September 2003

Familiar faces leave struggling City empty-handed from Welsh journey (30/9/03)

A dominant performance by former City captain and player of the year Gary Thorne plus a goal from pre-season target Gethin Jones helped condemn City to a 2-0 defeat against Merthyr Tydfil at Penydarren Park. City had the better of the first half but failed to turn this advantage into goals and were made to pay in stoppage time when Jones latched onto a poor clearing header by Scott Hendy to fire home. The Martyrs doubled their lead on 58 minutes, Carter heading home a Belle cross. It got worse for City two minutes later when Mitch Counsell was sent off for a second bookable offence. Although the home side were also reduced to ten men within nine minutes, Heal going the same way as Counsell, there was no way back for City.

FA Cup 3rd Qualifying draw hands City trip into the unknown (29/9/03)

City’s reward for Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Brislington is a trip to Oxfordshire to face Ryman League Division One North side Thame United in the FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round. Thame, who reached this stage with a 2-0 win over Thamesmead Town, currently lie in 17th position in their league. The match will take place on Saturday 11 October at the Windmill Stadium (ko 3pm).

Midfielder Robin Spring has joined Melksham Town. The youngster has featured on the bench five times this season without making the field. And loan player Adie Adams has returned to Forest Green after a month with City. He made two starts and one substitute appearance.

Cleverley and Salter help banish seven goal memories in important Cup win (27/9/03)

City managed to put their seven-goal Worcester* humiliation behind them by progressing into the FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round with a comfortable 2-0 win at Western League Brislington. Whilst never playing particularly well City took the lead after 18 minutes, Danny Cleverley heading home his 3rd goal of the season. Chances came and went for City but just when it looked as if they were heading for a nervous closing spell a mix-up between the home sides keeper and a defender with 15 minutes remaining allowed Mark Salter to roll the ball into an empty net. This result and Merthyr Tydfil’s defeat at Gloucester City means the rearranged game between the sides will take place this Tuesday.

*Ironically Worcester are out of the FA Cup after losing 1-0 at Nuneaton.

Experienced striker Naylor confirmed as latest new City departure (25/9/03)

Just three days after City had appeared to sign Tony Naylor they have seen the 36-year old striker join Nationwide Conference big spenders Telford United. The former Cheltenham Town star had agreed non-contract terms with City but the opportunity to make a return to the full-time game with the Bucks saw a late change of heart. City boss Alan Pridham took the decision philosophically saying, “Tony phoned me and apologised. But it is a chance for him to play full-time again and something we’ve just got to accept.”

City’s first Severnside League outing ended in a narrow 3-2 defeast against Forest Green Rovers last night at Twerton Park. The visitors took the lead late in the first half through Luke Jones before Matt Coupe headed City level just before the interval. Two goals in as many minutes from Gareth Stoker and Jamie Moralee saw Forest Green move 3-1 ahead. City’s grabbed their second in the closing minutes, Graham Cheeseman the scorer, to cap a decent performance in which youth player Yan Klukowski impressed in particurlar.

City’s opponents in the 1st Round of this season FA Trophy will be Mangotsfield United. The Bristol-based side were due to face Atherstone United in the 3rd Qualifying Round but the Adders financial problems has led to them being thrown out of the competition. The match at Cossham Street takes place on Saturday 1 November.

Experienced striker Naylor confirmed as latest new City arrival (22/9/03)

City have confirmed that they have signed ex-Cheltenham Town striker Tony Naylor. The Manchester born 36-year old also played league football with Crewe Alexandra and Port Vale and was a regular scorer with all three sides. After two season at Whaddon Road Naylor was released by the Robins at the end of last season.

City will play their first Severnside League game on Wednesday 24 September against Forest Green Rovers at Twerton Park (ko 7.45pm).

