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Match Reports : August 2006
City 2-1 Maidenhead United : Saturday August 19th 2006
City

1: Matt Bath

2: Jonny Miller
(sub 73 mins)

3: Aaron Wilson
(goal 81 mins)

4: Chris Thompson
(booked 77 mins)

5: Tom Hamblin

6: Lyndon Tompkins

7: Mike Fowler

8: Tom Webb

9: Jason Welsh

10: Luke Corbett
(sub 66 mins)

11: Alex Sykes
(sub 79 mins)

Substitutes


12: Jamie Reid
for Jonny Miller
(goal 84 mins)

14: Lee Randall

15: Joe Tustain
for Luke Corbett

16: Neil Mustoe

17: Jody Bevan
for Alex Sykes
Maidenhead United

1: Francisco Ramos

2: Ashley Smith

3: Ryan Parsons

4: Nathan Bunce

5: Dominic Sterling

6: Richard Witt
(sub 40 mins)

7: Stuart Beevor
(sub 85 mins)

8: Mark Nisbet

9: Brian Haule
(booked 78 mins)

10: Adrian Allen

11: Dwain Clarke
(goal 54 mins)

Substitutes


12: Yashwa Romeo
for Stuart Beevor

14: Daniel Burnell

15: Mark Burgess

16: Ryan Newman
for Richard Witt

17: Paul Kelly

After an unflattering pre-season campaign things didn't look too bright for the Tigers as they faced Maidenhead United, a team with Conference South experience who'd had an injection of cash through the summer.

However, the never say die (or Dai for the benefit of Mike Fowler and Jason Welsh) attitude shown by Tim Harris' men earned three valuable points against the town best known for being a blurred sign on the railway station as the train whizzes through en route to Paddington.

Despite reports that City would be without Chris Thompson and midfielder Fowler both did indeed make the starting eleven and went on to produce hard working displays. We know what to expect from Thommo but the man from the Valleys may well surprise a few people this coming season with the quality that he can offer in the middle of the park.

As well as the two from Merthyr, also making the debuts were Aaron Wilson and Tom Hamblin who'd stepped up a couple of divisions from Bristol Manor Farm with neither looking out of place at the Southern League level.

It was the away team that got off to the best start and they looked a threat down the left wing with Jonny Miller looking exposed against the pace of Dwain Clarke. It was the same man who had the games' first chance when his shot seemed to be deflected but Matt Bath did well to parry it to another United player whose effort was bravely blocked by Thommo.

City were struggling to impose themselves and only really looked a threat from set pieces, one of which was almost bundled in at the far post by Wilson after keeper Francisco Ramos had lost the ball under pressure. He can thank teammate Richard Witt for getting a toe in to knock the ball behind to deny young Aaron a goal.

Jason Welsh directed a header inches over the bar from the following corner before Witt took an unfortunate kick in the face up the other end as he stooped to head for goal. He was replaced by Ryan Newman and went home in a Gloucester ambulance after receiving sixteen stitches at GRH.

Winger Clarke brought the best from Bathy again as his long range effort flew at the City keeper and was palmed up and over the bar. Did the Southern League get a job lot of those funny balls from the World Cup because the way they moved through the air they looked similar!

To turn things around for the second period Harris switched Wilson and Sykes with the youngster attacking with through the middle whilst the ex-FGR man moved to wing back.

Within minutes of the restart Welshman Welsh almost gave the Tigers the lead when he powerfully headed Sykes' corner onto the crossbar but no-one in a Tigers shirt could react quick enough to pounce on the rebound.

The first controversy of the season occured next as the impressive Wilson tried to run around a defender to reach a Bath free kick, but the defender leaned on him and sent him tumbling to the ground. "Penalty" went the home fans. "No" said the ref. "Wanker" thought the home fans.

For their pressure Maidenhead deserved a goal but when it came it was a bitter one because Luke Corbett had dallied when put through and lost the chance to score himself but it was sickening to see Clarke stride up the pitch and finish with a low shot into the far corner from twenty yards. To be fair to the guy it was a very good goal but little did he know that it was to be mightily bettered half an hour later.

It should've been two as the Londoners stepped up a gear. Another break saw Adie Allen with an excellent chance but Matt Bath pulled off a breathtaking double save, one low and one high to deny the front man.

Harris re-arranged things as he looked for a way back into the game and two changes in a matter of minutes saw Corbs make way for Joe Tustain and Jamie Reid come on for Miller. The interesting thing about the Reid change seemed to be that Tom Webb was shifted to right back to let Jamie play in midfield where he MUST be to have any impact.

Chris Thompson became the first City player to be booked for a desperate lunge on one of their strikers that got the man and not the ball but still didn't stop the attack. Brian Haule became the second name in the book when his dive was spotted by the ref and he was carded for "simulation".

