Posted by sean on July 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm in Bath City, Life In Bath with No Comments

Odd Down 1-1 Bath City
Preseason Friendly
Saturday 21st July 2012 – 15:00

So, what has been happening at Twerton Park, sorry the Mayday Trust Park, these past three months? Many players have left. Scott Murray retired; hanging up his boots, before picking up everybody else’s after getting a job as the Bristol City kit man. Fans’ favourite Andy Gallinagh joined Conference Premier side, Hereford United; while what seems like half of the remaining Bath City players signed for Chippenham Town – Lee Phillips, Josh Egan and one of my favourite ex-players, Scott Rogers. I was a big fan of Scotty Rogers, not least because he once gave me his Bath City tracksuit. Jamie Cook also departed for Oxford City, although reading his Tweets, I think he would have been happier to stay at home playing PGA Tour Golf on the Sega Megadrive.

Incoming players, include Charlie Griffin – sadly no relation to Peter, but thankfully also no relation to Nick. Charlie is a non-league journeyman and if he scores as many goals for Bath City as he has had football clubs, I’ll be delighted. City also managed to sign Josh Low from Cheltenham Town – famous in my eyes for scoring two against us in preseason last year and also making an appearance on the substitutes bench for his former side Cardiff City, when they famously beat Leeds United in the FA Cup. By far the most exciting signing of all has to be that of Adie Harris. The beast is back! Harris has previously left Bath City and returned 5,216 times throughout his career and the 2012/13 season will see his 5,217th homecoming. A fantastic addition. Weston Super Mare could sign Mario Balotelli now and I would not be at all envious.

The Bath City transfer kitty

Bath City’s first preseason friendly was supposed to have been on Friday night. A home match against Crystal Palace. Last week however, Palace cancelled, having cut short their week in the south west due to poor weather. The fact they managed to get another friendly on that same night against Lewes, is more than a little annoying. Rest assured, I have scribbled down their name onto my list of ‘Football Enemies’, right below “Steve Bratt of Walsall

Therefore, with Palace chickening out of playing the mighty Romans, our first bit of preseason action was against fellow-Bath side Odd Down, of the Western League. With no coach to the game, we had to make use of public transport to take us to the other side of the city. While often a risky affair, there was little trouble during the ride on the number 14 bus, apart from a grown man dressed in a full Manchester United kit staring at us wearing our Bath City shirts like we were somehow abnormal for supporting our local football side. I was tempted to point out that his shirt was out of date as it had a golden Premier League badge, intended only for champions, but thought better of it. Yes, that’s right – I did a Crystal Palace and chickened out.

Walking from the bus stop, a car pulled up alongside us asking for directions to Odd Down’s ground. It was our very own goalkeeper, Glyn Garner. Squeezing into the back of his car, alongside a baby seat and the largest kit bag in the word, we attempted to direct him to the Lew Hill Memorial Ground. After some very poor directions, we found our way into the car park. I then became trapped in the back of his car due to the child door lock being on. Minor panic began to set in, but luckily I was eventually saved. If the excellent Danny Baker ever returns to BBC’s 606 and poses the question “Have you ever been trapped by a footballer?” I’ll be first on the phone.

In typical fashion for an early pre-season friendly, the lineup was made up almost entirely of trialists – plus Jim Rollo, Adie Harris and Gethin Jones. This lead to an incredibly fun game of “Guess the trialist”. Much amusement for about two minutes. Particular attention was given to a pacey looking number 9. It was decided that he was named Solano, having recently left Brazilian side Santos FC. I’m not quite sure if Mike “Yorkie” York believed us, mainly because it was a complete and utter lie.

The game included a lot of hoofing, heading and shouting. No goals in the first half. There was however a fight, which was rather disturbingly broken up by Adie Harris. Given the fact Harris has in the past been one of the prime instigators whenever there are football handbags being thrown, it was a little worrying to see him acting as peacemaker, when we have become so accustomed to him flying into the melee with a Jean-Claude Van Damme-style drop kick.

Post-fight pic

The only other highlight of the first half was Jim Rollo nearly scoring. It has been almost five years since he scored this beauty against Eastleigh and had he scored in yesterday’s preseason friendly, the scenes which would follow would no doubt be similar to that of our title winning celebrations at Yate in 2007.

Always a massive date on the calendar

The second half was marginally more exciting that the first. Odd Down’s goalkeeper forgot he had the ball at his feet and almost allowed our trialist – the former Santos striker, Solano, to score. We realised the wall where we were stood was infested with spiders, ants and millipedes. Oh, and there were a couple of goals. The hosts took the lead, I believe the scorer to be a one Jamie Taylor – a product of the Bath City Youth Academy and a former Culverhay pupil (the secondary school which almost every male City fan, including myself, attended). Once tipped to be our very own Wayne Rooney, sadly things didn’t quite work out and he was sold to Paulton Rovers for a measly £25.6 million and a packet of crisps.

Another crap match shot. Expect lots like this next season.

Despite being what is essentially training exercise, it is always disappointing to see your side cocede a goal and I had to keep assuring myself that “It’s only a friendly”, especially when Yorkie came running towards us declaring that we would lose 4-0 and the world was about to end. Luckly, we avoided any embarrassment and a trialist, who will probably never play for us again, equlaised. Sadly it wasn’t the now legendary Solano.

And that’s that. The next friendly I should be going to is Burnley at home. That is unless they suffer the same nerves as Palace *waves fist in anger*

Feck off Snow White (and Palace)

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