Posted by sean on January 25, 2012 at 11:08 pm in Bath City with No Comments

Bath City 0-3 Alfreton Town
Conference National
Tuesday 24th January 2012 – 19:45

Tonight’s blog has been replaced by a letter to the match day referee, Mr. Stephen Bratt of Walsall.

Dear Stephen,

Or is it Steve? You don’t mind if I call you Steve do you? I would hate to upset you by calling you something offensive.

I hope this letter reaches you ok. Are you still in the changing room? The last I heard was that you had locked yourself in there following Tuesday night’s match.

Did you manage to visit the city of Bath prior to the game? We now have our own Krispy Kreme. It’s only recently opened. Just a short walk from the opticians. Do you wear glasses? Has anyone ever said you should have gone to Specsavers? I’m sorry, Stevie. I’m joking.

Seriously though, if you’re ever in Bath again, do take time to go shopping. If you are a hat-wearer, boy do we have the shop for you! All the hats are hand made by an elderly gentleman, a Mr. Wan Carr. I believe Wan is a distant relative of the comedian Alan Carr. You’ll look great in a Wan Carr’s hat, Steve.

I trust you enjoyed last night’s visit to Twerton Park – a long way to travel from your home of Walsall, especially on a Tuesday evening. Did you get a lift on the Alfreton coach?

You have to admit we were a bit unlucky with Alfreton’s first goal. An own goal is always harsh to concede. Mind you, that Alfreton throw-in was impressive. That lad must have a stronger throw than Rory Delap.

I was a bit disappointed you failed to give Sean Canham a penalty shortly after Alfreton’s goal. Did you see your team mate haul him down in the penalty area? Sorry, I’m being naughty again, although your colleague Wayne Barratt was certainly more generous in awarding a spot-kick the other week. A pity it was to Braintree.

Where did you go during the middle of the game? I didn’t notice you were on the pitch. Still, they say when a referee is not noticed, he is doing a good job. In case you were wondering, that was a compliment. I understand you don’t get many of these. To be honest, Steve, I’m not really surprised. I suppose now you are expecting my third apology of this heartfelt letter. Well Stevo, to save you the effort of looking, there isn’t one, and as a word of warning, I am afraid you are not going to enjoy reading the rest of my letter to you.

Although your absence, albeit in mind rather than body, from the pitch was duly noticed, it would have been appreciated had you taken action when a couple of Alfreton thugs took it upon themselves to physically assault two of our players. I believe the thugs in question are Connor Franklin and Nathan Jarman, or as you probably call them on the team bus ‘Franks’ and ‘Natty’.

Credit to you though, Steve. Although it looked like you had clocked off shortly before the half time interval and were half way up the M5 on the way home to Walsall; you did return for the remainder of the match, although to be honest, I wish you hadn’t of bothered.

Can I please ask? What did you see in the challenge between our player, Gethin Jones and Alfreton’s Anthony Wilson? Going by the fact you awarded Gethin Jones a red card shows your eyesight is clearly different to that of everyone else in the ground, including your own linesman, who flagged for a foul in Bath City’s favour. I am no expert, but I would seriously recommend contacting an optician. Specsavers have branches all over the country, I expect even in Walsall.

My vision is sadly not as powerful as yours; therefore I was unable to see the reason why you sent off Sean Canham shortly after Gethin Jones, although I hear it was because a ball was thrown in your direction. A tad mischievous by Sean, maybe, but as it didn’t hit you, how did you know you were the intended recipient? Sean is a prolific striker. Believe me, had he wanted the ball to hit you, it would have.

Perhaps on the way to Specsavers, you could pay a visit to Waterstones, purchase a copy of The Oxford Dictionary with your ill-deserved match fee and look up “common-sense”. Given the heated atmosphere, following your poor decisions, it is clear frustrations would run high amongst players and would explain Canham’s frustrations.

