Football fans are being encouraged to have a Merry Quitmas and a healthy New Year in a new partnership between Bath City FC and Sirona Care & Health. The club and Sirona’s Healthy Lifestyle Service are kicking off a new partnership with the launch of a calendar for 2013 with the aim of encouraging fans to take on board the health messages from giving up smoking to looking after their heart. And the players have dug out pictures of themselves as young children for the front cover to match the theme of becoming healthy adults.
Manda Rigby, club chairman, said: “Bath City FC is proud to work with Sirona in the great work they do. Our players are not full time professionals, they have to fit in training around their other commitments and to remain at the peak of their fitness is a challenge which they rise to superbly. They were very willing to help promote health messages in the community they love playing for. They have grown from small children into healthy adults. There are some serious messages in the calendar, but also, we hope it makes you smile.”
Claire Riggs, Sirona’s health improvement specialist, said: “We hope that we will be giving fans goals to aim for as well as watching the club score goals on the pitch. We are delighted to work with Bath City Football Club to promote key health messages to team supporters. The Healthy Lifestyle Service will help you, your loved ones and families to reach your goals whilst supporting you every step of the way. Whether it’s losing weight, improving your cooking skills, supporting you to stop smoking, eating a healthier diet or getting more physically active we are here to help. Small changes really do make a big difference and by improving your lifestyle you really can expect to improve the quality of your life. The New Year is quite often when people are looking to change their lifestyles and this calendar will hopefully inspire people to take the leap.”
The calendar costs £10 with 20 per cent of profits being donated to UK.Movember.com which is raising awareness of prostate and testicular cancer. It is available from the club and online at http://boca-uk.com/pages/home from Saturday.
Sirona’s Healthy Lifestyle Service can be contacted on 01225 831852 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
With both the 2012-13 FA Cup and FA Trophy consigned to a bin marked ‘disappointing’ City can turn their full attention to the Blue Square Bet South (at least, until the Somerset Premier Cup resumes in February 2013) and look to consolidate their position in the group of teams chasing a play-off place. Standing in the way of another three point haul on Saturday is Eastbourne Borough who make the long trip from East Sussex to Mayday Trust Park.
The Sports have suffered a mixed opening third of the campaign in their second season back at this level following three years in the Conference Premier. Having only joined the Sussex County League in 1983 the club made steady progress, becoming founder members of the Conference South in 2004. In 2007-08 they were beaten to the title by local rivals Lewes but joined the Rooks in the top flight of non-league football thanks to play-off wins over Braintree Town and Hampton & Richmond Borough. They finished their first season in a comfortable 13th place but only a last day win over eventual play-off winners Oxford United, thanks to an 84th minute penalty, secured a third season in the Conference National. After a promising start to the 2010-11 campaign a run of 20 games without a win saw them drop to the foot of the table and they ended the season heading back to the Conference South, on 39 points, 8 points short of safety in 23rd place. Hopes of bouncing straight back were high as the club won half of their opening twelve games but another poor spell between October and February saw the Sports battling to avoid a second successive relegation. This run saw long serving manager Garry Wilson and Head Coach Nick Greenwood relieved of their duties. Both had been at the helm for 13 years and had taken the club from relative obscurity to the pinnacle of non-league football. Former Salisbury City manager Tommy Widdrington was appointed in February 2012 with the aim of retaining Eastbourne’s Conference South status, a task he achieved in the penultimate game of the season.
The 2012-13 season began in disappointing style for Eastbourne as two goals in the closing ten minutes condemned them to a 2-1 defeat at Dorchester Town but home wins over Bromley and Billericay Town plus a goalless draw at Dover Athletic saw them end the opening month in 5th place. Just a single further win was recorded in their next seven league outings (the other six all ending in defeat) though and they also crashed out of the FA Cup to Ryman League Hendon. This run was ended with back to back victories against AFC Hornchurch and Eastleigh before a draw with Basingstoke Town, loss to Dover Athletic and win over struggling Truro City sees them coming into the meeting with City in 15th position. They also suffered disappointment in the FA Trophy, losing 3-0 at Northern Premier League Division One South side King’s Lynn Town. The Sports midfielder Chris Shepherd is set to make his first return to Twerton Park having made five appearances for City last season.
