Posted by sean on August 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm in Bath City, Life In Bath with No Comments

Dorchester Town 2-1 Bath City
Conference South
Monday 27th August 2012 – 15:00

So, what’s happened in the world of Bath City FC since my last blog? There were two home games at the newly renamed Mayday Trust Park. Five goals scored by Bath City, four of which by our new hero Kurtis Guthrie, a thunderstorm on Saturday and most importantly, six points for The Romans!

Going into Bank Holiday Monday game, away to Dorchester Town, the league table looked very good – the main reason for this being we were top! OK, on goals scored.

While I predicted an 8th place finish (Bath City love finishing 8th) at the start of the season and continue to maintain that is where we’ll end up, the signs are encouraging. Last season, we faced three teams from the Conference South in cup and trophy competitions – Dover Athletic, Chelmsford City and Basingstoke Town. These were good sides who finished in the top 7 at the end of the 2011/12 season. Despite them having strong league campaigns and Bath City having a very disappointing one, City managed to beat all three fairly easily. It just goes to show the difference in class between the two divisions is massive. As we have kept a lot of our players from last year and strengthened in areas where others had left, I believe I have reason to be cautiously optimistic.

It is no secret that manager, Adie Britton, has had to work with a shoestring budget in comparison to many of his managerial counterparts. As he approaches his fourth anniversary as Bath City boss, it is a credit to him that he has achieved so much while spending so little. The comparison has not been made before, but I see Adie as a non-league David Moyes. Proving you can bring success without splashing the cash.

Crickey, I was getting all serious there. Anymore and people would think they were reading an extract from Saturday’s Guardian. I had better quit while I’m ahead and return to normality – the Dorchester trip…

After a scenic journey through the Somerset and Dorset countryside, the Bath City supporters coach arrived at Dorchester’s Avenue Stadium. With no pub or place to drink nearby, the coach-trippers headed straight for the nearby Tesco to do their “big shop” and buy lunch.

One shopping trip later, I sat on the terrace enjoying a Tesco Meal Deal, consisting of an Egg and Cress triple sandwich, a packet of Cool Original Doritos and tropical fruit juice. I know how to dine!

Former Bath City goalkeeper and non-league legend, Jason Matthews, warmed up. His departure from Twerton Park resulted in me being slightly less star-struck than I once was. City reject.

The (former) non-league legend, Jason “City reject” Matthews

At the other end of the pitch, current City players (the real heroes), warmed up by having a penalty shoot out. Kerry Morgan with an impressive chip which would have made Pirlo proud.

The game kicked off and The Legion started the singing, drowning out the home support. The opening song of the afternoon was the ever-popular “Come on you stripes”, although this effort somehow managed to upset certain fans who complained that City were playing in their ‘Leeds United’ yellow and blue away kit, while the home side donned the black and white stripes.

City continued with their form from Saturday’s game by dominating the play and giving their opponents a torrid time on the pitch. It wasn’t long until a free kick was won by City. New striker, Chalie Griffin stepped up and shot past the wall and through the hands of Jason Matthews. A very generous gesture by our former goalkeeper and one we were all very grateful for – so much so, he was thanked by the Bath fans who gave him his very own song – “City reject. City reject. Hello, hello!”

Dorchester have a fairly modern stadium, constructed in 1990. A number of covered terraces surround the ground as well as a main seated stand and open terrace behind one of the goals. During boring moments of matches, supporters can enjoy observing the local wildlife which inhabits the ground – a family of swifts dive that fly along the pitch, with far more grace than any of the players, who more closely resembled Twerton Park’s resident birds – seagulls.

Shopping trolley in football ground. Pure gold for the non-league football blogger.

The goal kicked-stated Dorchester, who began to play (albeit 15 minutes too late). City Reject No.2, Ben Watson, trying a bit too hard, running straight into our goalkeeper Glyn Garner in an attempt to score a goal. The referee blew his whistle like an over-excited child on Christmas morning who had opened his present to find a referees whistle. Thankfully this fuss was to brand Watson a yellow card and award City a free kick. Like many other supporters, I thought a penalty had been awarded. While it wasn’t a spot kick, I felt Watson was hard done by.

The referee continued his general crapness by booking our new hero, Kurtis Guthrie, for a ‘nothing challenge’ . Unlike in his previous two games, our new striker had been somewhat quiet, but the booking made him see red, well yellow, and take some impressive shots at goal. He missed.

Despite creating chances, City were unable to find that illusive second goal. Their efforts being thwarted by a mixture of poor finishing, good defending and Jason Matthew remembering he was playing for Dorchester Town and not Bath City.

As is always the way in football, if you don’t take your chances, you’ll be made to pay. City paid the price, in goal money, when Dorchester equalised. Some away fans shouted offside. Despite being at the other end of the pitch, I could tell there was no problem with the goal whatsoever. Before we could even say “two points dropped”, Dorchester scored again. Bollocks. Just like last season.

Crap match shot

Dorchester could smell blood and it wasn’t the under-cooked burgers coming from the tea bar (I apologise for that awful analogy). It should have been 3-1, but somehow a City defender managed to clear the ball off the line after Glyn Garner went AWOL.

The home fans (finally) found their voice and started singing – stealing our song of “Come on you stripes”. If any Dorchester fans are reading, by the way; yes, my blogs normally are this bias.

While trying to keep the score line respectable, Garner became injured. Thankfully he was able to carry on. I don’t think we had another keeper on the bench and believe all our substitutions had been made (again, first class football journalism here).

The game was dead. Nothing was happening and Dorchester looked happy to keep the scoreline at 2-1 – time to park the bus in the bay, put the handbrake on, take the keys out of the ignition, lock the door and have a fag outside.

So 2-1 was how the game ended. The only remaining events of interest involved Jason Matthews. Firstly lambasting his defence for almost allowing City to score. Secondly at full time, receiving a bit of somewhat unfair stick from the travelling fans. Despite not having the best of seasons with us last year and taking an entire fifteen seconds to take a goal kick (time wasting at its very best), I felt a little sorry for him… only a little.

As we got back onto the coach, the usual rubbish from the usual tosspot supporter from last season started… “They don’t wanna go up, do they!”. No, they don’t. They lost on purpose. Get a grip and shut up.

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