City will have to replay their FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round tie with Basingstoke Town following a 1-1 draw at The Camrose Ground this afternoon. Another poor first half performance by City saw them fortunate to go into the interval only one down. The goal came from ex-City favourite Adie Mings after just eight minutes. The striker stabbed the ball home from close range after a mistake from Sal Bibbo. The keeper redeemed himself with two excellent stops after this, but City only once forced home keeper Tarr into action when he comfortably saved Lloyd’s low shot. The second half saw City lift their game and they looked to have equalised when Towler’s header was clawed back from six inches behind his line by Tarr, but the poorly positioned linesman failed to give the goal. However, five minutes later City did level, Holloway getting onto the end of a Bodin free kick to fire past Tarr. The midfielder limped off shortly afterwards, and is now very doubtful for the replay, but, with the exception of a Mings shot against the bar, City kept the Hampshire side at bay well. The replay will take place at Twerton Park on Tuesday 3 October with a 7.45pm kick off.
Having been required to play their home matches at the University this season, following the return of the Reserves, City’s youth side will make a rare Twerton Park appearance when they take on Hereford United in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday 4 October.
City will begin both their assault on the Dr Martens Cup and Somerset Premier Cup with home ties in November. They will play Witney Town on Tuesday 14 November in the league cup competition and then a week later they entertain Street in the local cup. The latter tie means the league clash with Dorchester Town, originally planned for November 21, will be played on a date to be arranged.
A disappointing second half performance by City saw them lose the perfect home record, as they had to settle for a single point in the one-all draw with Margate. The game didn’t kick off until 4.15 after the Kent side where delayed by a coach breakdown and then an accident on the M4, and City took advantage of this as they dominated the early exchanges. They opened the scoring after 15 minutes when Fraser’s shot from just outside the box found the target. Just after the half hour mark the visitors levelled when Martin’s free-kick beat Bibbo. Bodin had a great chance to restore the lead but choose to square the ball to Paul instead and the danger was cleared. The second half failed to live up to the first, with City’s distribution from the back very poor. Finally, at three minutes past six the referee ended the torment and City now turn to cup action, with the trip to Basingstoke next Saturday in the FA Cup.
City’s reserves, boosted by a number of first team players, recorded their third victory of the season at Twerton Park last night with a 4-1 win over previously unbeaten Frome Town. With Mark Clode, Scott Walker, Mark Harrington and Graham MacLean all featuring the Somerset side had no answer to City. A early goal by Sam Allison set the tone before Harrington doubled the lead after 35 minutes. A great run and shot by Clode made it 3-0 15 minutes after the break and a minute later Allison grabbed his second from close range. The visitors got a consolation goal in the closing stages when ex-Bristol Rovers start Tony Pounder fired past Ian Ganfield.
The goals, as well as the weather, continued to rain down on Twerton Park as City maintained their unbeaten home record with a 3-2 victory over Worcester City. The victory came despite the second half dismissal, for two bookable offences, of City’s Jimmy Fraser. By this point City were 3-2 ahead but not before they fell behind to the seemingly compulsory early goal. It was again a mistake at the back that allowed Owen to fire past Bibbo after just six minutes. However, City responded well to this blow and Martin Paul had already spurned two great chances before Lloyd headed home Bodin’s corner to level the scores. And they went ahead before the interval as Paul once again broke clear down the right and centered for Davis to slide the ball home. Ten minutes into the second half the visitors controversially levelled the scores again. A clean tackle by Lloyd, playing in an unfamiliar left-back role, was adjudged a foul by the linesman and the referee then allowed the free kick to be taken 10 yards from the incident. Worcester broke into the City box and when Vickerman’s attemped clearance hit Bibbo, Tranter was given a simple chance at the far post. But, with Jon Holloway restored to the midfield, City showed the fight that was so lacking at Ilkeston and ten minutes later restored their lead. Bodin found space down the left and his centre was driven home by Paul. The sending off of Fraser saw City pushed back in the closing stages but, at last, their defence stood firm to record a thoroughly deserved victory.
If City boss Paul Bodin thought things couldn’t get any worse after the Cambridge performance a fortnight ago he will have to think again, as his players produced a performance of such ineptude that an average Ilkeston Town side recorded a 3-0 victory without ever needing to break sweat. When the home keeper’s only serious involvment in a game is to aim a headbutt at Martin Paul (missed by the referee but this is a Dr Martens official, so no surprise there) it shows how woeful City were. So, combine this with another two goals conceded to unmarked headers and it is clear that, even after just eight games, City’s title credentials are beginning to look like a rather unfunny joke. Anyway, for what it’s worth, the goals came after seven minutes, when an unmarked Challinor headed past Bibbo, a minute before the break, Gould repeating the trick, and around the hour mark from a deflected Todd shot after he had skinned Fraser and Towler. To finish this report on a positive note, as with last weeks Fisher piece, I won a bottle of wine on the coach on the way up, so that’s alright, then.
City maintained their 100% home record but only by the narrowest of margins as they overcome bottom side Fisher Athletic by the odd goal in seven. Despite the visitors, at time, looking no better than a pub side, City’s defensive frailties meant they could never relax and after seven minutes of stoppage time the feeling was of relief rather than celebration They were given the perfect start after 12 minutes when Davis headed home a Walker cross, but a dreadful back pass by Tisdale allowed Overton to round Ganfield and level the scores after 34 minutes. City regained the lead before the interval when Paul ran clear of the Fisher defence and beat Munden at the second attempt. When a stunning Fraser volley flew in off the post eight minutes after the break it looked as if City could relax, but again they allowed the London side back into the game, Best finshing from close range. A minute later Paul restored the two goal lead converting Fraser’s centre. With nineteen minutes remaining Best grabbed his second to make it 4-3 but City managed to hold out to record their third home victory of the season. If all this sounds a bit downhearted there was some consolation in that I won the ‘Guess the Gate’ competition. Cheers.
City suffered their second successive loss in an incredible seven goal thriller at Dorchester, as they overcame a three goal half time deficit to level at 3-3, before a goal seven minutes from time and a Martin Paul penalty miss condemned them to defeat. With injured keeper Sal Bibbo and ill captain Colin Towler missing, City’s defensive frailties allowed Harris, twice, and Oldbury to give the home side what looked an unasailable interval lead. However, three goals in a five minute spell six minutes after the restart turned the game around. Paul headed the first, before Graham Colbourne reached a Davis pass ahead of keeper Wells to make it 3-2 and then grabbed his second and the leveller with a 20-yard drive that gave Wells no chance. The home side regained their lead seven minutes from time, Keeler’s shooting past young keeper Liam Ball. This was the sign for City to lay seige to the Magpie’s goal and only a number of desperate blocks kept their lead intact. One Holloway effort appeared to be well over the goalline but neither offical spotted it, but three minutes into stoppage time the referee saw a clear hand ball and pointed to the spot. Paul stepped up but Wells guessed right and saved the spot kick and finally broke City’s resistance.
City’s unbeaten start to the season disappeared after they were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Cambridge City on Saturday. A goal in each half was enough to give the Lilywhites the three points and only a number of good saves by Sal Bibbo prevented them running up an even bigger victory. Only shots by Bodin and Davis in the first half, and a couple of late headers from Towler and Holloway, ever threatened the home side as they outplayed City in almost every area. City now have an immediate chance to bounce back as they travel to Dorchester tonight.
One side who did bounce back from a defeat was City Reserves. After their 13-0 humiliation against Team Bath they recorded a 3-2 win over Warminster at Twerton Park on Saturday. Two goals from Wayne Cleverley and a strike from Sam Allison completed their 2nd victory of the season.