I would like to finish my letter to you tonight by thanking you on behalf of Alfreton Town Football Club for three much-needed points in the fight against relegation. Sadly, you will receive no praise or words of gratitude from me. I would however ask that you never step foot in Twerton Park again.

Yours angrily,
A upset and angry Bath City supporter

P.S. How rude of me! I almost forgot. I hope you enjoy the rest of your career as a referee. I couldn’t help but notice that a few years ago you were taking charge of League One games (scary, isn’t it!). I have no doubt that if you continue to work as hard as you did last night, one day you will reach the prestigious Evo-Stick League. Good luck!

P.P.S. – Please find enclosed a gift from me to you.

Posted by sean on January 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm in Bath City, Ventures Outside Of Bath with 2 Comments

Grimsby Town 6-0 Bath City
Conference National
Saturday 21st January 2012 – 15:00

Grimsby Town. A team Bath City have very much enjoyed playing in recent years. Despite Grimsby being a far bigger club than Bath, it has been The Romans who have been slaying The Mariners during the past couple of seasons… until this weekend. It isn’t that The Mariners just killed The Romans; more the fact they disembowelled them with a rusty fishing hook, before throwing their still alive and quivering carcass overboard to a family of ravenous sharks. Yes folks, Bath City got well and truly stuffed yesterday.

The journey began as I left my flat shortly before 7am – an ungodly time to be awake on a Saturday morning, let alone up, dressed and wandering the streets. The short walk to Twerton Park was made and the coach boarded. There was much excitement amongst the travelling supporters when they spotted the coach driver – an older gentleman with a dislike for people and a hatred for football fans. If you were after service with a smile, you were on the wrong coach. If a grumpy Yorkshireman was to your liking, then it was your lucky day.

The coach trip was long. To pass the time, the usual 50/50 raffle was held, cheese rolls were sold and predictions of the upcoming match were made. The majority of these being along the lines of “I think we’ll lose, but if we have a good day a draw is a possibility. Then again, you never know, we could beat them”

Upon entering the county of South Yorkshire, the coach driver announced to all the passengers “If you look to your right, you’ll see where I was born”. Whether he heard one supporter’s reply of “Were you born in a field?” as the coach drove through northern countryside, I don’t know. That would be the last time he would speak to the fans again – except to ask us all to take away our rubbish at the end of the night.

The coach arrived at Cleethorpes (where Grimsby Town play) at midday – more than enough time for a leisurely stroll to the seafront. Along the way, we walked along the high street. If you like your specialist shops, Cleethorpes is the place for you. After a vicious exotic pet which will probably kill you? Then go Fangs and Fin. Like dressing up? You had better come to Cleethorpes, as they have a costume store as big as Asda. They even have a sex shop, which boasts a range of products for “couples and singles”. An embarrassed-looking man emerged from there, clutching a blue carrier bag, before running home down a side street. No prize for guessing how he spent Saturday afternoon.

Steve McFadden. Worth a trip to Cleethorpes to see him alone.

Being in Cleethorpes at lunchtime, it would be rude not to try a local cuisine. We therefore visited a local chip shop and bought battered Mars Bars. Not heard of these? It’s simple. You get a Mars Bar, chuck it in chip batter and fry in molten fat for five minutes. It was lovely.

Eating a battered Mars Bar. When in Rome..

Battered Mars Bars consumed and cholesterol levels how healthily increased, the walk back to Blundell Park was made. There was a surprising amount of dog excrement on the streets. Watching where you walked was a necessity to avoid stepping in something unpleasant.

