Sean's Stories

Posted by sean on 28/03/2012 at 10:05 pm in Bath City with No Comments


Bath City 0-1 York City
Conference National
Tuesday 27th March 2012 – 19:45

With little time to recover from Saturday’s debacle in Stockport, Bath City were given another game to test the nerves just a few days later. This time it was against decent opposition, in what would be our final game of the season, and quite possibly for years, against a so called “big club” – the mighty York City.

I have a personal affiliation with The Minstermen (not to be confused with Mr. Men, although for the purpose of this blog, they will be). Despite spending almost my entire life in the West Country, I was born in York, and lived not far from their Bootham Crescent ground (although I was far too young to remember any of that). Therefore, although Bath City is my true love, I do wish York City well… except last night.

It was a very warm March evening and it felt as if it could be August – the start of a new football season. I wish it was the start of the season. Not this season though. I don’t want to have to go through that again. Roll on August 2012 – whatever league we’re in.

It's Bath City against York City... and it's live!

Bath City started the game well and managed to contain York. They were even able to create chances themselves. In one instance forcing an error from York keeper, Michael Ingham, who failed to control the ball and forced it out for a corner. Luckily for Mr Clumsy, Bath City have not scored from a corner all season and tonight would be the same.

Handshake shot

Twerton Park has been known for its loud atmosphere in recent years, mainly thanks to the superb Legion, although things did seem very subdued yesterday. Mr Quiet was happy with that. The crowd of 565, which included 130 from York, did not help matters. I know all clubs have their glory supporters, but bloody hell, you would expect a few more locals to turn up and stick with their team. There was almost 5,000 fans against Woking in the Play Off Final, down to under 600 last night. Embarrassing. One fan did pipe up, breaking the silence, but that was only to shout to his dad that his cup of tea was leaking.

York City are a decent side and it is clear why they are in contention for promotion (which I hope they win). However, they have some of the biggest moaners in the whole of non-league football – although are still yet to surpass Southport on the whinge-scale. I am sure I spotted referee, Michael Bull, taking a painkiller at half time for a headache, after getting whined at my Mr. Grumble for an entire 45 minutes.

I do, however, take my hat off to the York player, Mr. Bump, who pulled off a particularly spectacular fall. Not only was the dive impressive, but he managed to roll almost halfway UP the Twerton slope. That takes some doing. Well done.

In the second half the goal which would seal The Minstermen’s win was scored. A mistake at the back by Sekani Simpson, gifting the ball to the York forward, who slotted home with a professional finish. I hope the fans had a good look, as you won’t see many finishes like that next season; although expect to see more errors like Simpson’s, luckily, from the opposition too.

York were not happy with the scoreline at 1-0 and became frustrated, goalkeeper Michael Ingham blaming his back four for a mistake and referring them very loudly as “fucking pricks”. Mr. Clumsy has now been renamed Mr. Rude.

The abuse from the shot-stopped must have fell on deaf-ears as Bath City began to create chances themselves, causing the York defence problems. Marley Watkins, on as a substitute after in injury layoff, making an excellent run and setting up Scott Murray, who sadly blasted wide. You can read all about Scott Murray’s miss on his Twitter account – @scotty_murray

Last game of the season under the floodlights... unless we make the play offs

As I have mentioned numerous times on my blog in recent weeks, Twerton Park has become a haven for moaning supporters. I seem to remember a visit to Woking’s Kingfield Stadium, which has its very own “Moaners Corner”, where old men can go and complain to their hearts delight. I would suggest Bath City do the same at Twerton Park, but it would probably be occupied with over half the crowd. The moaners were not too bad yesterday. Despite losing, the performance was pleasing and the majority of those in attendance had not witnessed the catastrophe at Stockport. As the second half was played out and it became apparent that we would lose again, one supporter, well-known for complaining, did ask his friend “when was the last time we won a game?” – Clearly forgetting the victory over Lincoln City less than a fortnight ago. I know that performance wasn’t great, but we did actually win!

City did have a chance to equalise very late on in the game, when a Marley Watkins backheel, similar to his goal against Lincoln was cleared off the line. Despite questions from those around me, it didn’t go in. There were no appeals from the players or those supporters behind the goal. Unless everyone had just given up at that point.

