|Last season’s failings back to haunt City after another Twerton blank (29/10/05)
City endured another frustrating Twerton Park afternoon as they were held to a goalless draw by struggling Gloucester City. Although the Tigers lack of ambition appeared to more due to how poor a side they were, as opposed to the previous week’s visitors Halesowen Town who were deliberately negative, the end result was the same with City dominating possession but rarely turning this into clear cut chances. Although largely the architects of their own problems City’s cause was not helped by a weak refereeing performance, waving away at least three strong penalty claims then losing control completely toward the end of the game. Paul Evans was penalised despite winning the ball 20 yards outside his box, then only booked when Mr Johnson realised he had made a dreadful mistake, and Tony Bird cautioned for pushing an opponent after he was fouled when former City striker Luke Corbett had escaped action moments earlier for doing exactly the same thing, which would have earned the player a red card. City’s best work came through Andy Sandell in the first half and Martin Paul also went close on several occasions after replacing Phil Walsh at the interval but too often the final pass or cross was poor.
One hundred and forty will get you Twerton Park for houses (and hotels) (28/10/05)Twerton Park has earned a place alongside Bath’s more illustrious landmarks including the Royal Crescent, Roman Baths and The Circus as a square on the new Bath version of the classic board game Monopoly. Taking over from Pall Mall on the original edition the price tag on the ground is £140 which is somewhat less than it’s real life value but exactly what Hardenhuish Park, the rundown ground of City’s local rivals Chippenham Town, is worth.
City’s youth stars stun Hereford United in FA Youth Cup rout (25/10/05)Bath City Youth gave their best ever performance last night as they swept aside conference youth side Hereford United amid high praise from manager Ali Belcher. City arrived at Hereford in torrential rain to be confronted with an outstanding surface with facilities to match but were not daunted by the prospect, in fact revelling in the chance to perform and duly did so with an outstanding performance. Kyle Shallcross epitimised City’s intentions as they went out all guns blazing and he nearly opened the scoring with his first chance after missing the easiest of tap ins in the first minute. But it wasn’t long before striker Rupert Mall scored when Hereford keeper failed to hold on to a cross and he tapped home from close range on 7 minutes. Hereford striker Tom Harding showed his class by scoring only a couple of minutes later with an excellent finish to level at 1-1. City were in no mood for anything but a win and every player grew with confidence and belief when Rupert Mall regained the lead with a neat finish on 17 minutes to the delight of the city following. Alex Lapham and Adam Shackell were dominant in midfield as City went on all out attack and they were sent into disbelief when Kyle Shallcross latched on to a long pass to side foot past the keeper for City’s third on the half hour. Hereford were notably shellshocked as City went in pursuit of killing the home side off as early as possible and Theo Sellasie and Mark Branton were delivering the ammunition relentlessly. On 31 minutes Alex Lapham sent the City bench and supporters wild when he cut in from the left and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. Parsons and Tyers were strong in defence with Baggs and Branton getting forward at every opportunity and City went in at half time with an unbelievable lead. The second half saw Hereford show their strength and force City to defend for long spells but Parsons in particular was outstanding at the back and although Hereford were throwing everything they had at City they were restricted to long range efforts that saw them hit the woodwork a couple of times to the relief of keeper Quelch. Shackell broke into the box late on only to be fouled with the resulting free kick being wasted but after some outstanding defending Shallcross received the ball 25 yards out to turn and hit a superb volley over the keeper and into the far corner amid mass celebrations. The game ended with Tom Parsons being taken to hospital to receive stitches to a nasty head wound and the City players travelled to Hereford hospital to visit the Man of the match and wait for him to be discharged at around midnight. Belcher said afterwards. “These young lads have been excellent this season and I thought I’d seen the best of them until we arrived at Hereford.” Assistant Ashworth added, “that was amazing we gave it a right go and got the result we deserved. The team spirit is fantastic and that showed throughout the evening and when we all turned up at the hospital to collect Tom.”
Football the loser as Halesown deny City with timewasting and diving antics (22/10/05)Halesowen Town arrived at Twerton Park this afternoon with nothing more than a plan to timewaste and dive their way to a point and for all City’s efforts got just that in a dour 0-0 draw. After Paul Evans produced a stunning save from a set piece in the opening minutes he had little more to do than catch a number of high balls into his box from free kicks as the visiting players threw themselves to the ground at every opportunity. On the rare occasion they managed to stay on their feet their aim was to simply slow the game down. The first half was a non-event as City failed to counter this dreadful approach but after the break they finally began to create several openings. Adie Harris had the ball in the net after charging down a Coleman clearance only for the referee to rule out the effort for handball and Mr Banks further incensed the City faithful by waving away several strong penalty appeals. Midway through the half City should have broke the deadlock when Coleman could only parry Phil Walsh’s 20-yard effort. Scott Partridge was first to the loose ball but from a narrow angle fired his shot against the post. This was as close as City got as the Yeltz finally suffocated the life out of the game as they had been trying all along.
