stat attack
open forum
terrace trash
supporter's trust
club info
visitor's info

We welcome all contributions to the T-Ender. Please send any material for the site by
email to the address above. 

The views expressed on these pages are not those of Gloucester City A.F.C., its directors or officials, or of any other company mentioned. Neither do they represent the official views of the Gloucester City Supporters' Club or its committee.
While we make every effort to ensure information placed here is accurate we do not accept responsibility for errors that may occour. If you do find a mistake please let us know.

All pictures and material unless otherwise stated are the site's own and is
All material may be reproduced with permission and appropriately attributed.

Saturday 19th February '05

Gloucester City

at Meadow Park

Southern League Premier Division
(match 31)


Southern League logo



Bath City

Gloucester City


Scorers: Cox (14, 62)

Bath City


Scorers: Benefield (69)
City Side: Bath, L.Smith, M.Thompson, Griffiths, Tomkins, C.Thompson, Mustoe, Cox, Addis (Harris 82), Webb, Wilkinson.
Subs not used: Knight, Reid.
City Bookings: Griffiths (persistent fouls), Tomkins (foul)
T-Ender Man of the Match: Marvin Thompson; his returning confidence showed with better tackling and well judged passes down the wing.


City used every ounce of their new found resilience to manage to hold off a strong Bath side that despite all their possession and control in midfield lacked any rapier thrust in their attack. By the end of the match Bath had huffed and puffed for most of the 90 minutes but it was the City side in yellow and black that created the clear chances and came away with the points. Chris Burns got the reaction he wanted from striker Jimmy Cox as he was restored to the starting line-up and grabbed a crucial brace of goals against his former side, taking the opportunity to rile his former team mates and delight the T-End in the process. The win edged Gloucester a little further from the relegation places and saw us record two consecutive home wins for the first time since August.

By some quirk of fate the fixture computers had managed to send Bath's football club to Gloucester on the same day as Bath's rugby club traveled to Kingsholm. There were sections of the match when you could have been forgiven for wondering if you'd gone to the wrong ground as both defences kicked for touch and hoisted hopeful up and unders with alarming regularity. This was no rugby match though, there were glimpses of skill in places and whole passages of play where you could see the ball. Bath made several changes to their side as player-boss Gary Owers tried to freshen up his squad, partnering Martin Paul with former Swansea striker John Williams, the famed 'flying postman' winner when TV tried to put together a sprinting competition for pro footballers a few years ago. Burnsie of course has fewer options in his amazing ever reducing squad, but Cox returned to the starting line-up with Lee Smith back on the right wing.

Thommo slides past the Bath defence

Cox takes on Coupe
Top: Thommo glides past the Bath attack
Bottom: Matt Coupe now keeps his bulging wallet taped to his gut.

The match started brightly with the wonderful Bath fans making themselves popular with their taunts of 'Ch#*tenhamshire', especially rich from a bunch of people living in the posh part of Bristol who can't decide if their Avon or Somerset. You'd have thought that given the past history of the two clubs they could've bought the odd golden goal ticket, miserable tight-arsed lot they were. At least what has always been a rather limp and polite local derby is now starting to get a little bit of an edge to it. Before long we might even glance at their results and stop confusing them with their student tenants.

Back on the pitch the match had started, the ref obviously anxious to watch the Everton - Man. Utd. cup tie as he kicked off whilst most of the players were still in their pre-match huddle. From the start Bath looked a strong and well organised side and noticeably held their shape much better than us. Within a few moments we'd seen several moves slip past our midfield and then survived an early scare when a short corner caught Lee Smith out and left Bath captain Jim Rollo to fire in a low drive that needed a good stop from Matt Bath. We were also hampered by playing into a strong breeze which rather thwarted our preferred defensive tactic of kicking the ball away as hard and far as possible.

Whilst we were looking more comfortable at the back with both Lyndon and Griff making strong early blocks it was a different tale for Bath. For all their clever touches and attacking spark you could suddenly feel the surge of confidence in the City ranks when we managed our first run at their defence. Hey, hold on, this lot can't defend. At times the visitors gave a fair impression of some of our own woeful defending of a few weeks ago. A fairly straight forward ball over the top from Wilko saw some defensive consternation and a soft header into the path of Cox who went on to win a corner from nothing. A few minutes later and Coupe conceded a needless free kick by tripping Webb and from the cross they failed to deal with Tomkins at the far post and his strong header should have hit the target.