The sight of a Manchester City scout in the ground fuelled rumours that Jamie Cook is on his way to Eastlands

Overall, a much improved performance. Very disappointing result, as I feel a draw would have been deserved. Hopefully the remaining games of the season can be enjoyed as it will be a different standard of football next season – I’ve almost forgotten the ‘hoofball’.

Good luck to York City. As the club from the city of my birth, I genuinely wish them all the best for the rest of the season. You never know, if Bath City have a free weekend, Sean’s Stories may make a visit to watch you next year at Bristol Rovers… or Forest Green.

Now onto Saturday for the visit of Fleetwood Town. They sound tinpot. 3 points in the bag, surely. Where are they in the league?

Posted by sean on 25/03/2012 at 2:47 pm in Bath City, Ventures Outside Of Bath with 2 Comments


Stockport County 4-0 Bath City
Conference National
Saturday 24th March 2012 – 15:00

This week’s blog is probably the most difficult I have had to do since I started writing about Bath City. Throughout a very disappointing season, I have remained upbeat; defending players and management after witnessing more defeats and goals conceded than I care to remember.

Admittedly, a lot of the games have been bad. However, I have always managed to find some positive to take from a match. Even after a 6-0 drubbing away at Grimsby Town, I saw some silver lining. However, yesterday’s display at Stockport County left me dumfounded. It was quite simply appalling and it hurt – very badly.

The day began so well. It was the start of the weekend, a three day one for me. As I left my flat at 8am to make the short walk to Twerton Park, the sun was already fully out. It looked set to be a beautiful spring day, and the first away game of 2012 where the coat would be left at home.

Upon boarding the coach to Stockport, we learnt of a terrible accident on the M5, involving a collision between a lorry and a coach. As a result, our own journey had to be diverted. Since then, it has been revealed that two people have died as a result of the incident, with many still critically ill. We drove past the two vehicles involved on our way up the motorway. A very nasty sight. My thoughts go to all those involved, including their family and friends. It really puts the football events into perspective.

Midway through the journey, we stopped for a break at Stafford Services. As service station enthusiasts and travelling football fans will know, this is one of the more interesting motorway stops. Not only does it have the usual Marks & Spencer’s, Burger King and WH Smith, but also boasts its very own duck pond. We were joined by hundreds of Liverpool supporters, travelling up from the south for their side’s game against Wigan (clearly, their day was as fun as ours). I chickened out of telling them my interesting stat that Bath City have more league wins in 2012 than them.

I became a little star struck when I spotted Andy Carroll by the Krispy Kreme stand

We arrived at Stockport in enough time to explore the town and visit a nearby pub for a pre-match drink and meal. As is commonplace with most away trips outside of Somerset, the only cider on offer was Strongbow. However, on a hot afternoon, it was still enjoyed along with a decent pub lunch. As kick off approached, the pub began to fill up, with many fans gathering around the TV to watch what looked to be a dire game involving Chelsea and Tottenham.

You could cut the pre-match atmosphere with a knife

Stockport County play at Edgeley Park. Although now an all-seater stadium, it is a traditional football ground, which retains a lot of its charm and character from the past. County ground share with rugby union side, Sale Sharks. Apparently the ground was used for rugby the night before. While the turf was in a reasonable state, the lines on the pitch from the previous day’s game still remained. I was reliably informed that The Sharks’ next home game is, coincidentally, against Bath Rugby.

Those readers who have been following my blog for a while will remember Stockport’s visit to Twerton Park, where I excitably met their manager at the time, Dietmar Hamann. Didi has now left and has been replaced by a new boss – Jim Gannon. Gannon’s playing career may not be as illustrious as his predecessor (He was unable to help Dundalk FC to European Cup glory), but his managerial CV is a lot more noteworthy, having won promotion with County to League One in 2008, during his previous spell at the club. My favourite fact about Jim Gannon is that following Stockport’s play-off final win over Rochdale, he refused to give an interview to Sky Sports, because Sky had not fixed his broken satellite box.

Have a good look. We could be at Borehamwood next season.

The 40-50ish travelling fans were stuck in the away end, behind the goal. There was no roof, so the fact it was a glorious sunny day was much appreciated. Had it been raining, what was about to turn into a bad afternoon would have been an awful one.