As City still looked for a way back into the game it came when Jody Bevan replaced Sykes and sent in a low cross that was helped on by Welsh for Aaron Wilson to mark his debut with an important goal as he drilled a shot under the keeper and celebrated like he'd won the World Cup!

That gave the Tigers and their fans the belief that we were going to get more than a point from the game and when a corner was cleared to Jamie Reid thirty yards from the target they got just that. With all the assurance of a seasoned pro Reid calmly waited for the ball to sit up before unleashing a half volley of such quality that had it been on TV it would've been shown again and again.

I can remember Jamie not being too chuffed when he read my suggestion that he ought to take shooting lessons from Keith Knight. I reckon now's about the time for Reidy to give Knighter a few pointers!!!

To be fair the referee should've stopped the game there and then but he prolonged Maidenhead's agony for a few minutes as City took the ball into the corner with ease and could've even got a third through Welsh but two goals were enough to beat the former Conference South team who'd made a habit of losing over the past two years.

Welcome to the Southern League boys!

Rugby Town 2-1 City : Tuesday August 22nd 2006
Rugby Town

1: Farhad Afandiyev

2: Aaron Stringfellow

3: Chris Tullin

4: Craig Herbert

5: Delroy Gordon

6: Danny Hall

7: Matthew Gearing

8: Willis Francis
(booked 74 mins)

9: Jason Taylor
(goal 80 mins)

10: David Stone
(goal 81 mins)

11: Tom Breward

Substitutes


12: Mike Feeley

14: Ryan Byrne

15: David Kolodynski

16: Matt Wells

17: ? Kynn
City

1: Matt Bath

2: Jonny Miller

3: Aaron Wilson

4: Chris Thompson
(booked 15 mins)

5: Tom Hamblin

6: Lyndon Tompkins
(booked 79 mins)

7: Mike Fowler

8: Tom Webb

9: Jason Welsh
(sub 84 mins)

10: Luke Corbett
(booked 71 mins)
(sub 75 mins)

11: Jamie Reis
(sub 48 mins)

Substitutes


12: Alex Sykes
for Jamie Reid
(goal 50 mins)

14: Lee Randall

15: Joe Tustain
for Jason Welsh
16: Neil Mustoe

17: Jody Bevan
for Luke Corbett
After the somewhat fortunate opening day victory against Maidenhead Tim Harris took his team to Rugby Town's Butlin Road, a ground which has seldom seen City leave with a smile on their face after recent visits.

Harris made just the one change from three days earlier as match winner Jamie Reid was preferred to Alex Sykes. His inclusion saw him slot into the heart of midfield again with Tom Webb moving to the right hand side and Jon Miller switching to the left to accomodate him. Sykes was named on the bench from where he'd have an impact in the second half.

The Tigers went for their hosts from the off and with a little bit more belief might've turned their 70/30 possession into chances but the closest they came to breaking the deadlock was an audacious long range lob from Luke Corbett that looked to have beaten Rugby keeper Farhad Afandiyev until a last minute flick saw it out for a corner.

Discipline wise Chris Thompson is having a start to the season to forget as he was booked for the second game running following a flying challenge that the Oliver Hardy lookalike referee deemed dangerous even though he was nowhere near an opponent.

David Stone, the "man" in "One man team, Rugby Town" almost profited from a poor Matt Bath throw out but the City keeper made amends by blocking his shot whilst at the other end a needless foul on Reid gave Jon Miller the chance to test his deadly right foot from distance and had the crossbar been as extravagently high as the roof on their new terrace then it would've gone in.

Other than his footballing skills Stone was keen to try his hand at bare knuckle fighting as he offered City fan Andy Birchley out for his advice to "Get up and get on with it" after he lay on the floor in a heap looking for a free kick after a City player had tackled him. Our Shandy, being a lover and not a fighter declined the request and went and hid in the bar.

The foul at the end of the first half had had a negative effect on Reidy and little more than five minutes into the second period he was replaced by Alex Sykes, who with his first touch of the game used all of his academic wisdom to calculate the exact point on the Rugby players shoulder that he'd have to hit to gain the lucky deflection that saw his free kick bounce into the far corner.

It could've been two almost instantly as the lead had given City the incentive to go top of the league but Corbett's shot at the far post found the side netting when the keeper was crying out to be tested.

Lyndon Tompkins was determined not to leave any stone unturned as he slid in from behind on the Rugby hotshot but despite the striker rolling around as if he was on fire the referee wasn't impressed by his appeals and waved play on motioning that the burly centre half had got the ball. The few Town fans and the WAGs had their hearts in their mouths for a minute of two as their "team" hobbled off the pitch for treatment but were relieved to see him rejoin the fray a bit later.

