City v Rugby Utd

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Saturday 2nd December 2000: Meadow Park

  CITY vs. Rugby United 

Dr Martens League Western Division


City's Team

City came into the game looking for their first home league win of the season and is somewhat despondent mood having recently been trounced by Mangotsfield and then thrown away victory at Evesham. One noticeable casualty from that debacle was Gannas, with Ally Hines again coming back into goal. 

City managed to find their feet first in stormy and windy conditions, and indeed our dirst opportunity came when Cox was able to take full advantage of a defender's hesitation dealing with a clearance that swirled in the wind. Cox forced a corner, but sadly it came to nothing. City were also finding Bayliss a useful asset and he was able to hold the ball up well and lay it back to Jenks who was unlucky to see his snap shot whistle just wide.

Rugby did however look a strong side, but their forwards served early notice that they were not too sharp. Even though left typically unmarked by the AWOL Moore their forward managed to tread on the ball. The clearance then saw Chennas scampering through at the other end only to be pulled back long before reaching the penalty box. The Rugby defence was then caught off guard when Johnstone and not Bayliss hit the free kick, and he wasn't far off with the keeper needing to be at full stretch to reach the ball

City did at least have learnt the value of hard work from their recent misfortunes and Chennas was setting a frenetic example. A few minutes later only a fine tackle interrupted his run just as he contemplated the choice of putting in either Bayliss or Cox. The ceaseless City pressure looked likely to tell after 34 minutes when the keeper, befuddled by the whistling crosses and shots handled a hurried back pass. City took the free kick on twelve yards, but sadly the referee couldn't count as far as ten and the Rugby wall was allowed to stand on the six yard line! Baylo smacked his shot through the wall, but the keeper was able to block.

City then got hit by a classic sucker punch minutes before the end of a half they had totally dominated. A long run was successfully halted by Hunt, but his clearance only found its way to another Rugby player and we were suddenly outnumbered. The ball went wide and when the cross came in the man at the far post was able to head past a stranded goalkeeper. 

City carried on with their attacks in the second half, but understandably Rugby had pulled everyone back and were fighting a determined rearguard action. The one time City broke free, again through Chennas, we were let down by the referee who only booked the defender for hauling him down despite being the last man between player and goal. The free kick was squandered and the fierce tackling of the Rugby defence was threatening to cause the City players of losing their rag. Sure enough Bayliss went into the book for an over enthusiastic grudge challenge which left his opponent on a stretcher.

At this point God took very prompt revenge as the heavens opened and all sensible folk headed for the comfort and shelter of the bar. Bayliss didn't last much longer making way for Rawlins as Callinan tried to inject something extra into our attack. The substitution worked to stunning effect with Cox breaking down the left and his cross eluding the Rugby defence for Rawlins to crash home at the far post.

Rugby tried to respond but had spent so long sat back that they found it difficult to wake back up. They managed to force a corner but not much else. City were pushing forward at every opportunity, and the breakthrough came with only a few minutes left. Dicks hoisted the ball into midfield where Cox managed to get a touch to put the ball beyond the Rugby centre back. Rawlins burst in at pace and raced clear, imperiously rounding the keeper and rolling the ball into the empty net.

Far from being able to push back Rugby were forced to cling on to the defeat as Chennas was denied a deserved goal when his drive was put over the bar by a desperate defensive foot. Rawlins could have even got a hat trick when he got his head to the resulting corner, but the shot was cleared off the line. All in all a very pleasing result, a long-awaited home league win, and every hope that the corner could have been turned with one of City's most convincing performances of the season.

Griffiths Half-time

 Dicks (c)
Moore Att.

Callinan  City Scorer
Johnstone  Rawlins(75,85)
Jenkins Bookings
Chenoweth 9th

(for 10;65) 
Abbott Report
(for 8; 82) 

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