City and Gloucester City will meet again at Twerton Park on Tuesday evening after they couldn’t be separated during this afternoon’s goalless FA Trophy draw in Cheltenham. It was a largely uneventful encounter with neither side doing enough to warrant the win, although the hosts did enjoy the greater share of possession, particularly during the second half. After a frantic opening the game soon settled down with neither side able to impose themselves on proceedings. A tame shot from Chris Allen was the best City could muster whilst two shots across the face of goal by White briefly excited the home fans. The second half followed a similar pattern despite both sides shuffling their attacking options from the bench. And it was substitute Ross Stearn who set up top scorer Dave Pratt for the Romans best chance of the game, although not until the 87th minute, however he could not keep his well-struck shot down. This had been proceeded by two Phil Walsh headers that failed to test Tigers keeper Singh as City finished the game on the front foot but by then it was too little too late to prevent the game ending in stalemate.
Gloucester City have confirmed the admission prices for Sunday’s FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round tie against City. £12 Adults, £6 Concessions and Under 18’s free of charge.
City will be running a supporters coach to the game picking up in Radstock at 11.35am, The Sizzler (Odd Down) at 11.45am and Twerton Park at 12 noon. Prices are adults £16, concessions £14 and children accompanied by an adult £7 (for non-supporter club members it is an extra £4). To book a seat contact Bas on 07881 728689.
A 57th minute Dave Pratt penalty was enough to earn City three points at Twerton Park this evening against a Hemel Hempstead side that finished the game with just eight men. City dominated the first half as they adapted well to the wet conditions, Dave Pratt striking the crossbar from close range and several goalmouth scrambles coming desperately close to breaking the deadlock. The visitor’s had a good chance late in the half, Hawkins heading over when well-placed, and they began the second period on the front foot. However, just before the hour mark Andy Watkins got in behind their defence and he was tripped right on the edge of the box by Johnson. The referee showed the defender a red card and pointed to the spot, from where Pratt’s low penalty went under Walker for his 13th goal of the season. Hemel responded well to this setback and continued to enjoy the greater possession, although Nick McCootie spurned a great chance to make it 2-0 when he raced clear from in his own half only for Walker to block his shot. With four minutes remaining Thorne became the second player to see red for an off the ball elbow on Pat Keary, but still Hemel came within inches of equalising. Then with keeper Walker up for a corner City broke away and Connolly wrestled Watkins to the ground, as he looked to take advantage of the unguarded goal, to complete the hat-trick of dismissals and finally end Hemel’s valiant resistance.
Despite a goal from keeper Jason Mellor, City suffered a disappointing defeat by two goals to one against Chelmsford City this afternoon. City largely controlled the game during the opening 30 minutes but with top scorer Dave Pratt missing through suspension they lacked a cutting edge. And they were made to pay for this on 25 minutes when a goalmouth scramble ended with Williams stabbing the ball toward goal. Although the whole of the ball did not appear to have crossed the line the referee awarded a goal. However, City’s equaliser just before the interval also had a fair degree of good fortune, albeit without the controversy. Mellor’s big clearance bounced on the edge of the Chelmsford box and looped toward goal where home keeper Watkin’s could only carry the ball over the line, the linesman signalling a goal before Andy Watkins bundled home the rebound. The second half was poor fare as both sides struggled to produce any quality football but it was the home side who secured the points on 75 minutes with a soft goal perfectly in keeping with the game. Ward’s hopeful cross was allowed to bounce to the far post where Cheek’s header had just enough power to find its way past Mellor. City never looked like finding another equaliser after this with the hosts almost catching them on the break on a couple of occasions. And City’s misery was deepened as Dan Bowman and Chas Hemmings both picked up a fifth booking of the season which will see them suspended for the St Albans City trip in two weeks time.
City’s FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round tie against Gloucester City at Whaddon Road has been confirmed for Sunday 30 November (ko 3pm). Further details to follow.
