Posted by sean on April 26, 2016 at 3:56 pm in Bath City with No Comments

If you had told me at the end of August that Bath City would be playing in a different division the following season, I wouldn’t have thought anything other than promotion to The Conference Premier (or whatever they call it these days). We had played six games and won the lot. We were world beaters and could take on anyone. Three months later, we were out of the cup, out of the trophy and only won one league match. We were heading for another division – except this was the one below us.

This season has been rubbish. In a way, it’s been worse than the year we were relegated the last time. At least then we were taking on teams who had a bit of quality about them – Luton, Wrexham and Fleetwood. This season we’ve been beaten by Harlow Town and Bognor Regis!

As well as losing a ton of games, we also lost the management team of Adie and Archie. Disliked by many, due to the poor form, their exit was inevitable. However, I saw the duo as friends – Adie even attended my wedding.

A new manager arrived, Gary Owers. While he’s not Adie or Arch, I do like Gary. He is a Geordie. A proper northerner, who loves his football. We stand behind the dugouts at Twerton Park, and you can see that Gary eats and breaths every moment.

Gary isn’t a miracle worker. He hasn’t turned us from relegation matter to champions elect. He has, however, steadied the ship. We slowly ground out results and got a few impressive wins – most notably against Weston Super Mare, which even went viral on the internet.

Last weekend was our penultimate game of the season – away to Hayes and Yeading. H&Y are fellow relegation rivals, so losing to them was not an option. The team that lost was unofficially down.

The first half was a nervy one. We battered the Hayes goal, but created nothing. It seemed inevitable that Hayes would run down the other end of the pitch and score a lucky goal.

Everything changed in the second half. We were awarded a penalty after the Hayes goalkeeper lost his mind, bringing down our striker, David Pratt in the penalty area. While I’m on the topic, Pratty was immense on Saturday. Truly superb. The best individual performance from a City player I have seen for a long time.

So, we were given a penalty, thanks to this mad goalkeeper (who wasn’t sent off – cheers, ref). This was scored. Unbelievable. I’ve seen more penalties missed this season than scored. Hayes then threw in the preverbal towel and gave us another penalty. We scored that too. I had to ask myself “Is this real?”

To make things even more bizarre, Nick McCootie came off the substitute bench, ran through the entire Hayes and Yeading defence and scored a third goal for us. He never does anything like that! Granted Hayes are absolute shit, but they made him look like Lionel Messi.

The victory over Hayes, coupled with a few results going our way, secured our survival in the division. This means we could well be playing Poole Town on Boxing Day, instead of Frome. Errrr, that doesn’t sound much different.

Saturday was a great away day – the best I have had in years. Our fans travelled in numbers, creating an excellent atmosphere. I like to think we were the 12th man and helped the City boys over the survival line.

We have the final game of the season this weekend. Margate are the opposition. We could send them down – the Leeds fan in me likes this idea… causing misery to rival football fans.

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