Posted by sean on December 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm in Website Stuff with No Comments

Tonight I bring to you the biggest news to hit the World Wide Web since the internet was invented. As a result of my announcement, I fully expect there to be more tears from the general public than when Take That broke up. This news will be trending on Twitter for weeks… After much long term thought (and it really, really was), I have decided to change the structure of my blog to solely cover Bath City FC and non-league football.

All past posts will remain. If nothing else, they will allow me to remember my earlier life, as in the year 2042 I will lose my entire memory in a crowd surfing accident at a Wurzels concert (yes, they will still be alive then).

Maybe one day I’ll ‘do a Take That’, go back on my word and reform (basically start a general interest blog again) – albeit fatter, grey-haired and with ‘dad dancing moves’ (just like Take That).

In the meantime, Sean’s Stories will be about Bath City FC and crap football. In all honestly, most of you football haters complained that all my blogs were just about those two topics anyway, so things won’t be changing much at all…

Much love x

Posted by sean on November 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm in Bath City with No Comments

Bath City 1-1 Mansfield Town
Conference National
Saturday 26th November 2011 – 15:00 

When Bath City announced that the match against Mansfield Town would be “Kids Day”, I was worried that the club’s mascot, Bladud the Pig, had flown (get it? pig… flown..) off to Swineford with the playing budget; therefore leaving Bath City with no option but to field a youth team (a la Weymouth/Rushden).

Thankfully, this was not the case. The Bath City Kids Day simply meant that children would gain free entry to the ground. I am strongly against age discrimination. I will therefore be charging any child under the age of 12 for reading my blog. The cost will be £4.00 – the amount they would have saved getting in free yesterday. I will accept payments in installments.

Upon arrival at Twerton Park, the children were presented with a ‘Pig Bug’ * . Mothers of children at the game were also given a bouquet of flowers, although I think the mum-to-flower-ratio was not correctly envisaged, as embarrassed players were seen handing out excess bouquets to anyone they believed to be of the opposite sex and not necessarily of child-bearing age.

* no novelty gifts will be awarded to those reading my blog

I was excited to hear that goalkeeper Jason Matthews was in the starting lineup. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against our regular shotstopper, Glyn Garner, but ‘Jase’ is a non-league legend and I strongly believed that he deserved a chance to prove himself at Twerton Park. After failing to find a place in the first team (apart from one appearance in the Somerset Cup), Jason almost left for Salisbury City last week, but the deal collapsed and the legend remains at Bath City.

Mansfield brought an impressive number of away supporters; almost 150 Stags made the journey from Nottinghamshire. Much credit and respect goes their way. There is no credit however to the away fan with the drum; although I do suspect he simply found the instrument in the away end, left behind by a careless Dagenham fan on Wednesday. The drum is now in the Bath City FC Lost Property Bin, along with various pairs of referee spectacles, underpants (used by players who forget their kit) and Luke Prince –who arrived on loan from Salisbury City in 2008 and went missing in the Bath City midfield.

The game started well and was certainly no boar (back with the pig puns). Bath City soon took the lead, but in typical fashion of a team bottom of the table, conceded shortly after. Mansfield’s goal was somewhat bizarre, a misplaced cross finding its way into the net. The wind will claim the goal, with the dubious goals panel deciding who to award it to on Monday. Of course, non-league legend Jason Matthews had no chance of saving the strike from Mother Nature and was not to blame.

Set piece

We had “that woman” back reffin’ the game -the same one who took charge of the match against Stockport last month. Cue witty and very original shouts of “get back in the kitchen” from a Bernard Manning tribute act. Amy Fearn was not as bad as some of the officials we have had in recent times, but did make some cost-worthy decisions in Mansfield’s favour – including disallowing a late Bath City goal, which I believe should have stood. I think Mrs (or Ms) Fearn was just upset that she wasn’t presented with a bouquet of flowers before the game and had a vendetta against Bath City from kick  off.

The second half was one of the most one-sided games of football I have seen in a long time. Bath City battered Mansfield’s goal, but were sadly unable to score. Well, they did score, but the referee disallowed it.

At fulltime, I congratulated Jason Matthews on his ‘world class’ performance (if Alan Shearer can use that term on Match of the Day every week, so can I). We had a chat about the game, his future at the club and the season ahead – great bloke on and off the pitch.

Jason then joined his team mates for the usual post match meal, served in school dinner trays at the corner of the club house. This week’s offering appeared to be curry and chips, lovingly cooked by the female referee

Bath City FC - where curry is served on tap


Posted by sean on November 26, 2011 at 12:28 am in Bath City, Television with 1 Comment

Bath City 1-3 Dagenham & Redbridge (AET)
FA Cup – Round 1 Replay
Wednesday 24th November 2011 – 19:15

Last Monday, while shopping in town, I received a text message from Simon “great news about City!” As I was not near a computer and my iPhone had decided to lose its internet connection, I was unaware of any good fortune coming the way of the mighty Romans.