Complete record against Eastbourne Borough
The head to head record between City and Eastbourne is perfectly balanced with each side recording a single win in the six meetings and scoring four goals apiece. The first encounter took place during the early stages of the 2003-04 season in Eastbourne and the home side dominated from the opening whistle. They found Romans keeper Mark Bryant in excellent form though and it wasn’t until the 71st minute that a clumsy challenge by Adam Howarth gifted them the lead from the penalty spot. This finally seemed to wake City up and seven minutes later Dwayne Plummer and Mark Salter (in probably the highlight of their short spells with City) combined for the latter to head home the equaliser. And City almost grabbed an undeserved winner in the closing minutes when Scott Hendy glanced a header narrowly wide. When the sides met again in March City had spent the majority of the intervening months in the bottom two places of the table whist Borough were safely in mid-table. Despite this goals from Frankie Bennett and Steve Tweddle fired them to a comfortable 2-0 win. The following three meetings all ended level before Eastbourne recorded their first win over City in the penultimate game of the 2010-11 season, two second half strikes giving the already relegated East Sussex side the three points.
City’s meeting with Eastbourne Borough on Saturday looks likely to be their final pre-Christmas Mayday Trust Park outing after Bromley progressed to the FA Trophy 2nd Round earlier this week. The sides were due to meet on Saturday 15 December but now the Lilywhites will be in Trophy action at home to Kidderminster Harriers on that day instead. A new date will be announced in due course.
City’s poor record in the FA Trophy continued this afternoon as they were dumped out of the competition by Chesham United by two goals to one. The Southern League side struck twice in seven first half minutes and although Kerry Morgan pulled a goal back on 74 minutes City could not complete a comeback. The Generals began the game brightly and on 17 minutes went ahead when Watters’ low shot found the corner of the net. And seven minutes later it got even worse for City as Fotheringham’s cross gave Thomas a simple tap-in. The second half saw City introduce Morgan and Charlie Griffin and it was that combination who grabbed a lifeline for the Romans when the latter’s shot was deflected into the former’s path to blast home. However, the closest City came to grabbing an equaliser was when debutant striker Tom Nichols struck the post from a corner ten minutes from time, but this would have been harsh on Chesham who fully deserved becoming the second lower division side to dump City out of a cup competition this season.
City have signed Exeter City striker Tom Nichols on a four-week loan deal. The 20-year old came up through the youth ranks with the Grecians and made his first team debut in May 2011. He spent a successful loan spell with Dorchester Town in the Blue Square Bet South last season, scoring nine goals in twelve games, and also spent five weeks at Hereford United early this campaign. He will go straight into the squad to face Chesham United in the FA Trophy on Saturday.
City travel to Buckinghamshire on Saturday with Southern League Premier Division Chesham United standing between them and a place in the FA Trophy 2nd Round. Coming into the game, following their first back to back clean sheets since April 2011 plus 25 goals scored in their last nine games, City are unlikely to lack confidence against the Generals but, having been taken to a replay in the previous round against Leatherhead, there should equally be no complacency in their performance. A win for the Romans would not only take them into the last 32 of the competition it would also see another £5000 prize money banked.
The 2012-13 season is Chesham’s third back in the Southern League Premier Division after winning promotion from the Midland Division via the play-offs in 2010-11. The club had only joined the Southern League in 2004 having spent much of its existence in the Isthmian League. United’s greatest success came during the 1967-68 season when they went all the way from the Preliminary Round to the final of the FA Amateur Cup, finally losing 1-0 to Leytonstone in front of a 54,000 Wembley crowd. At a time when the population of Chesham was just 18,000 people, the club sold 22,000 tickets for this game. The 1990s saw the club lift the Ryman League Premier Division title for the first time but just over a decade later they were facing financial meltdown. Local businessman, Charles Manchester, came in to rescue the club in 2006 and after four years handed over control to the Chesham United Supporters’ Trust with its future much more secure.