Rain Ponchos - one size fits all

Prior to the match, Bath City fans had received warnings from both Grimsby and Barrow supporters about the Stockport stewards and the club’s zero-standing policy. Predictably, these warnings were ignored, and rightly so. The standing supporters were not causing any problems, were not a hazard or restricting the view of anybody else. Despite this, the stewards issued their usual requests to sit down, conform or be shot. A tannoy announcement alerted all those in the ground that “Edgeley Park is an all seater stadium”, to which the Bath City responded with a rendition of “Non-league and you know you are”. This charade continued for the majority of the first half. By half time, the stewards left the fans alone. Either out of boredom or just the fact they felt sorry for us.

Now for the bit I have been trying to put off for a while. The summary for the match. It was bad. Shockingly bad. Prior to this weekend, I would class Lincoln away as our worst performance of the season. That was surpassed yesterday. Bath City were awful. Stockport County are having a dire season themselves. They are shipping goals for fun, while struggling to score. They lost 5-0 at Southport last week. Yet somehow, Bath City managed to make one of the worst teams in the division look like Barcelona.

Can I have a match shot of the game? Certainly, sir

The warning signs were there within the first few minutes, when sloppy mistakes were made by the Bath City defenders. Chance after chance was missed by the Stockport strikers – you could tell why they too were fighting relegation.

City did in fact have a chance to take the lead. Scott Murray won the ball and started a run down the pitch. However, instead of squaring the ball to a teammate who would have put the travelling team 1-0 up, he greedily shot himself. And missed. You may be wondering why I am singling Murray out for such criticism. The reason being is that in the morning prior to the game, he, in my opinion, disrespected the club, players, management and supporters on Twitter. I’m not going to bother posting his Tweets on here. If you’re interested, you can see for yourself. However, to wish for the end of the season in March and state you are not looking forward to a game, is unacceptable. I hope the club fine him. If he doesn’t want to play for Bath City, he can leave now.

Edgeley Park prepares itself for the visit of Bath's secondary sports team

Stockport continued their onslaught of the Bath City goal and eventually, and predictably, scored. Another defensive mistake. 1-0 became 2-0 and a couple more goals followed to complete the rout. The game was played in near silence. The only sounds being the shouts from the players on the pitch, aeroplanes coming into land at Manchester Airport and the occasional yelp from a fan at one corner of the ground.

Ouch

Full time. Lost 4-0. A shambolic performance. An entire day given up. £60 spent. Did I clap the team off the pitch? Of course I did!

A number of fans stormed out the ground, jeered the players or refused to applaud their team. That is their choice and after yesterday, I can see why they would decide to do that. Do I agree with their actions? Not at all. I think they were wrong to do so, in the same way that they will think I was wrong to clap and show my appreciation at the fulltime whistle.

The players know all too well that the fans are unhappy and suffering. They are also aware that they themselves have been rubbish and let everyone down that afternoon. However, in my own opinion, you should support the team through the good times, the bad times and the very bad times.

All football fans hold different views. The only thing they really share is a love for their club and a desire to see success. Hopefully success will return to Bath City soon. In the meantime, through this disappointing period, I will continue to support my local club, home and away, and show my gratitude for the players and managerial staff who have brought me so much joy over the years. We can’t win promotion every year, but maybe in a couple of seasons we will again. When that happens, I’ll be applauding the players, just like I was at Stockport yesterday.

Posted by sean on 18/03/2012 at 11:24 am in Bath City with No Comments


Bath City 2-1 Lincoln City
Conference National
Saturday 17th March 2012 – 15:00

Bath City didn’t have a game last weekend, so this Saturday would spell an entire fortnight since I had attended a football match. City did however play a midweek fixture, which I was unable to attend. The reasons for this being a combination of work commitments, no transportation and down-right common sense. The game was in Barrow – I believe somewhere near Scotland – certainly far, far away from Somerset.

Along with sitting miserably at the bottom of the league, City can boast the unfortunate record of no away wins this season. In fact our last away victory came the previous season, ironically at Barrow. I was at that game. Seems like a dream now.

Come kick off time on the night of the Barrow match, I listened in on the old wireless* to hear how the lads would perform against their Scottish counterparts.

* Wireless internet was used to stream commentary from the BBC Radio Bristol website.

As I attend most Bath City games, I am not used to this listening to games on the internet lark and I had clearly made a mistake that evening in trying to do so. I suspect that I started listening to commentary for another match. The team which commentator Andrew Kerslake kept referring to as “City” beat Barrow 1-0. So either Bath City claimed their first away win of the season, or I did something badly wrong. I suspect the latter.

