City v Bath

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Saturday 19 February 2000: Meadow Park

CITY vs. Bath City  

Dr Martens League Premier Division


City's Team

This was a local derby between two sides with little in common at the moment. Bath, in-form, chasing the title and solvent following a fan consortium buy-out have already dished out two comprehensive beatings to the Tigers this season. Gloucester, demoralised, scrapping at the bottom, and in another financial crisis with the fans in conflict with a board seemingly bent on self-destruction.

The Gloucester side showed several changes and a little tactical manouvering from Hughes. Wyatt played behind Smith and Rose in a floating role, and Griffiths earnt a place in a combative midfield line-up. The early exchanges were as you'd expect from a derby game, with City keen to push up as much as possible and peg back the dangerous forward line.   

The early exchanges were even, Gary Thorne's header well saved  from a corner and Griffiths seeing a skimming shot going close. Bath saw Davis's scuffed shot stopped by a combination of Abbott, King and Thorne. However Bath's crucial player was Mehew, and they took the lead when he skipped past Abbott and was able to cross from the six yard box for Davis to poke home. Holloway then sent in a scorching shot from distance, but caused more danger to the T-End barrackers than the City goal.

 In many ways the match was dominated by two incidents of early violence. First the ref missed a straight arm from Matt Rose which saw Towler crumple to the floor. That challenge saw the temperature rise, and within minutes Wayne Thorne lost self-control and went through the back of David Mehew. Having already been booked for a daft handball there was no doubt he would go, and his dismissal left the side misshapen and Bungle further contemplating improving his impulsive streak.

Despite being down to ten men City were able to grab a vital equaliser when Skidmore's under hit back pass allowed Smith to skip in and push the ball between the keeper's legs. The goal galvanised Gloucester and the Bath defence looked very uncertain. Wyatt forced Jackson to save at his feet and Smith almost added a second with a curling shot that dropped just over the bar.

The second half saw bath briefly show the qualities that could see them back in the Conference. The Davis and Mehew combination caused problems, and King made a fine flying tip over to deny Davis. Mehew saw a header fly wide and King made a further fine stop onto the bar from a Davis header. However while Gloucester were stretched the offside trap and determined if at times unorthodox defending in numbers kept Bath's chances down. Veteran Bath coach Steve White missed perhaps their best chance dragging a shot wide towards the end. 

Whilst Gloucester were largely forced into a rear guard action they had a few chances of their own. Casey was given the space to demonstrate his passing ability, and Chenoweth was quite literally everywhere down the left flank. Smith was still working tirelessly to chase down long balls and was in many ways crucial in defending from the front. However the last few minutes saw City come closest to snatching the points with sub Cox's pace stretching the rocky Bath back line. The culmination of their problems came three minutes from time when Cox cut across the penalty box and was brought down by Clode. The look on the bath players faces showed it was a clear pen, but the referee was gasping for breath half a pitch away and failed to give it.  

A draw was a fairer result and Bath would have been hard done by had they lost, but none the less the match ended with Gloucester being the ones who felt cheated. None the less the players can be proud of a strong battling ten man performance and a good point against a top side. What they need now is to convert that home form into points away from Meadow Park. 


King D1-1
Abbott  Half-time
W.Thorne 1-1
G.Thorne Att.
Callinan 695
Chenoweth City Scorer
Wyatt J.Smith(29)
Rose Bookings
Casey W. Thorne x2
Smith  Position
Griffiths 18th

Cox (for Casey, 66) DLDLWL
Wigg (for Callinan, 79) Report
Devlin T.Towel

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