Chesham’s first season back in the Premier Division saw them narrowly miss out on a play-off place after failing to win any of their final six games of the campaign, but last year they secured a post-season berth thanks to a 4th place finish. However, they were denied promotion to the Conference South after a 3-2 semi-final defeat to AFC Totton. They began this season in promising style, winning four of their opening six league games to sit second at the beginning of September. A 3-0 home defeat to City’s FA Cup conquerors Gosport Borough began a run of eight league matches without a win though, which has seen them slip to 15th place. To reach this stage of the FA Trophy the Generals beat Bishop’s Cleeve in the 1st Qualifying Round, Taunton Town by five goals to one in the next round and then in the last round a replay win over Canvey Island.
Complete record against Chesham United
The clubs have met on four previous occasions, during Chesham’s initial two year spell in the Southern League Premier Division between 2004 and 2006, with City enjoying the greater success, winning three and drawing the other encounter. The draw took place during the first clash at Amy Lane in February 2006. The Generals came into the game in free-scoring mood, a 6-1 win over Tiverton Town in the previous outing taking their total to 18 in the previous five league games. It took the home side, who were three places above City, just five minutes to add to this tally, Lawford taking advantage of hesitant defending to net his 25th goal of the season. They continued to pressure City but six minutes before the interval, against the run of play, Darren Hawkins flicked a Graeme Power cross on to Jimmy Benefield and he turned to neatly to fire the Romans level. Clearly buoyed by this City began the second half much more confidently as Bobby Ford forced a fine save out of Jackson before the keeper blocked John Williams’ effort after the striker had raced clear on goal. Benefield also saw a shot flash narrowly wide but as the game reached its final minutes Chesham created several chances which meant a draw was probably the fairest outcome.
City produced a determined rearguard action this afternoon at Gander Green Lane to defeat Sutton United 2-0 and climb to 6th place in the Blue Square Bet South table. Despite being under pressure for much of the 90 minutes a first half header from Mark Preece and a late strike from substitute Kerry Morgan saw the points head back to Somerset. From the opening whistle the U’s dominated possession but they found City’s backline in resiliant form and even when they did find a sight of goal their finishing was wasteful. In contrast from City’s first real opening on 24 minutes they went ahead. Aaron Brown’s free-kick was knocked back across goal by Charlie Griffin where Preece headed home his first goal in City colours. This understandably stunned the home side but they slowly regained their composure and before the half was over were again well on top. There was little change after the interval but City keeper Jason Mellor was looking increasingly confident, showing faultless handling and twice bravely saving at the feet of a Sutton player. Both the home and away supporters began to sense that one goal might be enough but City spared themselves a nervous stoppage time when Marc Canham and Chris Allen combined on 89 minutes to set up Morgan who made no mistake with a well-struck low shot.
The last time City were in Blue Square Bet South action it culminated in the stoppage-time drama against Farnborough and a win which moved them to within two points of the play-off places. So, after a two week break where City progressed in both the Somerset Premier Cup and FA Trophy, albeit in somewhat contrasting manners, Lee Howells’ side will travel to Sutton United on Saturday knowing a win could lift them into the top five.
Sutton currently sit just one point and two spots above the relegation places after a poor start to the 2012-13 season but in the last few weeks there have been signs of improvement and, with the division still so closely bunched, a couple of wins would carry them closer to the play-off zone than the bottom three. Having finished bottom of the Conference South in 2007-08 the Us took three seasons to get back to this level, losing in the first two seasons play-off semi-finals to Staines Town and Kingstonian respectively, before avoiding an unwanted treble by lifting the Ryman League title in 2010-11. They opened the 2011-12 season with a humbling 5-0 home defeat to eventual champions Woking but just one further defeat in their next 14 league games put them firmly amongst the play-off contenders. Although they also suffered further heavy defeats against Woking (1-4), Eastleigh (0-4) and Dartford (1-6), once they climbed into the top five midway through September, they never relinquished this placing and a final finish of 4th earned them a play-off semi-final meeting with Welling United. Their struggles in the post-season continued though, failing to recover from a 2-1 home defeat in the first leg – a goalless draw at Park View Road enough to send the Wings through to the final.
