Posted by sean on December 4, 2014 at 7:14 pm in Bath City with No Comments

Apologies for the lack of recent blog activity – I have a good excuse. For the past day or so, I have been sat in a bath of hot water, thawing out my body after it became frozen on Tuesday evening.

Imagine you are sat at home on the sofa, in the warm, while watching television. It is a cold, autumn night, with the first frost of the year predicted. Your partner turns to you and tells you that they will be leaving the cosy surroundings, to stand outside in the back garden for three hours. You would immediately have them sectioned and would be right to do so. The other night, I decided to give up an evening of warmth, comfort and “I’m A Celebrity”, to stand outside in the bitter cold for a number of hours. The men in white coats haven’t taken me away. The only reason for that is because instead if standing in the back garden, turning my body to ice, I was at a football ground, freezing my bones, blood and vital organs.

I was attending Bath City against Gloucester City in the FA Trophy replay. The original fixture had been played two days earlier, in a game which was beyond dire. I have already blogged my displeasure on that match. As regular readers of my blog will know, I don’t do match reports, so you’ll be pleased to know that I’ll be keeping this brief…

The replay was poor, although this time, both sides knew the reward for progressing – a trip to Bristol Rovers. This is a dream tie for either Bath or Gloucester. When my other team, Leeds United, played Rovers in the league, it was considered anything but a treat.

I was nervous. Nervous and cold. Luckily, Bath City scored early. A great strike by Andy Watkins. All City had to do was survive 80-odd minutes, ensure Gloucester didn’t score, hope the fans don’t freeze to death, and I could book tickets to the Hilton Hotel in Horfield. However, Bath City wouldn’t be Bath City without giving the fans stress. Shortly before half time, Gloucester had a shot at the Bath City goal. I say ‘shot’, it was more a back pass, which goalkeepers generally lap up all day long. Not this time. this feeble shot, which the Queen Mother could save, even though she’s dead, went straight through the keeper’s legs and into the back of the net.

During the half time interval, I became even colder. I felt like Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic. It got to the stage where I didn’t care if we won or lost. That’s not really true, of course I wanted to win, but the thought of extra time filled me with dread, whereas going home to a nice warm bed was a lot more appealing!

The scene where Rose promises Jack “I’ll never let go”, before letting go, allowing him to fall into the sea.

The second half was as poor as Sunday’s game, which, as I have said about a thousand times, was awful. I knew there would be extra time. My fellow fans knew it would be extra time, the players knew it. Even that neighbour’s cat that shits in my front garden would be able to tell extra time was imminent!

As predicted, extra time came. By what point, I had lost the will to live, along with a few of the toes on my feet to frostbite. Amazingly, extra time was rather good. After enduring 3 HOURS of what can only be described as excrement, over two games, the players started to play! Ross Stearn, who came on as a substitute during the second half, gave Bath the lead with a cross-cum-shot. We all cheered, while ‘Stearny’ ran to the City management and substitutes, screaming like he had just won the World Cup.

Despite taking the lead, I tried to stay calm, reminding myself that this was Bath City and we still had the ability to right royally fuck things up. We didn’t. In fact, things got better. In the second half of extra time, when not only had all my toes turned into Twiglets, but my foot had dropped off, we scored a third goal. The strike, which can best be described as a ‘thunder-bastard’ came from Ross Stearn. His second celebration was a little more refined, which surprised me, as I was expecting him to jump out of the ground and go bus surfing down Twerton High Street.

At this point, time was against Gloucester, and while I wasn’t brave enough to shout out the immortal words “nothing can go wrong now”, I felt rather relaxed with the two goal advantage. How wrong was I to be confident! You will have heard the expression “it only takes a minute to score a goal”, well make that minute ’30 seconds’. In added on time, when I was all ready to go home, Gloucester somehow managed to score not one, but two goals in a minute. I was gobsmacked. Predictably we went on to lose the penalty shootout and I lost a leg in the sub-zero weather.

OK, there were one or two white lies in that blog. Firstly, no toes, feet or limbs fell off (although it was very cold). Secondly, Bath City did indeed win (although if you care enough to be reading this blog, you’ll know that anyway). Gloucester didn’t reply with any more goals and went on to lose 3-1. What is 100% true, is that Bath City now play Bristol Rovers in the next round of the trophy. I am told the match has been scheduled for the Wednesday before Christmas at 3am GMT. I have a sneaky suspicion that could be a lie…

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