Posted by sean on April 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm in Bath City, Ventures Outside Of Bath with No Comments


Tamworth 0-1 Bath City
Conference National
Friday 6th April 2012 – 19:45

It was Bath City’s first game since their inevitable relegation on Tuesday night. As we walked to Twerton Park to join our fellow dedicated mad supporters, a car drove past. The driver, spotting our black and white striped attire, beeped his horn before shouting “Going down” out of his car window. I must applaud him on his observation skills while at the same time thank him for informing me of the fact that Bath City were in fact relegated. Only yesterday I thought to myself “I must make sure I have booked tickets to Luton Town next season”. I won’t bother now.

Banksy has clearly made a visit to the Midlands

Tamworth is a fairly local trip, so there was no stopping at service stations this time. Upon arriving at the ground, the travelling fans all hungry, thirsty and tired, were advised by a steward that there was a Weatherspoons Pub just a five minute walk from the nearby river. We walked for what seemed like miles, passing geese, a funfair and even a castle, but sadly no Weatherspoons. A bar was eventually found. I didn’t get a drink. We left shortly afterwards. I think we may have inadvertently stumbled across a gay bar. On the walk back to the ground, we passed a Weatherspoons pub. We had walked the wrong way along the river. Dammit.

Note to diary: Return for fetish night

Tamworth play at The Lamb Ground – one of the more traditional stadiums in our league, which pleased me. The terracing could be better, but I always love a ground where home and away supporters can mix and of course, swap ends at half time.

As the players warmed up in the cold midland rain, Ready To Go by Republica was blasted out across the ground. It was tense -Bath City, already down, yet fighting for pride up against Tamworth – still in the relegation mix. Could The Romans slay The Lambs or would The Lambs hurt The Romans by nibbling them to death or smothering them with itchy, knitted wool? Republica was followed by Bon Jovi’s Living On A Prayer, as lots of home supporters bearing mullets enjoyed the classic 1980’s rock.

If watching non-league football while listening to 80's rock doesn't take your fancy, there's always the snow dome

The game kicked off with the vocal home supporters singing “No one likes us, no one likes us, we don’t care” I can honestly say, I have never met a football fan who has said “You know what? I really can’t stand Tamworth football club. In fact, I hate them” Therefore, it was a rather strange choice of song. However, even Bath City have been known to sing the song and everybody loves Bath City – many people even more than their own club.

City started well, but as seems to be the case in every game this season, couldn’t take their chances. They were almost made to pay after giving away a silly free kick in a dangerous position, but Glyn Garner was able to pull off an excellent side, to the joy of the travelling fans who congratulated their player. Next to the City fans stood a group of young Tamworth supporters, high to their eyeballs on chocolate Easter eggs. Uninspired by Garner’s heroics, they began praising their own goalkeeper, Jonathan Hedge, and getting far too excited than is humanly healthy, when he made a comfortable save after an effort on goal from Scott Murray.

Despite being rock-bottom and already relegated, City were actually playing very well. In fact as good as they have been all season. Jamie Cook, who has come under much criticism throughout the season, was on fire. Not literally, but if he was up in flames, he couldn’t run around much more than he was doing last night. Well done, Cookey! He had a chance to score what would be his first league goal of the season, but was kicked down by a Tamworth brute. Hardly a lamb. More like an old sheep with tough mutton flesh and tangled up wool. If that lamb belonged to Little Bo Peep, she would put it to sleep… for good.

Half time was greeted to the odd boo from the home faithful and more Bon Jovi from the tannoy. Yet again, Living On A Prayer. They really do love Jo Bo here.

A dinner dance! Oooh... must attend. But wait, does it clash with Fetish Night? *checks diary* nope. Get in!

As will happen at every single away trip next season, the Bath City fans swapped ends for the second half, to be behind the goal they are attacking and wind up the home goalkeeper for yet another 45 minutes.

City continued their pressure into the second half. This started to annoy the locals. One of whom, a very Brummie man, became very frustrate. “C’mon!” He barked “What’s the matter with ya?” as City tore through the Tamworth defence. More chances were created by City and the angry fan became more angry “You’ve had your warning!” he bellowed as Scott Murray shot narrowly wide.

Tamworth made some substitutions. All of which were greeted by boos. Whether the fans were complaining about the choice of subs or booing the players coming off for a poor performance, I don’t know. As we were not segregated, I was tempted to join in.

City were beginning to frustrate the away fans. Chance after chance being missed. I wanted a win. I haven’t seen us win away all season. Some fans claimed they would take a 0-0. For me, a draw is pointless. We’re down anyway. We may as well go for a win and take some pride.

Is it immature to find this sign funny?

Another corner was won by City. “Don’t worry” a home fan was assured by a City supporter “We never score from corners” They were indeed correct. As I have mentioned on my blog before, we haven’t scored from a corner all season. Marc Canham, my player of the season, swung the ball into the penalty area. I almost looked away, expecting to see the ball headed out by a big centre back. That didn’t happen. The ball met Jamie Cook, who leapt forward with a diving header to put the ball into an open goal…

PAUSE BLOG

… Let’s calm down for a second, folks while we do a few checks. Is the ball in the net? Check. Has the linesman kept his flag down? Check. Am I awake? Check. Oh my god! You know what? I think we may have scored from a corner. What’s more, it was Jamie Cook that got it! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

A bullet header from an unmarked striker after a corner. It was a typical Bath City goal to concede, yet somehow we had scored it!

As the final 15 minutes of the game was played, a feeling returned that I have not felt for ages. It was the feeling of winning away from home and praying to god that we hang onto the victory. It was nerve-wrecking and scary, although Tamworth had been rubbish for most of the game and rarely created anything to frighten me too much.

Crap match shot

The bloke on the tannoy announced the match attendance as over 26,000. This was greeted to cheers and applause, even from the disappointed home fans. Of course the attendance wasn’t 26,000. It was 900-and-something. The high figure was the amount of money raised for the local St. Giles Hospice. Well done to all those who raised and donated money to the cause.

The game finished 1-0. There was, understandably, huge joy from the Bath City supporters, players and management. We may be down, but we haven’t given up all the fight. All this rubbish flying around the internet forums and terraces that manager Adie Britton isn’t up for the job and has lost the dressing room. Utter bullshit. The Bath City players did themselves, the club, fans and their manager proud.

The last time I saw Bath City win away from home was 26th March 2010. A 1-0 victory at Barrow. Since then, I have travelled 5513 miles on the road with The Romans, without witnessing a win, until last night. Phew! It was worth it, but I hope I don’t have to travel another 5,000+ miles to see our next 3 points.

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