City v Southport

Home News Fixtures Team News City Open Forum Stat Attack Club Info Visitor's Information Terrace Trash Supporters Club Archive Links email.

We welcome all contributions to the T-Ender. Send by e-mail to the address above. 

The views expressed on these pages are not those of Gloucester City A.F.C., it's directors, or of any other company mentioned. Neither do they represent the official views of the Gloucester City Supporters Club or its committee.
While we make every effort to ensure information placed here is accurate we do not accept responsibility for errors that may occour. If you do find a mistake please let us know.

All pictures unless otherwise stated are the site's own.

Saturday 22nd February 2003
Meadow Park 

  CITY v Southport 

FA Trophy 5th Round

City's Team

Having knocked out Woking in the last round City had no reason to be fazed by the visit of further opponents from the Conference in the shape of Southport. This was a good open contest with both sides determined to attack when possible, but City were left ruing the chance for this side to add to their growing reputation by only narrowly securing a further Trophy scalp.

Southport's form coming into this match wasn't good, having gone ten games without wining and finding goals difficult to come by on the road. Gloucester meanwhile haven't lost since Boxing Day and were nearly at full strength, missing only Hoskins through suspension. Once again the local public showed they will support a successful football side in the City as 1,237 came to Meadow Park - the bumper crowd helping the atmosphere and expectation around the ground.  

City started with a huge rush of adrenalin and really took the game to Southport who did well to withstand the initial battering. Truth be told City were a little aimless at first, but none the less Webb and Cox both got an early chance to stretch their legs and demonstrate their pace. The game really began to stir when Thompson flicked Webb through and he tricked his way into space, only to see his cross cut out at the near post. A few minutes later a long ball caught out the Southport defence and Webb scuttled clear only for the bouncing ball to fall kindly to Ian Nolan, helping the former Sheffield Wednesday and northern Ireland player clear his lines. 

Gloucester were dominating the exchanges but Southport were able to play a bit, unlike Woking they had the intelligence to try and stretch City by passing well across the midfield. There was a clear difference from the DML Western in the pace of their players and the passing ability they showed, but City were matching them in grit and determination. Both Wilkinson and Jenkins were working hard to cover ground, although both were sometimes looking a little short of pace. Thompson was getting back as much as possible to help cover City's right against the pace of Andy Scott and Dean Howell. For all their ability only twice did Southport get near goal, one chance smothered by Griff and the second saw Chris Burns charge down the goal bound effort.

City could have had more clear cut opportunities had it not been for a couple of dubious offside decisions by the linesman. City were enjoying a lot of the game and the runs of Cox were dragging the Southport defence into all sorts of places. City also had a loud penalty appeal turned down when Jenkins took up a Smith run. Despite the volume of the T-End shouts it never looked more than a tumble, although how the decision became a Southport free kick remained a mystery.

As the half came to a close City looked like finally making the crucial breakthrough their performance deserved. A long raking Chris Burns free kick fell perfectly into the stride of Jimmy Cox but he couldn't keep his shot down and lifted his looping effort high over the bar. Moments later strike partner Lee Smith showed fantastic skills to turn Scott and fire in a shot across goal that forced Dickinson into a smart save. The best effort came in the last seconds of the half, Chris Burns seeing his header blocked on the line by the keeper after the Sandgrounders had given Adie Harris a second chance to cross by not dealing with a corner.

Smith and Harris look to launch another City attack

If matches were decided on judge's points its possible it would have been all over, but being a City fan you expect the worst and feared we may have missed the chance to get the crucial goal. However City carried on where they'd left off and Cox was in scintillating form. He forced a corner with a strong run and City were beginning to make the Conference team's defence creak. Moments later Burns sent over another imperious cross pitch ball from the back for Chris Thompson to race onto. He took the ball into the box but never got hold of his shot which was easy for the keeper. The momentum was with the Tigers though and Cox was unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty when his mazy run was halted in the box. Any sense of injustice was soon put to bed when Cox put City ahead with a fantastic strike. Smith played a clever reverse pass to slip Cox behind the defence and he ran 40 yards with defenders left in his wake before calmly slotting the ball across the keeper and inside the far post. Cue bedlam amongst the City fans on the T-End - the way Southport were playing there was no way you could see them getting back in the game.  

Burns storms down the wing

That was the trigger for the game to switch though, City seemed to instantly retreat into a defensive mentality and Southport poured forward. City fans were lifted by the surprising substitution of the pacey Dean Howell, but the arrival of the awkward Thomson caused different problems. City were now beginning to look a little tired, especially in midfield, and we were finding it more difficult to match the visitors. Thankfully Southport were often let down by a dazzling array of comedy slices and miskicks that disrupted their play. Some sterling defending was required, and our players stuck to the task manfully. Adie Harris was a thorn in the side of his opposing winger, while Chipps again did well with some uncomplicated blocks and solid clearances. The real star at the back line though was player-boss Chris Burns who had the look of a man summoning up every last ounce of ability and effort for a final tilt at playing glory. The sight of him stretching out a leg to halt a dangerous attack and rolling the ball under his foot before bringing it clear said everything about his dominance of our penalty area.  

Matt Bath had bee left relatively untroubled by the Port attack but in the last quarter he began to see more of the ball. A Steve Jones effort from the edge of the box warmed his palms and forced him to push the ball wide of the post on 74 minutes, but a couple of minutes later he was left bewildered as Southport drew level with a slightly lucky equaliser. Southport broke clear through Ian Nolan who appeared to be offside, but was allowed to run on and beat Adie Harris. His cross in cut past Griffiths and Chipps and then rebounded off Jenkins on the line and onto Scott who bundled the ball over the line. To those behind the goal it looked as if an arm may have been used to bring the ball down, but the ref would have been unsighted and much to City's dismay the goal stood.

It took City a good couple of minutes to regain their composure after being pegged back, but the last 10 minutes were classic cup tie stuff with both sides trying to snatch a winner. Neither side held their shape particularly well but pressed forward with some enterprise. Griff had to be strong to shepherd away Thomson from the corner of the penalty area, while Matt Bath carefully watched another shot as it bounced off the sandy surface of the penalty box. City could have grabbed it when Cox saw a shot hacked off the line and he had another fantastic chance at the death when Thompson smashed a cross across goal, but it was too quick for Cox whose header flew high over the bar.

City scrap to find a late winner from this corner

At the final whistle the disappointment on our players faces said much about how far we have come - our DML Western side were gutted not to have beaten the Conference team, perhaps also a little surprised. We now face a mammoth task to win in Tuesday's replay at Haig Avenue, but of course we thought the same after drawing at home to Woking. Regardless of the replay result there can't be many football fans anywhere who are prouder of their team at the moment than those of Gloucester City are today as our name goes into the hat for Monday's quarter-final draw. 

(HT: 0-0)





Wilkinson n/a


(for 2; 88)




Something to say about this report? - Visit the City Open Forum

Match Reports

City Index