Thoughts started rushing through my head about what could have happened. Perhaps Scrooge McDuck (of Duck Tales fame) had decided invest his swimming pool of golden coins in Bath City.

Sadly, Scrooge McDuck is a twat and would sooner bankroll Duckburg United than us.

Despite the disappointing news that an animated duck would not be buying Bath City, I was lightened to hear that the club’s replay against Dagenham and Redbridge would be televised on ESPN, with over £33k going to the club.

Following the announcement, Bath City was thrown into mass hysteria. The club’s official Facebook and Twitter pages exploded with photos of ugly, sweaty, middle-aged men putting up scaffolding which would later be used by the camera crew. It was the biggest news to hit the club since they started selling doughnuts in the tea bar.

So there it was, my chance to be shown on TV watching football. The first opportunity since… well, April, when Leeds played Reading. This was different though. This was at Twerton Park – Fortress Twerton, where unfortunately the drawbridge has been left down for most of the season. Plus it was The Magic of the FA Cup – sponsored by Budd Wise Urrrggghhh…

Match day arrived. I arrived at the Twerton Park earlier than normal. Due to TV scheduling, ESPN had moved the kick off time to from 7.45pm to 7.15pm. Typical television companies – they never think about the true fans who attend the games. If we’re on telly again, I wouldn’t be surprised to have kick off moved to 2am, just to satisfy the Australian TV market.

Where the magic happens

Twerton Park had certainly been transformed by the camera crew. There was more electrical equipment in the car park than a Dixons megastore. ESPN were very brave or stupid – apparently a lot of expensive gadgets were left inside the ground the day before. This was no doubt all stolen overnight by the chavs and sold in the local pub.

Recovered earlier that day from a council estate front garden

The Bath City club shop. Sell scarves, shirts and dog biscuits

After staring in awe at the cameras and a man smoking outside a broadcasting van, I went into the clubhouse for a pre-match pint of Thatchers Gold. ESPN was being piped out onto the screens on the wall. Then the picture went fuzzy and cut out. How stupid was that? Feet away from where the channel was being broadcast and you can’t get it on the Sky box.

All ESPN employees pride themselves in their health and fitness

Panic sets in. How are we going to watch the Bath City game now?

The first half was a very scrappy affair, involving two poor sides. Despite the rather negative display, Bath City supporters created an excellent atmosphere within the stadium, no doubt entertaining all the ESPN viewers with world-renowned and much loved football chants including “Hello! Hello! We are the City boys”, “Drink up thy zyder” and everyone’s favourite, “We hate Dagenham”. Seriously, the fans, especially ‘The Legion’ were superb. More about them later.

Next season's FA Cup will be sponsored by Sheppy's Farmhouse Cider

Terraces not Armchairs... unless you're going to pay us £33k

Unfortunately, Brian Woodall of Dagenham and Redbridge did not read the metaphorical script which would see Bath City win the tie and eventually end up playing Manchester United at Old Trafford in the FA Cup Third Round. He scored. Tosser. Despite the goal, which I saw little of thanks to scaffolding obstructing my view, the fans kept up their support.

Match shot avec camera and scaffolding

Half time was spent eating a doughnut from the tea bar (I love those doughnuts so much), while calling ex-England international, Chris Waddle, a wanker. Waddle was commentating for ESPN and according to a fellow fan, had been slagging City off throughout the game. Shut up, Waddle and look at this.

We tried to work out if this was Chris Waddle

The second half was a lot better and saw City take control of the match. The noise levels increased from the singers, making Twerton Park feel electric (metaphor fans must surely be loving this blog tonight). I was stood next to a very loud and vocal Simon, who was asked to quieten down by a steward. Unbelievable. Simon politely pointed out that we were watching a football match. The steward was about five foot tall and looked about 12. Had things kicked off, he would have been about as much use as sea anemone in a fight with a great white shark. Simon continued his support of his local side, while the steward stood, dreaming of a transfer to Stamford Bridge where he could watch a football match in a nice, tranquil surrounding.

Then Bath City scored – Adam Connolly with an excellent strike from just outside the box. It was amazing. The crowd went crazy. One fan got a little too carried away – when Connolly’s strike hit the net, a young supporter in front of us shat himself – or at least that’s what it smelt like. This was no fart, it was a case of “Mummy, I’ve made chocolate pudding in my Huggies Pull-ups”. If you saw me on ESPN and I looked tearful, it wasn’t due to the emotion of the match, but the stench of fresh faeces in the air, making my eyes water. The shit had gone down and this time, it wasn’t a metaphor.