Back to this weekend’s game. Bath City would take on another former Football League heavyweight – the mighty Lincoln City – although this season, not so mighty. After being relegated from League Two last May, Lincoln have struggled to adjust to life in the most demanding league in the world – The Blue Square Bet Premier – and sit just one place above the relegation zone.

The Bath City players had spent part of last week at Cheltenham Races, watching horses run about while no doubt drinking copious amounts of Guinness. While at Cheltenham, they no doubt picked up some tips from the horses, as following the referee’s whistle, City were out of the starting gates and heading towards first hurdle (the goal) like whippets (sorry, I couldn’t think of any decent horse analogies).

After just one minute, that’s right ONE minute, Bath City scored. Jamie Cook finding the back of the net for the first time in a league game. Although it wasn’t a goal. Disallowed. The referee had blown for a penalty seconds earlier, following a foul on Marley Watkins. Luckily, Marc Canham stepped up and converted the spot kick, so with TWO minutes gone, Bath City were winning!

I don’t know a lot about horse racing. I am aware that horses race each other and John McCririck from Celebrity Big Brother talks about them. I know the jockeys are very small. I also know that there are often unexpected shocks and surprises involved. Whatever shocks may have happened at Cheltenham last week, can’t have been as great as the one which saw Bath City score a second goal, putting them 2-0 up after four minutes. Bloody hell, if we carry on like this, we’re going to win 45-0! That would put our goal difference to a massive +7!

Lincoln wore their away kit. A green and white hooped shirt. Very similar to that of Bath City’s rivals from years gone by, Yeovil Town. Perhaps the sight of that awful kit inspired City to go for the kill. Maybe Guinness really is good for you and it did the players some good. Or perhaps Lincoln were just dog shit. A bit of everything I think.

Lincoln did improve as the game went on. But not by much. Sadly, the rest of the game didn’t live up to the excitement of the first four minutes. I was amused by their centre back, Josh Gowling, for sporting a very brave Sideshow Bob style haircut.

Lincoln City brought an admirable away following, together with some excellent flags. In a week which saw Wigan Athletic take little over 150 fans to a Premier League fixture, I was yet again impressed with the support and dedication shown by non-league followers. Unfortunately Lincoln also brought a drum, although going 2-0 down to a part time outfit in just four minutes did silence the Ringo Starr wannabe for the rest of the afternoon.

Piss poor attempt at a photo of away fans with crappy camera phone

The away end at Twerton Park is uncovered. So when it started to piss down with rain, the unfortunate travelling supporters would have become soaked. If it’s consolation to any Imps fans reading this, I too remained out in the rain for the entire match and got drenched. The reminder of the game was spent praying City would hang onto their lead, while hoping the persistent rain stayed out of my pocket and away from my iPhone.

Despite winning 2-0, the Twerton Park Moaners were still present and vocal as ever. “Bring back Phillips!” one shouted in the direction of the dugout, before starting an offensive rant about Jamie Cook. Another would shout instructions onto the pitch “Attack!”, “Defend!” as if he was playing FIFA Soccer on his PlayStation. When Adie Britton does finally leave his position as Bath City manager, the club would be insane not to appoint one of these wannabe managers – their knowledge of the game and tactical awareness is second to none, as they have demonstrated for years.

The worst match shot ever

As the rain continued to pour from the skies, a reinvigorated Lincoln put the City defence under heavy pressure. Balls were being cleared off lines, there were shots at goals from all angles and tackles flying in. Total football. Except it wasn’t really that good. This was a non-league relegation battle.

Lincoln did score to make the final 10 minutes or so rather nerve-wrecking, but in all honestly, rarely looked like getting a second goal – which is quite a statement considering City have shipped 71 all season.

In the dying stages of the game an idiotic Jake Sheridan, hoofed the ball with the force only an angry mule could deliver, into a nearby terrace. His actions were no doubt out of anger and frustration, but were totally careless. Had the ball, which was kicked at close range to the fans, hit a supporter a nasty injury would have been caused. Sheridan may play like a donkey and share the name of Hyacinth Bucket’s posh son it doesn’t give him an excuse to behave in that manner.

The referee showed Sheridan a yellow card for being a tit and played out the remaining minutes of the game, before blowing the fulltime whistle. Another 3 points. Still bottom of the league. Still probably going down, but a very fun afternoon – despite getting very wet!