Aaron Wilson was relishing being given the chance to fill Wilko's boots and following on from his goal on Saturday he almost made it two tonight but his effort narrowly beat the near post and like Corbs' earlier effort nestled into the side netting.

Luke Corbett might not've got his name on the scoresheet but he did get it in the referee's notebook when he was cautioned for a foul in the penalty area, however, the victim getting up with a big smile on his face and Luke's Worcester with a touch of Brummie accent protesting his innocence towards the City bench as he was withdrawn in favour of Jody Bevan would suggest that the Rugby man completed a perfect con job on that occasion.

On the other side of the pitch Rugby's Willis Francis was the recipient of their first yellow card of the night when he pulled back Wilson in full flight. He should've been red carded later on for a late tackle on Miller but the gutless man in black refused to act because it would've mean't more paperwork.

Then came the mad minute that turned the game on it's head. No-one's quite sure what happened but there were shouts of handball from the home players (and smattering of fans) and the linesman held his flag across his chest. Reports suggest the penalty was for a foul by Tom Hamblin although Lyndon was the one booked, before Bathy guessed wrong as Jason Taylor stroked home the spot kick.

Straight from the restart again Stone was played in behind the City defence and shot into the far corner to make it two and lead the Warwickshire side to three points that their performance didn't deserve.

City tried to force their way back into the game with Joe Tustain replacing the tiring Jason Welsh but it wasn't to be as Sykes spurned the best chance when he slid in at the far post but could only direct his shot off target.

Even the referee didn't want to help when after Tustain was the victim of a high boot in the area it was deemed to be an indirect free kick and not a penalty. Hopeful shouts of handball fell on deaf ears as Syko drilled a shot into the onrushing Rugby wall and with that chance went our hopes of a point.

Never mind, we'll put six on them at our place next April!

Cheshunt 0-3 City : Saturday August 26th 2006
Cheshunt

1: Michael Kalli

2: Dave Wattley

3: Glen Parry

4: Nick Gyoury

5: Anthony Fenton

6: Lee Allen

7: Bobby Highton
(booked 56 mins)
(sub 68 mins)

8: Danny Jones
(sub 77 mins)

9: Kerem Bashkal
(sub 77 mins)

10: Dewayne Clarke

11: Dean Fenton

Substitutes


12: Steve Obeng
for Danny Jones

13: Martin Peat

14: Michael Deane
for Bobby Highton

15: Aaron Cato
for Kerem Bashkal

City

1: Matt Bath

2: Jonny Miller

3: Jamie Reid
(sub 87 mins)

4: Chris Thompson

5: Tom Hamblin

6: Lyndon Tompkins

7: Mike Fowler
(sub 71 mins)

8: Tom Webb

9: Jason Welsh
(goals 31 & 60 mins)

10: Luke Corbett
(goal 39 mins)

11: Alex Sykes
(sub 84 mins)

Substitutes


12: Adie Harris
for Alex Sykes
14: Lee Randall
for Jamie Reid

15: Joe Tustain

16: Neil Mustoe
for Mike Fowler

17: Jody Bevan

Tim Harris was a happy man after City's comfortable three-nil victory against Cheshunt at Theobalds Lane today.

With midfielder Aaron Wilson absent due to a family wedding Alex Sykes was recalled to the starting line-up whilst veteran winger Adie Harris made his comeback from injury with a place on the bench.

It was the home side that made the better start although Harris later suggested that once right wing back Tom Webb had stopped trying to man mark his opponent he was able to give City more width as they began to stamp their authority on the game.

Webb had to work hard not only going forward but also to temper the threat of winger Dean Fenton who looked dangerous running into the space afforded to him by City's 5-3-2 formation, although his final ball often lacked and was a major contribution to Cheshunt's downfall.

The closest City came to troubling Michael Kalli in the home goal was a free kick from Sykes that just cleared the bar but it was Matt Bath who did well to save when Bobby Highton burst through and and shot towards the far corner.

Despite not doing as much as the home team when they had possession it was the Tigers who took the lead midway through the first half when striker Jason Welsh combined well with Luke Corbett from a Mike Fowler throw and the City number nine controlled the ball before finishing with an unstoppable shot on the turn from eight yards.

Less than ten minutes later it was two when Corbett netted from close range after Kalli had failed to gather an Alex Sykes corner under pressure from Lyndon Tompkins and Welsh at the near post.

The Tigers had their tails up and could've scored twice again before the break when Tom Webb shot narrowly over from the corner of the penalty area and Fowler had a twenty-five yarder tipped over by Kalli.

