Prior to yesterday’s narrow FA Cup victory over Leatherhead City striker Scott Partridge was presented with an engraved silver salver after being named player of the 3rd Qualifying Round for his hat-trick in the 3-0 win over Brockenhurst. The presentation was made by Bath’s Liberal Democrat MP Don Foster, who publically backed the campaign to vote for Scott, and Somerset FA official Alan Cumner.
Nigel Ashworth has resumed his role as assistant to youth team manager Ali Belcher after quitting the position last week. His resignation came after expressing his unhappiness with various aspects of how the youth team were treated by the club but following a meeting with Gary Owers he has agreed to return to his post. During his brief absence his charges progressed to the second stage of the South West Counties Youth League Cup with a 1-0 win over Filton College Academy. The vital goal coming from Kane Ingram.
The draw for the FA Cup 1st Round has seen City miss a meeting with league opposition and instead given them an away tie with Conference leaders Barnet. The Bees are currently six points clear at the top of the Conference having lost just once so far this season and, whilst not the worse draw City could have received, it was still something of an anti-climax to a tense afternoon. The match will take place at Underhill on Saturday 13 November.
A 13th minute goal by top scorer John Williams helped City see off Leatherhead and book themselves a place in the FA Cup 1st Round but only after they had suffered a tense and nervous second half. City just about deserved their half-time advantage but the Ryman League Division 1 side can consider themselves unfortunate not to have got at least a draw out of the tie as they took the game to City after the break. However, a combination of wild finishing, solid goalkeeping and, just once, the left-hand post ensured Williams’ strike was enough to guarantee the no.72 ball in the draw was Bath City’s.
With Paul Evans sidelined for two months with a broken foot and Justin Shuttlewood struggling to overcome a leg injury picked up in last weeks match at Hitchin, Gary Owers has turned to his former club Forest Green Rovers and brought in experienced goalkeeper Steve Perrin. The 34-year old, who played in Rovers’ opening eight games of the season but has recently found himself second choice to young keeper Danny Greaves, has signed a two month loan deal and will be available for both the FA Cup and Trophy.
Even in the unlikely event that the Romans do not make it to the final of this season’s FA Cup one City player will be at the Millennium Stadium after Scott Partridge won the player of the round competition for his hat-trick against Brockenhurst. The on-line poll saw the striker earn 41% of the vote to see off nearest challenger Worksop’s Chris Cleary who received 23%. However, the vote was not without controversy after the FA revealed that a total of 116,308 votes were discounted from Scott’s total as they had been cast via a script (which, in case anyone thinks otherwise, was nothing to do with me). Even after this deduction the former Bristol City player was 4,281 votes ahead of Cleary. Not only will he be a VIP guest and be introduced to the crowd at the Final next May, he also receives £1000 worth of UMBRO football kit and equipment for a local school, club or organisation of his choice and an engraved silver salver.
City keeper Justin Shuttlewood appears to have escaped serious injury following an x-rated challenge by Histon’s Neil Kennedy late in Saturday’s 5-1 defeat. The tackle, that snapped Shuttlewood’s shin pad in half, was initially thought to have broken the keepers’ leg but it now seems to be just badly bruised, although he will get an x-ray today to confirm the diagnosis. Even if the news is good the 33-year old, drafted into action after first choice keeper Paul Evans broke a bone in his foot against Merthyr last week, faces a race to be fit for City’s FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round clash with Leatherhead on Saturday.
Youth team assistant manager Nigel Ashworth has quit his position. I would just like to thank him for all his help in providing information on the youth side for this web page.
City’s injury crisis deepened yesterday as Sam Bailey and Justin Shuttlewood limped and was stretched off respectively in the 5-1 defeat at in-form Histon. With seven first team players unavailable City had no answer to the home side, who had scored 25 goals in their previous six games. In difficult conditions City’s attempt to play football contrasted with the Stutes direct approach but a number of defensive mistakes saw them concede three goals before the interval. Vouden headed a corner home in the 24th minute and two minutes later an unmarked Kennedy made it two. Andrews 25-yard shot gave Shuttlewood no chance five minutes before the interval. City did give themselves a brief hope of a comeback within a minute of the restart, Darren Hawkins heading in Reinier Moor’s cross, but two further goals from Libam completed the rout. When Suttlewood was carried off with a knee injury two minutes from time, to be replaced by 16-year old youth keeper Tom Wood, it completed an afternoon to forget for City.