We are delighted that Twerton Park has again been selected as the venue for the annual Great West Programme and Memorabilia Fair, which will be staged this season in Randalls and Charlies Bars on Sunday November 30 (10.30am – 1.30pm). It will be the largest Fair staged in the West Country and South Wales for several years, with up to twelve stalls offering a wide range of programmes and memorabilia with stall-holders ranging from major dealers from Yorkshire, Lancashire, South Wales, London and the Home Counties and local collectors selling their surlus stocks. Organisers are hoping to attract a large number of collectors from throughout the region. Some are known to be coming from as far afield as Preston, Stafford, Worcester, Cardiff and London. Admission is only 50p for adults, under-18’s free. All adult patrons will be entered into a FREE raffle, with three prizes of a bottle of wine each (to be drawn at 12 noon). Anyone with any queries should contact Westward Programmes on 01752-773039 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
City saw a deserved one goal advantage at the interval disappear during the second half, culminating in in-form Gosport Borough running out 3-1 winners at Twerton Park this evening. Having been in control of the game for over an hour, City’s faliure to deal with two set-pieces turned the game in favour of the visitors. City went ahead on 14 minutes when hesitation in the Borough defence allowed Dave Pratt a sight of goal. Although his first effort was blocked by keeper Ashmore he showed great composure to slot home the rebound. Gosport enjoyed a remarkable double escape moments later when Andy Watkins was pulled down by Pearce as he was about to run clear on goal. Remarkably the referee waved play on by which time Ashmore had picked up the ball two yards outside his box but Mr Ford somehow managed to miss this infringement as well. Chances continued to come and go for City, the closest when Pratt’s flick from a Watkins cross struck the post on 54 minutes, and they were made to pay for these misses in the 69th minute when an unmarked Pearce headed past Jason Mellor. Ten minutes later the Hampshire side were in front as Pearce’s mis-hit shot bounced up against the bar and into the net via the back of the unfortunate Mellor. The third goal came in stoppage time when Mellor, in his haste to pass the ball out, gifted Wooden with a chance that he gratefully accepted.
City will renew acquaintances with old foes Gloucester City following today’s draw for the FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round. With the Tigers currently plying their trade in the Vanarama Conference North the clubs have not met competitively since City’s Southern League winning campaign of 2006-07. That season saw City win 4-0 in Gloucester, with current Roman Phil Walsh netting the fourth goal, before a rare error from keeper Paul Evans helped the Tigers earn a point in a 2-2 draw at Twerton Park. The date of the game is yet to be confirmed as Gloucester’s current landlord’s Cheltenham Town are home on on the scheduled date of November 29.
City recorded their biggest league victory since January 2011 at Twerton Park this afternoon as they brushed aside Maidenhead United by four goals to nil. The vistors – who have now lost all seven visits to Bath to face the Romans – set City on their way when Soloman headed into his own net on 19 minutes after keeper Britt had parried Andy Watkins’ shot. Chris Allen’s cross-shot hit the post shortly afterwards as City took control after this lucky break, although Andy Gallinagh had to be alert to block Green’s shot late in the half. The Magpies started the second half on top but just past the hour mark Chas Hemmings and Dave Pratt combined for Nick McCootie to fire home. Two minutes later Maidenhead were reduced to ten men when Pritchard was shown a straight red following an altercation with Dan Bowman. City took full advantage of this as Pat Keary turned the ball home from close range on 74 minutes when Britt failed to claim an Artus corner and a minute into stoppage time Pratt netted his 11th goal of the season following a great pass from man-of-the-match Hemmings.
City enjoyed a double boost this evening at Twerton Park as they progressed to the quarter finals of the Somerset Premier Cup with a 2-1 win over Shepton Mallet and saw Phil Walsh return to action just over 10 weeks after suffering a dislocated ankle. And it was Walsh who opened the scoring after just 9 minutes, heading home Sam Higgins’ cross from close range. Despite fielding a strong starting XI City failed to capitalise on this early goal and the Western League side enjoyed good spells of possession as they looked to pass the ball on the slick pitch. It was throughly deserved, then, when they drew level on 57 minutes through Stone’s well-struck 20-yard shot. They seemed to wake City up and with 16 minutes left they regained the lead when Nick McCootie turned Ashley Kington’s cross into the net. Both sides created further openings after this but Shepton couldn’t find a goal to take the game to extra-time leaving City to look forward to a quarter-final tie when the competition resumes in March next year.
City came desperately close to beating promotion chasing Ebbsfleet United this afternoon, with only a late professional foul denying Andy Watkins a great chance to bring home the three points from Kent. With eleven minutes left he raced clear from Ross Stearn’s pass only for Acheampong to pull him back on the edge of the area. The defender received a straight red card but his ten teammates kept City at bay for the remaining time to ensure his actions did not go unrewarded. In truth, a draw was probably a fair result as both sides enjoyed decent spells of possession and created a number of good chances. The hosts started brightly, Sheringham and McMahon firing efforts straight at Jason Mellor, before David Pratt was unlucky to see his header deflected on to the foot of the post. Mellor was called into further action, tipping Godden’s shot over the bar before the interval then saving from Clark shortly after the restart. Pat Keary forced a finger-tip save from Fleet keeper Hall just past the hour mark and moments later Dan Ball deflected a free-kick narrowly wide of Mellor’s goal. The tempo of the game dropped after this before the late drama involving Watkins and Acheampong briefly livened proceedings up again.
Following a meeting of the Board, we would like to make the following statement:
The present situation is that we asked the management to hit certain targets for the season using a younger squad with a smaller budget, and we believe that these targets have either been achieved, or are still achievable, particularly bearing in mind the injuries we have suffered, and the players we have to come back into the squad. Therefore we back the management team to continue this work. However we also understand the frustration of our supporters following an inconsistent start to the season, but we would ask you all to get behind the team as we believe there is huge potential once we have a full squad to choose from, and still plenty to play for.