Daggers Fans - literally shittin' it

The game went to extra time with the score at 1-1. The excitement had died down a bit at this point. Spirits were lifted however, when a morbidly obese Dagenham fan exited the ground past the vocal home supporters. Chants of “You fat bastard” and “Get your tits out” rang throughout across Twerton Park. The rotund fan tried to act like he didn’t care, by offering to fight every single Bath City supporter, but I bet he went to bed crying… with a Mars bar.

With the first half of extra time drawing to a close and the thought of penalties entering the minds of fans and players alike, the referee suddenly contracted brain damage, or “shit referee syndrome”. Dagenham forward, Jon Nurse, a country mile offside (so much so he was in France) found the ball at his feet and scored. 2-1 to The Daggers. 2-1 soon became 3-1 as City threw men forward. Game over. Cup over. Season over.

At fulltime, the singers stayed behind supporting their team for 20 minutes until they were eventually kicked out by the stewards. The chairman asked the fans to leave too – we had just lost £18,000 of FA Cup prize money, no way did she want to pay the stewards overtime to supervise The Legion Carol Service – although it would have been worth every penny.

I felt so proud I could have cried. The player’s performance in the second half was one of the best efforts I have seen all season. The supporters did themselves and the club proud. Bath City are in a shit position in the league and probably will be relegated. I know the league table doesn’t lie and we are bottom because we have lost the most amount of games, but I can’t help but feel, we are not the crappiest side in the league.

I left the ground, still emotional. Went to bed. Didn’t sleep. Went to work on Thursday tired.

For those of you who read my blog and actually care about football, highlights of the match can be found here. Warning: contains footage of a referee being a twat.

Posted by sean on November 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm in Bath City with No Comments

Southport 2-1 Bath City
Conference National
Saturday 19th November 2011 – 15:00 

There has been a lot of activity at Bath City this week. Despite having a dog shit season, there is nothing like an FA Cup run and the news of Chris Waddle coming to Twerton Park with his ESPN chums to install mass excitement.

I arrived at Twerton Park for the trip to Southport early on Saturday morning. The weather was cold and wet, but the atmosphere electric, as half a dozen pensioners tried to climb the gates and fences around the ground in an attempt to catch a glimpse at the scaffolding erected by the cable TV station ahead of next Wednesday’s broadcast game.

More excitement was in store when the bus arrived. Berkeley, the company who provide the club with away travel, had made an addition to their fleet of coaches. If the sight of a set of scaffolding wasn’t enough to send the City faithful into delirium, the prospect of travelling on a new coach did the job.

This week’s service station stop was Stafford, located on the M6. Did you know that despite its name, the M6 is England’s first ever motorway? That fascinating fact comes courtesy of Karl Pilkington.

Stafford Services always seems to contain at least one set of rival football fans. This week it was Manchester City and Everton. “Who have you got today?” one of our fans asked a Man City supporter “Home to Newcastle, what about you?” to which our fan replied “Southport”. The Premiership fan’s response was one we hear a lot “Southport? Who are they?” I long for the day we play Accrington Stanley.

After spending almost £500 on a baguette at a serviced station last week, I avoided purchasing any food, but instead bought a coffee from Burger King. I politely turned down the offer of onion rings with my beverage. Maybe it’s a Midlands thing, but I tend to dip biscuits in my coffee and keep battered vegetables separate. The drink was foul. Next time, I think I’ll stick to Costa or every football fan’s favourite, Coffee Nation.

We got to the ground and received a warm welcome from the officials at Southport. They really are one of the nicest clubs in a league where it is not uncommon to receive a harsh reception from match day stewards, who seem to have been informed that Bath City are The Conference’s answer to Galatasaray. Well done and thank you to all at Haig Avenue!

Pre-match was spent in the clubhouse watching Leeds get battered by Burnley on the telly. At half time, the bar had begun to fill up and the channel was changed to the Norwich/Arsenal game, no doubt to please the Merseyside branch of the Norwich City supporters club.

Who said there's too much money in The Premier League?

A toilet wall. Not the best place to learn your test results.

Haig Avenue is a lovely, traditional non-league ground. Apart from a single large stand, it is all-standing. The terracing is falling apart, the toilets are a health hazard and the away end is uncovered and open to the elements. It’s just like being at Twerton Park really.

We played Southport away last November. It was bitterly cold then and just as freezing yesterday. The ground had an eerie feel about it – mainly as the home support was so quiet. Last season, more of the vocal away fans made the trip. The fact these fans stayed in Bath this time made even the away end deadly quiet.

Woodern terracing. I like.

Two stewards were placed with the travelling supporters to ensure no pensioner started a riot. Amusement was caused by the fact these stewards were twins. They too were disappointed by the lack of noise created by supporters, declaring “There’s more atmosphere on the moon”, before trying to drum up noise by starting songs themselves. It didn’t help matters much to be honest, but well done for trying.

