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Monday 1 January 2007
British Gas Business Southern League Premier
(match 21)
at The Hand Stadium, Clevedon.
BGB Southern League logo

Clevedon Town


Gloucester City

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

HT (1-1)

A.Gurney (28), L.Hapgood (71)
clevedon kitCity home kit
J.Welsh (29), O.Barnes (89)
C.Thompson ©
L.Hapgood ©
(for 6, 24) D.Haines
A.Harris (for 5, 85)
(for 5, 89) M.Rawlins
J.Tustain (for 3, 78)
D.Wilkinson (for 2, 55)

(for 9, 76) T.Jacobs

Clevedon: A.Gurney (dangerous tackle 28)
City: O.Barnes (foul trip 62)
Dismissals: none

T-Ender City MotM: Jason Welsh - exemplified City's determination by mucking in at the back with some grit and still grabbed a goal.

grass trim rule

City grabbed a last gasp and well deserved equaliser to take a point from a game where the odds seemed stacked against City from the start. Boss Tim Harris was forced to continually reshuffle his squad, losing two key players in the pre-match warm-up and then seeing his side depleted further as Chris Thompson was forced off in the second half with a suspected broken nose. Both sides struggled in atrocious pouring rain that seemed at times to threaten the game going full-term, and often left players sliding around on a slick and treacherous surface. The late taken point represents something of a triumph for a brave City team who will have high hopes for the coming year if the same commitment can be reproduced with any regularity.

With so many recent matches lost due to saturated pitches it was perhaps surprising City fans turned up in such numbers, sadly the home fans were not so numerous and the players must have felt like they were at Meadow Park. There was a concern the match might not start as torrential rain started to pour down half an hour before kick-off, but once we got under way it was the City team that started brightest. Aaron Wilson ploughed his way down the left and presented Jimmy Cox with a good chance, but the striker couldn't get the ball out of the water and his shot lacked enough power to trouble Danny Greaves in the Clevedon goal.

Both sides were finding it hard to defend with any composure on the wet ground and Fowler did well to head a hanging cross off our line, Thommo also did well to get back and recover possession with a fine tackle having initially slipped to lose the ball. However Clevedon took the lead with Andy Gurney getting up highest to plant a back post header into the City net.

The lead lasted just a minute though, and stemmed from a free kick given after the Clevedon goalscorer was lucky to just be booked for a wild challenge on Aaron. The tackle was out of character for the game as the ref and most of the players were trying to be sensible in conditions which could easily be dangerous. It was good that City exacted full justice with Webb first to get his head on Sykes' free kick as it flew into the box, Jason Welsh in the right place to nod in from close range as Clevedon's keeper slipped.

City should have had a half-time lead with Danny Greaves seeming to find the conditions particularly problematic. Webb and Sykes had drives blocked in quick succession, then Sykes went even closer with one of his special dipping efforts from 25 yards which crashed back off the crossbar. Mike Fowler also got in on the action, producing a fine stop by Greaves who did well to see the Welsh wizard's shot as it flashed through a crowd of bodies in the penalty area.

The half-time break was mainly taken up with worrying if the game would re-start, but the worst of the rain seemed to be relenting even though the blustery wind was strengthening to ensure the conditions remained challenging. City were now defending in the teeth of a gale and Matt Bath had to be at his best to produce a full length diving save to prevent Gurney's free kick going in. Things were to get worse for City though when skipper Chris Thompson got sandwiched between a Clevedon striker and Barnes, collecting a blow in the face that saw him helped off in a bloody mess. City's makeshift defence was now looking decidedly threadbare.

City were having to defend in numbers now and Clevedon were piling on the pressure. Welsh made a fantastic stretching tackle but Barnes was booked for a clumsy challenge on Pitcher. Welsh was first to most of the high balls but one long ball saw the City defence caught flat footed and Hapgood was able to race onto a flick on, flying through the spray to shoot a firm low drive crisply past Matt Bath.

Falling behind woke City up and we now managed to make Clevedon's defence creak under pressure. Cox was almost able to make the most of a comical defensive mix-up as Scott Hendy ignored his keeper's call and put his header beyond the advancing keeper but just wide of the post and just ahead of the chasing City forward. Clevedon had another escape when the ref was lenient with Gurney when the former Swindon player could have picked up a second yellow card as he blocked Mustoe's attempt to take a quick free kick.

City threw on first Joe Tustain and then Adie Harris as the mud splattered players pressed for the equaliser. Adie Harris may be heading for the super-veteran category but he showed his continuing worth with a blistering few minutes where his pace almost unhinged a tiring Clevedon defence. His run took him past two players but his dangerous low cross zipped just behind Tustain and Wilson. City were now attacking in numbers, but when Sykes saw another fierce long range shot well saved by Greaves it looked as if we'd rather harshly leave the pitch with nothing for all our efforts.

However there was still time for more drama as Adie Harris won a corner with another charging run. Sykes put over the perfect delivery which was met firmly by Ollie Barnes downward header. The ball may have crossed the line already but it was hard to make out in the muddy melee as Clevedon tried desperately to clear, but the ball ended up in the net as Tustain and Welsh bundled the ball in to make sure. Players and fans celebrated wildly and it was only later the confusion over who had actually claimed the crucial goal raged in the bar. Tustain doubtless wants the goal most as a striker looking to his season's scoring tally, but the Southern League seem to have formally credited it to Ollie Barnes - and the Clevedon based defender on loan from Bristol Rovers will be happy enough to score against his home town club.


grass trim rule
T-Ender Match Snaps
In the rain City v Clevedon
Somewhere in the puring rain lurked a football match. The people of Clevedon were at home building the ark...
City attack at Clevedon
Fowler slips in Clevedon mud
Clevedon's Danny Greaves wallows in the mud as Welsh tries to pounce Fowler slips and slides as City dig in.

Team Selection:

City were forced into a major reshuffle as Jamie Reid and Tom Hamblin picked up injuries in the pre-match warm-up. That forced Jason Welsh back into defence as a replacement centre-back, with Wilson taking a starting spot in a reshaped midfield and Jimmy Cox claiming a starting role.

TBBM Said:


Tactics Board:
Tactics - this was down to last man standing stuff.
Anorak Corner:
T-Ender Verdict

This wasn't ever going to be a pretty game but Tim Harris will be delighted to have taken a point that we thoroughly deserved for a great diaply of character and commitment in some considerable adversity. If we can show the same spirit in better circumstances we could yet continue our five game unbeaten run into the upper reaches of the table. Funny how this is the same result as the Boxing Day draw with Merthyr, but feels very different.

Highlights Elsewhere:

Stamford were able to secure a position at the top of the table for the first time having beaten struggling local rivals Corby Town, a position secured briefly by Mangotsfield's enforced inaction due to another postponement. However Bath City still look like title favourites given their games in hand, they're now a point behind the top spot after a 1-0win at Chippenham Town after Lewis Hogg converted a late penalty to seal the derby points.

Other Match Reports:

Gloucester Citizen match report
Clevedon Town FC website report

Further Reading:

BGB Southern League Premier Results & Website
BGB Southern League Table

Referee: R.Greenwood (Devon) City League Pos: 13th (=) City Form: DDWDWL

Ref Watch:

7 - Showed a lot of sense on a slippy and tricky pitch.

Attendance: 303    
Conditions: bucketing down on heavy pitch
Lorry Score:
Match Report:
by t-towel

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