City v Stourport

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 9th March 2002
Meadow Park 

  CITY v Stourport Swifts  

Dr Martens League Western Division

City's Team

City could have been forgiven for not having the highest of hopes as they went into this match. League newcomers Stourport Swifts have done well in their first DML season and sat comfortably in 5th, while City had seen their good recent form stop abruptly with an off-key 4-1 defeat at Bedworth. 

The match started in a gale force wind, and in the first few minutes both teams entertained as high balls often landed behind the player who had tried to force the ball forward. However both sides got to grip with the conditions well and tried to knock the ball around on the ground.   

City had the best of the opening exchanges with Prince having a few early runs to stretch his legs. One run found Bayliss who flicked on to Hoskins who sent his shot past the post. Prince was adding Stourport to the list of sides who found him difficult to handle, and he won a couple of free kicks within yards of each other on the left hand side of the penalty area. Steve Jenkins tried a curling effort that just bent past the post, while Bayliss blasted the second kick straight into the wall. 

How close was that? Jenks' free kick flies wide.

Stourport looked like a side used to passing football and they worked a good opening as they out maneuvered Marshall. The eventual shot was comfortable for Bath and McCluskey was able to clear the rebound. The City keeper then presented the Swifts with a chance as he made a rare mistake, dropping a corner onto the forwards foot only to gratefully see Neil Griffiths scoop the ball from the line. Moments later City got another reprieve, this time courtesy of some wild finishing that cleared the T-End.

Soon afterwards City lost Karl Bayliss who left the pitch clutching his hamstring. We lost our shape a little for a while, with sub Lee Smith seemingly unsure of where he was supposed to take up position. The Swifts piled on the pressure for ten minutes, but the defence held firm with great resolution and showed the organisation that simply did not exist earlier in the year. Dave Wilkinson was unlucky to go in the book, having made on great block on the edge of the area he lunged into a clumsy follow-up challenge that ended in a yellow card. City's sense of grievance worsened when Jenks was clattered on the edge of the box, the only caution being handed to Marshall for his vocal criticisms.

City seemed galvanised and then were unlucky not to take the lead when Lee Smith seemed to creep around the back of the Stourport full-back to rob him of the ball. Smith then dribbled along the touchline before pulling the ball back to Webb whose shot cannoned off a defender. Moments before half-time City grabbed the lead when Marshall's corner was missed in the swirling wind. Darren McCluskey saw his first effort bounce off a Swifts defender, but in the confusion he got a second chance and this time crashed the ball into the net for his first Meadow Park strike.  

By the second half the wind had died down to hurricane force and the overwhelming stench of the tip became slightly less potent. Perhaps the smell had put the visitors off as they seemed to be even more effective for the next 20 minutes. City had suffered further disruption as Jenks did not emerge for the second half after suffering a dead leg in the challenge before the break. 

However for all their pressure and at times entertaining football Stourport seemed to lack any real cutting edge or spark. Tom Webb enjoyed an excellent second half and answered some questions about his defensive ability by tracking back and putting in some crucial tackles. The whole of the City defence excelled with Burns showing great presence and positioning, while Griff floored Swifts forwards in consecutive challenges - and all within the laws of the game!  

Gloucester were now sat very deep with Lee smith playing behind Luke Prince who was somewhat starved of the ball. However he almost had a chance to increase our lead in spectacular fashion when the ball fell to him when the Stourport keeper had fluffed his clearance under the overbearing presence of Andy Hoskins. Prince tried to chip the stranded keeper from 35 yards, but the swirling wind made it tricky and the ball fell wide.

City seemed to have weathered the worst of the storm, but ironically it was now that Matt Bath was called into serious service. City had moved up and lost concentration to allow Giddings to race clear, however Bath was alert and raced out of his area to hack clear ahead of the forward. Swifts player-manager Tim Langford came on but was shepherded away from goal expertly by Chris Burns, leaving his opposite number quickly disheartened by his close attentions. 

Webb had a quiet word with Luke Prince and within a moment the former Villa winger had sent him galloping free down the right. He cut past one defender before his cross shot forced a good stop from the keeper under the close supervision of Hoskins. City were now clearly in the ascendancy and both Webb and Prince ended good runs with crosses that begged to be put into the net but found the penalty box sparsely populated.  

City got the second to seal the game just a few minutes from time to put a gloss on the score line despite what had been a close and entertaining contest. The goal was a popular one when it came, and couldn't have been simpler in it's construction. Recent sub Nick Stockley won the ball and set Prince free on the left. He took a couple of strides before squaring the ball to Lee Smith and the youngster took a touch before firing a low shot into the net from 20 yards. Having been prolific at youth level it was a sign that the youngster had finally got his eye in at senior level and was a far more difficult chance to convert than many of those he'd missed in previous months. Hopefully the strike and his recent visit from the Crewe scout will lift his confidence and lead to more of the same.

Lee Smith celebrates his first senior goal at Meadow Park

Although there were only minutes left there was still time for Matt Bath to add to his growing reputation with a fine stop. Stourport won a free kick from Howard and the curling shot was goalward bound until Bath pulled out a fantastic full length dive to turn it past the post. The sooner he's on a contract the better. So ended a pleasing professional performance against tidy opposition, a result that elevated City back into the top half and suggests a great deal of promise given the loss of two key players during the match.   

(HT: 1-0)


L.Smith (88)


(Brize Norton)
Prince 9th
(for 3; 83)
(for 9; 20)

(for 8; HT)


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

Match Reports

City Index