Mangotsfield v City

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Tuesday 26th September 2000: Cossham Street  

 Mangotsfield United vs. CITY 

Dr Martens League Western Division


City's Team

This was a clash of two unbeaten sides, but while as City have been picking up points the Western Division newcomers had been picking up wins. Although Cossham Street was new territory for most City fans there were some familiar faces, with the much maligned David Elsey in the home side and City striking legend Shaun 'fossil' Penny as their assistant manager.

Cally chopped and changed his side, with both Chenoweth and Bayliss having niggling injuries which saw them put on the bench. At the back Steadman replaced the struggling Richard Moore, while Griff made a welcome return to action in the place of Marshall. The game itself kicked off in front of a good sized crowd, but a strange atmosphere as the home fans seem to watch their games in a silence more akin to a library than a football ground. Not even the first chill of Autumn in the air seemed to spur them in to life.

As so often seems the case this season City started the match brightly, with Cox having a good run and shot and Wayne Thorne sending in a long range tester. Our fans quickly got on the back of the ever fragile Elsey, and within minutes he gifted Kacey the ball on the right. Johnstone got to the byline and sent over a deep cross well met by Rawlins, but comfortably stopped by Weaver in the home team's goal.

The match then retreated into midfield, with the flow of the game hindered by inexplicable interruptions as players waited for a replacement ball when it had gone out of play. Despite these irritations both sides put on a good display. United saw a good spell of pressure, with Hines forced into action with a good sprawling save at the feet of an attacker and City's keeper also required to show good handling amidst a series of corners. City also had chances though, with Johnstone's header from a corner perhaps the best.

As half-time neared though Mangotsfield were looking stronger and stronger as City faded. Hines made a couple more sharp stops, and was also thankful to see a long shot dip just over the bar. A warning of what was to come came just before the whistle with Seal crashing a header on the bar with City's defence typically statuesque under the high ball.

After the break the siege of City's goal continued with Hines again needed to make some good saves. Elsey tried to respond to the ever more inventive abuse of the City fans, but his long shot was tipped over by the busy Ally Hines. Dicks managed to hack clear the resulting corner, but the ball came straight back in and found Seal in space. The former Bristol City and Northampton forward headed home without a challenge.

City responded by throwing on Karl Bayliss, and immediately his extra class at this level was apparent. His pass sent Cox free on the right, but the referee somehow contrived to ignore Elsey's scything assault on the forward and waved play on. City were piling on pressure with Rawlins and Bayliss troubling Mangotsfield, and eventually it told. Baylo fed Rawlins who seemed to have been grappled to the floor inside the box. As the United defence looked sheepishly to the ref Griffiths smacked the loose ball in, just to bypass any doubts in the official's mind on the penalty.

City looked to be the stronger side for this short spell, and the home team looked seriously stretched by the variation in attacking problems City presented. Cox caused havoc down both flanks, but once again was guilty of trying too often to beat too many men without looking for support. Long balls were being well held up by both Baylo and Rawlins, and several chances were spurned. Bayliss had a good snap shot well held, while Rawlins was inches from meeting a Tucker cross at the near post. The best move saw four players put together passes that eventually released Meadows in front of goal, but his shot was too tame to trouble the keeper.

While City were looking likely to score, as always we looked far from comfortable at the back. Last ditch tackling brought a spate of bookings and City were pushing forward at every opportunity. Steadman made a superb tackle in the box to frustrate one attack, but we've all seen the omens before. An inch perfect cross from the United left hypnotised the City defence and found a stooping David Seal at the far post where the Aussie put Mangotsfield back in to the lead.

The last minutes of the game saw Gloucester pile forward and go close to snatching a late, late equaliser. Rawlins and Bayliss both smashed in full blooded efforts, and Thorne and Chenoweth were driving forward at every opportunity. The momentum almost saw City get caught on the sucker punch again, but Hines did excellently well to save a shot and then smother the follow up as the yellow shirts were all caught in the other half. Rawlins had one last chance to grab a point, but his header scraped over following a cross returned from an uncleared corner.

The result ended City's unbeaten start to the season, but put the still to be defeated Bristolians top of the table. Mangotsfield were certainly an accomplished outfit going forward, and in Seal they have a player of real quality at this lowly level of the game. City will feel they did enough to get a point though, and again Cally will be searching for the answer to defensive lapses which are proving critical time and time again. Frustrating for the City fans; but we can't deny we're entertaining to watch - if not always for the right reasons.

Johnstone Half-time
Steadman 386
Thorne (c)  City Scorers
Tucker Griffiths(67)
Meadows Bookings
Rawlins Position

(for 2, 56) 
Chenoweth (for 8, 81) Report
Abbott t-towel

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