The game was good entertainment in its early stages as both sides were unable to gain any control of the ball and with City coming back into the game it was end to end stuff. We escaped a real scare when Matt Bath uncharacteristically lost track of a deep cross towards the far post, and having made a late decision to try and punch he failed to get there at all. With our keeper stranded like a huntsman on every future Saturday we held our breath as the striker headed goalward, but Mustoe was back on the line and headed clear.

That rallied us a little and we went for the kill, recognising the Romans' back line as being terrified and trapped when pinned back by our attacks. A simple up and under from Mustoe saw Addis win a ball he had no right to get near and manage to bully Bailey into hacking clear for a corner. That was only partially cleared and a sharp pass by Lee Smith cut straight through the defence as they tried to push out and Addis slipped through to send over a low cross to the near post that Coupe did well to cut out.

The visiting defence was not finding life easy though and the opening goal soon arrived. Webb did well to attack down the left and when he checked back Mustoe created space for Addis to clip over a simple cross. Lyndon Tomkins was still forward from a previous corner and his presence caused panic at the far post. The ball dropped to Wilko and while the keeper did well to half smother his effort the ball was prodded across the face of the goal where Cox was on hand to roll the ball into the empty goal. Suddenly, there was considerably less noise from the visiting fans - which helped you hear Matt Coupe whinging about offside and being pushed. Bless him and his mercenary ways.

That goal seemed to flatten the game for a while, and in retrospect this was the time to go for your food or your pint as little happened for the next 15 minutes or so. It was almost as if we were to wary to get forward again and were waiting to see how Bath responded. In fairness, that kind of concentration and caution is exactly what we've missed in some games where we've allowed teams to get a goal straight back once we've scored. The visitors looked equally unsure of how to get back into the game, I think they were suddenly painfully aware of their own vulnerability and reluctant to commit too many people forward. The closest the game came to excitement was a gentle back header to the keeper from Tomkins which the desperate Bath fans greeted as if it was a shot on goal.

When the game did slowly begin to spark to life again it was not at the right end for us and the end of the first half saw us riding our luck at the back as Bath established a strong grip on midfield. We again got caught out by a short corner and Wilkinson headed just clear of his own post under pressure, a mix-up which made Mustoe go a very funny colour indeed. The ball was eventually half cleared but we got our defensive line confused and Wilko left a vast gap behind him which was almost exploited and Matt had to make another good stop. In the next few minutes the Romans had more efforts, but they were largely from distance and failed to trouble Matt's goal to any great degree. They seemed to struggle to find a way past Griff and Lyndon, and while they often moved the ball wide didn't seem to be able to beat either Marvin or Smith on the flanks. The pace of Williams was ably marshaled by Thommo sitting deep to pick up any attempt to get behind his defensive colleagues. We survived another scare when at last the visitors got over a good cross met with force by Martin Paul, but fortunately he planted his header straight into the grateful arms of Matt Bath.

We managed to create a few moments of our own, and despite not having so much of the ball we created as much in front of goal as Bath. Cox demonstrated his gradually returning form with a promising run straight through the middle that needed four defenders to bring to a halt. A few minutes before the break we could have gone further ahead when Webb and Cox made progress down the left, with Cox turning on the by-line to put Matt Coupe on his backside and create space for Addis who was unlucky not to hit the net. However the home fans would have happily taken the half-time lead after another near miss from Bath as a deep curling high ball caused panic and was only half headed away by Griff at full stretch. When the shot came in Marvin Thompson was on the line to smack it clear.

Cox celebrates the opening goal

City on the attack Bath head goalwards

Top: "Ref - they've just put the ball in our net!" Despite the appeals Cox takes the plaudits for rolling the ball in from a foot out.
Bottom Left: Cox causes more problems for bad boy Bailey.
Bottom Right: Marvin loses out in the air but the header was gathered safely by Matt Bath.