It was, however a very pleasing performance from the Bath City players and encouraging on the back of our (alleged) victory at Barrow. I’m now off to write to The Conference to ask if we can start the season at the beginning of March.

Posted by sean on 14/03/2012 at 10:48 pm in Life In Bath, Pubs, Video Games with No Comments


Dan’s Return
Dan came back to Bath on Saturday. Sadly, it was just for the weekend and not to move back into his basement flat, where he once lived a life not dissimilar to that of Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Only his “precious” was AV equipment. Since leaving Bath, Dan has gone to live in London. A very different place to Somerset.

Dan, John and I went to Bathampton for out lunch. There is a nice pub there; The George, which sits by the canal path. The thought of food and drink in the sun was very tempting. Unfortunately, upon arrival at The George, we were ‘greeted’ by the rudest waitress I have ever met. She was just like Basil Fawlty, only with a bigger moustache.

After eating our meal or curried chicken skewers (indoors – the waitress wouldn’t let us sit outside), we met Simon. A further pub, The Boathouse, was visited for more drinks. This blog really makes my Saturday sound like a boozy pub crawl. Unfortunately, at this point, my drink count was a massive ONE. A pint of Stowford Press cider.

The evening was spent at mine. It was like old times. Retro games were played. Namely Super Bomberman 2 – which I was rubbish at. Goldeneye – which I was rubbish at. Mario Kart – which I was good at, because everyone else was rubbish. The only difference between the gaming at my flat in 2012 and the gaming at Dan’s flat in 2005, was that John was not thrown across the room by Dan, onto a family bucket of KFC, as was a weekly tradition a few years ago. Shame.

Run For Fun?
Every Sunday I make the short walk to the local newsagents to buy myself a copy of The Non-League Paper. This is the definitive Sunday newspaper. Who needs the red tops with their stories on what in-law Ryan Giggs is shagging, when you can read match reports on mediocre football games involving Bath City, Luton Town and Bristol Manor Farm.

This week, I was distracted on the way to collecting my newspaper. The roadside was cordoned off with barriers. Stewards patrolled the pavements and the occasional police officer stood on a street corner. What was going on? Had the London riots finally made their way to Bath? No. It was the annual Bath Half Marathon. An event where thousands of people run miles around the city. They’re mad. Fair play to them though. They no doubt raise a lot of money for charity and it must be very hard work. Shamefully, in the five years I have occupied my flat, on the marathon route, I have not ventured out of my front door to watch or cheer the  runners. It’s a bit too much effort.

Free Bus Pass?
On Monday it was my birthday. Didn’t get me a present? No worries. Would have been nice. Seriously, no worries. It wasn’t noticed. Much. Belated gifts are still acceptable, especially if they’re of the iPad variety. It was one of those supposedly milestone birthdays, which saw me turn 30. Like when I was 18 and 21, I didn’t have a party. After the Burger King Kids Club told me I was too old on my 16th, I vowed never to have a birthday party again ever. So do I feel different? No. Am I too old to run a marathon? I couldn’t before. Am I grumpy? I was before. Can I get on buses for free? Nope. Not for another 35-fucking years. Special birthday, my arse.

Fuck Wit Dre Day
I caught the X39 bus into town this afternoon. I made the mistake in forgetting that most students finish their working day before 2pm. As a result, the bus was full all the shits that had spilled out of a nearby college. One particularly annoying student was sat in front of me wearing a pair of comically oversized headphones. Being “down wit da kids” I was able to identify these as those Dre Beats headphones everyone keeps going on about, and not a pair of Princes Leia earmuffs. He looked ridiculous. Who does he think he is? Emmanuel Frimpong? How much do these headphones cost? Not cheap, I bet. £500? No doubt Dr. Dre’s latest sucker will be protesting about increased tuition fees and how he can’t afford to pay them. Of course he bloody can’t, he’s paying Dr. Dre’s pension by wearing those stupid things on his head. Wanker.

Posted by sean on 04/03/2012 at 8:42 pm in Bath City, Ventures Outside Of Bath with No Comments


Luton Town 2-0 Bath City
Conference National
Saturday 3rd March 2012 – 15:00

Last Wednesday, while most football fans were crying over the realisation the England national team were actually quite rubbish having been thrashed by Holland, Bath City supporters were even more distressed by the announcement that fans favourite Lee Phillips had left the club to go on loan! I know this must be startling news to you all, that a non-league legend would depart in Bath City’s hour of need. Surely it was for a bigger club. Had Arsené Wenger found “the missing link” to turn his Arsenal side into the Invincibles again? Was Lee about to become a Galactico in Madrid? No. He was off to Eastleigh of the Conference South. Yup, Eastleigh. ‘Just for a couple of weeks?’ I hear you ask. No. For the rest of the season. Good bye. The end. Fin.