Owl always love Bath City

Blundell Park offers one of the best club shops in the league, putting Bath City’s dog food marquee stall to shame. Here are just some of the exciting products available at the Grimsby Town FC Megastore…

Not a sex toy

Brush when you're winning

Sitting on the naughty step

After restraining myself from buying a Grimsby Town toothbrush, I entered the turnstiles, handing over £18.00 – yes, eighteen Great British Pounds to watch non-league football! With still an hour to go until kick off, we headed to the away fans’ bar for a pre-match drink. The place was buzzing, as four supporters including myself, filled a small damp room under the away stand, drinking Fosters and John Smiths, served from cans, while watching snooker on the telly – no Sky Sports here. The barman tried to see if the TV was able to get ITV1, in preparation for next weekend’s televised match between Liverpool and Manchester United. No such luck. The choice of TV channels as poor as the choice of beer.

"We filled your bar for you!"

Kick off arrived. Mrs. Amy Fearn was the referee – the female official who failed to award Bath City a penalty against Stockport and disallowed a perfectly good goal against Mansfield. I must admit, I failed to see the penalty shout in the Stockport game, but was left enraged by the goal she ruled out a couple of months ago.

The game started well for City. Mrs. Fearn awarding us a lot of dubious free kicks and causing anger amongst the Grimsby supporters. I was starting to wonder if she automatically took a dislike to home fans.

Then, out of nothing, Grimsby scored – a good goal which was celebrated by an impressive crowd in excess of 3,500. The Fratellis’ Chelsea Dagger was played at full volume throughout Blundell Park. I have a lot of respect for Grimsby Town, but respect can soon be lost, especially if a club plays goal celebration music!

Despite being 1-0 down, City continued to match the home side. A Grimsby brute then hacked down Paul Stonehouse. Amy Fearn did nothing. The fact she was penalising Grimsby for very minor offences made the fact she ignored a Bath City player being sliced in two quite remarkable.

It was cold day with a North Sea gale blowing into the ground, nearly tearing up the corner flag. I began to seriously regret no bringing a scarf, hat or gloves.

1-0 soon became 2-0 when Grimsby were awarded a corner, which they duly scored from. More cheering. More goal-celebration music. The club announcer, confused as to who had scored announcing “Goal for Grimsby… from a corner!” I wish Bath City could score from corners. I can’t remember the last time we did.

Half time. 2-0 down. Freezing cold. Time for a coffee. Cost £1.50. Overpriced, but not quite as expensive as Kettering Town’s “Daylight robbery in a cup”.

Optimistic fans began talk of a comeback. There was even a suggestion that due to the high winds, goalkeeper Jason Matthews may score. “He scored before for Weymouth!” piped up one fan. You know things are bad when you’re relying on your keeper to score the winner.

With the start of the second half, came Grimsby’s third goal. Any chance of a Bath City comeback gone (unless Jason Matthews was able to score a hat trick). It would appear that The Mariners were finally going to beat The Romans, as the metaphorical rusty fishing hooks were prepared.

The rest of the second half went like this… Jason Matthews, lobbed by a Grimsby striker to make it 4-0. Crowd go wild. Metaphorical Mariner impales metaphorical Roman with metaphorical hook. Home fans moan a bit because the referee does something wrong. Why moan? I would LOVE to be winning 4-0.

The crowd was announced. 3,836 fans – 40 travelling from Bath. The home fans showed their appreciation and clapped the suffering away supporters. The home players showed their appreciation and scored another goal. 5-0. Never mind, things can’t get any worse, can they? We have an easy trip to Wrexham coming up next week. That’s Wrexham who are top of the league and look set to be champions.

With the game drawing to a close, Grimsby took another corner. “They’ll score from this” I announced to a fellow fan. Sure enough, it was a sixth goal for Grimsby, a sixth cheer from the home fans and a sixth time to hear the now very annoying Chelsea Dagger. By now the metaphorical Romans had been torn to pieces by metaphorical sharks.

The fourth official began to prepare the board to display the added on time. C’mon, there’s no need for that, is there? How about we call it 7-0 and we can all go home now? Sound fair? No? Stuff you then. Luckily there was only 3 minutes and 0 more goals for Grimsby.

