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 9 December 2006
British Gas Business Southern League Premier
(match 16)
at Meadow Park, Gloucester
BGB Southern League logo

New Tigers Badge: no-one knows why...

Gloucester City



Cheshunt Badge

HT (0-2)

City home kitcheshunt away strip
D.Fenton (6), B.Highton (26)
C.Thompson ©
S.Obeng ©
(for 11, 60) T.Webb
A.Needham (for 7, 72)
(for 10, 78) J.Tustain
A.Cato (for 4, 80)
(for 6, 60) A.Sykes
City: none
Cheshunt: S.Obeng (elbow 27), D.Hicks (late tackle 30), A.Needham (foul tackle 73)
Dismissals: none

T-Ender City MotM: Jason Welsh - almost impossible today, but Welsh led the line well although he missed his one good chance at goal.

grass trim rule

This match will have to be a turning point in City's season because this afternoon was the point when the Tigers hit rock bottom. This was about as bad as I can remember a Gloucester City side playing. To a man the City side looked completely dejected, lacking in any ideas on how to fight back against a strong but prosaic Cheshunt side, lacking in the desire and passion to compete, without any fight or spirit. City were undone by a very ordinary Cheshunt side which still look like relegation probabilities, but sadly on this showing they were not the only team on the pitch with need to be concerned about who will be in the bottom four at the end of April. How City have turned from a reasonable side that looked capable of challenging for a play-off spot into becoming so flat and deflated in the space of a few short weeks is one of those mysteries that litter football. The fans will now just be praying the answers are found before the damage is irreversible.

It all seemed so unlikely as the match kicked off. Even with our recent run of form there was little about Cheshunt to inspire awe and there were reasons for home supporters to be confident. City boss Tim Harris had acted swiftly to plug the defensive gaps that had been all too apparent the previous week and both new arrivals seemed to fit the bill. With them in the side we hoped to be far more solid, and with the talismanic Jimmy Cox returning to the club and paired with Jason Welsh there was every reason to believe we could see the budding of a long-term strike partnership. Many of those hopes started to crumble in the opening few minutes.

City looked sluggish and with our players dwelling far too long on the ball the first chance fell to Cheshunt's Chris Sullivan, but the youngster on loan from Stevenage fluffed his shot at the far post. However we'd already been caught out once and moments later were behind. The new City defence kept their shape well enough but everyone seemed reluctant to close down the player with the ball. The result was disastrous as Darrell Cox laid the ball off inside to Dean Fenton who had time and space to send a firm side foot shot placed beyond Matt Bath's reach.

You could almost visibly see City's fragile confidence ebbing away, and it took a while for the players to begin to get going again. The first signs of what might be were visible when Cox showed a good turn of pace to reach along ball and cushion a header down to Jason Welsh who was only closed down and crowded out as he reached the byline. It looked as if we were just starting to regain some momentum when we were hit by a sucker blow. A dreadful studs first two-footed challenge on Dave Wilkinson just inside our half seemed to see the ref signaling strangely for a Cheshunt free kick. Players seemed to freeze, apart from Bobby Highton who strolled on towards goal and hammered a shot low past Matt Bath. We seemed stunned: perhaps confused by the ref, perhaps disbelieving that the original tackle hadn't warranted a free kick, certainly embarrassed by the two goal deficit with only just over a quarter of the match gone.

We tried to rally, but the initial fury of the City response was literally flattened. Mike Fowler jumped for a high ball with Cheshunt skipper Steve Obeng who swung an elbow out that smacked flush into the Welsh wizard's temple. With Fowler grounded both sets of players scuffled and pushed. It was clear the ref had seen the elbow and given City the free kick, so the T-End was incredulous when the Cheshunt man just got yellow. If the officials had seen the foul it could only be a red card, but too many at this level lack the bottle for making the hard decisions. Despite a great deal of huffing and puffing we struggled to create much, Reid getting closest to a glimpse of goal as he reached a Wilko toe-poke only to be denied by a flying block tackle by Ryan Bernard. It could have got worse at the other end as Fenton was again given space to shoot wide from the edge of the box, and then even worse as Matt Bath had a real comedy disaster. His throw out flew into the ground and fortunately went all of five yards across his penalty area before he was able to scramble after it and gather it back into his arms.

You imagine the half-time team talk was all about blood, thunder and getting back into the game. However there was precious little of that. The second half was one of increasing frustration giving way to despair. It's not as simple as to say that the City players were guilty of a lack of effort, but there was little sign of anyone rising to the challenge either. If they weren't showing the extra level of fight required, neither were they able to summon up any new ideas to get by a well drilled and competent Cheshunt defence who were never required to show much else. Cheshunt would have added to the score had it not been for some solid goalkeeping from Matt Bath. Even after Thommo had tackled Darrell Cox the Cheshunt forward was able to get back up and reach the loose ball first, his run ending with a pull back across goal and a firm low shot well held by Bath. Cheshunt also went close with a 20 yard free kick that saw Matt Bath make a fine diving save to keep out of the net.