City have received a major injury setback with the news that goalkeeper Paul Evans has broken a bone in his foot and faces two months on the sidelines. The former South African international suffered the injury in a clash with Merthyr Tydfil’s Garry Shephard during Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat. Evans had only just recovered from a knee injury that saw him miss the opening nine games of the season and it was no coincedence that in the six games since his return City have kept four clean sheets. His absence will see Justin Shuttlewood return between the posts, although he has only just recovered from a rib injury.
Evans will join Alex Sykes in definitely missing tomorrow’s long trip to Histon, and Jim Rollo, Mike Trought, Bobby Ford and John Williams are all struggling to make the clash with the inform Cambridgeshire side. On the plus side Russell Milton will be available as despite being named with Sykes in the England Futsal squad he could not make the trip to Portugal.
Somewhat bizzarely City midfielders Russell Milton and Alex Sykes have been picked in the England Futsal squad for a four nations tournament in the Algarve. The pair are included in a 15 man squad to face Portugal, Hungary and Belgium in the competition taking place between the 21 and 24 October. This means they will both miss Saturday’s league clash with Histon. For the uninitiated amongst you (or, quite possibly, everyone!) futsal is FIFA’s official version of 5-a-side football. For further information see thefa.com Futsal page.
City’s five match winning run was brought to an end last night as they were beaten 2-0 by Merthyr Tydfil at Twerton Park. After an even first half, in which both sides were grateful to their keepers for keeping the game goalless, the Welsh side went ahead within 90 seconds of the restart. Keddle was allowed to advance from the halfway line and drive a shot into the corner of the net. From then on they effectively smothered all City’s attempts to find a way back into the match and sealed victory 15 minutes from time through Shephard’s powerful finish past Paul Evans.
City’s goalscoring hero Scott Partridge has been nominated as one of six FA Cup stars to contest the vote for the FA’s player of the round competition. He joins two other hat-trick scorers in Hornchurch’s Wayne Purser and Worksop’s Chris Cleary, plus Vauxhall Motor’s keeper Tim Dittmer, Liversedge’s Paddy Gaughan and Lymington and New Milton’s Jimmy Anderson. The winner will receive £1000 worth of UMBRO football kit and equipment for a local school, club or organisation of his choice, plus an engraved silver salver. They will also join the other 10 round winners at The FA Cup final at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday May 21, 2005 and a chance-of-a-lifetime introduction to the crowd, pitch side at half time. To do your patriotic duty and vote for Scott go to The FA website and scroll down to the poll near the foot of the page.
After three successive away victories in this seasons FA Cup City have finally been handed a home draw in the 4th Qualifying Round. The visitors to Twerton Park on Saturday 30 October will be Ryman League Division 1 side Leatherhead. The game will revive memories for older fans of when the sides met 24 years ago almost to the day at the same stage of the competition. That game was marred by crowd trouble and a 1-0 defeat for the Romans, so City will be looking to avoid both fates this time around.
Young City centre-back Grant Monelle has joined Southern League Western Division side Clevedon Town on a months loan.
City produced a throughly professional performance yesterday to overcome potentially tricky opponents in Wessex League Brockenhurst and progress to the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. The star of the 3-0 victory was Scott Partridge as he fired home a hat-trick but it was Paul Evans’ penalty save with the game still balanced a 1-0 that finally broke the resistance of the Badgers. City had dominated the game from the start but it took until five minutes after the interval for them to score when Partridge turned home Steve Jones’ header. Minutes later Jones’ challenge on the edge of the box was adjudged a foul by the linesman but Evan’s saved the penalty kick. Just past the hour mark Partridge converted John Williams’ low cross and six minutes later he completed his fourth treble for the Romans with a penalty after a Brockenhurst defender had turned Jimmy Benefield’s shot over the bar with his hand. He received a straight red card and City could begin to look forward to Monday’s draw where the Conference sides enter the competition.
