The race to raise £250,000 by 31 December to allow the Bath City Supporters Society to buy back control of the club has moved within just £80,000 of it’s target. Through the incredible effort of the organisers of the scheme £170,000 has already been raised and several forthcoming events are set to boost this amount even further. The premiere of world renowned director Ken Loach’s new film Sweet Sixteen will take place at The Little Theatre on 10 October with all proceeds to the Society. And a video will released shortly showing some of the clubs greatest moments captured on film. For full details of these events see the pop-up.
The draw for the 3rd Qualifying Round has paired City with another Western Division opponent but in the tougher shape of early pacesetters Weston Super Mare. The Woodspring Park based club currently lie second in their league having won seven of their opening eight games. The clash, to be played at Weston on Saturday 12 October, may also see City come face to face with Dean Birkby. The striker made the short switch to Weston after leaving City at the start of this month.
City easily progressed into the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup this afternoon with a 5-0 Twerton Park victory over Merthyr Tydfil. They got off to a perfect start when ex-Merthyr player Jim Rollo headed home a Frankie Bennett cross after just three minutes. And it was Rollo who doubled the lead after 20 minutes, firing home from eight yards. Before the break the tie was effectively over for the Welsh side when Thorne headed the third from a free-kick. This advantage was comfortably defended as City made light work of keeping out a side who had won their previous six matches. The arrival of last seasons top scorer Adrian Foster with 20 minutes remaining lead to City to adding to the tally. First he got onto the end of Paul Milsom’s flick from Thorne’s long throw and then turned another Thorne header past keeper Cropley to complete the rout. The win leaves City £7,500 the richer and the draw for the next round takes place at 10.30am on Monday.
A week after looking like he was set to remain at Twerton Park midfielder Gary Horgan has agreed to join Chippenham Town. The former Cirencester player, who made three starts and five substitute appearances for City and scored two goals, has signed a one year deal with the Bluebirds.
As if the pressure of turning around their poor run of form was not enough City will go into Saturday’s FA Cup with Merthyr Tydfil at Twerton Park knowing that they cannot afford to miss out another financial windfall from the competition. Chairman Steve Hall has admitted that this season they have budgeted for progress through at least a couple of rounds and an early exit would be a “massive blow” to the club. A win over Merthyr would net City £7,500 and progress to the 1st Round proper would see £37,000 in the bank. Last year City failed to earn a single penny after two dismissals contributed to their embarrassing home reversal against eventual Western League winners Bideford Town.
A broken leg sustained by very promising young player Simon Gilbert marred City Reserves 5-0 victory at Barnstaple on Saturday. The game was held up for half an hour while the teenage midfielder was treated and later x-rays revealed the full extent of the injury. By this point City were three goals up as Mark Keen, Paul Keen and Nigel Gillard had set the side well on the way to their first win of the season. A second half strike from Robin Spring and late James Billing penalty completed the scoring.
Despite Chippenham Town’s interest City midfielder Gary Horgan looks set to remain at Twerton Park for the time being. He has confirmed he is happy to stay with City and fight for a regular starting place although is unlikely to sign a contract, preferring to remain on a week to week deal.
City’s dismal run of form continued at Twerton Park this afternoon as they slumped to their third successive defeat. A single goal six minutes after the break by Chelmsford City’s Cross was enough to earn the Essex side the victory. An even first half saw City twice hit the Clarets woodwork – with Gary Kemp the unfortunate player both times – and Chelmsford have a goal ruled out by a linesman flag – much to the disgust of one fit but brain dead visiting fan. After the second half began with the goal City were comfortably kept out by the Chelmsford defence, the closest they came was from a Gary Thorne header that the keeper unwittingly blocked with his foot.
City keeper Mark Hervin has put in a transfer request after watching the opening ten games of the new season from the sidelines. Following his absence from the first three games of the season due to a wisdom teeth operation Hervin has been forced to watch from the subs bench as Mark Bryant produced a series of solid performances between the posts. However, Alan Pridham has put a price tag of £5000 on the experienced goalkeeper. This demand appears to cooled the interest of Chippenham Town who had expressed an interest earlier in the season.
Another City player that Chippenham are sniffing around is non-contract midfielder Gary Horgan. The former Cirencester man has only started in two City games this season but produced a man of the match performance against Halesowen and has also grabbed two goals. In response to the Bluebirds seven day approach Pridham has offered Horgan a contract.
City have also received a boost following their back to back defeats this week with the news that influential midfielder Jamie Gosling hopes to resume training next week. The 20-year old has been on the sidelines since Chippenham’s ground fell down and injured both his ankles in August. Assuming there are no complications he should be back in action by the middle of October. Gosling also appears to have escaped any FA punishment following the incident at Hardenhuish Park. Despite Chippenham officials implying the referee would report Gosling for inciting the crowd City have comfirmed that three weeks later they have not heard from the FA leading them to believe common sense has prevailed.