The background is though that finance remains a problem, both in getting through this season and beyond. Although the Club has seen much success in recent years, including two promotions and effectively playing at the highest level the Club had ever achieved, the fact remains that this was effectively financed by a few individuals, as the level of support required to compete at that level failed to materialise.
In the summer, we made an appeal for financial support to meet a projected shortfall for this season, whilst trying to maintain the Club at its current level, and with a few exceptions this appears to have been ignored. Whilst we thank those who have made a contribution, it has been insufficient thus far to cover the shortfall and may result in difficult decisions having to be made later in the season.
Therefore before we reach that point, if sufficient finance is not forthcoming from within the Club, we have reached the decision that we need to seek investment from outside or look to sell the Club and find new owners who possess the financial wherewithal to take the Club forwards, both as a business and on the football side.
We have not reached this decision lightly, but the only other choice for the future would be huge cutbacks on the footballing side, which would see the Club tumble down the league pyramid, and this is not something we wish to see, and we do not believe our supporters would want this either.
It should be noted that the management team are aware of this statement, and fully supportive behind this decision. We hope all our supporters will be equally understanding, and we will continue to provide updates as the situation progresses.
With heavy overnight rain forcast for the Bath area, and with up to five home games scheduled for the rest of the month, City’s U18 match against Weymouth Terras tomorrow (8/11) has been switched to the 3G pitch at Odd Down Playing Fields (ko 10.30am).
The initiative which the Football Conference introduced six years ago to address the level of crown debt amongst its 68 member clubs recently achieved its ultimate goal when the latest quarter end reports showed zero arrears throughout the entire competition. Commenting on the success, Financial Planning Committee Chairman, Graham Wood, said, “it has been very rewarding to see HMRC indebtedness in our member clubs fall from a collective high approaching £2,000,000 to a position where all of our clubs are reporting nil arrears. Having reached this point, we are naturally looking to clubs to remain compliant, which of course should be a simpler task than the one just completed”.
Chairman of the Football Conference Brian Lee added, “The strength and resolve of the Board over the past six seasons to drive down debt, has unfortunately taken its toll with a number of high profile club casualties. This was a consequence the Board knew could be a distinct possibility in pursuing such an initiative. However, it was a long term objective and clubs were duly warned they may face a severe sanction if they failed to meet their financial obligations. As a competition we can no longer leave to chance the long term survival of clubs on short term gambles. It is not fair on supporters of these clubs to see winding up petition after winding up petition brought by HMRC. There is a strong wind blowing throughout the game in support of this welcomed change of direction, so we should all join to applaud each and every club who work so hard to live within their means and rightly budget to only play at the level they can truly afford”.
The Vanarama Conference South home match against Hemel Hempstead Town has been rearranged for Tuesday 25 November (ko 7.45pm).
City have announced reduced admission prices for their Somerset Premier Cup 2nd Round tie against Shepton Mallet at Twerton Park next Tuesday (11/11). Adults £6, Concessions £3 and U16’s £1.
City’s U18 side are in action at Twerton Park this Saturday 8 November against Weymouth Terras. The game kicks off at 10.30am and admission is free.
City responded in perfect style to last weekend’s FA Cup embarrassment at East Thurrock United this afternoon with a 2-0 Vanarama Conference South victory over St Albans City at Twerton Park. With the visitors also suffering a difficult week following the unauthorised absence of star striker John Frendo from their FA Cup exit – although he was immediately restored to their starting line-up – it was a predictably low-key first half. Ross Stearn fired a presentable chance over the bar in the opening minutes and Nick McCootie forced a finger-tip save from keeper Welch on seven minutes. City failed to maintain this promising start and the Saints enjoyed the better of the half from then on but, in direct contrast to the capitulation in Essex seven days earlier, City dealt well with their attacking efforts. And the Romans began the second half perfectly, opening the scoring just two minutes after the restart. A sliced clearance dropped to Andy Watkins and he lifted the ball to the far post where Stearn climbed above Chappell to head home. Once again City were forced to withstand pressure from St Albans but only once did they come close to conceding an equaliser – Frendo shooting over on 67 minutes. Stearn then brought a fine save out of Welch from a deflected free-kick and an unmarked McCootie headed a great chance wide but City avoided a nervous finale when another great cross by Watkins saw substitute Dave Pratt steer home his 10th goal of the season three minutes from time.
City home game with Farnborough has been moved to Tuesday 13 January 2015 (ko 7.45pm) as the Hampshire side are now involved in County Cup action on the original date of Tuesday 2 December.
The Board of Directors are undertaking a thorough review of the whole Club structure which will continue over the weekend and into next week. The result of this will determine the future direction of the Club on and off the field. The focus this Saturday needs to be on the match against St Albans City and we would ask all supporters to be fully behind the team.