The second half saw Bath introduce their speedy striker Scott Partridge from the bench and it was clear the visitors meant business. City fans would have been nervous, had the vast majority not been watching poor Terry trying manfully to deal with a vast throng of hungry fans trying to get burgers from his one-man catering service. As the grumbling Bath fans stomped off you could only hope they enjoyed the second half as much as their food, and so it was to prove. Despite the new striking threat Bath struggled to get their pacey forward away in the first phases of the second half. Instead, it was the far less pacey Daryl Addis who seemed to have got clear, only to fall victim to a late and dubious offside flag. We came close to extending the lead with a fantastic move stemming from an award winning midfield tackle by Mustoe robbed Owers of possession in the centre circle. The ball was fed wide to Smith who found Addis further down the right wing and the tricky forward produced one of his turns to get free of the defence. His cross was perhaps a little over hit for those in the middle of the goal but Webb picked it up from deep and managed to send in a low ball that was scrambled clear under pressure from Cox.

The game was now finely balanced with Bath exerting most of the pressure but still looking very vulnerable to being attacked on the break. Things were getting increasingly difficult for us at the back, but we now seem more resilient and physically robust. Eventually Griff went into the book for one niggling tackle too many, but whilst it may not be pretty to watch it is exactly what we need to add to our game to turn those draws into victories. The free kick was in a dangerous position and former Sunderland midfielder Gary Owers showed every bit of his craft and experience to drive the ball straight down Wilko's throat. The wall stood firm and brave as the follow up effort flew past the post and we lived to fight again.

A string of good defensive tackles and headers suggested that we may just survive this latest spell of pressure and with the previously rather flat T-End finding it's voice we found a forward gear and produced our best spell of the match. Addis picked up another clever Mustoe through ball and then in turn released Cox who surged past Coupe before being closed down by Steve Jones and pushed wide. Cox is looking a lot more interested than at the start of the season, but having missed so much pre-season work he is still probably a few more months away from getting back to the electric best that would previously have seen that chance carry him to a one on one with the keeper. Roles were reversed a few minutes later as Bath's defence was again sliced apart with a clever ball from Smith, flicked on through by Cox. Addis was away and despite his comparative lack of pace he is a strong player and once half a yard clear Bailey could not get back goalside of him without bringing him down. Addis closed in but his angles were well closed down by Bath's Paul Evans and his effort was blocked.

The game was opening up again and suddenly Bath managed to finally get Scott Partridge clear. The striker's reputation has reached even the distant backwaters of Meadow Park and with his shiny pate glinting in the sunshine it seemed the equaliser was on its way. However, we reckoned without the pace of Marvin Thompson and the left-back was across him and then made a fantastic tackle to save the day. The confident and composed player who started the season seems to be back, and it's like having a new signing in the squad. If that was defending at its best then moments later we extended our lead courtesy of some sloppy defending. A fairly aimless ball from Wilko was picked up by Bath's Sam Bailey who turned and played a weak back-pass without checking around him. Cox nipped on to it and clipped a swift shot low past the stranded keeper. Queue general celebrations and fits of giggles on the T-End as we looked to have pulled off a great smash and grab against the highly rated Bath side.

Thommo and Griff show Bath wide

Thommo and Griff shepherd another Bath attack sideways.

Matt Bath had taken stick from the visiting fans in the first half for his failure to punch that high cross, hopefully they appreciated the T-End chanting "dodgy keeper" as our man threw himself full length to claw a drive from Alex Sykes round the post. It was a great save but while the defence is looking so much more robust there was a question of how long this kind of defending could hold out. We needed a third goal to be comfortable ,and it looked to have arrived in a sweeping City attack. Marvin's distribution improved as his confidence came back and he clipped a wonderful ball down the line that sent Jimmy Cox away down the left. He smartly turned and put Coupe on his backside for a second time (mind your wallet you money grabbing waste of space) before shimmying into the area. His cross was met at the far post by Smith whose firm downward header across the face of the goal was perfect for Addis. The forward twisted to volley into the net and from a foot out most of the fans were in the air, but somehow former South African goalkeeper Paul Evans got back across his line to make a save that was nothing short of miraculous.