Newport interest sees Relish look to prevent Bird flying the City nest (20/10/05)City have moved to try to secure the permanent services of Tony Bird after Conference South strugglers Newport County expressed an interest in the striker. The former Swansea City player signed on non-contract terms last month and made an immediate impact with seven goals in ten games, including a double in Tuesday night’s 5-0 FA Trophy victory over Dunstable. However, this form has attracted the attention of the Welsh side, who sit one off the foot of the Conference South table with just one win in their first eleven games. This has lead City to offer the 31-year old a contract which he is currently considering.
Red hot Ingram fires City Youth to FA Cup victory (20/10/05)In form youth team striker Kane Ingram struck his third hat-trick of the season last night to help City to a 4-2 FA Youth Cup victory over Bristol Manor Farm. The teenager, who has now scored 15 goals in just 9 games, put the side ahead from the penalty spot after just three minutes, following a foul on Mark Branton. However, two goals in a five minute spell midway through the half from Purnell and Chancellor gave Manor Farm a 2-1 lead at the interval. Eight minutes into the second half City drew level when Ingram headed home Mall’s centre and five minutes later he completed his hat-trick with a stunning overhead kick from Branton’s driven cross. City’s place in the third qualifying round was secured on 83 minutes when Mall fired home. They will face a trip to Hereford United next on either Monday 24 or Tuesday 25 October. Thanks to Mark Stillman for providing details of the match.
Late arriving Dunstable swept aside in first half deluge (18/10/05)Showing a Salisbury-like reluctance to face City, Dunstable arrived at Twerton Park late and then will have wished they hadn’t bothered as five first half goals without reply fired City into the FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round. The game finally kicked off at 8.15 and City, showing much greater urgency than in Saturday’s 2-2 draw, took just 11 minutes to score, Phil Walsh heading home Tony Bird’s cross. Bird made it 2-0 on 29 minutes with a low shot and then slid in number three seven minutes later from an Andy Sandell center. Sandell’s 40th minute corner was then headed home by Jon Holloway before the City captain grabbed his second, this time Walsh providing the cross, in first half stoppage time. The second period was something of an anti-climax as Dunstable to their credit never gave up and City looked content to make sure they didn’t pick up any injuries ahead of more important league games to come, although Scott Partridge did spurn several good chances to increase the scoring.
League leaders Salisbury running scared of facing City? (17/10/05)Despite having comfortably beaten City once this season and leading the league by two points it appears Salisbury City are reluctant to face them again at the moment. The teams were due to meet at the Whites Raymond McEnhill Stadium next Tuesday but instead they have arranged a Wiltshire Shield semi-final against Swindon Town. The Witshire side’s flying start to the season has slowed somewhat in the last week, with a FA Cup exit at the hands of Merthyr Tydfil and their first league defeat against Chippenham Town. They are also without top scorer Matt Tubbs due to injury but will now have effectively free week to overcome these problems.
City’s youth team remain top of the South West Counties Youth League but had to settle for a single point in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Filton Academy. They took the lead through top scorer Kane Ingram on 25 minutes but a Filton equaliser six minutes from time denied them victory.
If City can overcome Dunstable Town tomorrow night in their FA Trophy 1st qualifying round replay they will face Bromsgrove Rovers at Twerton Park on Saturday 12 November. The Southern League Western Division side, who City faced in a number of ‘lively’ Conference encounters during the 1990’s, beat Beaconsfield SYCOB 3-2 on Saturday, grabbing their winner deep in stoppage time.
City leave it late to avoid defeat in 100th FA Trophy tie (15/10/05)City’s 100th FA Trophy tie almost ended in defeat this afternoon as only a 94th minute equaliser from Phil Walsh denied a brave effort from Dunstable Town. The Southern League Western Division side had led through a 55th minute Smith volley and looked to be heading for victory as City contrived to miss a number of good chances. However, with four minutes left Tony Bird fired City level and the game looked theirs for the taking. Incredibly though three minutes later Dunstable regained the lead, substitute Quinn heading home. That looked to be that for City but when a free-kick eluded keeper Taylor, Bird just reached the ball and pulled it back to give Walsh a simple tap in to ensure this time the sides would have to meet again at Twerton Park on Tuesday.