There were 26 in the bed, so the little one said ‘move over’ … (21/9/03)

According to an article on the Southern League website City have signed experienced Cheltenham Town striker Tony Naylor. The 36-year old has made over 350 appearance for the Robins, Crewe Alexandra and Port Vale, scoring 134 times and would be a major coup for City. Confirmation when I get it. If Naylor does arrive at Twerton he will become the 10th player to join City since the start of the season. The top ten are Scott Hendy (Mangotsfield £5K), Andy Taylor, Mitch Counsell (Worcester), Adie Adams (Forest Green, loan), Alfie Carter, Alex Sykes (Forest Green, loan), Dwayne Plummer, Tom Ramasut (Barry), Graham Cheeseman (Bridgwater) and Tony Naylor (Cheltenham). The two crossed out players have since left but mean that City currently have 24 players on their books.

… and they all moved over and two fell out (21/9/03)

With all the new arrivals at Twerton Park (detailed above) City boss Alan Pridham has made moves to trim his squad by allowing two of his longest serving to leave. Defender Gary Kemp has joined Dr Martens Western Division side Mangotsfield United and Paul Milsom has finally switched to Tiverton Town for an undisclosed fee. City’s Premier Division rivals had been chasing the big striker for several months. Kemp made 85 appearances for City scoring once since he arrived from Newport County in July 2001. Milsom was signed from Clevedon for £3K around the same time and scored 10 goals in his 76 outings.

Shocking City make Worcester look like world beaters (20/9/03)

St Georges Lane, the scene of one of City’s greatest triumphs in recent years became the place of nightmares this afternoon as they were beaten by seven goals to nil by Worcester City. The home side came into the game on the back of three defeats but as soon as an unmarked Heely put them ahead from a 6th minute corner they were made to look like the greatest team in the world by a City performance that was clueless in every department. A dreadful mix-up between Jim Rollo and Mark Bryant 10 minutes later allowed Kelly to roll home the second. Ex-City star Holloway headed the third on 27 minutes before Heely made it four after 32 minutes. The second half saw no change in City’s emabarrassing showing, as Kelly grabbed his second after a strong run and Heely completed his hat-trick from close range. Amazing City managed to hold out for over half an hour after this and even managed an effort on goal from the only player to come out ot the game with any credit, Mitch Counsell. However, in the closing minutes a Wilde free-kick curled beyond everyone and ended up in the corner of the net to complete the route.

City forced to wait for FIFA intervention on latest signing (17/9/03)

City may have to wait for several weeks before their latest signing Tom Ramasut is available to make his debut. The former Norwich City and Bristol Rovers midfielder has joined City from finanically stricken League of Wales side Barry Town but FIFA rules prevent international moves outside the transfer window. However, due to Barry’s plight City have applied to FIFA for special permission to allow the 26-year old to switch clubs.

Despite opposition from both teams the Dr Martens League have insisted City and Merthyr Tydfil play their recently postponed match at Penydarren Park on Tuesday 30 September. With both sides involved in the FA Cup three days earlier the game could have to be cancelled again if either needs a replay but despite this the League would not agree to the clubs preferred date of 14 October. The match may kick off at 7.45pm.

Former Stafford Rangers left-back Alfie Carter, who featured on the substitutes bench for City against Eastbourne Borough on Saturday, has joined Nationwide Third Division side Doncaster Rovers for a trial.

‘Horrible’ Stafford left seeing red in face of super City (16/9/03)

If Weymouth boss Steve Claridge thought City were a ‘horrible’ side he clearly hasn’t faced Stafford Rangers this season. Having been throughly outplayed by City in the first half only for a combination of luck and excellent goalkeeping by long-time City nemesis Ryan Price to keep them level, they finally fell behind to a Mitch Counsell screamer after an hour and from then on tried to kick City off the park. That only Gibson (?) and Goodman were sent off was down to a typically ‘eccentric’ refereeing performance from Mr Baker. Gibson saw red for his appalling challenge on City’s goalscorer after 70 minutes. In the melee following this assault Drew Shore received his second yellow. Shortly afterwards Goodman, who had been lucky only to receive a caution in the first half for throwing Matt Coupe to the ground, was shown a straight red for an elbow on the City captain. Several more dreadful challenges followed but somehow none added to the dismissal count. City to their credit did not react to the provocation and comfortably held on to their 1-0 lead that their performance throughly merited.