Despite dominating the game for long periods – particularly during a one-sided second half – City headed back from Birmingham last night empty-handed after a 92nd minute Moor Green goal gave the home side a 1-0 victory. The close range strike from Lamey, after City had failed to deal with a right wing cross, must has surprised the home side as much as City after they were made to look second best for most of the match. Dan Cleverley fired one first half shot into the side-netting and then saw a second period effort crash against the bar. Jim Rollo should also have done better when put clean through in the closing minutes. Unfortunately, these chances went begging and for all their possession, too often the final pass or cross was poor. And in stoppage time City paid the ultimate price.
City will go head to head with Merthyr Tyfil in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup after they were paired with the Welsh side in todays draw. And they will hope to avoid a first hurdle exit like they suffered last season at the hands of Western League Bideford. The Martyrs, who were relegated from the Dr Martens Premier Division last season will make the short journey over the Severn Bridge to Twerton Park on Saturday 28 September.
Two goals in the space of two second half minutes plus an injury time penalty left City on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline at Hinckley United yesterday. This after a reasonable first half performance that had yielded a one goal advantage, Frankie Bennett firing home from close range following keeper Afandjyev’s failure to hold Dan Cleverley’s shot. However, the home side forced City back in the second half and it was no surprise when they levelled after 67 minutes from Sadler. And two minutes later Penny headed Hinckley ahead. City should have scored again when Bennett was given a free shot after 78 minutes but he blasted wide and Gary Kemp’s injury time trip on Sadler allowed Fox to complete the scoring.
City have been slammed as ‘unprofessional’ and ‘a disgrace’ by Chippenham Town manager Tommy Saunders over a poster advertising a video of the sides recent meeting. The poster (which you can see by clicking here or on the picture of Tommy) uses a quote from Saunders, ‘It’s never over until the Fat Bloke Sings’, but the Bluebirds boss, who has recently been on a sponsored diet in aid of Dorothy House, has failed to see the funny side of the campaign. Clearly still smarting from his sides injury time defeat at the hands of City he said, “For a club at this level to be producing literature like that is embarrassing. Can you possibly imagine a professional club like Bath Rugby or Chippenham Town producing something similar? To take the mickey out of me because of my size is absolutely disgraceful.” Understandably City have not been draw into an argument on exactly how professional Chippenham Town (wall?) and Bath RFC (losing how much money a season?) are but have told Saunders that the poster will not be withdrawn and that, “It’s a compliment to Tom that we think one of his quotes is worth using to promote our video.” The video should be on sale at the Chelmsford match on September 21 priced only £12.
City will be without Jason Drysdale for up to six weeks after the former Newcastle United defender after he broke a cheekbone in an accident earlier in the week. He joins Jamie Gosling (ankles), Adrian Foster (calf) and Chris Honor (hamstring) on the sidelines for tomorrows clash with Hinckley United. Gosling, who was hurt when a wall at Chippenham Town’s Hardenhuish Park ground fell on him, looks set to be out of action for another two months after the initial estimate of just three weeks out proved over optimistic.
City bounced back from their below-par performance against Cambridge City on Saturday to overwhelm a woeful Halesowen Town side by three goals to nil at Twerton Park this evening. The goals came from Dan Cleverley, Andy Williams and Gary Horgan but the most pleasing aspect of the game was how City were solid at the back, creative and pacy in the midfield and finally took their chances in front of goal. Against admittedly the worst side to have visited Twerton in a long time City had already spurned a number of chance before Cleverley stabbed the ball home from close range five minutes before the break. The one way traffic continued into the second period and with about 20 minutes remaining Paul Milsom’s cross was turned in by Williams. The best goal was saved to last as a 70 yard run by Frankie Bennett saw him cross the ball to Cleverley. He then helped it onto Horgan whose first time shot flew into the corner of the net.
For the fifth time in six seasons the clash between City and Cambridge at Twerton Park ended all square as a Jason Drysdale penalty kick cancelled out a 10th minute header from Wilkin. Drysdale’s success came on 36 minutes after Andy Williams was pulled back in the area. Even with Gary Thorne and Chris Honor missing at the back City comfortably repelled what little threat the visitors produced after this but despite a number of promising moves they couldn’t find a way through the Lilywhite’s well marshalled rearguard. The best chance fell to substitute Gary Horgan after a neat pass from Adrian Foster, but he blasted over the bar from six yards out.
City only had themselves to blame after they threw away a great chance to beat Tiverton Town at Ladysmead last night. When the home side lost keeper to a fifth minute red card for bringing down Andy Williams, forcing them to put striker Pears between the sticks, it appeared City were in for a successful evening. However, Jason Drysdale saw his spot kick saved by the stand-in keeper and 10 minutes later he compounded the error by receiving his marching orders following a altercation near the touchline. With the sides level on numbers again Tiverton scored twice through Rogers and Everett before the interval. Twenty minutes from time a low shot by substitute Gary Horgan pulled City back into the game and with just two minutes remaining they were awarded another penalty for a foul on Williams. This time Adrian Foster stepped up but he incredibly fired the kick over the bar.
Dean Birkby looks set to have played his last game for City. Unhappy at failing to gain a place in City’s starting line-up the striker has had talks with Western Division Weston Super Mare.