City’s hopes of a money-spinning run in this seasons FA Cup disappeared at the first hurdle as they crashed out 3-1 to Western League Bideford. The Devon side won the game with two goals in the closing 10 minutes after the dismissal of Mike Wyatt for two bookable offences. This reduced City to 9 men having already seen keeper Mark Hervin sent off after just ten minutes for pulling down a Bideford player. Despite being able to name five substitutes there was not a goalkeeper among them forcing Adrian Foster into goal and his first task was to watch the penalty kick fly past him. However, City made light work of there numerical disadvantage and proceeded to dominate the game. They had already spurned a number of chances before Powell’s 20-yard free kick deservedly levelled the game. The second half continued in the same fashion, Milsom missing three great chances, and even after Wyatt’s departure sub Allison missed another even better opening. Shortly afterwards City were punished for these misses and their FA Cup dream died for another season.
City fans will be forced to choose between watching their Twerton Park favourites or country next Saturday following opponents Hednesford Town’s refusal to switch the kick off time. City had offered to either move the game to Friday night or a midday kick-off on Saturday to avoid clashing with the vital World Cup qualifier between England and Greece. However the Staffordshire based club, relegated from the Conference last season and already rooted near the foot of the Dr Martens Premier Division, refused to agree to either move unless City paid for an overnight stay. In City’s current financial position this condition, belived to have come from under pressure manager Paul Raynor, was clearly a non-starter and appears to show that that the Pitmen have failed to grasp that they are no longer playing at the highest level of non-league football.
City stretched their unbeaten run to three games with a hardfought goalless draw against Kettering Town at Rockingham Road yesterday. Against a side who clearly consider themselves above the Dr Martens League (just see the poster in their bar) City were never second best and, despite conceding long periods of possession to the Poppies, deserved their point. The closest threat to Hervin’s first clean since the Moor Green game came in the second half when his attempted clearance hit Powell but Kemp blocked the follow-up on the line. Other than this City’s defence was again solid and, at the other end, shots from Milsom, Foster and Gosling came close to giving City a surprise victory.
After a rush of eleven league games in a month City now have a two week break from Dr Martens action as their attention turns to the FA Cup. First opponents in this years competition are unbeaten Western League side Bideford, who visit Twerton Park next Saturday.
First half goals from Jamie Gosling and Adrian Foster combined with an excellent second half defensive display, where Gary Thorne, in particular, was outstanding, helped City overcome Weymouth by two goals to one and secure their first victory of the season. After a bright start Gosling’s free kick deservedly gave City the lead on 31 minutes before a great cross by Wyatt was headed home by Foster to double their advantage five minutes before the interval. The second half saw City pushed back by a combination of their inability to retain possession and as one-sided a refereeing performance you could imagine, but only once was Hervin beaten after he could only parry a close range header.
City’s table topping reserve side have brought forward their clash with Weston St John. The match will now take place this Saturday (22/9) at Twerton Park with a 3pm kick off.
Although they failed to register their first win of the season City produced an improved performance following the Crawley defeat, coming from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with high flying Tamworth at the Lamb Ground yesterday. After a bright start to the game City gifted the home side the lead when hesitation between Hervin and Thorne allowed Hallam a simple chance on 11 minutes, but just nine minutes later they drew level when Foster’s shot against the post was adjudged to have crossed the line. The evenly contested game appeared to be swinging City’s way when with 15 minutes remaining Tamworth were reduced to 10 men. Keeper Acton handled outside his area for the second time in the game but, bizarrely, it was Groucutt who was ordered off for comments directed at the linesman – Acton receiving just a caution. The closing stages saw City search for a winner but in the end they had to settle for a share of the points.
City now know their opponents in the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round following Bideford’s 1-0 win over Wimbourne. The Screwfix Premier Division side will visit Twerton Park on Saturday 29 September.
Alan Pridham has moved swiftly to bolster his midfield, after admitting that a lack of creativity has played a major part in City’s poor start to the season, by capturing former Southampton player Andy Williams. The 23-year old wide player made over 20 appearances for the Premiership side in 1999 before making a £60,000 switch to Swindon Town. Injury problems limited his chances at the County Ground and, despite training recently with Wrexham, he has decided to make the move into semi-professional football.
No, it’s not a joke about how easy they go down – all three feature in this months GQ magazine. The October issue of mens magazine (!) includes a five page article on City and their current financial troubles, including interviews with chairman Steve Hall, former director Ken Loach and a mystery fan name Geoff. It also has a picture of Bas, but it is an adult magazine so I guess that’s allowed and at least it doesn’t name him (we’d never hear the last of that)! It is an excellently written article that I urge all City fans to read as picking one line at random shows:
The magazine costs £3.00 and has Kylie Minogue on the cover, so there are some pictures to look at once you’ve finished reading the City piece.