FA Cup adventure starts close to home with Brislington trip (15/9/03)

City have been handed a short journey to Western League Brislington in the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round draw. The match will take place at Ironmould Lane on Saturday 27 September 2003 (ko 3pm). To reach this stage Brislington, who last season finished runner-up to Team Taxpayer in the Western League Premier Division, beat Dr Martens Western League side Cinderford Town and fellow Screwfix side Corsham Town. The clubs last met in a friendly back in July, with City running out 3-1 winners, although the last competitive tie was a Somerset Premier Cup quarter final in February 1999 that went to a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw. Successful kicks from Mark Hervin, Mike Davis and Dave Elsey saw City squeeze through this clash.

Plummer returns in the nick of time to help City earn Eastbourne point (14/9/03)

Ex-Bristol Rovers star Dwayne Plummer made an immediate impact on his debut yesterday by providing the 77th minute cross that Mark Salter headed home to earn City a share of the points in a 1-1 draw with Eastbourne Bourough. The 25-year old had featured twice for City in pre-season but then disappeared off the Twerton Park radar. However, his return helped lift the Romans after they had fallen behind to a 71st minute penalty following a clumsy challenge by Adam Howarth on Simmonds. Mark Bryant got a touch to Ramsey’s spot kick but couldn’t quite keep it out. Prior to this City had rode their luck on a number of occasions as Borough had the better of the match. Bryant produced several excellent saves with Howarth and Matt Coupe on hand to clear when he was beaten. The woodwork also twice came to City’s rescue although they almost grabbed an undeserved win in the closing minutes when Scott Hendy’s flicked header flew a yard wide.

City turn again to Forest Green Rovers to boost ranks (12/9/03)

With Mike Trought suspended, Steve Tweddle in Germany and their injury problems showing little signs of easing City have once again turned to Forest Green Rovers to boost their ranks ahead of tomorrows trip to Eastbourne. Left-sided midfielder Alex Sykes has arrived on a month loan deal to join teammate Adie Adams who is 10 days into a similar arrangement. In addition to Trought and Tweddle City will be without long-term absentees Iain Harvey and Russell Milton plus Jason Eaton, Jim Rollo and Frankie Bennett. On the plus side Gary Kemp came through a trial match at Forest Green in the week and could start tomorrow and Paul Milsom has overcome a calf injury so may make the bench.

US bound Tweddle bids farewell with wonder goal in Dover victory (6/9/03)

Steve Tweddle showed exactly what City will be missing for the month he is in America with a great strike in this afternoons 2-1 win over Dover Athletic. His turn and cool finish after 26 minutes cancelled out Carruthers 12th minute header that had given the Kent side the lead. Moments later City almost went ahead when a Dover defender sliced an attempted clearance against his own bar, Tweddle just failing to latch onto the rebound. The game was won with ten minutes remaining though, Scott Hendy heading his first goal for City from a Drew Shore corner.

City now have a welcome weeks break to get some of their walking wounded in shape for next Saturday’s trip to Eastbourne as Tuesday’s nights planned match at Merthyr Tydfil was postponed due to a Wales Under-21 game taking place at Penydarren Park that evening.