The unexpected and disappointing transfer certainly gave a talking point for the pre-arranged “Meet the Manager/Chairman” evening on Friday. An event which takes place at Twerton Park a few times a year, where supporters are given the opportunity to ask the manager or chairman more or less anything they like. Occasionally the questions are football related. Regarding Lee Phillips’ departure. Despite the fact he is a brick shithouse of a striker, who always gives 110%, Phillips has only scored 3 goals all season. Stats don’t lie, which is why he’s gone. For those interested, a report of everything discussed can be found here.

And so to match day. Having made trips to Southport, Grimsby and Lincoln already this season, an away day at Luton Town could almost be seen as a local derby, and after a long week at work, followed by the Meet the Manager evening the night before, the later departure time of 9.30am was appreciated.

The temptation to buy this from Reading Services and hold an illegal rave on a coach full of pensioners was hard to resist

Fans aboard the coach were entertained by Brian York (brother of Mike). Full of excitement, an enthusiastic Brian told the coach how Bath City would avoid relegation and beat Luton that very afternoon. Readers who do not know Brian may find this optimism a little far-fetched, giving both club’s contrasting form. Brian is legend and whether we are playing Bristol Manor Farm or Manchester United, we are still going to win in his eyes.

After tales of how The Romans would put The Hatters to the sword, Brain unveiled his undying love for every female fan at the club, including the chairman, and how one day he would get married in Amsterdam and honeymoon in Blackpool. Again, this is all normal from the legendary supporter.

We arrived at Luton on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. As the coach drove down the high street towards the Kenilworth Road ground, we passed the local shops. Almost every single one had a fruit and vegetable stall outside. Never mind eating the recommended ‘5 a day’, the residents of Luton must be on 50 and the most healthy and regular football fans in England.

Wen Luton win tha cup I will be very hapy. Hear is a picture of me hold in tha cup. By Gary Brabin. Luton manager. Aged 41 and a quarter.

The ground is in the town centre, up a small side street. Last season, we were unable to park the coaches outside the ground, so both fans and players had to walk to the stadium. The late Don Revie would be proud. This time we were able to get off outside the turnstiles and made our way to a local pub.

The pub was filled both sets of supporters. The Luton fans were friendly, welcoming and a credit to their club. Sadly, the choice of drinks wasn’t great. Ciders ranged from Strongbow to… well, Strongbow. I believe the lager was Fosters. I stayed off the booze, instead opting for an orange juice.

I've seen some rubbish players in my time, but...

It seems the residents of Luton really do love and support their local team. The Liverpool/Arsenal game was on the telly (from a dodgy foreign television feed), but none of the drinkers appeared interested. They talked about their team, while reading the free fanzine “Half-time Orange”. If this was in Bath, the pub would be full of plastic football fans, crowded around the screen, oblivious that Bath City were even playing that afternoon.

In a bid to increase tourism, Luton Borough Council have placed a bed on every street alley, allowing tired visitors to sleep

After the pub, fans headed back to the ground, parting with their cash to get through the turnstiles. Like Grimsby, the entrance fee was £18. Like Grimsby, this is a ludicrous price to watch a football match, especially at Non-League level. I know Luton were playing Championship football only a few seasons ago, but there is no need to charge Championship prices! OK, rant over.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Taylor. I don't care if you are 'The Power', you're not bringing your darts in here"

The game kicked off, with Bath City supporters unaware what to expect. With the exception of Brain York, we knew we would lose; the question in everyone’s minds was by how many. City survived an attempt on goal by John Paul Kissock who shot wide, before Sean Canham at the other end missed a chance to take an unlikely lead. Would Lee Phillips have scored had he been in the same position? Probably not.

Everybody needs good neighbours. A view from inside the ground.

