooting & Mitcham United. City had dominated the first period but paid the price for failing to turn this superiority into goals, although an excellent performance from Tooting keeper King and several strong penalty claims waved away by the referee didn’t help their cause. The second half was a much poorer affair as City struggled to recapture their form and they looked to be heading out the competition before Zarczynski popped up to send the match into a replay on Tuesday night in South London.
Combative midfielder Adie Harris’s return to City has been delayed due to red tape in the transfer from League of Wales side Haverfordwest County. Personal reasons saw the 25-year old join the Welsh side in the summer after spending the 2005-06 season at Twerton Park but following his release last week Harris turned down several other clubs to return to the club he said he was ‘gutted’ to leave back in June. However, the move has been delayed by international clearance which prevents players signing for another club less than 30 days after their release. Therefore, Harris and City will have to wait until December 12 to sign a non-contract deal before they can make a more permanent arrangement during the January 2007 transfer window.
City are still waiting for Yate Town to respond to their second offer for striker Darren Edwards.
With a line-up showing seven changes from the side that beat Stamford 3-2 on Saturday, City exited the Somerset Premier Cup at the 2nd Round stage last night after 2-1 defeat against Taunton Town. They got off to a perfect start when Craig Davidge’s first minute cross was converted by John Phillips but this was as good as it got for City until the closing minutes. The visitors spurned several good openings to level in the first half before, nine minutes after the break, Beadle fired home an equaliser and seven minutes later Cook put Taunton ahead from the penalty spot. Scott Rogers almost took the game into extra time in the final minute but substitute keeper Classen pushed away his 20-yard effort and the small crowd were spared another 30 minutes out in the cold.
Despite having their initial offer, rumoured to be around £3000, turned down City have continued to chase Yate Town striker Darren Edwards with an increased bid. The 26-year old is currently British Gas Business League Premier Division top scorer and is believed to be very interested in a move to Twerton Park. However, as City’s pursuit of Chippenham Town striker Dave Gilroy just before the start of this season showed a player’s wish is not the most important factor in deals between league rivals. City hope to receive an answer from the Bluebells in the next few days.
Two late goals for Stamford made the game look closer than it actually was as City retained top spot with a 3-2 victory against the Daniels this afternoon. Goals from Chris Holland, Arek Zarczynski and Scott Partridge had given them a comfortable and warranted three goal advantage before Turner and Taylor, with the last kick of the game, struck for the home side. As the first half progressed City began to get on top and a minute before the break Holland fired home after Stamford failed to clear a corner. City had an escape early in the second half when a shot struck both posts before being cleared by Steve Jones. They took full advantage of this just before the hour mark when Zarczynski fired into the roof of the net from an acute angle. The Polish striker also had a goal disallowed before turning provider, brilliantly bringing down Scott Rogers’ pass and sending Partridge away to drive home the third goal.
City have arranged their two outstanding league fixtures against Maidenhead United and Mangotsfield United. They will make the short trip to Cossham Street on Tuesday 12 December and a week later make the slightly longer journey to Maidenhead.
According to a report in today’s Western Daily Press City have had an offer for Yate Town striker Darren Edwards turned down. The 26-year old is currently the top scorer in the British Gas Business League Premier Division and scored for the Bristol-based side in the 1-1 draw with City earlier this season.
A trademark Chris Holland header from a Mark McKeever cross 20 minutes from time was enough to give City a deserved 1-0 win over Cirencester Town last night and move them to the top of the British Gas Business League Premier Division table. City dominated the game for long periods, mainly restricting the visitors to long range efforts, with Lewis Hogg and Holland going close in the first half. The second half saw Arek Zarczynski head against the foot of the post and McKeever force keeper Sawyer into a fine save. Holland headed three corners narrowly wide as well, before finally getting one on target that Sawyer could only push into the roof of the net. Merthyr Tydfil’s surprise first league defeat of the season at Tiverton Town and King’s Lynn 3-3 draw with Banbury United saw City leapfrog the pair of them to the top of the table, although only ahead of Mangotsfield United alphabetically as both sides have identical records.