Manager Paul Doswell captured the services of 35-year-old Jamie Stuart after the defender was released by AFC Wimbledon, who he captained on their return to the Football League, along with defender Gareth Gwillim, also from the Dons, midfielder Sam Rents and striker Kezie Ibe, before adding midfielder Nick McKoy and right back Connor McLaren after they impressed in pre-season. A narrow 2-1 defeat to Basingstoke Town on the opening day of the season was followed up by a more promising 2-2 draw with Dover Athletic. They had lead twice against the Whites and it was problems in holding a lead that blighted the early stages of the campaign. They scored first against Maidenhead United, Welling United and Weston Super Mare but had to settle for a draw, which along with defeats against Dorchester Town and Boreham Wood left them rooted to the bottom of the Conference South. Truro’s 10-point deduction saw the Us move up one place and they finally recorded their first win of the season in early October with a surprise 1-0 success against Chelmsford City. Since then they have enjoyed victories at Eastbourne Borough and Truro, a draw with Tonbridge Angels (though after leading by two goals) and defeats against Staines Town and Eastleigh. They also reached the 1st Round of the FA Trophy, thanks to a 2-0 win over Ramsgate, where they will face Blue Square Bet South rivals Maidenhead United.
Complete record against Sutton United
Overall City’s record against the U’s does not make great reading with just five wins in the fifteen meetings, and several heavy defeats including a brace of 4-0’s, a 6-1 and 7-2. However, their most recent visit in January 2008 was more successful as a Dave Gilroy hat-trick fired them to a 4-0 win. He netted in the 21st, 40th and 70th minutes to record his third treble in City colours and the other goal came from Chris Holland, following up Justyn McKay’s stunning free-kick that struck the post. The win kept City firmly amongst the play-off chasing pack but it was Sutton who effectively ended these hopes when they beat City 3-2 at Twerton Park in the penultimate match of the campaign.
There was no repeat of Saturday’s eight-goal extravaganza at Mayday Trust Park this evening but City will be much happier after a goal in each half was enough to overcome Leatherhead and secure a FA Trophy 1st Round trip to Chesham United. The game started in a similar manner to Saturday with the visitors looking the more dangerous and City struggling to retain possession. This time though the Tanners failed to find a breakthrough and as the half progressed City began to exert a greater influence on the game, without ever really looking like a side two divisions above their opponents. Given their weakness on Saturday against corners it was ironic that on 36 minutes City went ahead in that manner, Charlie Griffin converting Aaron Brown’s centre from eight yards. The second half was much more comfortable for City as Leatherhead appeared to run out of steam but they needed a second goal and with 17 minutes remaining Chris Allen duly obliged, curling a great shot beyond Williams after a strong run. It was City who looked more likely to add to the scoring after this but the game ended 2-0 which will see them travel to Chesham United, who came from behind to beat Canvey Island this evening, on Saturday 24 November (ko 3pm).
The winners of tomorrow’s night FA Trophy replay will face either Canvey Island or Chesham United in the 1st Round following today’s draw. Whilst City and Leatherhead were sharing eight goals on Saturday in Surrey the Ryman League Premier Division and Southern League Premier Division sides were drawing 1-1 in the Thames estuary. They will meet again in Buckinghamshire tomorrow evening.