With Luton being a popular fixture, City fans travelled in numbers (well, about 80 which is good for us) and out-sung the home support with renditions of “Non-league and you know you are” (always a favourite) and the new classic “Que Sera Sera. Whatever will be, will be. We’re going to Salisbury.” With relegation looking ever the more likely with each passing game, the singers were almost certainly correct. However, one should be wary of the evil Dennis Strudwick, General Manager of the Football Conference. If Strudders has his way, we could be playing in the Conference North next season. May I suggest having an alternative version of the song, with the lyrics “We’re going to Guiseley“ ready just in case.

City did well to keep the Luton attack at bay, but in the 17th minute, Janos Kovacs scored. Unmarked. Free header from a corner. Despite being a goal down, the travelling fans kept singing, while Luton piled more pressure on the City defence, with Keith Keane missing a chance to make it 2-0.

My garden shed is bigger than this

Despite their friendly welcome in the pub and massive dedication to their team, I was a little surprised at what little noise Luton fans made. There was of course a huge cheer when they scored and the now common place “You’re shit aaaaahhhhh!” whenever goalkeeper Glyn Garner kicked the ball; but I can’t remember one song by the home faithful, besides a chant of “Southern League” directed towards us. Sometimes I wish we were back in the Southern League. Change from a tenner at the turnstiles, swapping ends at half time and morbidly obese goalkeepers.

Tinpot

Seconds before half time, City had an excellent chance to equalise – a free kick which Gethin Jones came painfully close to heading into the Luton net. The half time whistle was greeted with boos from a small number of home supporters. I was a little shocked by this at first, but considering it wasn’t long ago they were playing and thrashing the likes of Leeds United, the fact they were only beating “little old Bath City” by a solitary goal was worth complaining about. No doubt, next season if we are not 8-0 up against Borehamwood in the Conference South (or Chorley in the North) at half time, there will be calls for manager, Adie Britton, to resign.

The tannoy announcer told the home crowd, with glee, that local rivals Watford were losing 1-0. Considering Watford are now in the Championship, perhaps it is about time the rivalry was put to bed for a bit? Then again, I’m all for having a relegation party when Yeovil Town finally drop into League Two. Green slime.

The entrance is a converted terraced house. Remember to wipe your feet on the doormat before entering.

The second half began with more humorous singing from the Bath fans “We’re all going on a train to Borehamwood, a train to Borehamwood, a train to Borehamwood” before moving onto my favourite song of the day, possibly the season “The stripes are staying up, the stripes are staying up. ‘cos everyone’s in admin, ‘cos in admin” (to the tune of “Jolly Good Fellow”) Practice it, folks. I want a full rendition of it next season when we’re on our way to Plymouth Argyle.

On the pitch, Bath City were performing a lot better in the second half. It was one of the best displays I have seen from them this season. Sadly, as has been the problem in all games, we just haven’t been able to score, despite chances created. Scott Murray had a good opportunity to equalise from a free kick, but instead smashed a seat behind a goal into pieces. Such disregard for seats hasn’t been seen at Kenilworth Road since the Millwall riot in 1985. Murray did the same at Mansfield last season. Part of that seat is in my flat. A steward prevented me from taking a similar memento home from Luton.

As the game drew to a close, Luton got a second goal and ended any Bath City dreams of a comeback. The scorer was Adam Watkins, an England International who scored against Italy just days earlier. It may have been for the England C Team, but when ‘arry Redknapp takes over the senior side, Watkins will no doubt be higher up his choice of strikers than Frazer Campbell.

With the match almost over, an army of stewards appeared from nowhere, almost outnumbering the away fans. I suspect they thought we were going to invade the pitch in celebration of our 2-0 defeat.

The stewards sense trouble

So there it was. Another defeat. The eighth on the bounce. Unsurprising, considering we were playing Luton. It still hurts, although this time I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride at how well the players had performed, especially in the second half. The actual fact we were playing at such a wonderful stadium in front of almost 6,000 fans is impressive too, considering just a few years ago our away trips included local derbies against Yate and Mangotsfield. One middle-aged supporter announced “the next time City play in front of five thousand fans, I’ll probably be dead”. On that heart-warming thought, I’ll say goodbye. No game next week, so no blog for a little while.

Sean's Stories

On this website, you’ll find me blogging (almost) daily about everyday life, living in Bath, working with computers, and the occasional bit of football stuff thrown in.

If you're expecting The Man Booker Prize, you've come to the wrong place. If you want to read a collection of sometimes eccentric, often disturbing and rarely amusing ramblings, gorge your eyes on this.

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