Things got heated between the away fans at full time. A small number of supporters who can only fairly be describe as “clueless morons” taking it upon themselves to abuse the team and management following the defeat. 6-0 is harsh and upsetting for everyone involved, but when you consider the massive difference in club size and financial resources between Bath City and Grimsby Town, the result was not too surprising. All teams get the occasional thrashing. It’s football. Accept it. I must admit, along with a few other supporters, I did give some of the idiotic fans a realty check, suggesting that if they don’t like what they see “Don’t bother coming”. All clubs have followers who are quite frankly, stupid. Sadly, Bath City a number of these so called fans.

Posted by sean on January 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm in Bath City with No Comments

Bath City 1-0 Basingstoke Town
FA Trophy – Round 2
Saturday 14th January 2012 – 15:00

It seems a long time since Bath City were knocked out of the FA Cup by Dagenham and Redbridge. The Daggers scoring an offside goal, which saw them progress to the next round and beating Walsall. Next week they will play Millwall in a 3rd round replay, the winners of that awarded with a home tie against Southampton. By rights it should be Bath City travelling to The New Den this week. Probably. OK, probably not.

Despite being out of the FA Cup, there is still the FA Trophy. Not as prestige, but certainly not to be sniffed at either. If The FA Cup was Cinderella, the FA Trophy, along with the FA Vase, are would be its two ugly sisters. Not as glamorous, but still get to go to The Ball, or in this case Wembley Stadium for the final. “Who plays the role of the evil stepmother?” I hear you all shout. That would have to be Dennis Strudwick, of course.

Bath City’s record in the FA Trophy has been shocking to say the least. For a team which has spent almost its entire history in the top 3 steps of non-league football, there is no success to speak of whatsoever. There is more chance of Bath City winning the FA Cup than the Trophy, they are that jinxed in the competition.

Things have to change at some point though, and with the visit of Conference South side, Basingstoke Town to Fortress Twerton, it is surely perfectly reasonable for fans to book their place in the next round before a ball is even kicked, right. I mean, any lower league team must be rubbish, right? Bugger.

Conference South side, Basingstoke brought with them Conference South style football. That is not a criticism of them, just a reminder of what we can expect should we be relegated. Dogged defending, brutes in defence and a lot of hoof-ball.

City could and probably should have been 1-0 up in the opening few minutes. Scott Murray missing an excellent chance after making one of his now trademark runs down the right wing. The 600-odd home fans in the ground tasted blood and sensed a large victory. Basingstoke had other ideas though and put up a real fight, giving City a lot of problems.

City took the lead in the 23rd minute. Alex Russell putting in an excellent cross for Sean Canham to head in an well-worked goal. “Goooooal! 1-0 City! We’re going to win this tinpot trophy!” Unfortunately, the excitement and magic of the FA Trophy meant I totally forgot to take any photos of the game. Therefore, here is an artist’s impression of the goal.

Basingstoke have been doing well in their league and were not prepared to let one goal stop them in their fight for FA Trophy success. They continued to match City on the pitch and at times it was hard to tell which team was from the higher division.

It was a poor game of football. A Manchester United fan stood behind me – an old work colleague, who has not ventured into Twerton Park for years. Clearly the magic of the FA Trophy tearing him away from his armchair and Sky+ box – although more likely because there were no televised games that afternoon. Clearly thinking he was watching his beloved Lancashire club, he berated the Bath City players “Shoot! Pass it wide! Tackle! Get the manager a bottle of whiskey!” before realising Nani was in fact not playing and asking me if I “watch this rubbish every week?” Loser.

Despite being a disappointing game, both sides did create chances; Scott Murray trying his best to score for City, while super goalkeeper and non-league legend, Jason Matthews, performing heroics to prevent Basingstoke from scoring. Again, I couldn’t get a photo of superman in action, so here’s a drawing in felt tip.

