A largely second string City side beat Screwfix League side Frome Town 2-0 at wet Badgers Hill tonight in the hastily arranged friendly. A header from Steve White (I think) was ruled to have crossed the line before Martin Paul lashed home the rebound 10 minutes before half time to give City the lead. A cross-shot from Graham Colbourne was then turned into his own net by a Frome defender as City controlled the second half comfortably. Further chances for Colbourne and Fraser could have given the score a fairer reflection of City’s performance but on an increasingly heavy pitch Bodin will have been pleased with the workout. City’s team was: Jackson, Cullis (Towler 45), Gould (Lloyd 45), James (c), Skidmore, Fraser, Vickerman, Walker, Richards, White (Tisdale 75), Paul (Colbourne 45).
City have arranged a friendly match against Frome Town tonight after Saturday’s game against Crawley Town was postponed. The match will give Paul Bodin a chance to field the players who have had to sit out City’s flying start to the season.
City lost the leadership of the Dr Martens Premier League after todays visit to Crawley Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. The cancellation of the match is particularly disappointing as City now enter a run of cup games that means their next league game could be a month away. Boston United returned to the top of the table with a 3-0 home win over Weymouth.
City made comfortable progress in the FA Cup as three goals in 10 second half minutes saw them defeat Weston Super Mare 4-0. The visitors finished the game with just 9 men after keeper Dave Mogg and defender Mike Copeman received their marching orders. City’s record appearance holder Mogg departed on 50 minutes after bringing down Mike Davis, Martin Paul scoring the resultant penalty. Copeman followed five minutes from time after bundling over sub Rob Skidmore, but this time Paul fired the spot kick wide. City had opened the scoring after nine minutes when Mike Davis followed up a Mogg save from a Steve White header, but they then had to be thankful to keeper Elliot Jackson who produced 3 or 4 great saves. The game then turned at the beginning of the second period as Peter Tisdale scored his first goal for the club to double the lead. Mogg’s departure effectively ended the game as a contest and the fourth goal came when Alan Bord put a Davis cross into his own net. After this City cruised to the final whistle with Tisdale, White and Skidmore spurning further chances to increase the scoring. With Weston hardly touching the ball in the last half-hour their fans provided their own entertainment with an impromptu boxing match, which ended with the combatants being thrown out – just because you lost, children. Click here for a few pictures of the match (with thanks to Chris Stillman).
Having fielded an unchanged line-up for seven games in succession, and used just 12 different players in the starting eleven, a number of City fringe players have attracted interest from other clubs. The main target has been Rob Skidmore, who has been approached by Dr Martens Premier Division rivals Clevedon Town and Western Division side Cinderford Town. Screwfix League sides Chippenham Town and Paulton Rovers have also shown interest in Fidell Richards and Lee Vickerman respectively. However, Paul Bodin has turned down all approaches as City look towards a number of FA Cup and FA Trophy games where the full 16-man squad will be involved. Although after these matches a number of deals could be struck as City look to keep these players fit in the absence of a reserve side.
After the series of narrow wins and patchy performances City finally showed they do deserve to be topping the Dr Martens Premier Division, brushing aside a decent Tamworth side by four goals to one. The score truly reflected the difference between the two sides and with a little bit more luck in front of goal City could have won by five or six. A Martin Paul penalty, after Graham Colbourne was tripped, opened the scoring after 9 minutes and he then scored his second on 28 minutes after persistent play by Colbourne. A Batchelor header pulled a goal back for the visitors five minutes before the interval but Birdy completed his hat-trick four minutes later stabbing home from close range after Kevin Lloyd headed a Paul Bodin corner down. Ten minutes into the second period City scored their fourth, Davis heading in a Bodin free-kick. After that Colbourne was denied by a great save by the Tamworth keeper and then saw a cross-shot bounce of the top of the bar, as City cruised to the final whistle. The only scare came when Jackson brought down Hallam and was lucky to escape with just a yellow card. There was still time for Tamworth to show how to lose badly, keeping possession after City had kicked the ball out for Colin Towler to receive treatment, bless them.
Before the match a City supporters team took on their Tamworth counterparts and also scored four goals, but they managed to concede five as well in an entertaining game. The City highlight was two great assists from Simon Howe as City led 3-1 at one stage. Okay, it was Simon Godwin’s 25-yard free-kick actually, but as it’s my web page I can twist the truth a bit.
Former City captain Nicky Brooks has joined Brislington for a loan spell in a further step on the road to recovery. He will join ex-City boss Tony Ricketts at the Screwfix League side for a month, although Paul Bodin has said if he proves his fitness there is still a place for him at Twerton Park.
City maintained the great start to the season with a 1-0 win over Rothwell Town at a sunny Twerton Park this afternoon. The decisive goal came just after the half hour when Mike Davis headed home from man of the match Paul Bodin’s cross. Against a poor Rothwell side City again failed to produce a performance that befits a table topping side, and for a 20 minute second half spell the visitors looked like grabbing an equaliser, however, as the heat took its toll on both sides City held on to register their fifth clean sheet of the season. The closest City came to increasing their lead was when a Jon Holloway shot was scrambled away for a corner by Rothwell’s keeper. The win keeps City a point clear of Boston United, who beat Atherstone 3-0, and three ahead of Burton, 4-1 winners at Crawley.
Paul Bodin has been awarded the Dr Martens Premier Division manager of the month award after City’s great start to the season. It is the second time he has been granted this honour, having won the November prize last season.