City overcame a Wealdstone side that included a twelveth member wearing black this afternoon to finally record their first home league victory of the season. Goals from Chris Holland and Scott Partridge either side of a Papali header for the Stones secured the 2-1 win but, as so often at this league, it was the sheer incompetence of the referee that was the main talking point of the contest. The major decision was his failure to send-off the visitors keeper Carroll when he brought down Partridge after he had knocked the ball past him with no defender within ten yards, but a series of baffling decisions, mainly in Wealdstone’s favour, left the majority of the 669 crowd increasingly incensed. This included booking Matt Coupe when he tapped the Stones no.9 on the chest causing him to fling himself to the ground like he’d been shot. However, justice was done with Holland’s header on the stroke of half time and Partridge’s close range finish with 15 minutes left, which lifts City to 3rd place in the table.
City will face Tooting & Mitcham in the 3rd qualifying round of the FA Trophy after they surprisingly beat Bromley in their 2nd qualifying round replay. The meeting is on Saturday 25 November (ko.3pm) at Twerton Park.
Showing the difference a decent playing surface can make City comfortably progressed to the final qualifying round of the FA Trophy last night with a 4-0 victory over Sittingbourne. The Kent side had no answer to City’s passing and movement, the former made almost impossible in Saturday’s goalless draw due to the shockingly poor Bourne Park pitch, and were lucky to escape an even greater hiding. City suffered a blow on 17 minutes when Gethin Jones was stretchered off with an ankle injury but eight minutes later Mark McKeever fired home his first goal for the club and they never looked back. Scott Partridge bundled the ball home for City’s second after 31 minutes and Scott Rogers’ swerving 25-yard shot made it 3-0 before the interval. Any worry that Sittingbourne would stage a 2nd half comeback were soon dispelled as City continued to dominate, Partridge being denied by keeper Williams and Chris Holland and Lewis Hogg both seeing efforts fly narrowly wide. With 17 minutes left a stunning run and cross by substitute Craig Davidge allowed McKeever to lift home his second and City’s fourth. There was still time for Partridge to strike the post from another Davidge cross and the referee appeared to end the game slightly early to spare the Brickies further punishment. The only downside of the latter part of the game was bookings for Matt Coupe and Hogg, which see’s them both reach the fifth caution level. However, given that the timing will only result in them missing the Somerset Premier Cup game against Taunton Town a more cynical person than me could suspect there was an element of pre-arranged planning to their minor bouts of dissent.
If City overcome Sittingbourne in their 2nd Qualifying Round replay tomorrow evening they could face Ryman League leaders, big-spending Bromley in the next round of the FA Trophy. The Kent side are currently unbeaten in the league this season, although they face a Trophy replay of their own on Wednesday after drawing 1-1 with Tooting & Mitcham on Saturday. The potential 3rd Qualfying Round tie will take place at Twerton Park on Saturday 25 November.
City failure to score in an away match for the first time this season in yesterday’s FA Trophy meeting with Sittingbourne means they will have to meet the Kent side again in a replay at Twerton on Tuesday night. After a mainly even first half, largely dictated by the dreadful Bourne Park playing surface, the second period saw City dominate, although the Ryman League Division 1 side were a constant threat on the break. Lewis Hogg fired a shot inches wide early in the half, Scott Partridge saw an effort come back off the post and home keeper Williams made several good stops. Sittingbourne had a good spell in the final five minutes of the match but even then rarely troubled Paul Evans.
City were denied a place back in the Conference at the end of the 1999/2000 season due to a tax fraud by eventual champions Boston United. A court in London today convicted manager Steve Evans and chairman Pat Malkinson of a five year tax scam, both receiving suspended jail sentences. The court heard the fraud gave Boston such an edge over their competitors that they enjoyed “remarkable success”, being promoted from the Unibond League (sic) to the Nationwide Conference and then the Football League. For a large part of the 1999-2000 season it was a two-horse race between City and Boston for the Dr Martens League crown, but during the final months of the season the Lincolnshire side were able to strengthen their squad sufficiently to secure the title. In the end City fell away to end up in 4th place and have remained stuck in the Southern League ever since.
Arek Zarczynski has agreed to extend his stay at with City until at least the end of 2006. The Polish striker joined City from Forest Green Rovers at the beginning of October initially for a month but three goals in four games has prompted manager John Relish to move to keep the 31-year old at Twerton Park. He looks set to partner Scott Partridge in tomorrow’s FA Trophy tie at Sittingbourne as City go into the match with a near full-strength squad on the back of their two-week break from action. Gethin Jones and Lewis Hogg both came through a practice match during this period, although Chris Holland did pick up a minor ankle knock. Definitely missing is midfielder Dean Clarke due to a broken cheekbone.
The draw for the 3rd Round of the Errea Cup has given City an away tie with Clevedon Town. The match will take place during the week commencing 27 November (I think!).