The game finished 1-0. Bath City into the (tin)pot for the next round of this tinpot competition. Feeling considerably more calm than I did a week ago, I went for a post-match drink in the clubhouse. The regular bar, Charlies, was closed due to renovation so the club’s second bar, Randall’s was used. As well as holding countless weddings, Randall’s has hosted such names as Eric Cantona, Robert Carlyle and most famous of all, The Wurzels.

With no Sky Sports in Randall’s, a DVD player was hooked up to a TV and played highlights from the 2010-11 season on a loop. My God we were good back then – the best Bath City team I have ever seen. Along with other City fans, I was disappointed to see the club had increased the price of Thatchers Gold cider to an extortionate £3.30 a pint. This caused almost as much outrage as referee Wayne Barratt’s cheating  last week. Whoever made that decision, clearly took the GOLD part of the cider’s name literally, charging prices as if the drink were real bullion.

Worth its weight in gold

Posted by sean on January 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm in Bath City with 1 Comment

Bath City 1-1 Braintree Town
Conference National
Saturday 6th January 2012 – 15:00

When I set myself a target to blog about every Bath City games I attend, I knew it would be a challenge. Away games are easy; with opposition supporters, new football grounds and the state of service station toilets all providing ample blog-worthy material.

Home matches are a little trickier to write up on a regular basis. Only so many times can you blog about the club shop, which doubles up as a pet food stall at the Twerton market. While everyone loves to read about dogs at football matches, unless the animal does something amazing like invade the pitch and bite the opposition manager, blogging about how it barked a lot can get a bit boring.

Therefore, as yesterday’s match against Braintree Town was played out, I started to think about events within the game which could make a blog for the game worthwhile.

The sight of Bladud the Pig entering the family stand, filled with some 200 school children, and conducting them in a rendition of “Come on City!” did raise a smile. While Bladud was in the family side, he wasn’t able to annoy me on the terrace.

Bladud boars yet another fans.. boars/bores - do you see what I did there?

Braintree’s Sean Marks getting booked for moaning like, as my old maths teacher from school would put it, “an old woman”, before subsequently being booked was hilarious in comparison to the BBC sitcom, My Family, yet marginally funny compared to normal events in everyday life.

Then there was Bath City’s goal, in just the 5th minute of the game. Sean Canham was the scorer. His second game back for the club and his second goal. That’s some form, Sean. Keep this up and we may just stay up. From where I was stood, the goal did have a touch of offside about it, which is why I did not celebrate until I was certain the linesman wasn’t going to raise his flag and disallow the fine, but slightly dubious effort.

As readers of my blog will know, I don’t do match reports. If you want one of those, may I direct you to Kelston Koppite’s excellent summary on the Bath City forum. Therefore I would be hopeless at reciting in detail how City would continue to dominate the remainder of the match, Marley Watkins chipping the goalkeeper, yet hitting the post; while Marc Canham and Lewis Hogg all missing excellent chances themselves.

What was I going to blog about? Surely something would happen during the match. At half time, it was announced a Braintree fan had won 2nd prize in the match day raffle. £25 was his reward, which he very generously donated back to Bath City – a very kind gesture, which should be applauded.

As the match drew to a close, I was still struggling for events for the blog. At that point, however, any thoughts of updating Sean’s Stories had long been forgotten. I was counting the seconds until fulltime, when the game would end and 3 deserved points would be collected. Bath City were climbing the metaphorical league-table ladder and almost had their finger tips on the step marked “You are now leaving the Relegation Zone”. Sure we were a long way from the sign “Mid-table Mediocrity welcomes careful drivers”, but it was a start.

Then an event happened which gave me reason to write today’s blog. Had this incident not taken place, you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog now. I wouldn’t have spent part of my Sunday morning writing this tosh, instead I’d probably be watching the Hollyoaks omnibus on Channel 4+1 – ok, that’s a lie, I haven’t reached those depths yet.

With the game deep into injury time, referee Wayne Barratt, that’s WAYNE BARRATT, awarded Braintree a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. I was a bit annoyed by this, mainly as Braintree had been falling on the edge of the box throughout the afternoon. However, the heart rate was still at a moderate pace, as all the set pieces Braintree had taken that afternoon had been poor.

