Despite the best efforts of referee Bernard Baker (surprise, surprise) City spurned a great chance to earn a place in the 1st Round of the FA Cup, finishing on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline against Forest Green Rovers this afternoon. The Conference side had already gifted City the lead when ex-City defender Cousins turned a Davis cross past his own keeper. Bennett volleyed Forest Green level five minutes later but when Clark was dismissed for an off the ball incident with Holloway (surprise, surprise) it looked as if City had a great chance to produce a shock. However, the home side had other ideas and Bennett fired them ahead shortly after the interval. Then to the surprise of almost everyone in the ground, following a City corner, Mr Baker pointed to the spot. Once the protestations had died down Paul stepped up only to see Perrin save his kick – City’s top scorer blasting the rebound high and wide. Fifteen minutes later and the ball was placed on the spot again, when Paul was felled in the box. This time Bodin took the responsibility but, to the stunned disbelief of the 400 travelling City fans, he saw Perrin repeat his heroics. Five minutes from time Bennett completed his hat-trick and City’s cup hopes were over for another year. The 1st Round draw after the match saw Forest Green handed a home tie with Morecambe (some consolation I suppose).
Paul Bodin has admitted that he would be very interested in the managers role at Swindon Town, available again following Colin Todd’s defection to Derby County. Bodin, who had two hugely successful spells at Swindon and still lives in the town, is quoted as saying, “I would love the job but whether they go for an experienced manager remains to be seen. I have been manager of Bath City for two-and-a-half years and it’s no secret that I want to get back into the full-time game. I speak to a lot of people around the town and they really want to see players and people down at the club who care about the place.”
City saw another two home points frittered away as they conceded a late penalty to hand Stafford Rangers a 2-2 draw at Twerton Park this afternoon. Having come from a goal behind to lead two-one, and see their oponents reduced to 10 men five minutes before the break, City looked to be heading for a welcome victory but Sal Bibbo uppended Kiely to concede the spot kick, which Dundas fired home. A headed goal by O’Connor after just two minutes gave the visitors the lead but City fought back well. The equaliser came after 14 minutes when a neat move ended with Martin Paul heading Mike Davis’ cross past Williams. The game appeared to be turning toward City when Eccleston departed the action with two bookings from the same incident. He first caught Peter Tisdale late then foolishly kicked the ball at the prone player. Colbourne was also booked in the predictable afters. The second half saw City dominate but with chances coming and going it looked as if the vital second goal would elude them. However, with 16 minutes remaining a quickly taken free-kick allowed Lee Vickerman the time to fire a shot that was heading well wide before Paul deflected it beyond Williams. Further chances fell to Bodin, Allison and Holloway to seal the victory and City were made to pay for these misses by Bibbo’s rush of blood.
Scott Walker and Graham MacLean both boosted their hopes of a recall to the first team with two goals apiece in the 4-1 reserve victory over Hallen at Twerton Park last night. MacLean opened the scoring from close range after 20 minutes and, after Hallen equalised right on half time, Walker, who also scored after coming on as a substitute against Sutton on Saturday, grabbed two goals early in the second half. MacLean completed the victory with his second just after the hour, and the win lifts City into 6th place in the Screwfix League Division 1.
City have turned down a request by FA Cup opponents Forest Green Rovers to switch their 4th Qualifying Round tie to Sunday 29 October. With Paul Bodin and Steve White due to feature in a charity game at Swindon Town’s County Ground on that day they have insisted the game remains on it’s original date of Saturday 28 October.
City progressed into the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round for the 3rd successive season with a convincing 3-0 victory over Ryman League Sutton United. The win came courtesy of goals from Graham Colbourne, converting Mike Davis’ cross from close range, Jon Holloway, after a typically strong run, and sub Scott Walker in stoppage time. The visitors day was further ruined by the dismissal of Harford for an off the ball incident with Jimmy Fraser.
The victory means City’s trip to Newport on October 28 will have to be rearranged, as will the clash at Havant & Waterlooville, as the Hampshire side are involved in a county cup game on the original date of October 24.
17 year old keeper Liam Ball has signed for City for the rest of the season from Screwfix League Premier Division side Bridgwater Town. The former Tottenham trainee has already featured for City in the 4-3 defeat at Dorchester, following the late withdraw through injury of regular keeper Sal Bibbo.
After the defensive improvement against Margate and Basingstoke, City went back to square one as they allowed Salisbury City to twice come from behind to lead 4-3 deep into stoppage time at a wet Raymond McEnhill Stadium this afternoon. A Kevin Lloyd header did at least grab a point for City but it did little to hide the weaknesses at the back. Twenty minutes in a long range effort from Turk flew over Bibbo to set the tone for the afternoon. Before the break two Martin Paul goals, the second from the penalty spot, put City ahead, but a second goal from Turk arond the hour mark levelled the game again. When with 10 minutes remaining sub Sam Allison converted Paul’s cross it looked as if City would register their first away win of the season. However, two goals in a minute, Sales from close range and a Bond header that Lloyd could only slice into the roof of the net, turned the game around. With the crowd begin to drift toward the bar for the England Germany clash that appeared to be the end to the entertainment, but when Davis’ corner found an unmarked Lloyd he headed past Simpkins.
City kept their hopes of a money spinning FA Cup run alive with a 2-0 extra time victory over Basingstoke Town in their 2nd Qualifying Round replay at Twerton Park tonight. After a match in which both sides created and missed chances to book their place against Sutton United in the next round a penalty shoot-out was looming. However, a minute into the second period of extra time Mike Davis collected the ball down the right flank, cut instead his marker and fired inside keeper Tarr’s near post. Ten minutes later City sealed the victory when sub MacLean latched onto a long ball before lifting it over the stranded Tarr. Normal time saw City suffer a number of close calls, but they dominated the closing 15 minutes. Tarr made one superb save from Harrington and then could only watch as a Hollway effort crashed against his bar. City weren’t to be denied though and will now face another Ryman League opponent at Twerton on Saturday 14 October.
The winners of tomorrow nights FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round replay between City and Basingstoke Town will face a home tie against Ryman League side Sutton United. The 3rd Qualifying Round clash will take place on Saturday 14 October.
Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Basingstoke has left a number of players struggling to be fit for the second meeting. Definitely out is the suspended Jimmy Fraser, and he looks certain to be joined by City’s goal scorer Jon Holloway, who suffered a recurrence of a knee injury eight minutes after grabbing the equaliser. Colin Towler and Peter Tisdale also received knocks in the game but should (hopefully) recover in time.
City have confirmed that their Boxing Day clash at Clevedon Town will kick of at 3pm not 12.00 as originally planned. Also, Saturday’s game at Salisbury City will still kick off at 12.30pm not 12.00 as rumoured at Basingstoke.