City’s dismal start to the season continued last night as they crashed 3-0 to Crawley Town, slipping to one place of the bottom off the league in the process. Manager Alan Pridham gave a debut to new signing Jeff MacLean but he had little input on a game that City were never in. Only a penalty save from Mark Hervin prevented them going behind after five minutes, but the home side took the lead on 28 minutes when Brake rounded the keeper and scored with ease. Either side of the interval City did briefly threaten Crawley, Thorne seeing a header cleared off the line, but two goals in as many minutes in the second half, from Harlow and Waugh, ended any hopes of a comeback.
After failing to secure the services of the brother of Gary Thorne, City boss Alan Pridham has turned his attention to Jeff MacLean, the older sibling of striker Graham MacLean. The Barry Town midfielder completed his switch from the League of Wales side following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Ilkeston Town and, international clearance permitting (!), should go straight into City’s squad for tomorrow nights trip to Crawley Town.
City were left still seeking their first win of the season after an equalising goal twelve minutes from time gave Ilkeston an undeserved point in a 1-1 draw at Twerton Park. City had lead after James Zabek fired home around the hour mark and, with the visitors struggling to string two passes together, it looked as these would be sufficient to earn them the three points. However, a long pass over the top eluded the City back line and Hemmings beat Hervin to the ball and lifted it into the unguarded net. Prior to this other than two early chances for Neal Bartlett neither side had created many opportunities, although Mike Wyatt and Paul Milsom were always a handful for the Derbyshire side. The draw sees City slip one place to 20th position.
In direct contrast to the travails of the first team, City’s second string outfit are sitting proudly at the top of their league following a 2-0 victory over Chard at Twerton Park on Wednesday evening. The two goals came in the opening half an hour from Graham MacLean and Marco Micciche and meant the Screwfix First Division side have now won four of their opening five games. The match also saw Jamie Crandon play 90 minutes following his calf injury, although he is unlikely to feature in tomorrow’s clash with Ilkeston Town at Twerton.
City’s approach for Clevedon Town midfielder Wayne Thorne has proved unsuccessful. Thorne, brother of City defender Gary Thorne, has decided to remain with the Dr Martens Western Division side.
Former City striker Martin Paul has been labelled a cheat by City manager Alan Pridham following last nights highly charged encounter with Newport County. The ex-Bristol Rovers player, who made a £3000 switch to County in the summer, threw himself to the ground following a clash with Bradley Thomas that saw the City midfielder dismissed, with James Zabek following seconds later for comments made towards Paul and the referee. A clearly furious Pridham, who could also be in trouble following an exchange with the match officials as they left the pitch at the interval, added, “I’m glad he (Paul) is no longer playing for Bath City … if he behaved like that in my side he would never play for me again.”
The winning goal plus getting two City players sent off – it was an eventual return for striker Martin Paul as he met his former team for the first time at Newport Stadium tonight. His strike on 33 minutes was the goal that seperated the sides, but it was his involvement five minutes later in the incident that lead to Bradley Thomas’ and James Zabek’s dismissal that will leave a sour taste in the mouths of all connected with City. A confrontation between Thomas and Paul saw the ex-City man throw himself to the ground – a trick he was not unknown for during his Twerton Park days. After consulting with his linesman the referee brandished the red card to Thomas and a minute later did the same to Zabek, presumably for comments directed at either Paul or the officials. Reduced to nine man City bravely tried to fight back and for long periods fustrated a home side that had neither the skill nor invention to make their two man advantage count. In the end Newport resulted to retaining possession to hold onto their one goal lead and, despite a number of half chances, City could not quite grab an unlikely equaliser.
City have put a seven day approach in for Clevedon Town midfielder Wayne Thorne as Alan Pridham looks to bolster his squad after City’s slow start to the new season. The 21-year old former Swindon Town trainee, who has already struck five goals for the Bristol based side, has expressed an interest in joining City where he would team up with his brother Gary Thorne. If Thorne does join City it could see a number of players exiting Twerton Park as Pridham attempts to balance his budget.
City got their first lucky break of the season when they salvaged a point against Cambridge City with a goal through debutant Neil Barlett that he appeared to steer home with his hand. The incident came with just four minutes of the match remaining and, despite lengthy protestations from the Cambridge players towards both the referee and linesman, the goal, from a Mike Wyatt cross, was allowed to stand. City had trailed to a 34th minute header from Wilkin and despite looking the better side for long periods appeared to heading for another home defeat. Milsom saw one shot hit the bar and has another effort ruled out for offside before Bartlett’s timely intervention.
Chippenham chairman Malcolm Lyus has confirmed that despite his meeting with Steve Hall he will not, at present, be switching his alliegence to City from the Wiltshire club.