The free kick was taken, with both Bath City and Braintree players trying to win the ball. Everything’s normal. Then the referee, Wayne Barratt (remember that name, folks), blew his whistle. Like the 955 other fans in the ground, along with the players, managers, coaching staff, linesman, stewards, Bladud the Pig and the barking pet dog, I assumed this was for a foul on Bath City keeper, Jason Matthews. The free kick would then be taken, ref blows for fulltime, we all go home happy, thanks very much. I was wrong. Wayne Barratt pointed to the penalty spot, awarding Braintree a spot kick.

What the penalty was for, I do not know. No Braintree player appealed it. They looked as surprised as anyone when it was awarded, although probably not as enraged as I was. The penalty was taken and saved by Jason Matthews – a would-be hero, if it weren’t for the fact he was unable to keep hold of the ball, which fell to the feet of a Braintree player who scored the equaliser.

I was stunned, disappointed, but above all furious. I have watched a lot of football, some of which has left me upset and angry, but I can honestly say that I have never felt so furious after a match than I did yesterday. If the game had been played in Italy, Wayne Barratt would have been accused of fixing the game, his error was that farcical. Much as I would love to believe Barratt is a match-fixer, I sadly cannot – thankfully.

The only explanation I can give is that Wayne Barratt, earlier in the game, had realised his error in allowing Bath City’s possible offside goal to stand, so therefore made amends by giving Braintree a penalty for absolutely nothing, so late in the game that it pretty much guaranteed a draw. This is still unacceptable and is, in a way, match-fixing. I have since read reports of a Braintree player telling Barratt that he was not fouled and the penalty should not stand. If this is true, that Braintree player should be commended for sportsmanship, while Wayne Barratt sacked.

Post-match replays also suggest that no Braintree player was fouled in the lead up to the penalty being awarded. 2 points officially stolen by Wayne Barratt.

Sorry for the rather downbeat end to this blog. I generally do try to keep them light hearted, but when you are cheated (and there is no other word for it) out of two points, there is little to laugh about.

Posted by sean on January 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm in Bath City with No Comments

Bath City 3-2 Newport County
Conference National
Tuesday 3rd January 2012 – 19:45

Bath City entered the New Year in fine form. Despite still bottom of the league, things were looking good – unbeaten during the whole of 2012. The only problem being, they hadn’t played a game of football during 2012. In fact, the last game was against Kettering Town in mid-December. Trips to Chippenham Town and Odd Down gave me the football fix I craved up until now.

The visit of local rivals, Newport County, who are having almost an equally poor season, brought fresh optimism to Twerton Park. Kind of. “If we lose this, we’re down” announced one supporter, while his ever-optimistic friend offered his prediction “We’ll get stuffed”.

Like most of the country, Bath had experienced awful weather in the run up to the game. Luckily, neither Twerton Park or The Severn Bridge had been washed away by the storms, so the game was able to go ahead. The pitch was actually in excellent condition, mainly owing to the fact no football had been played on it for an entire month.

A couple of reserve Newport players warmed up by hoofing the ball to one another in a manner which would make Nathan Rudge proud. One particularly strong hoof saw a large chunk of turf go flying with the ball. Thankfully the County player retrieved the section of the pitch and replaced it. Despite coming from The Nathan Rudge Football School for Donkeys, he makes a good grounds man.

While the pitch repairs were being carried out, Planet Funk’s Chase the Sun was played across the stadium. If you closed your eyes, it was if you were at Alexandra Palace, waiting to see two 30-stone men throw things at a wall, all in the name of sport. The song didn’t have quite the same feel as when it is played on the telly, with thousands of intoxicated darts fans singing along.