City were having more of the ball but doing little with it in attacking areas. A double substitution saw Sykes and Webb both come on to try and create something, and Alex Sykes in particular made more of an impression in the remaining 30 minutes than in the previous couple of months. Mustoe kept a City corner alive and the ball was fed back infield to Sykes who produced a fizzing dive that whistled just over the bar. His free kick from 25 yards a little later was a little tame, but did beat the wall and was the first time Martin Peat in the Cheshunt goal had really had to warm his hands. Sykes was also showing a little urgency and it was his first time cross into the box that enabled Welsh to get into a scoring position for the first time. The big forward seemed to have got ahead of his marker but his header was just over the bar. City did create one more chance when aaron Wilson shrugged off his cloak of anonymity and arrowed a low cross into the box which Tustain poked just wide at the near post.

The late flurries did offer some hope, but it was all too little too late. The harsh truth was that City had been outplayed and outfought at home by one of the weakest teams in the division. It could be another one of those cold, dark winters at Meadow Park as the City supporters trooped out of the ground feeling their side are teetering on the edge of crisis.


grass trim rule
T-Ender Match Snaps
Welsh gets forward on a rare City attack.
Tempers flare after Obeng floors Fowler and Hicks tries to throttle Cox.

Team Selection:
Tim Harris drafted in his two defensive loan signings Shabir Khan and Ollie Barnes for their debuts at the back, but Noakes' niggling thigh problem kept him out of the team meaning Chris Thompson was again pressed into service at centre-back with Jamie Reid at right-back. Webb continued on the bench whilst the boss gambled on Jimmy Cox lasting as long as he could with the returning striker starting alongside Welsh up front.
TBBM Said:

"If I'd been stumping up money to pay for this lot I'd be spending it on something more worthwhile like drink. Or a gun."

Tactics Board:
It would be harsh to judge the two new signings on one game when they will need time to settle and get to know their team mates. If a defence is a unit, ours is unsettled. Reid tries hard at full-back, but not only do we still look vulnerable there neither of our wide midfielders seem to get back to offer defensive cover with any enthusiasm.
Anorak Corner:
This was the first league match this season in which City have failed to find the net. It was the first time since September that Cheshunt have managed to shut out the opposition.
T-Ender Verdict

Last week's heavy home defeat to Banbury did at least come with two things to cling to. The first was that Banbury are a good side who will probably finish in the top eight. The other was that at least there were spells when City got into the game, played well and looked like scoring. This defeat was against a poor side that we failed to challenge, and for almost the entire game we failed to put them under any pressure or seem to have any idea how to get past their defence.

Looking through the side this City team should easily be good enough to compete in this league. Individually we have good players, but collectively that extra bit of chemistry that makes a team flow and function together just isn't there. The side is obviously very low in confidence, but when things aren't going your way the only answer is to work even harder. Yet we were second to most challenges, with only a few players even displaying the signs of frustration and anger you'd expect in that situation. If we're going to lose I'd hope for a little more pride and grit. Cheshunt were a side we brushed aside 3-0 at a canter back in August, we deserved to be beaten this time and can have no excuses. It's hard to understand how the team have lost so much faith in themselves and seem content to hang their heads, together they are far less than the sum of their parts. I can't find an explanation, I just hope that Tim Harris has some ideas to get that extra something from his side before another Christmas period is overwhelmed with the sense of crisis.

Highlights Elsewhere:

The return of Aussie forward David Seal from Yate helped fire Mangotsfield United to the top of the table with his brace helping them to a 2-1 win at Banbury United. They took advantage of results going against the two promotion front runners, Bath City losing 2-1 at Twerton Park to improving Hitchin Town for whom former Bedford striker Chris Dillon proved to be the match winner. Cup heroes King's Lynn also lost ground at the top with a 3-1 defeat at Clevedon Town who are also running into a rich vein of form. They survived seeing keeper Danny Greaves sent off and conceding a Notman penalty after just 9 minutes to come back to win 3-1 with a second half Jack Pitcher brace edging them ahead. Chippenham have also started to put some results together and now lie third with a 2-0 home win over struggling Wealdstone.

With City now slipping to 17th and only a point clear of the drop zone it would be fair to say our main interest is now in the wrong end of the table. An Aaron Blakemore brace clinched a 2-0 home win for Yate against Cirencester, while Corby Town remain bottom after a last gasp Chris Holloway goal gave Tiverton a 2-1 win over the Steelmen at Ladysmead. However Northwood join Cheshunt in making tracks amongst the bottom clubs, with an impressive 3-1 demolition of play-off hopefuls Rugby Town.

Other Match Reports:

Tiger Roar post-match Tim Harris interview
Gloucester Citizen match report

Further Reading:

BGB Southern League Premier Results & Website
BGB Southern League Table

Referee: P.Grove (Stourbridge) City League Pos: 17th (=) City Form: LLLLDW

Ref Watch:

4 - Culpable for the second goal and Obeng should have seen red.

Attendance: 278    
Conditions: sunny spells, chilly
Lorry Score:


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