Pridham labels farcical Claridge comments as ‘sour grapes’ (5/9/03)

Manager Alan Pridham has reacted with disbelief to his Weymouth counterpart Steve Claridge’s comments that City are a ‘horrible’ side. The quote came after City had come from two goals down to draw 3-3 with the big-spending Dorset side – only a twice taken late penalty, won controversially by Claridge, denying City a famous victory. The former Millwall striker, who dropped five divisions to join the Terras in the summer, said after the match, “Bath are a horrible side who started to kick a few people because they’re not as good as us which was clear to see before it turned nasty. Unfortunately their tactics worked because they got a draw which they should never have got.” He was particularly incensed with Matt Coupe’s challenge midway through the first half that earned the City no.2 a booking, “We were two nil up at the time and he’s gone into that challenge with every intention of breaking my leg. I could barely run for 15 minutes and I could have been badly injured.” However, Pridham has taken a dim view of Claridge’s rant saying, “It was obviously sour grapes. Anyone who watched the game knows what he said is ridiculous. You would have thought someone with his background would have been more professional. I think any of the 20 other managers in the league would laugh if you told them Bath City were a dirty side. It is farcical, especially when you consider he had one of his players sent off for punching and that Steve Tweddle was elbowed in the face twice. I can only assume Steve Claridge must be under an immense amount of pressure to get results. But, if things don’t work out for him down there, then he could always take up a career on the stage, judging by the way he went down in our area for the penalty.”

City left to work on month without penalty hero Tweddle (3/9/03)

Just when City thought their player crisis could not get any worse they have been dealt another blow with the news that Steve Tweddle will miss a month of the season due to work commitments. The striker, who scored twice from the penalty spot in last nights 3-3 draw at Weymouth despite being on a course antibiotics, is due to spend a month in the USA from 11 September. This comes on top of the injury problems that saw seven players (Harvey, Milton, Milsom, Counsell, Bennett, Eaton and Rollo) sidelined for last nights game. And with Jason Eaton and Frankie Bennett facing surgery to cure their ankle and knee problems respectively, plus captain Mike Trought looking at a three match ban for his red card against Cambridge City, this nightmare shows little immediate sign of ending.

One new face in the Weymouth match was loan signing Adie Adams. The 18-year striker has arrived from Forest Green Rovers for a month.

A tale of five penalty kicks and one old professional (2/9/03)

City came out of an incredible clash against Weymouth tonight with a point from a 3-3 draw. The game saw four penalties – including a retaken one – a wonder goal from Danny Cleverley and a sending off for Weymouth defender Kenway. It had looked so different as the home side raced into a two goal lead within the opening ten minutes. Claridge converted the first and then won the penalty that Tulley converted. However, the game turned just before the hour mark when an off the ball incident between Howarth and Kenway saw the Terras defender red carded and City awarded a penalty. Steve Tweddle sent Matthews the wrong way and seven minutes later repeated the trick after Cleverley was felled in the box. With nine minutes remaining a ball over the top looked to be of little threat. That was until Cleverley stretched and sent a looping volley over Matthews into the net. Back came Weymouth and three minutes later Claridge showed his experience, turning Howarth and throwing himself to the ground. For the fourth time the referee pointed to the spot only for Bryant to produce an incredible save from Tulley’s penalty. But to the stunned disbelief of the City fans Mr Malone made sure he’d be able to get Claridge’s autograph after the match by ruling that City’s keeper had encroached and ordering the kick to be retaken. Tulley made no mistake a second time.

Where’s Duke? City lose second head coach in as many months (1/9/03)

Head Coach Ian Juryeff has quit the post for personal reasons after just six weeks at Twerton Park. The former Leyton Orient striker, who works full-time as a youth coach at Southampton, arrived following his predecessor Tim Harris’s move to Forest Green Rovers. City boss Alan Pridham said: “It’s a shame Ian’s work with us has come to a close before we had a chance to see the real benefits.”

City hope to use video evidence to clear captain Mike Trought of the stamping allegation that led to his red card in Saturday’s defeat against Cambridge City. The match was being filmed by the visitors and City hope this can be used to persuade referee Phil Sharp to review the decision that Trought claims was not a deliberate stamp but a legitimate attempt to play the ball.