City have annouced reduced admission prices for their FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round replay at Mayday Trust Park on Tuesday 13 November (ko 7.45pm) against Ryman League Division 1 South Leatherhead, following the incredible 4-4 draw between the sides on Saturday. Prices are adults £10, concessions £5 and U16s £1. There will have to be a result on the night with extra-time and penalties a possibilty to decide which club reaches the 1st Round. The draw for this round will be available on here around midday tomorrow.
City and Leatherhead shared eight goals in a remarkable FA Trophy game today that will see them meet again at Mayday Trust Park on Tuesday evening. On an afternoon that both defences will want to forget it took just three minutes for the home side to open the scoring, Nnamani netting after City failed to deal with a corner. Six minutes later Chris Allen latched on to a Sean Canham flick and City were level. On 15 minutes another corner caused panic in the City box allowing Bradbook to head the Tanners back in front. Just before the half-hour mark Charlie Griffin set up Canham to fire home from 12 yards and six minutes later a stunning 25-yard strike from Aaron Brown put City in front for the first time. There were no more goals in the first half and City began the second period strongly, finally showing signs of the two division gap between the teams. However, it was Ryman League Division 1 South side who were on target next thanks to Hutching’s free-kick from the edge of the box. Once again City came back and on 70 minutes Canham headed home his second goal from a Brown cross. The game reached it final minute with City still holding this slender advantage but the Tanners deservedly levelled again through Hutching’s neat near post finish to send the 3rd Qualifying Round tie to a replay.
The 2012-13 FA Trophy begins for City on Saturday with a 3rd Qualifying Round trip to Leatherhead. Having already crashed out of the FA Cup to lower league opposition they will be looking to avoid an unwanted double against the Ryman League Division 1 South side and, although their overall FA Trophy record leaves much to be desired, it is not since the 2003-04 season they were on the wrong end of a giant-killing act in the competition.
During the late 1960s and 1970s Leatherhead were one of the most famous names in non-league football, twice reaching the FA Amateur Cup final, losing to Skelmersdale United in 1969, and again in 1971, to Ilford. The 1974-75 season saw the Tanners make national headlines thanks to their FA Cup exploits. They beat Isthmian League rivals Bishops Stortford, League side Colchester United, and 3rd Division Brighton & Hove Albion, managed by Peter Taylor. In the 4th Round they were drawn against 1st Division Leicester City at home. With the game switched to Filbert Street, at the request of Tanners management, the BBC’s Match of the Day and over 32,000 people saw a dramatic match, in which the Tanners went two goals up, and then saw goalbound shot that would have made it 3–0 cleared off the line. Leicester City’s fitness and class eventually told as the Foxes fought back to win 3–2 in the second half. In 1978, the side reached the final of the FA Trophy, played at Wembley, only to lose 3–1 to Altrincham.
Having been regular top six finishers in the Athenian League during the 1960s they joined the Isthmian League for the start of the 1972–73 season. They never really repeated their cup success in the league and by the early 1990s were in Division 2. Off the field problems were also dogging the club, it seemed that they were doomed in the summer of 2000 when a last-ditch appeal to the local business community for sponsorship failed. It was then that the supporters of the Tanners stepped in to save their club. A group of fans secured a new long-term lease on Fetcham Grove, helping to secure the Tanners’ future, under the motto “a club run by its supporters for the benefit of the community”. They reached the FA Cup 1st Round in 2006 for the first time in 26 years, losing 2-1 to Torquay United, then in 2011 a dramatic 4-3 play-off final win over Dulwich Hamlet, where they were 3-1 down with just seven minutes left, before a Terry hat-trick turned the game around, saw them return to the Premier Division for the first time since 1982-83. However they only managed one season in the top flight of the Isthmian league before being relegated back to Division 1 South.
The Tanners began the 2012-13 season in positive fashion with wins over Whitstable Town and, local rivals, Tooting & Mitcham along with FA Cup progress to the 2nd Qualifying Round. There they narrowly lost to City’s Conference South rivals Chelmsford City and this was quickly followed by four successive league defeats to slip down to the lower reaches of the table. They halted this run with an emphatic 3-0 victory against table toppers Crawley Down Gatwick and victories over Eastbourne Town and Hythe Town, plus a draw with Burgess Hill Town, has lifted them back up to 7th place and the edge of the play-off places.