The Chuckle Brothers make a comeback

"Can you hear the Southport sing? I can't hear a ....."

The game began, with the crowd still just as quiet. I must have fallen asleep, because midway through the first half, I was suddenly awoken by the sound of the ground erupting. A Southport player had dived for a penalty, which the referee turned down. Things were getting exciting.

My God it was cold at Southport. So very cold. At half time, I braved the tea bar. I had already paid a visit before kick off, where I had asked for a soup, but was given a cup tea. This time I fancied a coffee, so waited in anticipation while a plastic cup was filled with hot water and something else. I stood on a terrace, drinking what I believed to be coffee, while listening to speakers blasting out The Liquidator by Harry J All-Stars. It was just like being at Chelsea.


The second half was a bit more exciting. Well, just a bit. More chances were created on the pitch and some supporters even braved an attempt at a song. Then the game came alive. Lewis Hogg, one of the few remaining players from Bath City’s days of The Southern League, curled in an excellent cross for on-loan Sean Canham to head into Southport’s net. City players launched themselves into the terraces, while fans jumped towards the pitch. Somebody was no doubt lost in the melee and will now spend the rest of their life in the fourth dimension.

The Southport players woke up and began bombarding the City goal. Being at the opposite end of the pitch, it was awful to watch. Every time a cross was swung into the box, I waited for an explosion of noise from the Southport fans, confirming a goal. It was like sitting in a dentist’s waiting room. You know you’re going to feel pain, it’s just when it’ll take place.

Then the inevitable happen. In the 89th pissing minute of all times. Tony Gray’s volley breaking City hearts. Gutting. I couldn’t give a shit at this point. We had thrown away 2 points. The chance to climb to the dizzy heights of 23rd in the league was gone. The Southport winner a few minutes later did little to change the mood. For the first time all season I began to fear relegation.

This way to the Conference South?

The coach journey back was a depressing one, but not unexpected. Bottom of the league. 3 points snatched away. Even the most optimistic of fans, dismissing any chances of ‘the great escape’. If a Hollywood director was to make a movie about our season, it would no doubt star Nicholas Cage, because it would be abysmal. I’m sure I’ll feel more positive in days to come, but right now it’s gutting.

I arrived back at my flat just before 10pm. Went to bed. Too tired for Match of the Day, yet alone The Football League Show.

Posted by sean on November 17, 2011 at 12:26 am in Shopping, TBA with No Comments

Christmas shopping in town. One of the most stressful situations known to man.

The trouble with Christmas shopping is that it has to be done, yet the longer you leave it, the more traumatic it becomes. Shopping in November is upsetting; early December, terrifying; while leaving it until Christmas Eve is enough to drive a man to murder.

That is why I decided to do all mine this week. Most of which took place on a cold, Monday afternoon in Bath.

Every single person in town that day found a way to piss me off. Every single person. First of all the shop assistants. I must have a look about me which says “Shop lifter”, because upon entering a shop and examining an item, someone working within the store would appear, as if by magic, asking if they could help me. What they were really saying was “Get your hands off that DVD! I know what you’re up to!” I half expected Tubbs from The League of Gentlemen to jump out from behind a cupboard shouting “Don’t touch the precious things!”

A random pair of shoes left in the street. That's one Christmas present sorted.

Then there are the charity muggers or chuggers as some people call them. I have heard other C-words used in their direction too. I make it perfectly clear I don’t wish to engage in conversation with these people, by politely walking a safe distance from them. Why is it then that they proceed to chase me up the high street, past WHSmith, to have a “quick two minute chat” They don’t want a chat. They want my bank account details so they can send five pounds a month to help blind cats. Seriously, how can my money help a cat which can’t see? They’re not exactly going to buy it a guide dog. I have nothing against charity, in fact I made a donation to one that same day. It was for breast cancer – a much more worthy cause than one which helps short-sighted felines get a pair of contact lenses.

The other set of people to ‘grind my gears’, are the shoppers themselves – arrogant, selfish people who live in their own little world where only they exist. Herds of mothers who walk side-by-side, four pushchairs taking up the entire pavement, causing me to walk into the road and nearly get run over by a Morrisson’s lorry. Has nobody taught them such etiquette as single-file walking? We were always told to do that in school when using the corridors. No running either. Or bubble gum.

So annoyed was I by my fellow-shoppers, that I misread the sign

People who walk out of shops, straight onto the street, oblivious to whoever they may crash into also annoy me. I hope one day both they and the pushchair wielding mothers collide. It’ll be a messy scene with lots of blood.

Luckily I got most of the Christmas shopping done. The rest online, courtesy of and Amazon. This should be on its way in the next day or two, unless the postman nicks it.

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