City lift the Twerton Park gloom with superb performance (11/10/05)A wet and miserable Twerton Park was illuminated tonight by the best City performance in living memory (well, maybe just this season) as they swept aside Cirencester Town by three goals to nil. The visitors could have had few complaints if City had put seven or eight goals on them but some wasteful finishing and a referee who seemed determined to award as many decisions as possible in favour of the overrun Gloucestershire side kept the scoring down. Andy Sandell, Scott Partridge and Phil Walsh had all wasted good openings before Jon Holloway headed home from a corner to start the scoring on 35 minutes. Three minutes later Partridge nodded in a Walsh cross and the scoreline finally began to reflect the game. The second half saw little change as Walsh and Matt Coupe both sent headers just wide, Partridge struck the post, Holloway was denied a certain penalty and only the bizarre intervention of the referee denied Adie Harris a clear run on goal. Cirencester’s frustration at how second best they were in every area of the game finally boiled over with 15 minutes left and Robison was sent off for dissent. Five minutes from time Partridge fired home his eighth goal of the season from Tony Bird’s pass to cap an excellent nights work from City.
Relish turns to former club to overcome injury problems (11/10/05)With Jim Rollo and Andrew York joining City’s injured list after Saturday’s FA Cup defeat at Weymouth manager John Relish has signed utility player Dean Clarke. The 28-year old, who was released by Relish’s former club Merthyr Tydfil last week, can play right-back, centre midfield or centre-back and has signed on a month long deal. He will go straight into the squad to face Cirencester tonight, where Bobby Ford, Martin Paul and Chris Holland are all rated 50:50 at best to feature.
On the plus side striker Phil Walsh is available again tonight following his 35-day suspension. His return sees Caleb Kamara-Taylor depart to Southern League Premier Division rivals Yate Town after his brief stay at Twerton Park.
City suffer injury-time FA Cup heartbreak (9/10/05)City exited the FA Cup in the cruellest fashion yesterday, beaten by an injury-time free-kick that gave Weymouth a 1-0 victory. Clearly setting out to frustrate the expensively assembled full-time Conference South side it appeared that they had done enough to bring them back to Twerton Park. However, a minute into stoppage time Adie Harris handled 25 yards out and Bound’s low shot skidded across the wet turf into the corner of the net. The preceeding 90 minutes has seen the home side dominate possession but rarely threaten Paul Evans’ goal, as City’s back line worked tirelessly. On several occasions, mainly in the first half, the game threatened to boil over, both sides seeing yellow three times. As an attacking force City were almost non-existant but it was still desperately unfortunate that their efforts did not yield a deserved replay.
Birdy puts down FA Cup marker with Somerset Premier Cup hat-trick (4/10/05)Martin Paul staked a claim for a starting place in Saturday’s FA Cup meeting with Weymouth after netting a hat-trick against Paulton Rovers in last night’s Somerset Premier Cup 1st Round game. The 100-goal striker has found himself largely confined to the substitute bench following a pre-season calf injury but he took full advantage of a starting XI place versus the Western Division side. He had the ball in the net on 24 minutes only for the referee to bizzarely rule the strike out for a foul against Birdy, then compounding the error by sending off Paulton defender Dando. From the resultant free-kick City again beat keeper Rendell, this time a linesman’s flag ruling out Jon Holloway’s header. However, a minute later Paul headed home Andy Sandell’s cross and no piece of wayward officiating could deny this goal. The same two players combined a minute into the second half to make it 2-0 and Paul then completed his seventh treble in City colours from Tony Bird’s through ball. Paulton also had manager Andrew Jones sent from the dugout before they grabbed a consolation goal after Mark Bryant missed a corner allowing Brown to bundle the ball home. City will now meet the winner of Bishop Sutton or Backwell in the 2nd Round.
City become a Rugby fan for a day to secure much needed success (1/10/05)City recovered from going a goal down inside three minutes this afternoon at Rugby Town to record a much needed 2-1 victory. It had looked like being another long afternoon for City followers when Maddox fired the home side ahead after a cross was not cleared but eight minutes later Tony Bird’s shot from the edge of the box levelled the scores. After this City always looked to have edge but it wasn’t until the 75th minute that they broke through again. Martin Paul’s cross picked out Jon Holloway at the far post and his low effort found the corner of the net.
City’s youth side dropped their first points of the season today in a 2-2 draw with Newport County. The Welsh side took the lead after just eight minutes before City levelled just after the interval through Tom Parson’s diving header. It looked as if they were heading for defeat when Newport regained the lead on 83 minutes, however in stoppage time a visiting defender was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box and Alex Lapham cooled fired home the spot kick.