Complete record against Leatherhead
City and Leatherhead have met twice previously, both in the FA Cup, with a 1-0 win apiece. The first clash took place in 1980 and, although they were a league higher, City had already negotiated three rounds to reach the 4th Qualifying stage whereas the tie was the Tanners first outing in the competition that season. And it was the Surrey side who earned a 1st Round meeting with Exeter City thanks to a single first half goal. Almost 24 years to the day they faced each other again, also with a place in the 1st Round on offer but this time at Twerton Park. After an early scare for City, debutant keeper Steve Perrin saving well from Gray, they controlled the first half but only had John Williams’ 13th minute strike to show for this dominance. In contrast the second half saw the visitors force City onto the back foot, with just the occasional break threatening a second goal. Perrin was forced into several more important saves although he was beaten nine minutes from time only for the post to deny the Tanners a deserved equaliser. This turned out to be the last close call for City as they secured a trip to Barnet in the 1st Round.
City will face local opposition in the next round of the Somerset Premier Cup after the quarter-final draw paired the with Odd Down. The Western League Premier Division side reached this stage of the competition with a 2-0 win over Hengrove Athletic. The sides have only met once previously in the County Cup, with the Downers winning a remarkable match 4-3 during the 2002-03 season. The tie will take place at Mayday Trust Park during week commencing 25 February 2013.
Harry Hooman, who picked up an injury in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Farnborough, has returned to Cheltenham Town following the end of his month loan deal at Mayday Trust Park. To cover for injuries in the squad Head Coach Lee Howells has signed playing forms and he could be named on the bench at Leatherhead tomorrow.
Former City manager Ivor Powell sadly passed away aged 96 on 6 November. The Bargoed born wing-half enjoyed a successful playing career for Blackpool, Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa during the 1940s and 1950s, plus eight caps for his country, and was considered as one of the finest players of his generation. After managerial spells with Port Vale, Bradford City and Carlisle United he was handed the uneviable task of taking over from Malcolm Allison as manager of City in July 1964. With the successful team breaking up he couldn’t prevent relegation at the end of that season but Powell led the side back to the Southern League Premier Division at the first time of asking. He left the club midway through the 1966-67 season, before joining the University of Bath as football coach in the early 1970s. In 2004 he was inducted into the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame and in 2006 his role as the world’s oldest working football coach was recognised as a Guinness World Record. Powell was made an MBE in the 2008 New Year’s Honours List and he finally hung up his boots in May 2010, aged 93.
It is with sadness and regret that the family of Ivor Prosser have to announce that he died on Thursday 01/11/2012. Ivor was a well known, greatly respected and dearly loved member of the Bath sporting scene. He first appeared on the Twerton Park pitch as a 9-year old lad in 1948-9, then as an 18 year old made the City 1st team. Ivor came from a golden era of local talent and with others moved to higher levels in the game before returning to the local area to represent several local teams, from Trowbrige Town , finishing his illustrious career at Welton Rovers. Ivor’s sporting interest were wide and varied, from tennis as a schoolboy to Cricket, squash and golf. He played cricket for Lansdown 1st, squash at Redwood Lodge and golf at Lansdown golf club. His sporting life ran in parallel with his chosen profession, that of a turf accountant, he lived the “life”. Bath City will remember him in all the rolls mentioned, but also as a Director and life long supporter of the club, but most of all for his outstanding character and the generosity with which he conducted every aspect of his life. He was a great man and will be sorely missed by us all.
A brace from Kerry Morgan either side of strikes from Brad Norris and Sam Babatunde saw City comfortably overcome Western League strugglers Wellington AFC in the Somerset Premier Cup 2nd Round this evening. Morgan opened the scoring with less than a minute on the clock before Norris made it 2-0 five minutes before half-time. City’s line-up included a number of youth team players and it was one of these who scored the third, Babatunde flicking home Morgan’s cross on 65 minutes. Morgan then completed the scoring seven minutes from time to secure City’s quarter-final place.