On such things can a match turn and we all feared the worst, such has been our lack of luck this season. Sure enough, moments later Bath had pulled themselves back into the match and got the goal that their pressure probably merited. After all our good defending suddenly we had one of those horrible lapses of concentration and when Sykes was blocked off by Griff the ball ran clear to a big gap in the centre of the area and Jimmy Benefield drilled in a low shot. In previous weeks you could probably turn for the exit quite sure in the knowledge that we would go on to let in another and end up with yet another draw. This left us with our hearts firmly in our mouths and glancing nervously at our watches. The worst thing is we know the players are as worried about this now as we are, and would they have the strength to hold on.

We finally dug deep though, and managed to keep ourselves going forward with enough confidence to relieve some pressure from what was now a defence now unashamed to throw anything and everything to keep Bath out. Some of the defending was neither pretty or text book, but it was effective. Marvin produced another imperious sweeping pass down the wing and again Cox was on to it, tricking his way past the hapless Coupe and dashing into the area before losing his way and settling for a corner. This helped the clock tick down but there was still a lot of defending to do. both Webb and Mustoe were now back almost full time helping out, and on several occasions we had good reason to be grateful for Mustoe scampering back to tidy up loose balls running around the area. We survived a scare when Matt Bath mis-kicked and was rescued by a smart Chris Thompson tackle. He then returned the ball to the keeper who promptly did it again, but this time Griff and Mustoe were on hand to force the ball forward and clear our lines.

The last few minutes were nerve wracking stuff, but Adie Harris was thrown on to add some fresh legs up front and a few of his scampering runs gave Bath a few news problems to worry about. One run almost ended in a break away goal as Adie sent in a low ball that missed Lee Smith at the far post by a hair's breadth. The defending in front of our goal was largely of the 'man given a live hand grenade' variety, but it was doing the job. Then Lyndon's immaculate impression of an immovable object finally got on the ref's nerves as he booked him and gave a free kick for an apparent shove on their striker. Owers lined up his free kick, but again the effort was well dealt with and ended up comfortably in the hands of Matt Bath.

Finally the relief of the final whistle and a much needed back-to-back win that gives us a little breathing space as we edge away from the bottom of the table. The players know they are again in the position of being asked to work miracles, with the money as tight as ever and the club surviving at this level against all the odds. The celebrations were understandable, but obviously too much for some of the Bath players and fans who have not had to tread our path. Suddenly, from no where, Bath's number 5 Sam Bailey charged over and head butted Lee Smith, leaving the youngster on the floor. It was a mad moment after a match that had not come close to boiling point, but now both sets of players instantly laid into each other and the Bath players were left to troop off the field in disgrace whilst the ref red carded Bailey. An attack of that nature doesn't belong with the FA but in the courts and hopefully City will inform the police of the assault. Fortunately Smith didn't appear to be badly hurt, but the attack took a little of the gloss off a fantastic victory that follows from the Hednesford win and suggests a rejuvenation that would have been unbelievable just a week before. Our position is a lot healthier, but we must now push on and carry on picking up points to prevent an uncomfortable few weeks at the end of the season.

* The win lifts us up to 15th spot and eight points clear of the relegation places, and ahead of Rugby United on goal difference after they lost 2-1 at fellow strugglers Team Bath. The students came back after going behind to an early goal. The other club at the bottom to win was Dunstable whose incredible return to form continued after coming back from a goal down to grab a 2-1 win over promotion chasing Aylesbury. Stamford and Solihull both lost 2-1 at home to Chesham and Halesowen respectively, while Hemel Hempstead were unlucky not to make some ground after taking the lead at high-flying Histon. However they also lost out 2-1 after a last minute strike from Ian Cambridge robbed them of a point. Banbury United are also slipping into the relegation battle as they lost 2-1 to Merthyr whose win carries them back into the play-off places. At the top Chippenham maintained their grip three points clear of Bedford, winning 1-0 at home to City's next opponents King's Lynn.

Referee: L. Sinclair (Brierley Hill) League Position: 15th (+1) Attendance: 502
Conditions: cold and bright City Form: WWLDLL
Match Report:
by t-towel

Work commitments mean that we are keen to obtain other match reporters willing to provide details on some City matches. All text can be supplied by email, with no need to worry about web design or formatting. If you are interested please contact the T-Ender.

Quick Links