Last night’s meet the manager session saw City boss Gary Owers field questions on such varied topics as refereeing standards, the recent Masters tournament he took part in, David Beckham and the best player he played alongside, plus the occasional question on Bath City. With almost perfect timing the meeting coincided with four straight wins and the 50 or so City fans who attended could hardly give Owers a hard time given that record. The main focus of the questioning concerned the recent announcement of the Team Bath groundshare and directors Andrew Pierce and Paul Williams answered on that matter at the end of the meeting.
The decision on Team Bath’s request to share Twerton Park will be made at a meeting of the Southern League on Thursday 4 November.
City’s league match with Hednesford Town at Keys Park has been put back 24 hours to Tuesday 9 November (ko 7.45pm).
Following in the footsteps of Bristol Rovers, Trowbridge Town and Larkhall Athletic, Southern League Premier Division strugglers Team Bath have approached City with a view to sharing Twerton Park. The University based side, that are effectively funded through taxpayer money, have faced numerous complaints that their Claverton Down ground is not up to Southern League standards and it finally appears action has been taken. However, with the University reluctant to bring the site up to the required level, the team have been forced to look elsewhere to retain their status. Following negotiations the two clubs have agreed a five-year deal where Team Bath will use Twerton Park on matchdays and City will have access to the training facilities at the University in addition to a rent payment. The move has now to be ratified by the Southern League but if accepted will commence with immediate effect.
City Youth’s FA Cup interest ended at the 2nd Qualifying Round stage last night when they were beaten 4-1 by Newport County. The Exiles fielded a number of Alliance Youth team players and were too strong for the more inexperienced City side. Rowland and Prosser gave the Welsh side a two goal lead before Kane Ingram pulled one back from the penalty spot 25 minues from time. City then threw everything at County but couldn’t find an equaliser and two further goals from Rowland’s in stoppage time ended City’s FA Cup interest for another season.
City recorded their biggest win of the season last night with a 4-0 win over Hitchin Town at Twerton Park. The visitors could feel somewhat hard done by at the scoreline as twice in the first half Paul Evans pulled of stunning saves. However, in between City took the lead from the penalty spot after Jimmy Benefield was felled in the box. Town’s Kidd was sent off and Scott Partridge opened his account for the season with a confident spot kick. Whilst this lead was slightly fortunate the second half saw City take full advantage of their extra man. On the hour John Williams headed home his ninth goal of the season from Jim Rollo’s cross and then 15 minutes later Benefield’s close range header made it 3-0. The pick of the goals was saved for last as within a minute of his arrival on the pitch Steve Tweddle cut inside a defender to fire an unstoppable shot past Wilmot from the edge of the area.
The reward for City’s excellent FA Cup victory over Conference South side Havant & Waterlooville is a trip to the New Forest where they will face Wessex League opposition in the shape of Brockenhurst. The Badgers currently lie 15th in Division 1 of that league, which is the equivalent of the Western League Premier Division, although they have played fewer games than most sides. They also had a great 2nd Qualifying Round win over a Conference South side, Lewes. The match will take place on Saturday 16 October (ko 3pm).
City dumped Nationwide Conference South side Havant & Waterlooville out of the FA Cup this afternoon with second half goals from Alex Sykes and John Williams giving them a 2-0 victory. The game was evenly balanced as it reached its hour mark when Jim Rollo’s deep cross was superbly volleyed home by Sykes to claim his first goal in City colours. And City secured their place in the 3rd Qualifying Round four minutes from time when Williams fired into the net after keeper Peyton could only parry Scott Partridge’s shot.
Sam Bailey has vowed to remain at City and fight for his place after he was fined two weeks wages and transfer listed for missing the coach to last week’s victory at Aylesbury United. The 19-year old travelled to Havant this afternoon but was not amongst City’s starting XI or on the bench.