City begin their 2012-13 Somerset Premier Cup campaign on Wednesday evening with a trip to South Somerset to face Toolstation League Division 1 strugglers Wellington AFC in the 2nd Round tie. City have lifted the County Cup on 18 previous occasions, most recently in 2008, although the last three seasons have seen them exit at the first time of asking, a run they will look to end at The Playing Fields.
The Tangerines are currently rooted to the foot of the Western League Division 1 having won just one of their opening 13 league games. The poor start to the season saw manager Colin Merrick sacked in September and he was replaced by former Yeovil Town striker Jamie Ward. Ward, who was in charge of Taunton Town’s successful under-18 side last season, got his tenure off to a promising start, taking Barnstaple Town to extra-time in the FA Vase before the Premier Division side edged through to the next round by two goals to one. Defeats against Portishead Town, Corsham Town and Cheddar followed but when his side led 3-1 against Roman Glass as the game reached 90 minutes it looked like his first win was in the bag. However, Glass striker Karim Rendall scored a stunning injury-time hat-trick in less than three minutes to leave the home side cock-a-hoop and Wellington’s management, players and supporters utterly shell-shocked. They have bounced back well from this remarkable game with draws against Keynsham Town and Calne Town and will hope a positive result against City can kick-start their season.
Complete record against Wellington AFC
The game with be the fourth Somerset Premier Cup meeting between the clubs with City having won the previous three games, scoring 14 goals and conceding none. Half of the goals came in the most recent encounter at the same stage of the 1997-98 competition. From the opening kick-off City dominated but it wasn’t until the 32nd minute Mike Davis poked home a Stuart James corner to opening the scoring and eleven minutes later the same player made it 2-0, turning Graham Colbourne’s mis-hit shot into the net. Colbourne himself fired home City’s third five minutes into the second half before Davis completed his hat-trick from the edge of the box. Colin Towler hit a shot through a crowded area for the fifth, and Alex Kiratzoglou, making his full debut, then collected a pass from substitute, and stand-in manager, Shaun Penny, to beat keeper Parris from 20-yards. The highlight of the evening for the 186 strong Twerton Park crowd came in the final minute when Davis was brought down in the box. He turned down the chance of a fourth goal to allow keeper Mark Hervin to try his luck from 12 yards. Deciding against the subtle approach he blasted the ball into the roof of the net, Parris doing well to get out of the way.
Sean Canham headed home a stoppage time goal to see City overcome Farnborough in a fluctuating five-goal thriller at Mayday Trust Park this afternoon. The strike capped a great comeback by City as they saw a 1-0 half-time lead evaporate to trail 2-1 with just six minutes left before Charlie Griffin levelled the score with a great free-kick. Griffin, making his first appearance for a month, had given City the lead on 17 minutes, racing clear onto Chris Allen’s pass to fire past Bradshaw. City were good value for their lead at this point but the visitors came back well and were unfortunate to go into the break still trailing. However, after 56 minutes Connolly was allowed too much space from a quickly taken short corner and he drove a low shot into the corner of the net. Both sides pressed to earn the win after this and it was Boro who looked to have grabbed it when Bennett’s shot took a lucky deflection of Mark Preece to loop beyond a wrong-footed Glyn Garner with just 12 minutes left. City did not let their heads drop though and, after Canham had been pulled down right on the edge of the box, Griffin curled the ball home from 20 yards. Lifted by this City continued to push forward and two minutes into stoppage time a great cross by Kerry Morgan was headed in by Canham. There was still time for a Jones shot to canon against the angle of post and crossbar before dropping into Garner’s grateful arms, and the visiting players were still claiming the ball had crossed the line when the final whistle went seconds later.