With the amount of possession being enjoyed by the home team the third goal was always going to be important so when Corbett robbed Glen Parry wide on the right and delivered a pinpoint cross for Welsh to volley home his second the three points were virtually in the bag for City.

Cheshunt midfielder Highton became the only player to be booked when he was late into a tackle with Mike Fowler.

The third goal had pretty much killed off the game and the closest the Tigers came to scoring again was an effort from Welsh from a narrow angle that was comfortably dealt with by Kalli but might've reaped rewards had the striker picked out Luke Corbett in a more central position.

The home side did look for a consolation, if not for pride then to appease manager Tom Loizou who had used his programme notes to rip into the attitude and commitment shown by his own players after just two games.

With twenty minutes remaining Neil Mustoe made a welcome return to competitive football following his broken leg suffered against Evesham in February and immediately showed what had been missing as he added both physical and vocal presence to the City midfield.

Further changes saw both Adie Harris and Lee Randall make their first appearances of the season as they replaced Alex Sykes and Jamie Reid respectively.

Harris admitted after the game that "For the first twenty-five or thirty minutes we were a bit lacklustre really and we took two good chances and scored two good goals and found ourselves two-nil up at half time".

He added that "We played better in the first half at Rugby than we did in the first half here today but any away win's a good win it doesn't matter what the opposition is, we've come away from home and won three-nil so we've got to be pleased with the result and look forward to the match against Halesowen now on Monday."

City 1-3 Halesowen Town : Monday August 28th 2006
City

1: Matt Bath

2: Jonny Miller
(sub 59 mins)

3: Jamie Reid

4: Chris Thompson

5: Tom Hamblin

6: Lyndon Tompkins
(goal 86 mins)

7: Mike Fowler
(sub 68 mins)

8: Tom Webb

9: Jason Welsh

10: Luke Corbett
(sub 59 mins)

11: Alex Sykes

Substitutes


12: Adie Harris

14: Lee Randall

15: Joe Tustain
for Luke Corbett

16: Neil Mustoe
for Mike Fowler

17: Jody Bevan
for Jonny Miller
Halesowen Town

1: Mark Gayle

2: Rob Warner

3: Dave Haywood

4: Nick Preston

5: Gary Knight

6: Grant Beckett
(booked 90 mins)

7: Alex Cowley
(booked 18 mins)
(goal 49 mins)

8: Matt Lewis
(goals 44 & 55 mins)
(sub 71 mins)

9: Paul Szewczyk

10: Lee Williams
(sub 71 mins)

11: Simon Forsdick
(sub 78 mins)

Substitutes


12: Ian Cooper

14: Nick Amos
for Lee Williams

15: Sean Dowdell
for Matt Lewis

16: Nick Smith
for Simon Forsdick

17: Chris Brindley

After Saturday's comfortable victory at Cheshunt, the Tigers were brought down to earth with a bump by an efficient Halesowen side who scored three times in a 10-minute spell either side of half time.

City began with the same starting line-up as Saturday with Tom Webb at right wing back and teenager Jamie Reid in the centre of midfield.

Encouraged by the weekend's fine performance, City made most of the early running. On eight minutes, Alex Sykes tried his luck from 25 yards but experienced Town keeper Mark Gayle held on at the second attempt. Ten minutes later Reid's 20-yarder took a big deflection off Matt Lewis and seemed to be dropping under the bar but Gayle went full stretch to tip the ball over.

After 22 minutes, Lewis was in action at the other end, clipping the top of the bar with a powerful header. Gradually, the visitors' midfield began to take control and City found it difficult to cope with the strong runs of Alex Cowley and Simon Forsdick. A minute before the break, Gloucester's concentration dropped. Cowley was allowed to run unchallenged from deep, and his pass found the unmarked Lewis whose angled shot gave Matt Bath no chance.

Four minutes into the second half, the lead was doubled. Forsdick's superb cross field ball released Cowley who cut inside. Once again the Tigers failed to close him down and he was able to fire home from just inside the area.

Six minutes later it was three as City managed to scramble the ball away but only as far as Gareth Beckett who had plenty of time to return the ball to the again unmarked Lewis who again easily beat Bath.

As City heads began to drop, manager Tim Harris made three changes to try to liven things up. On 70 minutes, Town almost added a fourth, Chris Thompson slicing a clearance towards his own goal but Lyndon Tomkins was on hand to clear. Tomkins who grabbed a consolation five minutes from time turning in Webb's low cross from close range.

"We didn't deserve anything from the game," summed up Harris. "We couldn't hold on to the ball in the final third of the pitch and it just kept coming back at us. Hopefully, we will have learnt something from a very capable Halesowen side."

Report taken from This Is Gloucestershire
Gloucester City AFC Scarf

Page last updated : 28th August 2006

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