Bladud the Pig performed his usual pre-match routine – dancing around the pitch, scoring penalties into open goals and doing an Ali G ‘respect’ fist to bemused supporters. One supporter, clearly not feeling the love for the porktastic mascot, refused to fist the pig back. To be honest, I wouldn’t have fisted the pig either (sorry, that sounded wrong); if it was that blue bird from Chippenham Town, however…

Is it cos I iz pink?

Bath City started the game well, testing the Newport goalkeeper and its leaky defence. Unfortunately, City’s defence is also comparable with a rusty colander, which is why they’re bottom of the league.

It wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken. A cross flying into the Bath City box, which goalkeeper, Jason Matthews, misjudged, allowing on-loan Nat Jarvis to tap in probably the easiest goal he will ever score. Poor Jase. Everyone makes mistakes. You’re still a non-league legend. The 400+ travelling Newport fans (very impressive away support) went wild.

City responded well to the goal, with Scott Murray running up and down the wings, causing problems for the Newport defence. He has recently stopped moaning on Twitter about not playing, mainly as he is now starting games – a good thing too, as he’s scoring goals. His Twitter rants haven’t stopped completely though. Only the other week, he Tweeted how his car had broken down outside Bitton’s football ground. The funny thing being, we drove past him and his conked-out Audi, only realising it was him later that day after checking the social-networking site.

Back to the match. Despite creating chances, we weren’t finding the net. I was feeling unlucky, especially when Sean Canham’s effort hit the post. Typical. Newport put in a cross, which somehow finds its way into the net. We have an even better attempt on goal and hit the post. Damn you, Lady Luck.

City eventually broke Newport down. Adam Connolly, now a household name after scoring live on ESPN, slammed home Marley Watkins’ pass. 1-1. The home fans go nuts.

The celebrations of the players were minimal. A draw was clearly not good enough. 3 points were essential. Cue the ever-dependable Lewis Hogg and his magic boots, letting a pass to tear through the weak Newport defence and allowing Sean Canham, back on loan, the chance to score a second goal for City. Lady Luck, I love you. Lots of man-love for Hoggy and Canham too.

Half time came with the score line at 2-1. There was an announcement that the toilets at one end of the ground had become blocked and would therefore be closed. It would appear the majority of the 400-travelling Newport fans took the song “Always shit on the English side of the bridge” quite literally.

Behind me stood a group of Bristol Rovers fans, clearly out celebrating the fact their club’s manager, Paul Buckle, had lost his job that afternoon. They speculated who should replace them. A number of names were mentioned, including Lawrie Sanchez and Sven.  They could be accused of being optimistic, until one of them predicted Emile Heskey would score a hat trick against them at the weekend. They also complained about the recent decision by the BBC to axe the popular Football League Show at the end of the season. I didn’t have the heart (or rather, courage) to tell them as the show doesn’t cover non-league, Rovers probably wouldn’t be featured on it next season anyway.

The second half began well. Very well. Very, very well. Fucking fantastic in fact. Scott Murray, the Twitter-addict, scoring past the hapless Newport keeper. “@scotty_murray 3-1 Bath City! #getinthere #dodgykeeper Plz RT”

Bath City 3-1 up! We’re going to win! We’re going to stay up! Everything’s going to be OK! I was getting excited.

Come and play us every week

Then Newport scored. Out of nothing. I feel sad to report that Matthews was at fault again. Maybe he wasn’t the wonder-keeper I once thought.

My excitement had turned to worry. I would spend the remainder of the game, which seemed like hours, pacing the terrace, waiting to hear the cheer of 400 Welshmen, confirming we had messed it up.

There were two more cheers that evening. One in sarcasm from the home fans, when Matthews caught the ball, following a Newport cross. The second at fulltime, when the referee blew his whistle to end the game. Bath City had won 3-2. Everyone was happy. The Wurzels were playing. We can now dream and Tweet about staying up, until at least Saturday when we play Braintree.

Former City midfielder, Adie Harris in the clubhouse. How I would love him to return.

Highlights of the game are available here.

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