City will look to bounce back from their disappointing 3-1 midweek defeat at Eastleigh on Saturday when Farnborough travel to Mayday Trust Park. The game will see a second successive visit from a side looking to restore their fortunes following demotion down the pyramid for financial problems during recent years. The Hampshire club have already returned to the level at which they were plying their trade prior to reforming and are now looking to climb back to the top table of non-league football, having graced it on and off during the 1990s and early 2000s.
Farnborough Town came into existence in 1968 and took just 21 years to reach the Conference. The next 15 years saw something of a yo-yo existence as they were relegated four times before bouncing back on three occasions. During these years it was in the FA Cup they garnered national attention, becoming the first non-league team to beat a league side in front of the live Sky Sports cameras in December 1991, winning 4–3 against Torquay United. They then reached the 4th Round in 2002-03 drawing Arsenal at home. The match was switched to Highbury (the last time a club was allowed to make such a change) where the Gunners ran out 5-1 winners. The game was also the final one in charge for high-profile manager Graham Westley (who at the time also owned the club) and by the end of that season they were heavily in debt and operating under a transfer embargo. The club only avoided relegation at the end of the next season due to no Northern League team being eligible for promotion but a year later, against the background of further off the field problems, there was no such escape and the club found themselves in the Conference South. The 2005-06 season saw an impressive third place finish but debts were continuing to mount and by July 2006 Boro were in administration. Despite this the club finished the 2006-07 campaign in 11th place but went into liquidation in May 2007 and Farnborough FC was set up, dropping just two levels to Southern League South & West Division 1.
The newly formed club immediately took one step back up the pyramid, comfortably winning the level 8 division and for much of the 2008-09 season they looked like making it back to back promotions. However, a 3-1 defeat to title rivals Corby Town in early April was followed by a surprise defeat at Bashley and they had to settle for the runners up spot. After edging past Hemel Hempstead Town in the play-off semi-finals on penalties they faced Gloucester City in the final but a single goal by the Tigers was enough to condemn Boro to at least one more season in the Southern League. And it was just one season as they only lost five league games during 2009-10. Back in the Conference South they took the runners-up spot in 2010-11 before losing 4-2 to Ebbsfleet United in the play-off final. Last season a five point deduction for financial irregularities left the club nervously looking over their shoulder at the relegation zone but a vital win over Havant & Waterlooville in their penultimate match ensured they retained their Conference South place.
Manager and Chairman Spencer Day brought in several new players during the summer, including former AFC Wimbledon and Woking centre-back Alan Inns and versatile Spaniard Alfredo Bosch. They began the season in impressive style, coming from 2-0 to draw with Dover Athletic in their opening match before beating Weston Super Mare and drawing with Dorchester Town. However, they then won just one of their next six league matches to slip toward the foot of the Conference South table. This poor run ended with a stunning 6-2 win over Eastleigh before recording further victories against Tonbridge Angels and Havant & Waterlooville. They then lost 3-2 to Staines Town but in their last outing swept past crisis club Truro City by four goals to one to climb to 4th place.
Complete record against Farnborough Town
City have enjoyed some notable meetings with Farnborough Town over the years, including a 4-0 FA Cup win in 1986, thanks to goals from Ricky Chandler, Tony Ricketts, Paul Bodin and Dave Palmer, and the 5-2 league win at Twerton Park that marked the home debut of Deion Vernon. Few players have shone so brightly for such a brief time as the ex-Bristol City winger and his two goals against Boro were amongst the highlights of his time with City. The last meeting between the clubs was much less memorable, and for more than just the 1-0 reversal City suffered. The clash took place in the FA Trophy 1st Round, with City then one division below Farnborough. After the sides drew 1-1 at Cherrywood Road, City dominated the replay but missed a series of changes which saw the game reach 90 minutes goalless. Then midway through the first period of extra-time Garness’ deflected shot looped over Paul Evans. Almost immediately after the goal thick fog descended on Twerton Park and the rest of the game was largely obscured from view.